The death of physical music CDs has been well-documented and long-predicted. So is it really such a surprise that Ford has announced that it’s going to phase out in-car CD players?
The car manufacturer said recently that it plans to eventually ditch the discs and concentrate on its new Sync system, which it says will let you connect your mp3 player to your car’s sound system – either through a cable or wireless connection.
And as long as the Sync system doesn’t ramp up the cost of a car, I don’t think this is necessarily a bad idea.
All the right connections
One of the first things I do when I get into a car is try to connect my iPhone to the stereo systems. I’m not too fussy about how I do this, whether it’s through a USB plug or via a wireless Bluetooth connection (which Ford currently uses pretty extensively).
Using a headphone jack is ok, but it’s not quite as useful as the previous two methods, as you can’t operate the device through your car’s controls. You just have to stick it on shuffle and hope that what’s selected isn’t too cringe-worthy.
But having access to all my music on my iPhone is a very nice luxury, and a big improvement over the days when I carried a stash of about 20 CDs in the car all the time – not least because I don’t have to worry about getting my collection nicked (my iPhone stays with me, not the car).
So I’m not exactly concerned about Ford’s moves to ditch CD players.
Shock move or gradual change?
However, if you are a driver that uses CDs should you be miffed about the change? Er, no.
I’ve spoken to Ford about this and it said that it’s simply gearing up to respond to customer demand, which has shown a clear trend away from CDs and toward digital music players. Moreover, Ford told me that the move will take quite a long time – in fact, it couldn’t even give me a date for when CD players would actually disappear.
I’m not just swallowing the PR waffle on this – think about how long car manufacturers have been trumpeting the arrival of DAB radio. Only now is this starting to become a standard feature on mainstream cars.
Plus, a car’s spec doesn’t tend to change too much during its lifetime. The latest Focus has only just launched, and the previous version was on sale for six years in total. So, taking all of that into consideration, I think it’s unlikely that CDs will disappear completely from Fords until about 2017, at the earliest.
Will we even be buying CDs, let alone care about in-car CD players, in 2017? I’m not convinced – but what about you?
Should car manufacturers ditch CD players?
No (66%, 123 Votes)
I don't care (18%, 33 Votes)
Yes (17%, 31 Votes)
Total Voters: 186