CD changer emulator for late 90's American Fords?
Circa 1995 through 2002 Ford used the same 6 disc CD changer as an option in many different models such as the 3rd generation Taurus and Sable, the Explorer and Mountaineer and large pickup trucks.
What I'd like to see made is a device that connects to the CD changer port with an SD card holding up to 594 tracks, emulating 6 CDs with 99 tracks each. It should respond to the OEM radio's CD changer controls so to the user it's identical in operation to the real changer, though without any lag between changing virtual discs.
I've done some online searching and have found some things like this but only for newer American and European vehicles. Far as I can tell, Ford changed the type of CD changer they used somewhere around 2003 or 2004, that's the one that currently available emulators can replace.
This is NOT simply a gizmo to make the radio think there's a CD DJ connected to turn on the AUX in for connecting the headphone jack of an audio device. Those are available for the first generation Ford CD changers.
Ford sold millions of vehicles with "CD DJ Ready" radios in the late 90's, intending for dealers to use the disc changer as an upsell option that they would have to install.
One type of vehicle this emulator would be especially popular for is the 3rd generation Taurus and Sable with electronic climate controls. A small number of people have hacked up their head units to install a 1DIN radio, but 'behind the scenes' are extremely kludgy and for some reason the tape mechanism has to remain connected or the battery drains quickly. (Should be fixable with some research into which wires need to stay connected and to which particular components, if any, of the tape drive have to be kept.)
For those with manual climate controls, Scoshe and Metra make replacement faceplates with a rear defrost switch. The other controls have to be transplanted from the OEM head unit. The changer emulator would be easier to install and hidden, nobody ever steals the proprietary head units from the 3rd (or 4th) generation Taurus and Sable.