Ways to play a CD in the tesla

Ways to play a CD in the tesla

Has anyone found a way to play a CD audiobook in the Tesla Model S, as there is no CD player?

DJung | December 16, 2014

You can rip the mp3 file off the CD using a computer, and then listen to it through bluetooth on your phone or put it on a USB stick.

logicalthinker | December 16, 2014

CD player, what's that? Oh, I vaguely remember. Um yeah, if you didn't download the audiobook to your phone or ultrabook, stick the CD in your computer, and write the audio files to a microSD card, put it in the Elago Nano, and put the Elago in the USB port.

or just ditch the CD and download the file to your microSD card. | December 16, 2014

I tried to do this with a bluetooth transmitter on my portable cd player, but found that no transmitter would pair with the tesla. (Service confirmed this.)

So in the end I have an FM transmitter outboard of my cd player and I just tune the FM radio to pick it up. Works pretty well.

I've got thousands of CDs and won't be ripping them all anytime soon. Also pretty unlikely to rip one just as I'm on my way out the door for a drive. But I'll admit that I've played maybe two CDs in the four months since I got this all working!

jbunn | December 16, 2014

Do you have a CD player like a Diskman? You can plug in a Bluetooth transmitter like this...

Pungoteague_Dave | December 16, 2014

We paid a kid to pump all of our old CD's into iTunes, then donated the CD's. Works fine from an iPhone via Bluetooth. Audiophiles protest, but we aren't very picky, sounds fine to us. The age of physical media has ended and CD's/DVD's are just as relevant as 8-track tapes. It always amazes to see people using the red box or buying DVD's at Walmart/Best Buy. Everything is available on demand or through Chromecast, etc. There is no point to having the thing in you hand.

sbeggs | December 17, 2014


Although I love Slacker's ability to play many Latin songs that I do not have on CD or LP, I still cherish the physical article.

Album art, the list of songs, artists, technical data, composer, the memories of buying it, give a rush of pleasure.

My LPs bring me back to the time in the 1970's when I was living in New York, and my boss at Ad-Ex Translations, Bernie Bierman, would send me down to Times Square to buy the latest Latin music LP. Traveling to Miami or San Juan, Puerto Rico, I would hop into a taxi and make mass buys of cassettes or CDs.

For me, the more disembodied the music is, the less it interests me.

I am probably the only one who still feels this way, though.

redacted | December 17, 2014

"We paid a kid to pump all of our old CD's into iTunes, then donated the CD's."


sbeggs | December 17, 2014


Could you elaborate on your "sigh"?

mgboyes | December 17, 2014

I assume he was sighing at the copyright theft implied by that statement. Since @Pungoteague_Dave has given away of all his CDs he now does not own any of the music he ripped, and has a collection comprised entirely of pirated media.

sbeggs | December 17, 2014


Yes, but he did own the original CDs, I presume, and thus he had the right to make a copy for his own personal use, correct?

hamer | December 17, 2014

I have used freeware (contributions are welcome to them) called FREAC to rip audiobooks, and I have many stored on a USB drive. You can edit some of the metadata (such as album name, artist name, etc) which makes them behave fairly nicely when the USB drive is plugged in.

cpmarino | December 17, 2014

Certainly the audio quality of a CD player integrated into the system is better than Bluetooth or internet-based radio. Even in other vehicles that allow me to connect to the system via USB with my iPhone, sound quality just isn't as good with a CD.

For those "burning" songs onto USB drives, how would you rate the sound quality as compared to a CD?

hamer | December 17, 2014

USB drives: For an audiobook, I use a lower bit rate and I can't hear the difference.

hpjtv | December 17, 2014

@cpmarino As with any compression, you lose some quality. A CD is about 650-700mb worth of data, on average about 10 songs so each song is like 70mb in uncompressed form. You are compressing it down to about 3-4mb per song.

Pungoteague_Dave | December 17, 2014

I pirated nothing. I bought the CD's, put the music on an authorized iTunes account, and GAVE the CD's away to the local thrift shop. Fair use and all that. We run a "clean closets, clean barn, and empty attic" approach to life. If it hasn't been touched in the last year, we get rid of it.

