Crown Vic Doesn't Play MP3's

I have a 2006 Crown Victoria Police Interceptor and it will play Cd’s but not burned CD. I tried using MP3’s and FLAC file types with no luck. Any ideas on how to play a burned CD in a Crown Vic?

It’s behaving normally. It’s designed to play audio CDs, not data discs with files copied to them. The file format doesn’t matter at all, because the music on an audio CD is organized ompletely differently than a data disc. The standard format for an audio CD is known as Red Book, and you can burn them on your computer, too, but it is a different process from burning a data CD. You should be able to find details in the help files for whatever software you’re using (if it supports burning audio CDs, which it probably does.) What you’ll end up with is very much like any audio CD you own, so it won’t show up with all the titles and artists and stuff that can display with data discs, just track numbers.

I agree. Old technology CD players which are found in cars that old, play only the original format of the CD. Some newer models like better home systems and your computer, recognize compressed files like MP3 and can play them as all a computer needs is a the added software. Your cars system doesn’t have that option so you don’t deny the original recording artist all his royalties.

Don’t feel too bad, even many 2015 models just have CD players that will not play recorded CDs or MP3 files and provide USB ports to play compressed files on thumb drives and players.

If you really like this MP3 format and use it frequently at home and in other locations, you need to update your system in your car to match what you have. Go to a car audio specialist with samples of your music on a thumb drive or your own personal player and not on a CD and test out your options. Playing compressed files like MP3 on a CD in a car is now is getting old too. Cops aren’t suppose to be listening to too much music anyway! :wink: besides…CDs playing music in a car is going the way of the 8 track.

If the above answers are correct, then replace your stereo with one from Crutchfield.

Lion beat me to it. The solution is a new head unit.

If you choose to do this yourself, I strongly urge you to use an adapter cable to install it. The adapter solders/splices to the new head unit’s wires right on the kitchen table with easy to follow instructions and then, when you remove and unplug the old unit, you simply plug the new unit into the existing OEM wiring harness. It’s well, well worth the few extra bucks and prevents the typical wiring problems. Do the job right. You won’t regret it.

As the others have mentioned,. The MP3 format is not supported. You have to burn your music as redbook audio (like a typical commercial CD).

Your car’s CD play, if it plays pre-recorded CD’s purchased at a music store, it should play burned CD’s ok; but the CD has to be burned in the standard CD audio format. That will allow about 70 minutes of music on one CD. The reason folks like to burn music in mp3 format on their CD’s is b/c they can put a lot more minutes on one CD. But only the newest CD players are able to play mp3 files on a CD.

But it is certainly possible and the technology to do is cheap to implement. My home DVD player, for which I paid a grand total of $35 new, it will play mp3 files burned to a CD. In fact I sometimes listen to Car Talk podcasts that way.

GeorgeSanJose: Many old players would only play pressed CDs, ie, ones with physical pits. They would not read CDRs as that requires a different laser setup due to the different reflectance of the surfaces.


@BillRussell By 2006, you’d be hard pressed to find CD player that wouldn’t play home-burned CDs. CD players from circa 1999 or later won’t have a problem with them.

I’m looking at the owner’s manual for the OP’s car now, and it does say that they don’t guarantee compatibility, but I having sold P71’s by the dozen before, I can say that they will play burned CDs in redbook audio format.

Given this is the police model, who knows what kind of cd player it has…

You would be surprised what a CD player in a car will not play. There are some “burned” CDs that my players will not play including MP3 files. One is a 2013 amd the other is a 2015. OP wants to play MP3s, he is going to have to get the appropriate system. Like I said…CD players n cars will g the way of the 8 track. The in thing is having a system that will play your own player ( Ipod etc. ) using the controls in the car. Cars now come with multiple USB ports…that is the way to go. That is so you can have things like more then one flash storage drive and / or player and be switchable from one to another.

Crutch field is fine, but compatibility is not always possible and the only way to be sure is to deal with a local car audio installer. That is my recomendation.

