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We're Calling It: The In-Dash CD Player Dies in 2015

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We're Calling It: The In-Dash CD Player Dies in 2015

By Marty Padgett

Editorial Director

September 1st, 2010

One of the innovation milestones of the computer age, and one of the most potent symbols of Generation X--the compact disc--is on the way out of cars.

In what's likely to be the first stage of a drawn-out phase-out, Ford will stop selling CD changers for its vehicles at the end of the 2011 model year, and it's suggesting the single-slot CD player will follow. It's a sign of rapid changes in the in-car entertainment world, changes that are particularly swift at Ford, which is jumping on the connected bandwagon with vehicles like the 2011 Lincoln MKX.

As the whole music industry shifts from "hard" digital delivery to "soft" delivery through networks like iTunes and Pandora and less legitimate outlets, automakers are faced with a choice--to adapt audio systems and to put portable players foremost in their product plans, or to deal with the legacy formats like CDs in other ways to hang on to more Luddite users.

In many ways, it's shaping up exactly as did the end of the car cassette player, which Ford dropped from most cars by 2005. A group of potential buyers don't want to abandon significant, expensive music libraries. On the other hand, playlists are the new mix tapes, and the world has clearly moved on from CDs, as it did with tape and vinyl.

There's incentive to move away from CDs quickly. As with cassettes, eliminating CD players from the standard-equipment list will save money and build complexity for automakers. But even more importantly, the move will free up space on the middle of the dash-- "Manhattan real estate," according to Ford's director of electronics engineering, Jim Buczkowski--in favor of more expressive styling and for other features, like larger LCD screens.

link:

http://www.thecarconnection.com/marty-blog/1048928_were-calling-it-the-in-dash-cd-player-dies-in-2015

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It'll happen, but not that soon IMO. I could see CD-less options by that time, but not the complete removal of the option by then. The fact that Walmart and other stores still have a large selection of CDs means that people are clearly still buying them, and the players won't go away while people are still buying them.

Still, the day is coming...

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Man, I hope not.

I still use CDs. Can't be bothered to maintain, sort, etc. an mp3 collection. My iPod collects dust.

Same.

Cassettes disappeared because they were replaced. CDs have not been replaced. Many cars still don't have an input plug, and I don't see USB thumb drives being used with cars, either. Not everyone has/uses an iPod, especially since they're poorly-made to only last a couple years before dying.

These guys are totally jumping the gun.

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The majority of new GM vehicles have a line in and/or a USB input. The best place I have seen them in in the arm rest, the worst is on the dash. You just plug in your jump drive with your music and off you go. The radio sorts and displays the artist and song names.

CD's in cars get scratched or beat up way to easy. Just burn them to MP3 once and you have them when you need them.

CD's may not go away, but the player in the car should.

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CD players will eventually be outdated and fall out of usage, but not by 2015. That's just an attempt to drive hits to his blog. I do see CD changers going away quicker, but I still think they have their use even in 2011. My car has a 6-CD in-dash changer and it's nice to have. It also has a tape deck, though I've never used it.

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Not everyone has/uses an iPod, especially since they're poorly-made to only last a couple years before dying.

But mostly everyone has some kind of music player... even if its their cell phone.

As far as poorly made... I beg to differ. I know of no one with a broken iPod. In fact, my sister just gave her original iPod (9 years old) to my mother... as her new Mac came with a new iPod. But, quite frankly... she uses her Android phone for tunes...

My iPod was VERY well used and is about 5 years old.

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Man, I hope not.

I still use CDs. Can't be bothered to maintain, sort, etc. an mp3 collection. My iPod collects dust.

With you on this,

Don't own an MP3 player, don't want to, and have never downloaded a single song.

Edited by Camino LS6

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I work outside a lot. The CDs play in my truck, then follow me outside to a CD player. I can't play my truck radio/ cdplayer/ mp3 player all day. I have yet to switch over to digital, if/when I will. I only came off of cassettes about 2-3 years ago.

