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How To Play Your Sony Walkman MP3 Player Through Your Van Radio

written by: Lucinda Watrous•edited by: Amy Carson•updated: 11/10/2010

Do you want to know more about how to play your Sony Walkman MP3 player through your van radio? It's something we do all the time in our van, and I've got your answer right here. It's as simple as purchasing a tape adapter. Keep reading to find out how to make it work for you.

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    Purchase a Tape Adapter

    cassettetapedapater As long as your van has a cassette player in it, playing music from your Sony Walkman MP3 player, or any other MP3 player for that matter, is a cinch. You'll need a tape adapter, though. A tape adapter is basically a cassette tape, with a long cord that comes out of it, that has a standard headphone jack on the end of it.

    Image Credit: Flickr Creative Commons

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    Where You Can Find a Tape Adapter

    Tape adapters have been around for quite some time, because before MP3 players, there were Sony Discmans, which were portable CD players. This enabled people to play CDs in their cars, without actually having a CD player installed. We were able to find them on Amazon for as little as a penny plus shipping and handling. Don't worry if you notice the listing referencing a specific type of MP3 player, because all that matters is the standard headphone jack.

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    How Do I Play My Sony Walkman MP3 Player Through My Van Radio?

    Once you have the tape adapter, it's really simple.

    1. Put the tape adapter into your cassette player. The stereo should automatically start "playing" the tape.
    2. Turn on your MP3 player, and connect the "headphones" from the tape adapter to it.
    3. Start playing music from your MP3 player.

    If this does not work, check for six things:

    1. Make sure the cassette deck in your van or other vehicle is working correctly. Test it out by using another tape to see if it plays. If not, your deck is broken and will need to be replaced. If this is the case, you're better off getting a new stereo that features a USB port or jack to directly connect the player.
    2. Make sure the tape adapter is working correctly, by trying it with another deck in another vehicle. If the tape adapter does not work in another deck, you may need to replace it.
    3. Check to make sure the MP3 player is playing the song and is not paused. If it's paused, you won't hear anything!
    4. Ensure the MP3 player has volume and is not on mute. If it has no volume, you won't hear anything!
    5. Check to make sure the volume on your radio is up loud enough to where you can hear it. If the radio is down, you won't hear anything!
    6. Check to make sure your MP3 player has a working battery. If it's dead, either replace the old batteries or make sure there's a charge on it.

    If it still doesn't work, make sure your stereo is not set to be playing the radio. If the stereo requires you to switch it from radio to tape, you won't hear the tape adapter "playing" so the MP3 player can be working, but you won't hear it.

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    Universal Tactic

    Speaking from personal experience, I know this works for any MP3 player with a standard headphone jack — and if yours doesn't have one because it's a cell phone, there are adapters for that, too. I have a Coby MP3 player, and we use an old tape adapter to play music through our '95 Chevy Astro van's radio. If you don't have a cassette player, this won't work, but there are other ways to connect it to your vehicle — check out the links above to learn more.