Dear Car Talk:
I recently bought a 2019 Toyota Camry. I knew that it did not have a CD player, nor was one available as an option. The salesperson assured me that I would be able to download all my CDs to a thumb drive and listen to them that way in the car.
Well, that was a pipe dream! I have not figured out a way to do that efficiently, and Toyota’s Entune System (and its “directions”) is mystifying.
My question is this: Is there any way to install an after-market CD player in this car? If not, is there any similar car out there that comes with a CD player? Thank you! — Janet
Wow, you really like your CDs, Janet! You’re willing to dump a brandnew Camry just so you can listen to the Doobie Brothers. I admire that. But you won’t have to dump the Camry, Janet.
First of all, we agree with you about Toyota’s “Entune” infotainment system. It’s miserably complicated, and lots of people have complained to us about how unintuitive it is. So, you’re not alone there.
And you’re not alone in wanting a CD player — although you are increasingly in the minority these days, as most people store their music on their phones.
The easiest, though not cheapest, way to get a CD player is to visit a reputable car stereo store. Look carefully at reviews and recommendations because it’s a business where quality varies a lot from store to store.
A good car stereo shop can either add a permanent CD player that they will mount somewhere for you, or they can even replace your Camry’s “head unit” (the stereo controller on your dashboard) with a whole new system that has a CD player built in. If only I could’ve replaced my brother’s “head unit.”
If you’re handy and prefer to do it yourself, just go online and search for “USB CD player for 2019 Camry.” You’ll find a number of options for CD players that plug into your car stereo’s USB port. Then, when you select USB as your “source,” your car stereo system will play whatever’s in the CD player. The player itself can go in the glove box, under the dash, or on the side of the center console, with self-adhesive patches.
But try a good stereo shop first. See what it costs to have it done professionally and cleanly. After all, it’s a brand-new car, Janet. It’s a little early to be telling your passengers to “watch the wires” when they get in.
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Got a question about cars? Write to Ray in care of King Features, 628 Virginia Drive, Orlando, FL 32803, or email by visiting the Car Talk website at www.cartalk.com.
(c) 2019 by Ray Magliozzi and Doug Berman Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.