TytanX_ | December 17, 2014

@Pungoteague_Dave So what if the next person buys your CD at the thrift shop burns it and then gave it back to thrift shop? The original artist has made nothing on this but that individual could claim they paid for it and had the right to do so.

It is really no different that downloading pirated copies of the net. When you by a CD the ownership of any format you copy to is linked to that CD. If you no longer have the CD you no longer have the right to any digital copy.

AoneOne | December 17, 2014

@hpjtv: You can always rip to FLAC. It will take about 3x the space, but all of the bits of music will be preserved exactly. However, I doubt that you could hear the difference while driving.

Doug H | December 17, 2014

Have you figured out a way to play 8-tracks too?

CT-Greg | December 17, 2014

"Yes, but he did own the original CDs, I presume, and thus he had the right to make a copy for his own personal use, correct?"

Correct. But that right terminated when the CDs were given away.

brian_in_TX | December 17, 2014

@Doug H

I recently found a box containing an 8-track with the original soundtrack from Xanadu (the movie). If you figure out the 8-track thing, it's all yours...

cpmarino | December 17, 2014

So, um, when I was younger I used to record vinyl albums onto cassette tapes and give them to my friends ... should I turn myself in?

TytanX_ | December 17, 2014

@cpmarino Was what you did technically illegal? Yes. Should you turn yourself in? Who cares?

Captain_Zap | December 17, 2014

Unfortunately DVDa and BluRay are copy protected.
But, if music is available in that format, it is the best sound I can buy, so I buy it. I listen to the same songs on Slacker and it just isn't the same.


Many new CD, DVDa and BluRay discs have quite grand presentations now in mini-books with great art.

mantin | December 17, 2014

I bought a bluetooth transmitter, a Sony walkman, and play CDs in my S. At first the car wouldn't read the transmitter, but a software upgrade from Tesla shortly after my discussions with Jerome and it worked. However, I ripped over 500 CDs to a 258 mb flash drive, which works great. I even have my own composed music on the drive, including my 5 musical comedies (3 of which played in NY; the 4th in the spring; and all play in Los Angeles). Once I ripped the CDs, I haven't used the CD player, as the system with the flash drive works great. There is a music reduction in quality if you rip to MP3; but you gain 6 times the amount of songs to be able to save. (MP3 is 1/6th the quality of wave).

Red Sage ca us | December 17, 2014

This is a job for... Mr. Microphone!

Schlermie | December 17, 2014

Download the MP3 from the public library.

jbunn | December 17, 2014

We moved into a small apartment and had about 300 CD's, which fit into 3 medium boxes and weighed about 80 pounds or more. No way we could keep all of them. Well, any of them, actually.

FLAC format is a lossless format. It can rebuild a bit for bit audio stream identical to the CD. With everything ripped to FLAC, I put it on a portable USB hard drive, and can play directly from the USB port in the car.

For safety, I copied to another second disk and locked it in the safe.

Finally, for day to day use I use the Patriot Autobahn USB drives, which are not really visible when plugged in. (I don't want someone breaking into the car if I leave the drive out.

johannes | October 8, 2015

Use my old battery powered FM-transmitter. BT would not pair, I tried 2 products. If someone knows a product that does work, please tell me. But on the other Hand FM is fine, because when you play music from an other BT device than your smartphone, your smartphone becomes unconnected and the handsfree does not work..... Tesla, please.... that's not cool in a car for the price of a house.

dpena23 | October 8, 2015

Cd quality is 16bit 44.1khz.

Take your cds and convert the tracks to .aiff or .flac in 16bit 44.1khz quality, and transfer on a usb stick.

This way you are getting uncompressed cd quality music through your usb stick. Mp3 is compressed data so more information is lost. But mp3 in the 224-320mbps range is pretty good.

P.S. Converting your cds higher than 16bit 44.1khz won't make the sound any better--it'll just make your files bigger. Plus from my experience, the Tesla won't play 32bit tracks. Only 16 bit or mp3.

rxlawdude | October 8, 2015

@dpena - It will play 24bit FLAC. I've tested this. Notable is a bit of background hiss not noted in CD-ripped FLAC files.

rjt65 | October 8, 2015

Can I use my Napster account in the Tesla? ;-)

I too still buy cd's rip 'em. have iTunes match but i have had issues with formerly ripped music. Thus I like having cd's as a backup

Just moved and had ~ 600 Plus CD's in cases, box sets, taking up multiple storage drawers.

