The past 82 years has been an evolutionary period for the intertwining of automobile and music. Today, the experience is more than turning knobs to find a station and setting the volume.
Here’s a look at some notable milestones of the car radio, from the simple AM radio in 1930 to today’s integrated infotainment systems that allow near complete customization.
1930: Love at First Sight - The radio and automobile met in 1930, with the Galvin brothers’ in-car radio unit, the first commercially successful car radio installed in an automobile.
1952: Let’s Just Call It FM - Originally dubbed “Frequency Modulation”, FM was introduced by Blaupunk in 1952, offering an alternative to AM radio.
1964: Enter the Cassette - First introduced in 1964, the cassette revolutionized how people listened to music and for the first time gave the individual instead of the DJ the choice of what music to play and when. Enter branded aftermarket cassette-tape players from Alpine to Pioneer in the 1970s.
1985: First Factory-Installed In-Dash CD Player - With the launch of compact discs the previous year, Becker quickly jumped on the opportunity and introduced the first in-dash CD player.
2001: Satellite Radio Goes Live with Tim McGraw - Satellite radio became available in 2001 with Tim McGraw the first artist played over satellite radio.
2007: Users “Sync” Their Smartphones - Automakers begin to offer drivers with voice-activated access to content on their iPods, cell phones and more.”
2012: The Chevy Spark: Big Technology, Mini-Car - Chevy ditches the CD player in favor of MyLink, which integrates the smartphone and stored media with the radio, giving you access to Pandora, Stitcher and other content.d