Use one of these. Even when I get good reception through my car stereo, which is hit and miss, I hear crackling and popping between tracks and during quiet passages. Ah, it takes me back to the early 80’s.
This means that I still don’t have a convenient way to listen to my new Dell Pocket DJ. But now that I’m hooked on the concept, I’m toying with the idea of getting an auxiliary jack for my car stereo. It doesn’t have one built into the head unit, but you can buy third-party connectors that work off the car’s trunk-mounted CD changer port.
Of course, the more I play with digital music, the greedier I get. What I want now is this:
1) A way to play my CDs and purchased digital music on any of my music playback systems (including in cars) without having to carry around CDs or manually synchronize to the playback devices. Now that almost all of my music is ripped to my home computer’s hard disk, this is at least theoretically possible. I just need an Internet-enabled device which can stream or download directly from my home computer over the Internet. My mobile phone, with Windows Media Player 10, a 512 MB flash card, and an unlimited data plan, ought to be able to handle this nicely.
2) A reasonably-priced CD jukebox with a USB 2.0 or Firewire connection that lets me drive it from my computer. It bugs me to no end that companies like Sony make cheap CD several-hundred-disk changers but haven’t created a way to access them from one’s computer. If I could do this, I’d never have to rip a CD, at least as long as my CD collection is smaller than the collective capacity of my changers. I’d just stick all of the CDs in the changers and have the computer play directly from the changer; for extra credit it could use the hard disk as a cache for the most frequently-played tracks. OK, it would require some software changes to Windows Media Player to handle this scenario, but nothing dramatic.
I don’t know whether Sony and similar companies haven’t done this because they think there’s no demand with the move to digital music or if they’re worried about piracy, but with the continual innovation in this space (e.g. Sony’s 400-disk DVD player) it seems like something they’re going out of their way to not support.