Going, Going, Gone -- CD players in new cars -- am I the only one missing them?

I am considering a new car, and as I shop around I’ve found that the new sound systems have fancy screens, satellite radio, and lots of speakers and sub-woofers. What they don’t have is a CD player much less a CD changer. Now the systems have aux inputs and USB port(s) and you have to have an ipod, iphone, or mp3 player to get your own favorite music.

I miss the CD player to the point that I might just stick with my current line up of cars. Is the demise of the CD player pre-mature? Am I the only one who misses them in new cars?

If they require you to own an iphone or i-pod, that could be a hassle. But if the car has a USB port where you can just plug in any old generic usb memory stick and play mp3 files from that, to me that’s even better than a CD player. It is pretty easy to copy any CD you like to listen to (using your desktop computer) onto a usb memory stick. You might need a neighborhood teenager to show you how is all. And you can copy quite a few CD’s onto one memory stick. Once you plug the memory stick into the car’s stereo system, it’s pretty much the same as having a cd-changer , but with no skips going over bumps.

How things change! I have driven cars with an 8 track player then cassette player then CD player and now cars are being made to be internet connected entertainment systems that happen to move people around. Fits perfectly with the self driving car idea so that the people stay connected online!

I even think I’m lucky that my kids know how to drive!

I hadn’t noticed that but will need to put that on the list. I like books on CD (used to be tape) but I don’t think they’re likely to have books on thumb drive for a while. At least not at the public library. They just got done making all the books on tape obsolete so what’s their rush?

@GeorgeSanJose has the right idea. I memory stick and you can store much more music than any CD will hold.


A CD player should have an output that you could plug into the auxiliary input the iPhone uses. That would save you transferring your albums to an iPhone or similar device. You may have to buy a CD player and might have to change the CD once during your drive, but you could still listen to your music from CDs instead of an iPod-like device.

And we admonish people to pay attention to their driving…
Personally, I like AM.

CD players have disappeared from the marketplace…The new rule: No Moving Parts. The thumb drive is the new music storage system…You can find an i-pod clone for under $100 that will store an amazing amount of music and give you complete control of what to play…Insist on an audio system with a USB port…

Damn. That means that if I get a new car I won’t be able to play my Marilyn Monroe CDs.

Just wondering, which new cars are not available with CD players? I think the Chevy Spark is one of them. What are some of the others?

So far it’s Chevrolet products (Sonic up to Corvette) and possibly the other GM brands that don’t include a CD player but there might be others out there. I use the CD Player in my car now and then but my MP3 player with hours of music and podcasts gets used every day.

Well, since CD players aren’t really used around the house anymore I guess it makes sense that you don’t find them in cars anymore either. I can’t remember the last time I played a CD at home. In fact, we moved into this house in 2008 and all the CDs we packed up from the last house are still in boxes, never been opened.

When I want to enjoy listening to music at home, I spin up an LP on the turntable and pipe it through some 25 year old floor speakers. Sounds far better than any CD ever did.

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CD sales are declining rapidly. I found this chart online… I think they abbreviate millions as mm (weird). Looks like the CD is going the way of the 9 track, and how may cars come with 9 track players?

But that doesn’t help people like me, who bought CDs when the player cost $1000 and the CD’s $30 each. But I have a new car with a CD player, so I’m OK for at least 10 years.

No CD Player? Great…

…The next thing you know, cars will come with no spare tire and rear windows that offer no view to the rear!

If I can’t buy a newer car with a CD player then I’ll keep the machines I’ve got. However, I do listen mainly to FM & AM.


Once you rip and store those tunes on a flash drive or even a terabyte passport and can take your entire collection with you wherever you go, you will forget about antique CDs and never look back. Take the plunge, the water is fine…

Two years ago we sold our last car with a Cassette player. The kid that bought it did not mind the player not working, as he was going to put a new system in.

I still see the odd 8Track when going to garage sales!

One thing I appreciated when I bought my '07 TL is that it put in the advanced tech while not leaving people with old tech in the dust. That’s why it has a CD changer, an aux jack, and a tape player built in. People actually make fun of it for the tape player, but what’s the point of leaving potential customers out in the cold when it’s so easy to just stick the old tech in there on the off chance they’ll use it?

I never use it. I rarely even use the CD player - I have my entire music collection on my phone, so it sits on shuffle when I’m not listening to XM. But it’s nice that it’s there.

I think deleting the CD player is a little premature. As much as I dislike almost everything electronic that BMW does, what they did do right was to make the CD player capable of automatically ripping the CD you put in to its own built in MP3 player. So you only have to insert the CD once, and it gets copied to the car’s internal memory. But the CD player is still there for those who don’t have mp3 playing devices they carry all over.

When I discovered thumb/flash drives a few years ago…CD players became a distant memory just like cassettes and 8-tracks.

LOL, CSA, I loved the joke!

The problem with compressed audio (mp3)…the quality isn’t as good as the highest quality 24bit uncompressed music files. But in a car environment (even a high end environment)…you probably can’t hear the difference. Too much other noise to really hear it. I’ve done my own tests at home and there’s a distinct difference in High-end CD and compressed audio like MP3.

I welcome the change music from a flash or my iphone. Much easier format to carry around. I won’t use it at home when I spend most of my listening to music.