In-Car Entertainment?

When we went out looking to buy a different car recently, it soon became clear that very few cars made after 2017 came with a CD player built in. During the test drive of the one we eventually bought, I asked the young salesman if it had a CD player incorporated into the impressive ‘Entertainment System’.

He smiled.

Then looking at me as if I had asked if it came with an Edison Phonograph fixed to the dashboard, he told me, “No, nobody uses those anymore. Nobody wants them in a car. They use their phones, or memory sticks. You know, Spotify, streaming, stuff like that”.

As far as I am concerned, he was wrong to say ‘Nobody’.

I have no interest in Spotify, or messing about compiling playlists from online sources onto memory sticks. I make no criticism of those who do, but I enjoy listening to my favourite CDs on a long journey. I already have those CDs, a large collection of them accumulated over many years, and stored in a special cabinet. Before any long-distance journey, I would select some favourites (including some of Julie’s choice) and we would play them as we drove along.

Now car manufacturers have decided that I should no longer be able to do that. They have predicted that none of their buyers will use one in the car, so they can save themselves the incredibly small amount of money it cost them to include a small slot in the ‘Entertainment System’ to play them.

Before you tell me about ‘Progress’, I know. Young people do not buy CDs. They do not buy DVD films. Most of them no longer watch conventional TV shows when they are broadcast, preferring to stream and binge-watch.

But many of them do not buy expensive cars. Some of them don’t even bother to learn to drive. Those that do usually have to buy an old model because of the cost of motoring and insurance. Their old car (like my previous car) will have a CD player fitted. Yes they will never use it, but it does no harm just sitting there, waiting to be used.

For the benefit of this rant, let’s assume that ‘young people’ are those under 65 years of age. So what about us oldies, those over 65? There are over 11,000,000 people in England and Wales over the age of 65. And that number is growing. By 2026, it will almost certainly reach a total of 20% of the population, if not more.

‘The population of England and Wales has continued to age, with Census 2021 results confirming there are more people than ever before in older age groups. Over 11 million people โ€“ 18.6% of the total population โ€“ were aged 65 years or older, compared with 16.4% at the time of the previous census in 2011’

According to the salesman who sold us the car, “The majority of our customers are elderly people, most of them are retired. They are the people with the money or savings to buy cars”. From the horse’s mouth.

But God forbid we should be able to play our CDs in them.

68 thoughts on “In-Car Entertainment?

  1. I didn’t even think of that when I bought our new car. I assumed, incorrectly, that it would be there. I did learn how to hook up my phone to the system so I have some music. They did seem to include a radio even though most of what is on the radio is people yelling conspiracy theories ad infinitum.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They set up the phone for Julie when we collected the car. I never use my phone on the move in the car. I suppose we could could use a phone to play music, but I would much prefer to have a CD player fitted.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. In December 2021, I sold my ’95 Pontiac with a tape player and in Feb. 2022, I finally settled on a 2016 Kia Soul. It has no CD player. I got so tired of Sirius trying to get me to subscribe to their service, that I finally blocked their phone and their email. My son helped me record some CDs onto a flash drive that I can play in the car. However, I mostly just listen to local radio.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I unloaded a massive collection of movies on Compact Discs that I had accumulated for years … gave them to the local veterans organization — Now I do NetFlix, Hulu and a few others. We still have around 500 or so Music CDs and we play them quite often. We feel as though playing music in the automobile is too distracting…need to keep our full attention on the road ahead you know, and all that kind of rot.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Older people are constantly marginalised and ignored, Don. They used to talk about the ‘Grey Pound’ here, denoting the spending capacity of oldies. Now they refer to the ‘Pink Pound’, referencing young gay couples buying new tech.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I have a CD player in my 2014 Honda Jazz, but Sam has showed me how to play songs from my phone through the car’s speakers and charge the phone up at the same time. I prefer to do this now, and rarely use the CD player.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s sort of built in to the dashboard and would leave a gaping hole if removed. Try putting all your favourite songs on a playlist on your phone. Connect your phone to the car either through Bluetooth, or to your dashboard via the ‘AUX’ button and a USB to iPhone lightening connector. Even I’ve managed to get my head around it!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. My 2018 Prius still had a CD player…while I also plug in my phone and use Apple Music, it is indeed a pleasure to just slide one of my CD’s in and listen…it’s a collection that needs to continue to have value to me, right?

