I love my car stereo, a Kenwood KDC-MPV 622. In addition to playing the radio, CDs and mp3 CDs*, it also has a large, easy-to-read screen that displays the radio station call letters, CD Text or ID3 tag information. I was not aware of the fact when I bought it that it came with a remote control, and this was not a factor in the selection. It was not until I opened the box and installed the stereo that I discovered this.
Why does this matter?
This happens to be a case that illuminates a strange gender divide. Every male that finds the remote control seems to think that it is the bee's knees. Females just think that it is hilarious.
The remote allows you to do a couple of things that you can't do with the faceplate. You can directly type in on the numeric keypad the band of a radio station you want to get to. You can also key in a particular track number. Keep in mind that, with an mp3 CD, you could be dealing with hundreds of tracks on a disc. Furthermore, while I don't always intend to do so, I often pack my mixes with tracks, so it is not unusual for me to have, say, 35 tracks on a disc.
Although I was not expecting the remote, I have found it to be very convenient. So do all of my male friends. Females, on the other hand, consider it to be a masculine character flaw that we require remotes for everything. My ex never acknowledged that it existed.
Now, I will grant you that I have more remotes than anybody else in the galaxy, and that I have an aversion to universal remotes (they never do what you really need them to do if you are really into high-end audiovisual reproduction... find me one remote that will switch on the 16:9 function on my TV), but the fact of the matter is that remote controls are very handy things.
I have never heard a woman complain about using a remote to change a channel or pause a movie. Why, just because the setting has changed, the extra convenience is now silly?
Remote Controls:* The fact that an audiophile such as myself would accept the mp3 compression is something that seems to baffle people. The fact of the matter is that I do not generally download music, so the mp3s I listen to are ones that I have created myself to my own exacting standards, rather than the compromised bandwidths neccessary for P2P transfers. The mp3s I encode are barely distinguishable from their original because I set the maximum bit rate to the highest setting; I do use variable bit rate encoding to save disc space. For portable music, the mp3 format is fantastic. In my own home, however, I will listen to full-bandwidth CDs or audiophile platforms, such as SACD and DVD-Audio.
Home Theater Amplifier
Computer Sound Card
Portable mp3 CD player**
** I think that this counts, even though there is a physical connection to the player.