For the 2011 model year, no manufacturer selling cars in the United States offers a tape player either as standard equipment or as an option on a new vehicle. The most recent choice for a factory cassette deck was the 2010 Lexus SC 430.“Lexus was the last holdout," said Phil Magney, vice president for automotive research for the IHS iSuppli Corporation, a firm that does technology industry analysis. "We actually stopped tracking cassette players in cars some time ago. Now the question the automakers are asking is, how long has the CD got to go?"The answer may lie in the progressive ascendancy of the digital music device, especially those using the MP3 and similar file formats, as the preferred source of music in cars. The iPod and its ilk are easing the journey along the path to the increasingly popular concept of file storage known as the cloud -- that place in the Internet ether from which music is streamed, generally through a Web-connected mobile device that communicates with the car by a wireless Bluetooth connection."We went from radio to tape to optical and then to flash memory or a hard disc drive, and now we’re moving away from memory and to storage of our tunes in the cloud," said Mike Kahn, director for mobile electronics of Sony Electronics. "Ford’s Sync infotainment system, developed with Microsoft, employs a similar technology, and at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last month, a host of carmakers, including General Motors, Mini and Toyota, showed off similar streaming options."