By Don Lindich
Week 34, 2017
Q. How can I play my CDs in my new car, which does not have a CD slot? It only has a USB connection and Bluetooth, so I can’t use a portable CD player with an auxiliary cable. I have hundreds of CDs and don’t want to spend hours and hours at my computer transferring them to my phone.
-N.P., Campbell, CA
A. One way to do it is with a portable CD player and a Bluetooth transmitter. First, get a portable CD player that has a car power adapter. Turn the CD player volume up almost to the max, then connect a USB-powered Bluetooth transmitter to the headphone output. GoGroove, the company that makes the AirBAND headphones I recommended last week, makes a $25 transmitter called the GoGroove BlueSENSE TRM that will do the job.
Connect the transmitter to the car’s USB output for power and it will convert the CD player output to Bluetooth, which you can then pair to your car’s audio system. It will work, but it is a less-than-ideal solution because it involves multiple parts and wires. You may also lose Bluetooth phone functionality if your car can’t pair more than one device simultaneously.
A better way would be to convert the CDs to MP3 with your computer and put them on a flash drive, which you can use with your car’s USB port. Based on your question it sounds like you want to avoid working with a computer and software. I suggest you buy an audio CD player that converts your CD music to MP3s and transfers it directly to a flash drive.
The $149 Teac CD-P650-B is a good CD player that will do this for you easily. Buy it and a 64GB flash drive to get started. Plug in the CD player, put the flash drive in the USB port and turn on the player. Put in a CD and start the transfer process by pushing a button. The CD player can do the transferring in the background as you go about your daily tasks, and at 2x speed it will take about 30 to 35 minutes to completely transfer a disc to the flash drive. Start with your favorite CDs and work your way down through your collection, transferring a few per day.
Once you are done with the day’s transferring, connect the flash drive to your computer and copy the files there so you have an archive. It will only take a minute or so. That way if something happens to the flash drive you can just plug another flash drive into the computer and copy them over again, or create duplicates to use in other vehicles.
Plug the USB drive into your car’s USB port to enjoy your music again. If you stick to it and transfer a few CDs per day, before you know it you will have a complete archive of your CD collection. Of course, once they are on your computer for backup you can easily put them on your phone, too.
Since the car you purchased does not have a CD player, if your taste in automobiles stays consistent it is unlikely the next new car will have one, either. For this reason I think you should bite the bullet and get the CD player that will transfer your music, and get started now. It is an investment in the future, and once the transferring is done, it is done and you will always have the music available for future use.