Reader Question: CD Players?

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Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!

Crissie asks: One of the reasons I like my older (’99) car is because it has a CD changer. Do any of the new cars still have these?

My reply: A few. But mostly only the older models – the new model year cars that haven’t been redesigned in a few years. But even they are dropping the CD slot. The 2020 Ford Edge I’m driving this week, for instance. Same basic vehicle as it was back in 2015 but the ’20 no longer has even a CD slot (forget changer). Instead, it’s been fitted with AppleCarPlay and Android Auto. These are wireless systems that let you transmit music from your phone or iPod to the car’s audio system.

Generally, I’m averse to tech for its own sake but in this case, there’s an actual functional and physical improvement. You can store hundreds – thousands – of songs on a device the size of a pop tart; I don’t miss the days of lugging around a small suitcase of CDs or having to change CDs.

I still have my CDs – hundreds of them – but I transferred the songs to my iPod, so I can carry them all in my pocket now.

I dig that.

But – if you prefer CDs (and some do, apparently because the sound quality is richer; I’m too much of a Philistine, apparently, to notice) you aren’t out of luck. Even if the factory doesn’t offer a CD slot anymore, it’s not a huge big deal to get one from the aftermarket. These are available in non-rigged design, too – meaning you don’t have to mutilate your car’s dashboard or even accept an obviously not-factory-looking head unit. They make ’em to fit your car- any car – both functionally an aesthetically. Crutchfield is a good place to start but you may also want to visit a local audio shop – hopefully one without a Diaper Wearing policy!

. . .

Got a question about cars, Libertarian politics – or anything else? Click on the “ask Eric” link and send ’em in!

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  1. My WH Statesman here in Australia has a 10 stacker cd assembly in the boot (trunk) with the head unit up front in the dash. Great to put in almost 800 minutes of my own music of MY choice. Made by Eurovox in Japan, this is the ideal solution, but not if you only have a hatch. Holden factory installed these in that car, a major reason for me buying that particular car.

  2. The thing that irks me is that we are more and more being forced to do business with Apple, google, etc. to achieve a given end. “our cars work with Appleplay and Androidmusic”, I can’t stand it when some company or group says, “download our app from Apple or Google.” Why don’t/can’t they send it to me themselves? It’s like going into a restaurant and when your food arrives they say, “Oh, you want a fork? Go down the street to this other store. They will give you one.”

    Makes me want to scream! [I would say “makes my teeth ache” but, I understand, like “Let’s get ready to rumble”, is a copyrighted phrase.]

  3. My 5th Gen Ram has a single slot, but when my iPod stopped working and I didn’t have XM for a bit, it was a God Send, even if I couldn’t find the MP3 CD’s

    Eric is right about the Car Play and stuff, but I don’t want to load my phone up and leave it up to my Aux and iPod.

  4. Since my CD player doesn’t work well, I’d like another source. A thumb drive or data card would be ok but it’s hard to access the artist or song you want without having a computer. I’m going to stick with CD changers till the bitter end……which won’t be long the way things are stacking up.

    By the Way, I keep getting a 505 error on your first article. The incidence of that has increased lately.


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