Clarion isn't giving up the CD slot on this unit by far. The company tucked it behind the waterproof front plate. But it did step up with a USB interface that allows complete control of an iPod through its USB cord, plus included recharging capabilities. We think that's pretty slick. In addition, tunes can be streamed from a tiny flash drive, so you can leave your expensive player at home. Seems pretty smart to us. This unit, too, will want an amp, as it sports 21 watts of RMS internal amp power.