The technology is on life support, but it ain't dead yet
Car stereo tape decks have been around a long, long time and it's quite likely their days are drawing to a close. That's a good thing too. With the availability and low cost of rewritable optical media for your car that produces digital quality audio, why would anyone want to bother with the old rust oxide tape deck technology? Well, there are many die-hards out there and many old timers who still have a tape collection they'd like to play in their automobiles. Where there is a need there will always be a market, that's the beauty of capitalism.
One advantage to working with cassette is that they're cheap. You can get a decent tape deck with all the features once only found on premium decks. Features like noise reduction, music search/song skip and full logic controls are available at the most affordable prices ever seen. Most of today's tape decks include satellite radio compatibility for an added digital edge. People have been quickly and easily making their own custom party mix tapes for decades and they're still just as easy as ever to record and take on the road. Take the Sony XRCA350X cassette player for a test spin. This is an XM satellite-ready tape deck with 4x22watts that retails for under $80- you just can't beat that price with any CD player to date.
Let's say you've got a vast tape collection and you're looking for a new deck that will play all those tapes, but you're interested in playing CDs as well. Who knows, maybe someday you'll venture forth from the technological old school and start burning your own CDs. In the meantime, you should check out one of the 2 din or double din units available that have both a tape deck and CD player built in. As a double din, this head unit will take up the available space of two units in your dash- you'll need an expanded slot in your car for the audio system. Otherwise a tape deck with available pre-ins will suffice to add an out of dash CD player or CD changer you can mount under your seat.
There are lots of options available to fit your needs if you'd like to buy a cassette deck today. If you want to maintain the option of adding a CD changer later, you'll need to ensure you buy a deck with available inputs for expansion.
Don't be pressured into moving forward into digital territory if you're not ready. There are plenty of options for upgrading later without replacing the unit you buy today. The cassette tape is a dying format, but it still retains a cottage niche if you know where to look.