I love my used car. My 2003 Volkswagen Passat, nicknamed Patty, is the perfect first car for me. She has leather seats, cruise control and doesn’t have too many miles for an old gal. But as a young person with a love of music and a smartphone, I find that her single biggest flaw bothers me in every car ride: Patty has no aux jack.
Like many other used cars from her era, Patty has a CD player and a tape deck but no way to play music from my phone (unless I were to put a Bluetooth speaker on my dashboard, but that seems less than ideal). The radio is an OK option, but it features limited range and little choice involved. I’ve added some customization with CDs I’ve burned for myself — but like many, I’ve traded music ownership for streaming services, so all my selections predate 2014. And if your newer laptop doesn’t have a disc drive to burn CDs, you may be out of luck.
While options to modernize your auxiliary-input-deprived ride range in price, quality and difficulty of use, they are out there and they do exist. You no longer have to feel trapped by AM/FM and whatever CDs you can find from your collection in the garage.
Here are some options for updating the playlists in your old-ass automobile: