The writing has been on the wall for the gradual phase out of CD players in car stereo units to be replaced by flash memory. Blaupunkt has become the first manufacturer to announce a new top end in-dash unit that features a SD/MMC slot, rather than a CD slot.
Blaupunkt’s new Melbourne SD27 model also includes a front panel input to connect the user’s MP3 player, in addition to accepting SD/MMC cards. The design of the SD27 is forward thinking, but still offers traditional AM/FM radio to give users access to their local stations for times when they don’t want to use the digital music input options.
The SD27 supports MP3 and WMA files encoded at bitrates from 8 to 320 kilobits with ID3 tag support that is displayed on the SD27’s 30-character display. More intresting is the optional add-on Bluetooth/USB module which allows the SD27 to access to Bluetooth/USB compatible devices (e.g., USB hard drives or flash drives which can contain an entire library of MP3/WMA encoded music).
The SD27 will retail for US$159.95 and is shipping now.