Technology

The impracticality of using CD-R disks as music source for Ford Fiesta

I am using a Ford Fiesta 2014 as my main car. I bought it secondhand from a satisfied client back in 2018, right after I damaged my Kia Picanto.

When driving alone from Cebu City to areas as far as Daanbantayan in the north or Oslob in the south, it helps to keep me awake to listen to music. Travelling south, I can usually receive Brigada News FM 93.1 all the way to Oslob, but travelling north, the station can only be received as far as Danao City. After passing by the rotunda in Looc, Danao City, the static is so much that it is not pleasurable anymore to listen to it. So I would usually scan for other stations only to find that other stations could barely be heard as well.

I usually have a USB flash disk with some music in it or an audiobook. I then switch to that music/sound source.

A few weeks ago, while rummaging through some old junk at the house, my younger brother and I discovered a Samsung DVD reader/writer which looked like to be still working. I did not want to open up a laptop just to try if its SATA connection still worked, so I ordered from Shopee a cheap SATA to USB connector. For less than PHP 200.00, I was able to buy a connector, but it did not come with its own power supply. Fortunately we have lots of chargers/adapters lying about, and after checking the power compatibility (really just making sure that the voltage is correct while the current of the charger/adapter is more than that required by the DVD reader/writer), I was able to make the thing work.

Just today, during our return trip from Malabuyoc, Cebu, my girlfriend and I had a discussion on the practicality of using burned CD-Rs as music source. I had never seriously considered it in the first place though, for a couple of reasons: (1) the absence of CD-Rs in my home or office [although, of course, one could buy such things at less than PHP 20.00]; (2) the fact that CD-Rs are write once, hence could not be changed once written; and (3) the fact that only about 80 minutes of audio could be placed in one disk, thus, for a four- or five-hour drive, you can expect to utilize up to five disks, compared to just one USB drive.

But since I am the kind of person who is not easily convinced, even by one’s own reasoning, I tried replicating what I would need to do if I seriously consider having a dozen or so CD-Rs with each having 16 to 20 songs as my music source for long drives.

After utilizing the unused Samsung DVD reader/writer (which could also burn CD-Rs), I confirmed that indeed, it is impractical.

So for now this Samsung DVD reader/writer would never be used for preparing CD-Rs with songs on them. It still has its use in reading CDs/DVDs sent by clients or opposing counsels though, or burning CDs for the Department of Justice’s Petition for Review (the only procedure where, as far as I know, emailing a copy is not an option).

(P.S. I also discovered that even a used Ford Fiesta 2014 radio stereo CD mechanism is still quite expensive.)

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