Basically, I just want to plug something into a USB drive on the computer, drag and drop music files (either downloaded or from prerecoded music CD's we already have) and play lots of music without changing CD's when the wife and I are out driving.
I don't walk around attached to an earphone or any of those things which seem to be the norm among the pre boomer set. We just want something easy to use in the car our three lovely daughters have enabled us to get and hopefully use someday on a long road trip to visit our cute little grandson and little granddaughter on the way.
ipods and itunes are pretty simple to use, idiot proof, even. You can find other devices cheaper and you can find people who’ll tell you how they don’t like apple’s proprietary software, but for someone who just wants something to work, I’d go with an ipod.
AM/FM tuner, voice recorder, video player, photo storage/viewing . . .
I got a little Sanza Fuze a couple of years ago to use at work. Had some trouble initially, but it’s been tough, reliable and easy to use since. I found it on sale very cheap, so investing a little search time usually pays off.
iPods and fancier players are cool, but sometimes you just want something simple.
If you don't have a large CD collection, get an iPod and buy music via iTunes. An iPod costs much more than a generic MP3 player, but it gives you access to the iTunes library of music.
If you already have an extensive collection of music on CDs (like I do,) then buy any one of the several MP3 players available at places like Walmart. You can then rip your own CDs onto the MP3 player, create playlists, and listen to them when you like. Since you already bought the music, and you spent at least $150 less on the player than you would have on the iPod, you're further ahead financially.
Ther are so many choices it’s mind boggling. To get started I suggest you buy your self an inexpensive mp3 player. It’s no different then an i-Pod for your type of use. I currently am using a Sansa Clip. 4gb can store about 1000 songs.
If this is a new car, before you buy anything you might just try to put a CD into the radio with MP3 files on it. It might possibly play that without any further need for plug-ins. I know I had a car radio that could play MP-3s, and that was some time ago, although I did specifically ask for it to be installed.
Anyway, it’s certainly worth a try. MP3s have been around for some time, and if your radio will take CDs, then it may well be programmed to play MP3s.
Do you have a cell phone? Does your car play bluetooth audio? If you have a cell phone it's very probably capable of storing and playing music at least through its jack and possibly via bluetooth.It's not as complicated as it might seem....I'm a technical dunce and I have lots of MP3's stored on my cell phone which I can play via bluetooth or via cord.
Easy to use.
If you don’t need the fancy video screen, the Sansa Clip is dirt cheap and works well. The text is pretty small for aging eyes, but from the sounds of it you’ll probably just leave it in the car and all you need to do is press the pause button.
I just use my phone as an MP3 player. (Android smartphone with a 16GB SD card in it)
Plug the earphone jack into the car stereo and you’re good to go.
Why bother with separate devices?
Another thing that occurred to me...a good percentage of more recent cars have hard drives built right into the radios.In such cars you can load your music right into the car’s radio and voila! Might your car have that feature?
I’ve had several Sansas. They are pretty good, and cheap to replace if necessary.
I use Windows Media Player, drag and drop the music from my folders into a sync list, and push the sync button. Easy. :)
Let’s say you get an iPod or a Sansa Fuse or similar. How do you get the music from the player into the in-car’s radio speakers?
To me that’s the biggest part of the battle. mp3 players are ubiquitous.
don’t make this complicated. what kind of port does you car offer? is it a USB port?
if you have a USB port, my car has one, then you should be able to simply plug in a flash drive with mp3 files on it. That’s it - don’t need an ipod, mp3 player at all.
In my car, I have a simple common flash drive with maybe 700-1000 mp3 files on it divided into 4 folders based on type of music. Plugs in to the USB port and I listen to the music.
Do you have a smartphone? You can just use that to store and play your mp3 tunes. Downside is that it can eat up your batteries if you use it a lot, but if you have a phone charger in the car as well, then you can charge the phone while driving.
Here’s what I’d do: On the next gifting occasion (birthday, Christmas, whatever) tell your daughters you want a music player that works with your new car, plus installation and instructions on how to use the danged thing.
Call it father-daughter bonding time.
The thing I don’t like about portable music players in the car is that the displays are too small and the buttons too tiny, and they fly all over the place unless you buy some sort of dedicated bracketry.
I searched long and hard for a large-display mp3 player that was easy to use in the car - I figured there’d be something on the market for the older set who can’t see so well (like my parents). But there’s really nothing out there. Even considered building my own, but that’s a bit beyond my abilities.
I bought a NOS Omnifi DMP1. Rockford Fosgate abandoned them several years ago, but IMHO, it’s a pretty good idea for in-vehicle music. Little more expensive, but I think it’s worth it. Haven’t installed mine yet, but I’m looking forward to it.
I don’t know why there aren’t portable music players designed to be easily used in a vehicle. About the best solution is one where the head unit interfaces with the device and becomes the control unit.
I bought an Ipod Nano and set up an Itunes account. I then went online and reviewed the top 100 rock and roll songs for every year from 1964 thru 1989. I picked out 173 and downloaded them from Itunes into my Nano. It makes driving my 2008 Shelby GT500 or 2012 Infiniti FX35 even that more enjoyable. Life is good.
I prefer the Sony Walkman line of MP3 players. You can drag and drop as if to a memory stick, they are very easy to use, and their sound quality is suburb (much better than an I_Pod). Sadly, Sony seems to be discontinuing them, but they are well built, free of any quality issues, and would seem to last forever. I suppose if you cannot find one Sansa would be a good choice.
To connect an MP3 player to a car radio you'll need to use a patch cord that plugs into you radio's accessory port, if your radio has one.