Are CD Players Obsolete? - 2014 Mazda CX-5 Long-Term Road Test
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2014 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring AWD Long-Term Road Test

2014 Mazda CX-5: Are CD Players Obsolete?

May 17, 2013

2014 Mazda CX-5

Our long-term 2014 Mazda CX-5 has an in-dash CD player. But not every new car has one. There are so many alternate ways of listening to music that manufacturers may stop supplying them in their cars.

General Motors, for example, left the disc in its MyLink system out of the new Chevy Sonic and Spark. Instead you can connect with your smartphone. Kia will also be leaving out a CD player in the 2014 Soul because it doesn't fit the car's buying demographic.

Some other manufacturers are doing the same.

Read about the changing times in these two articles on Edmunds.com:

The Car CD Player Deathwatch
Is Car Radio Going Away?

Do you listen to CDs in your car? What is your preferred method of in-car entertainment?

Donna DeRosa, Managing Editor @donnaderosa


Comments

  • gloss gloss Posts:

    Surprisingly, my wife uses the CD-player in our CX-5 semiregularly, either for audiobooks from the library or for new music purchases that she hasn't yet ripped to MP3. We still buy CDs. I'm not sure if it's because we're luddites or just because we don't trust the permanency of digital media. One hard drive crash and poof.

  • ed124c ed124c Posts:

    I am 71 now, and I have no interest in these iPods and iPhones... and well, I don't even know what the others are. I have a large number of CDs and if I go on a trip I put my favorites into the console. I do not like "today's" music. I suppose that is typical of people my age who grew up with what is now known as Classic Rock. I can crank up my Outback's feeble powered audio system to 11 and savor all the oldies from Pink Floyd, Springsteen, even Billy Joel. I will always have a CD player, even if I have to bolt it to the dash.

  • bankerdanny bankerdanny Posts:

    "General Motors, for example, left the disc in its MyLink system out of the new Chevy Sonic and Spark. " Donna, your sentences are ususally well crafted, but that one makes my head hurt. General Motors, for example, left the CD player out of its MyLink system in the new Chevy Sonic and Spark. There, that's better.

  • duck87 duck87 Posts:

    You can see how unimportant the CD player is nowadays by the fact that cars like the Dart keep it hidden and out of the way (center console). Pretty crazy how things have changed since even one generation of vehicles ago.

  • fordson1 fordson1 Posts:

    I buy CDs, because you can't buy downloads that are uncompressed, in general. I'm not paying for $.99 per song and ending up with some crappy 192 kbit/sec mp3, when I can pay that much and get uncompressed WAV files that I can rip to anything I want, plus liner notes AND a stable backup media. I rip everything to WMA lossless. In one car that has no portable music player connectivity because it's too old, I use CDs. In the other car, everything is 320 kbit/sec mp3 on SDHC cards.

  • quadricycle quadricycle Posts:

    Eventually yes, but that article was a little premature. Yes, young people love doing everything with their phones, but there are a multitude of people out there who aren't going to mess with the established technology. So while CDs have passed their prime, they're far from obsolete. Since when does a couple of youth focused products constitute a paradigm shift? As if any manufacturer is going to risk sales by forcing buyers in the family and luxury segments to give up CDs entirely in the next ten years.

  • socal_eric socal_eric Posts:

    From the recent articles it comes across like the Edmunds/IL staff discovered some trend they were the first to stumble across and want to post about it in every article. A single opinion piece would have served well to cover the trend, using the term trend loosely. I can definitely see some time down the road when just like the 8-track and tape decks before it that the CD player becomes obsolete but we're far from that day. A couple lower end cars that are pinching pennies to be able to provide a fancy nav screen aren't a trend in my book. To me it's more of cost-cutting to provide perceived features the automakers thinks will help sell to a market whose generation isn't really interested in cars and aren't buying anyways. Like others I still buy CDs when they're priced about the same as a digital download but I would use digital media more were it not for some hindrances like trying to manage and navigate a large media libraries with Ford's MyFord Touch (buggy and difficult to easily browse large numbers of artists and albums without first making playlists on your computer). That and the iPods really haven’t grown in storage capacity the last couple generations and mine has been maxed out for quite a while now (phones as worse in this regard and I don’t want to rely solely on streaming). As such I'll shuffle some physical discs and continue to enjoy better sound quality until ease of use and capacity grow a little more on the digital players. To add one other comment about the Dart, it's not that they're trying to make the disc drive less prominent but there isn't room to easily integrate it in the same space as a large touch screen. Quite a few vehicles have done this and I recall some late '80s, early '90s Pontiacs and GM products locating the tape deck in a different location for the same reasons. If anything I’d look at it as good for the consumers in being able to replace one or the other years after the warranty expires without having to find a complete, integrated touch screen/CD/DVD combo if the physical drive dies.

  • socal_eric socal_eric Posts:

    Sorry about the long post. Apparently the site is still tripping out paragraph breaks...

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