Thumb Drives and Car Stereos

By Deane Barker on January 5, 2006

Car stereos come with USB ports: Looks like USB drives in car stereos are becoming the next big thing.

Stereo makers say they want to accommodate both digital music players and thumb drives to give customers choice. “The whole point is people want music their way,” says Amy Gilroy, senior editor for This Week in Consumer Electronics.

There seems to be demand. Best Buy’s Insignia model stereo, with thumb drive port, has been selling briskly at $120 since it launched in the fall. Other stereo makers are getting into the market, too:



  1. I heard a radio ad a few days ago for a feature of OnStar to have a vehicle diagostics report e-mailed to you monthly.

    I wonder if there will ever come a time (whether you have OnStar or not) of being able to plug a USB drive into your vehicle and download some sort of diagnostic report yourself.

    I have no doubt this is possible, but I would guess it is very unlikely because it would allow vehicle owners to be less dependent upon dealerships and repair shops for their vehicle maintenance.

  2. That is awesome. My friend and I made a concept of this issue in a computer business class. I thought it would be cool if my stereo came with the USB hub.. so then we can upload/download firmware upgrades, use video and screen savers, and anything else we could add to our cool stero decks.

    We ‘projected’ and made the concept using Pioneer decks..

    My power point presentation can be found HERE

  3. This is pretty cool and should be standard on all stock and upsell radios.

    ONly problem is this sort of thing has been out at least 6months in the UK.

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