Reduced into 2 small file boxes by ditching jewel cases, 99% of the artwork books etc. Used double sided cd holders, soft, with letter tabs.

Amazing space saver. Trying to use Ra-Sans (see other forum tesla motors club) program, worked first but i changed the file folders in my iTunes, re-synched now issues- but plan to use micro 64G usb to listen to them...

huk64 | October 8, 2015

Just bought the "Samsung Ultra Slim DVD Writer SE-208" two days ago, hooked it up to the USB-port, set it to "AV connectivity mode". It shows up on the media menu like any usb-stick and plays any cd. Nice thing: It fits perfectly in the middle console. Price tag in Germany: 30.00 Euros.

WayneMa | October 8, 2015

What in the world is a CD?

dpena23 | October 8, 2015

Ahh, I've only tested using .aiff files. And it was on a rented p85 a year ago. And yes, I meant to say 24 bit not 32 bit on my earlier posts but if it plays 24bit flacs then all is well. Maybe there was an update that made it possible to play 24bit now?

I just use aiff more because the sound editor I use on my mac (to put more bass or treble or reverb or just to open up the soundspace) doesn't read .flac files.

Waiting for my 70D end of the month.

DLebryk | October 9, 2015

This Bluetooth transmitter works. Just be careful with output volume if you use the headphone jack on your CD player. Line out works perfectly.

The transmitter is really tiny.

vp09 | March 25, 2017

Martin posted: "I bought a bluetooth transmitter, a Sony walkman, and play CDs in my S."

Is this the consensus on the best way to play CDs in a Tesla?

kevin | March 25, 2017

I think the best way is to rip the CD to a USB drive and play that. At least that's what I did. | March 25, 2017

@vp09 - So few owners do this, I'm not sure there can be a consensus :)

Any reason you don't want to rip the CDs and put them on a USB drive? Minor hassle to start, but really nice when done - all your music at your fingertips!

Mike83 | March 25, 2017

I have Google music and can download to any device to play in my Tesla via Bluetooth or USB. Upload CD to Google is fast.

vp09 | March 25, 2017

Thanks again-- I will rip the CD to a USB drive! Mike I'll check out your advice.

800.3kyhpefbcgb | April 3, 2018

You can burn audible audiobooks to CD, then you can simply plug the CD into the Tesla for playing on the Car stereo. Check this to see if it can help you out. | April 3, 2018

@800.3kyhpefbcgb - There is no CD player in any Tesla. Now you can convert the audiobook to a playable file like mp3 and load it onto a USB flash drive.

gridley1950 | April 3, 2018

I converted about 2500 mp3s to FLAC and put them on a USB but my system has a hard time recognizing the USB port. Sometimes it doesn't even show, other times it will play for a bit then stop. I have the upgraded sound in my P85D and am on 2018.6.1.

Rocky_H | April 3, 2018

Flagged the spam

Nic727 | May 26, 2018

General question:

Is there any USB or Bluetooth CD Players out there for any cars?

Like you plug via USB to get power, but can play the CD via Bluetooth? I looked on Google, but didn't find anything like that.

murphyS90D | May 27, 2018

I tried two different bluetooth transmitters with my Tesla. It did not recognize either of them. They would have allowed any device with audio output jacks to play through the Tesla sound system.

jens.white18 | June 25, 2018

It seems that you can try to convert the CD audiobook to other music formats then it can be show on Tesla Model S. Have a look at this tool at , it may help.

gridley1950 | June 25, 2018

Update! Returned my new USB drive to the store only to find out it was flawed somehow. They gave me a new one and it works perfectly! My premium sound is so good I hate to open a window/sunroof because of the interference noise. (Even with MP3!) | June 25, 2018

@gridley - Glad you got it solved. Rare to hear of a bad USB stick, but it does happen on occasion.

tom | June 27, 2018

What’s a CD?