Bob Bestler

So I’ve learned that CDs are obsolete now. But is it true that it is affecting cars?

Best Buy relegating CDs to bargain bins as sales dwindle.
Best Buy relegating CDs to bargain bins as sales dwindle. TNS
My column last week about the best-selling Eagles “Greatest Hits” CD received an unsettling response from one of the Grand Strand’s golf professionals.


Tim Tilma, formerly of Wild Wing Plantation and now the general manager at Sandpiper Bay Golf and Country Club, wrote that he had greatest hits CDs from the Eagles, the Doobie Brothers and Creedence Clearwater Revival in the family Suburban. Unfortunately, he said, “I just got a new Toyota Camry for my commute from Conway to Sandpiper Bay in Sunset Beach and was told by the salesman, as I learned about the audio system, they don’t put CDs in cars anymore! ARGH!’‘


What!? They don’t put CD players in cars anymore?



A few Google clicks later confirmed that, yes, CDs are rapidly going the way of cassette tapes. Who knew? Not me, obviously.


Most automakers seem to be phasing them out gradually, keeping CD players in some models for now, not in others. Let the buyer be wary.


The problem, according to a report in Milwaukee’s Journal-Sentinel, is that “Americans are no longer buying CDs the way they used to. They’re downloading music onto iPods, smartphones and computers, often from iTunes. Or they’re streaming music from these devices from various sources such as Apples Music or Sirius.’‘


The mention of Sirius reminded me of how little I listen to my own CDs in the car. Sirius has several news and sports stations and music stations devoted to specific singers or groups as well as music from the ‘60s, ‘70s, ‘80s and 90’s. (Sorry ‘50s. I’ve finally outgrown you.)


I’m also reminded of my daughter’s disinterest in CDs. I offered her plenty for a trip she and her mother made to Colorado last year; she said no thanks, she had all the music she needed because she had made a mixed tape on her iPod. It carried them all the way out and all the way back, all her favorite songs. It should have been my first clue that we are moving into a brave new world dominated by a younger generation’s affection for the latest in music technology.


The first commercial CD was played in 1982 and by the early 1990s, most cars had replaced cassette decks with CD players.


The change left some, me, for instance, with dozens of cassette tapes wasting away in the attic. Since 2000, the trend has been away from CDs - and that could put dozens more CDs up there beside the old cassette tapes.


A February story in Billboard magazine said Best Buy would stop selling CDs July 1; it said Target wanted to sell them only on a consignment basis - it would pay only after the CD is sold.


So where does all this leave old CD guys like me?


Well, maybe I can get my sweet, sweet daughter to mix her technologically challenged father one of those swell tapes. She can start with the Eagles.


Contact Bob Bestler at bestler6@tds.net.
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