New sound ideas for your car stacking up to replace old technologies

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A cassete tape icon
Remember cassette tapes? (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The other evening I came across a cassette tape included in a literary magazine on the shelf at a city book store. The cassette tape and magazine had a nostalgic, retro feel to it. Who still has cassette players to listen to a tape like this I thought?

Cassette tape players have vanished from car sound systems. I probably have one of the only cars left with a working cassette player – only because I’ve had my car for nearly 10 years, trying to avoid a capital purchase in this economy and not take on five years of new debt.

I know only one person who still uses an old tape recorder and that’s a vetran business journalist. He records all his telephone and face-to-face interviews on his tape recorder. The only problem is that he battles to find blank cassette tapes these days. He has to reuse the old ones he’s got.

Now car manufacturers are talking about removing the compact disc player from their cars. CD players are being replaced with thumb drives, iPods and could also make way for streaming technologies. Cadillac, the Tesla Model S and the Smart Car have already ditched the CD slot. CD slots are also moving away from the dash to the centre console level. Studies show a drop off in CD listening while driving.

I heard an Internet marketer talking the other day about the opportunities in the new Ford for marketing and content programming. Audio content can be downloaded direct from the Ford site and played in the car. When you are talking about 2 million cars, the listening audience is bigger than most radio stations.

In a way that’s happening right now. With radio stations getting their content and audience wrong for the most part, it makes sense to download and play your own selection in your car.

I will never here musicians like John Mayall, Johnny Winter, John Fogerty or old stuff like Osibisa or really good music like Robert Johnson on any radio station, ever. That’s why I play my music in my car through my BlackBerry (another piece of technology set to go the way of the Palm because of its abysmal lack of features and performance). Podcasts from free downloads keep me far happier than the “chewing gum” of the mind content from radio hacks.

If so much technology change is happening just on the dashboard of your car, think what other changes are occurring around you where there could be opportunities for you.

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