It’s worth burning an audio CD to see if it works, if the OP has some special music he wants on a disc. In the old days, when many CD players had trouble reading some homemade discs, people found that some brands of discs worked better than others. People would argue about green discs versus gold, or whatever. Given the age of your car, it will probably read standard home burned discs. If not, you would have to decide whether you want this feature enough to spend some money upgrading your car’s audio system. With an older car that can be a tough decision, as it isn’t broken, just limited. As others have noted, Crutchfield is a great source for this. They have all kinds of info on their Web site explaining what you need to buy for your particular car. Or you can have someone do it for you, of course.

Does the front of the in-dash unit say “MP3” on it anywhere? Does the manual offer any advice? My (not a Ford) 2006 vehicle will play MP3 discs, but 2006 is in the grey area where manufacturers were beginning to realize that this was a desirable ability for disc players to have, and not all of them adopted it right away.

As others have said, Crutchfield is a great place to buy an upgrade from. Typically they cost a little more than other vendors, but they also give you a free installation kit and have free skilled support if you struggle with the installation.

@Dagosa Discs with MP3’s definitely won’t work on the OP’s car. But discs burned in redbook audio will. Redbook is the format that commercially pressed discs are made with. MP3’s are far more compressed and will only work with cd players tha specifically support them, the audio system in the OP’s car does not support MP3 files.

And yes CD players in cars are on the way out. When the stock head unit in my Mustang died, I replaced it with a Kenwood DDX470. It has Bluetooth, it can play DVDs, MP3’s,AAC ,etc. I’ve had it for about two and half years now and I have yet to put a CD in it. I just have 16GB flash drive attached to it with hundreds of songs on it, and just use that exclusively.

Yes. But OP is going to be disappointed if all he wants to do is play burned CDs. He has attempted MP3 and other formats…that means they are available to him and it is the way to go. We have a CD player in each of our newer cars. We have yet to use either one as well. Just using flash drive though, totally depends upon the memory and compatibility of the car audio system. Playing your music with your own player does not depend upon capability so much as compatibility? Your lap top, ipad, iPod…will all be connected directly or using bluetooth as well, to your car system. The car audio system then just becomes a conduit like bluetooth does for your phone device. Just finding a CD player or being stuck with CDs for music is important, is a mistake IMho. I would not buy a car with limited capabilities and connectivity to personal devices; car makers are figuring that out.

The superior sound of a CD is unrealized in a 2006 Crown Vic due to the crappy acoustic environment of all cars. MP3 and other compressed sources for convenience alone, not to mention distraction of “playing around” and handling CDs makes these other alternatives absolute no brainiers.

You need to choose the option in the burning software to create an audio cd, also if you are using rewritable cd’s cdrw you need to choose the finalize cd option.

I was never able to play mp3s or even CDs in my Crown Vic. Oh! Wait! It was a 1985. Never mind. My 2010 Kia will play CDs, mp3s burned to CD, mp3s on USB drive, or iPod/mp3 player plus other mp3 sources. I have played a total of one CD in almost 5 years!

This does not answer your question but is an inexpensive solution to your problem. For 10 bucks you can buy an FM Modulator from Big Lots (EBay has these too) that plugs into your cigar lighter and broadcasts MP3 files from an SD card or a thumb drive that plugs into the modulator. The modulator can be adjusted to broadcast to a blank channel on your FM radio. You can store a huge quantity of music on an SD card or thumb drive that will greatly reduce CD clutter inside your car.

PS, the sound quality is good enough but might not be for a serious audiophile. On the other hand your car moving down the road with all of its ambient noise is not a concert hall.

ANSWER: Someone suggested converting the MP3’s to .wav and that was the solution. I lease this vehicle as a cab so I cannot replace the stereo so I used Any Video Converter to convert to wav files and Nero to burn them as a audio CD and magically this time it worked beautifully. Thanks for all the great replies, great info here.

@whawho. It’s as good as FM radio,but that’s all. Everything is a big compromise. It does work and you are right…about as cheap a way you can get.