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they shoudl step up to dvd players first... if only there was HD standard for compressed music... too bad HDCD...never really caught on... 20bit depth instead of 16. or at least beable to hold 4+ gb of mp3s instead of a measly 700mb

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It's a real shame that the CD will die in favor of MP3s, it will mark the first time that an inferior medium ousts its better.

Convenience trumping sound quality - it disgusts me.

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It's a real shame that the CD will die in favor of MP3s, it will mark the first time that an inferior medium ousts its better.

Not necessarily. Some would argue CDs are inferior to vinyl in sound quality. The main issue being that there is insufficient bit density in the recordings to cover the low range.

And with the "loudness war", there is no fidelity today anymore, anyway. Ear buds have deafened everyone.

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The LP vs. CD thing has too many variables, but in simple clarity the CD was clearly superior. As a medium, it beats the LP. That said, some CD issues (especially in the early days of the CD) were not done very well. In any well done issue, the superiority of the CD was obvious - even over radio.

MP3s?

Nope.

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It's a real shame that the CD will die in favor of MP3s, it will mark the first time that an inferior medium ousts its better.

Convenience trumping sound quality - it disgusts me.

Welcome to the world demanding quantity vs. quality generation, old timer.

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MP3's being a 'lesser form' holds far less water than it did a couple years ago. Quality is dependent upon the actual 'bit-rate' of the MP3, and the encoder used to extract and convert the audio. A few years ago, yes, MP3's were often quite subpar in their quality, but that was generally due to a 'less = more' mentality where people aimed to fit tons of music onto their digital devices which were relatively limited in storage.

This has since changed due to many factors, such as increased competition from online music services, and the ability for 'file-sharers' to use torrents to share large files quickly. Additionally, storage space has become cheaper yet, so large MP3 files are more easily accommodated.

Beforehand, MP3's were heavily compressed in order to ensure timely delivery. With faster internet, and better distribution methods and competition, it's now possible to have MP3's which more or less equal CD's in quality with 320Kbps bit-rate. Complete, and total copying of a CD file, without compression can be achieved by using the FLAC format, albeit that format is often not supported in car-audio.

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A sad state of affairs.

It is. MP3 cannot match the quality of CD's by a long shot. In 2005, when Acura introduced the TL's sound system based on DVD audio, I thought it would replace the CD's. I think the DVD sound on the TL was excellent. Too bad not many manufacturers jumped the gun.

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Music is as close as I come to religion, so this development bums me out.

Of course the way musicians are being marginalized these days annoys me more.

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The LP vs. CD thing has too many variables, but in simple clarity the CD was clearly superior. As a medium, it beats the LP. That said, some CD issues (especially in the early days of the CD) were not done very well. In any well done issue, the superiority of the CD was obvious - even over radio.

MP3s?

Nope.

The clarity WAS superior... before they started mixing all music into mud. But thats not the fault of the CD.

Well, I like low range... so it bothers me... and its one aspect that can't be fixed as its part of the standard, so any "fix" is not backward compatible.

Well, you can adjust your MP3 quality. I'm thinking of redoing my CD collection for max quality... but thats no quick job.

I would argue the the MP3 "medium" is far more durable and compact than CDs.

I don't champion any format... I just hate replacing the same album 5 times. In 1989 when I predicted that the CD would be replaced with a solid state device I was laughed at.

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I knew this would incite proper C&G rage. :lol:

As for me, I don't mind at all. I wish my car had a proper aux jack or USB port. My friend's Camaro has both, he says he never uses CDs anymore. It's so much more convenient. I completely agree. Ats ome point I will wire in an AUX jack for my car so I can ditch CDs as well.

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I've been using CDs for over 20 years (quit cassettes around '89). I still prefer CDs in the car. I don't have an AUX jack, though I'm sure my next car will have one. I use my iPod at work to listen to podcasts and music some. I've used the tape adapter for my iPod, but don't use it much..leaving the white cord in plain sight got my Jeep broken into back in '07.

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