January 10, 2011
Technology for cars has come a long way from 8-tracks and simple radios. Today's teens have all sorts of gadgets and gizmos that allow them to play their tunes as they hit the road.
For teens at Tandem Friends School in Charlottesville, music is an essential part of driving.
"One time, I went home and I hadn't played music, and I was completely surprised and shocked by the silence," explained Shay Munroe, a senior.
"It's a good way to pass the time and its kind of a passion of mine," added senior Owen Ware.
"That is just a cliche thing to do, to blast music and just sing along and listen," said Janey Jioiosa, a senior.
For today's teens, it is not just about the music, but the gadgets behind the melody.
Associates at Charlottesville's Crutchfield have been following the trend.
"We went from tape players, to CD players, to iPod integration, and finally nowadays you can put thousands on songs on a thumb drive and plug that into a car radio," explained Sinisa Maricie, a sales adviser at Crutchfield.
Due to the demand, 91 of the 112 car receivers at Crutchfield can play iPods.
"They all have iPods, so its important for them to get their digital music from their home into their vehicles," said Maricie.
"I just have all of the music I like on my iPod. I just plug it right in and listen to whatever I want to," said junior Edon Lyons.
"I always listen to my iPod, I make play-lists for different days, and stuff like that," added Jioiosa.
Satellite XM Radios are another big ticket item for teens. Crutchfield saw almost a 40 percent increase in sales this holiday season, in comparison to 2009.
Teens say they like the variety XM Radio provides.
"They have so much variety on there, anything you want they have it, its great," said senior Chris Bell.
"It has so many different ranges of music, it goes from 70s to comedy and you can find new things on it everyday," added Jioiosa.
Today's iPods and Satellite Radios have safety experts worried about the distraction. The devices are much more intricate and involve more than simply pushing a button.
Advanced technology can help to solve the problem.
"We have devices that let you plug you iPod in, and you control everything from the radio yourself, so it's a lot safer from that standpoint," said Maricie.
However, the best advice is to set your station before pulling away.