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Pete, I play them now at my house in the blu-ray player – the only device in the house to play them on! I no longer have a CD player…isn’t that crazy? As I type this I just decided to buy one again!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I can relate, Pete! Had a similar experience trying to buy a laptop with a CD/DVD player a few years ago. You can still buy them as standalone units that you plug in via USB. Perhaps there is something similar for vehicle sound systems? It’s ridiculous that those of us over 65 are completely ignored by marketers now.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The irony is that people are living so much longer, Debbie. We don’t have mortgages, and hence much more disposable income. They are missing out on around one third of their market by ignoring us.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. What I find most frustrating today as a 64-year-old is I often can’t speak to a live person to help me address a problem that I know will take five seconds for someone in the know to solve. Instead, I’m prompted by questions that further sink me into the abyss.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. We don’t have to pay anything for the radio here. My wife has the free version of Spotify, but I really can’t be bothered with any extra Apps.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Like

      1. There is free radio but no more oldies stations which I prefer. But my car also came loaded with commercial free radio they want you to subscribe to, called Sirius, where all kinds of special channels are, including by decade. And forgive my typos as I’m still suffering from our springing ahead to daylight savings time!

        Liked by 2 people

  8. First I was disappointed when I bought a car that had no tape deck because that was where I listened to tapes. Then I got a car with a GPS and a CD player…cool.The next car didn’t have GPS presumably because people just use their phones. My current car a Subaru also has no GPS but does have a CD player. You can sign up for some system that streams who knows what. Who can keep up? Who wants to? My old PC plays CD’s but these days I can get whatever music I want through YouTube and I have Amazon Music. Why must we always make good technology redundant? It annoys me that young people think we are “challenged”. I would love to see them cope in a manual only world!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I just had an apology from the cardiac dept at the hospital about an appointment we should have had last August. They ask hubby to reply using a QR code or an SMS. He doesn’t own a mobile phone and has been unable to use his computer since Christmas.I rang them. Life for oldies is getting impossible. Does he still want an appointment? It’s a bit late now. He can’t walk more than three paces.
    As for music, Radio 2 has been ruined, Smooth is OK but full of adverts and we have no way of getting Boom or Greatest Hits. Besides, being deaf in one ear he can’t hear through ear buds. We are duly stuffed!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. My new computer doesn’t have a cd drive, so I had to buy a little external cd drive to plug in. It also does not have a usb port, so I need an external thingamabob to plug in anything with a usb plug, like the eternal cd drive, so I have quite a tangle going on, and the 10-year-old salesperson rolled his eyes at me when I asked about the logic of all this.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. My trusty old Volvo has a five disk CD player and it is one simple slot on the dash. Living here in the mountains, streaming or satellite radio is patchy at best because of the mountains. I still listen to CDs, too. At least for now until my Volvo dies.

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    1. The car radio stations here are full of too much chatter for my liking, so I don’t listen to them. It would be nice to still have a CD player, but I have become a victim of ‘progress’.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Like

  12. These sweeping generalisations we encounter on a regular basis really annoy me: a lot will be found in marketing, as in your situation with the car, dealing with a younger person, but they are also found in culture and entertainment. “The whole nation will be celebrating the forthcoming coronation.” No it bloody won’t!!! Cheers, Jon.

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    1. True. I still have an older tower (2008) running Vista with a CD player, but it’s totally obsolete. Our new laptops don’t have one so we have a standalone one with a USB connection.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I still pay 20% income tax because of my total received in pensions, and I think we should be given more consideration when representing such a large percentage of the car-buying public. ๐Ÿ™‚
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

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