September 24, 2007 CDs could be headed the way of the near extinct cassette tape when it comes to in-car music playback if this latest release from Blaupunkt is any indication. With MP3 players already replacing cumbersome and easily scratched CDs as the format of choice in automobiles, the Melbourne SD27 car radio embraces our new consumer habits and completely by-passes the CD to enable direct playback via an SD/MMC card as well as from portable audio players.
The Melbourne SD27 features an SD/MMC card-slot, a plug and play input for portable audio players as well as a 25-preset AM/FM radio. The device can also cater for iPod and Bluetooth/USB interface modules so that it can be integrated with cell phones, portable players and MP3 storage devices. The front panel display can hold up to127 directories of music and displays ID3 tag information up to 30 characters for ease of navigation.
The unit supports both MP3 and WMA audio files at bitrates of 8 to 320 kilobits and the 3.5 mm front-panel auxiliary input is compatible with the headphone or aux outputs of nearly any portable device. It includes adjustable bass, treble, and X-Bass EQ functions and EQ presets for rock, pop, or classical music.
The product is aimed at tech-savvy consumers who believe CDs to be a thing of the past. Blaupunkt USA General Manager Lutz Marschall believes that people no longer have an interest in CDs. "They buy their music from the internet, download it to their hard-drive music server, and take it with them on their iPod…The Melbourne is a far better solution for these consumers – no CD required: they just plug in a memory card or portable MP3 player and they're on their way," Marschall said.
Car makers are also addressing this concern with an MP3 player jack becoming standard issue for vehicles of which the new model Mazda 2 is but one example. For those not looking to buy a new car any time soon you can buy the Melbourne SD27 for US$159.95.
For related reading see Gizmag’s coverage of Clarion’srecent USB friendly car stereo option.