Sound advice: Car cassette players no longer popular

  • Article by: DON LINDICH , Special to the Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 2, 2012 - 1:27 PM

Also: A must-have photo app.

Q I bought a new car that I absolutely love, except that it doesn't have a cassette player. It has a hard drive that stores music, a satellite radio, a CD player, a USB port and an auxiliary port in the center console, but no cassette player. I enjoy listening to audiobooks on long drives, and I can obtain them inexpensively on tape. Why don't carmakers put cassette players in cars anymore?

A Few cars have cassette players, because the demand is no longer there. Few people use cassettes these days and even digital physical media (such as compact discs) is not as prominent as it once was.

Fortunately, there is an easy and comprehensive solution to your problem.

You can plug almost anything with a headphone output into the auxiliary port by using a miniplug-to-miniplug stereo cable. A portable cassette player can be connected to play your cassettes.

(Just make sure you turn the volume on the player to about 75 percent so it sends a strong enough signal for your car stereo to amplify. If you turn it to the maximum, you will probably hear distortion from the player.)

Of course, portable players require power, usually batteries, which would not be convenient for you. Your car's USB port can come to the rescue here and power the cassette player.

If you look online, you will find a number of portable cassette players with USB connection. They sell for less than $25. Connect the USB port on the player to the car to provide power and the miniplug cable from the player's headphone output to the auxiliary input to provide the signal, and you have effectively added a cassette player to your car at minimal cost. Just select AUX as your source, not USB.

Two of my cars have a USB port and an auxiliary jack in the center console. I bought a USB Portable Cassette to MP3 Converter Tape-to-MP3 Player with Headphones for $22 on Amazon and tested it on your behalf. It worked perfectly in both vehicles, so I am sure it will work in yours, too. Just don't forget to buy a miniplug cable also, because the player doesn't include one.

A must-have photo app

I recently started using an app that has greatly enhanced my enjoyment of my iPhone and iPad. It works on Android and computers, too.

Photo Transfer App ($2.99 on the iTunes Store and Android Market; www.phototransferapp.com) makes exchanging photos and videos between devices a snap.

First, install and start the app on both devices. Connect both devices to the same wireless network (Bluetooth also is supported) and select the photos and videos to send. Photo Transfer App will then copy them to the desired device. You can use the app to download to your computer, too.

A single purchase will allow you to install the app on multiple devices, so if you have, say, an iPhone and an iPad you need to pay only once.

Submit questions and read past columns at www.soundadviceblog.com.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: What's your favorite Easter candy?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close