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10 Ways to Listen to Music (and which one is the Best)


There are at least 10 ways you can listen to music and I will describe each of these, their pros and cons, and which is my favorite. Before i begin let me just say that I love to listen to music whether its while exercising, working, driving, or just relaxing on the back deck on a lazy Sunday afternoon.

  • Home Stereo System. You can put on a John Coltrane album and sit by the fireplace with your honey and enjoy the magic. The flexibility of the home stereo system is that you can play your music from several formats including record albums, cassette tapes, 8-track tapes, cd’s, reel-to-reel players and others. The pros of the home stereo system are that the sound is probably the best you will get from any source and you probably already have a large collection of albums and cds already. The cons of the home stereo system are that you can’t easily take your system with you and you also can’t easily take your music collection with you. In addition the home stereo system is probably the most expensive way to listen to music.

  • Car Stereo. Your car probably has one of the most convenient ways to listen to music and most manufacturers design their systems to be acoustically compatible with the car their in. In other words, rather than just adding a standard radio the manufacturers design the sound system with the acoustical elements of the car itself in mind. Car stereos are getting better and better all the time. The pros of the car stereo system are that they are already installed and can play a variety of formats from cassettes, cd’s radio, etc. In addition, many people spend so much time in their cars commuting that they probably have invested a large amount of money in the format that best suits their system. Cons of the car stereo are that you can’t take it with you when you get to where you are going and it can be difficult and expensive to change your system if you want to upgrade or if there is a problem.

  • Sony Walkman type devices. Originally the Sony walkman was a portable radio with a cassette player that has evolved over the years to include other formats. Hardly anyone would carry around a portable cassette player anymore due to the vastly superior choices available today.

  • MP3 player. Around 1994 the mp3 format (a format of digital music that took up much less space than a cd formatted song) became available online. Since then there have been improvements in the players such that you can carry around virtually all of your music collection in one device. The pros of these are portability and compactness. The cons are that the mp3 format is of a lesser quality that the original cd digital format and you can easily break or lose your mp3 player.

  • iPod. The Apple iPod, while technically an mp3 player, is by far the best available on the market bar none. The iPod is integrated perfectly with the iTunes web site and the uses a much better “lossless” ALAC codec for their music. Sleek in design and way cool the iPod is the mp3 player of choice. I’ll be writing several article on the iPod alone. The pros of the iPod are that it is the world-class leader of mp3 players and the music quality is much better than mp3’s (although it can also play regular mp3′) and it can also play videos (later models). The cons of the iPod are that it is expensive and difficult to repair if something goes wrong. It is also highly desired by thieves so you must be careful with your iPod.

  • Satellite Radio. I have both XM and Sirius satellite radios, one for each car. There are differences between the two which I will write about in a different article. I believe that these two companies will probably merge one day. Satellite radios can be listened to in the car, at home, or on the go, depending on the model you have. Many now feature tivo-like abilities to pause, rewind and fast forward music. The pros are that you get more commercial-free music than you can handle. The cons are that you have to pay $12.95 per month for the service and if you can’t decide between the two you may end up with both!

  • Computer. Yes you can listen to music at you computer. Most computers these days come with decent speakers and since you can store virtually unlimited number of songs on your hard drive you can keep your entire collection in one place. You could listen to mp3’s, cd’s and dvd’s on your PC as well as download music. The pros are that you can keep all your music conveniently in one place and listen while you work. The cons are that a PC is a very expensive radio.

  • Streaming Music. Many people don’t realize but you can listen to the radio from stations all over the world by going online and streaming the music. iTunes and Windows media player both provide this interface as well as yahoo.com, all for free. Whatever your taste in music you can find from an online streaming site. You can even get programs that will record the music into mp3 format for listening later. The pros are that you can listen to virtually any kind of music for free. The con is you generally have to listen from your computer.

  • Satellite and Cable Systems. Whether you have Dish, DirectTV or cable at you house, most packages include about 30 music format for listening to and they are all commercial-free. Pros include commercial-free digital quality music. Cons are that you have to pay for all of these and you generally listen over your TV (although you could modify this)

  • Live Music. One of the most enjoyable ways to listen to music is to attend a concert of your favorite artist. Depending on the venue the sound can be anywhere from poor to fantastic. It is always fun, though, to hear the music being performed live. Pros: an experience that cannot be duplicated. Cons: can be very expensive and you have just the memory when its over.

That concludes the list of 10 ways to listen to music. By the way, my favorite is a portable XM satellite radio that lets you pause and rewind the songs and lets you store your own music on a memory card.

Source by Bill Reed


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