Car Stereo Mp3 Cd Players

This is a review of the options you have for playing MP3 CD's in your car and quick instruction guide to using them.

MP3 CD's represent some of the most advanced music storage technology available for car audio. Short of putting a digital music drive into your car, this is the best way to carry around a ton of music in an inconspicuous form.

An MP3 CD is very similar to the regular compact discs that are sold in music stores. The difference is that instead of containing about sixteen songs, an MP3 CD can hold several hundred. This is possible due to compression technology, which allows anyone with a home computer to shrink song files to a fraction of their former size. The only negative effect is that there is a slight loss of quality when converting songs from an audio CD to MP3 files, but the difference is inaudible to most listeners.

Getting back to the topic at hand, an MP3 CD is simply a data CD that contains several hundred of these files. However, to enjoy all of this music in your car, you will need to purchase a special CD player that is capable of reading the data. Don't worry, they're not as expensive as you might think. Here are the choices.

-Portable MP3 CD Player

If you are content to have a disc player sitting on your front seat, this is the way to go. The advantage of using a portable is that you can take it with you, not to mention that it is fairly inexpensive. The disadvantage is that you will need to purchase a tape adapter or FM modulator to plug the portable into the car stereo, and you will also have wires running across your dash. The sound quality of a portable is not likely to be very good either. This option is not very aesthetically pleasing, but practical and portable, and the best way to go if you are on a budget.

-Aftermarket Head Unit CD Player

Though not cheap, an aftermarket MP3 CD head unit can make all the difference in sound and looks. It will give the best sound quality, and it will be conveniently located wherever your current stereo is. Once it is installed, no wires, no mess, and all you have to do is pop a CD in when you want to listen to it. On the flip side, MP3 CD decks will cost at least $100 more than a portable, and will cost another $50 to get installed. Again, it is not cheap, but the sound quality far surpasses that of the portable, and as a bonus the aftermarket unit will probably be an upgrade from your factory head unit anyway.

-MP3 CD Changer

At the top of the scale of MP3 CD players is the CD changer. Because they hold anywhere from 6-12 discs, you could theoretically listen for weeks on end without hearing the same song twice. Though some would say that this is extravagant and unnecessary, the MP3 CD changer offers nearly the space of a digital music drive at a fraction of the price. Unfortunately, the price is still somewhere between $150-300 before installation, and you might not be able to find a unit that will fit your factory stereo. If you've got the cash, you're probably better off going digital anyway.

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