Music To My Ears: Tech Tips – April 2015

music on sidewalkDo you listen to music at work? Probably. Sometimes it floats in over a set of department store speakers, your computer speakers set to low, or the newest model of Beats headphones.  Now, if you don’t listen to music at all, shun it as a cacophony of noise equal to the din of traffic or a crowded room, this article isn’t for you.  However, if you can still fondly recall singing Row, Row, Row Your Boat in kindergarten or a rousing version of Friends In Low Places on karaoke night and find music a pleasant distraction from the workday, please read on.  We’re going to share some ideas on how you can pipe that music from the electronic ether into your eardrums.

(1) I sit at my computer all day.  How can I listen to music?

We suspect you may already have this figured out.  You have the best of the music world, unless your organization blocks all streaming of audio.  We’ll pretend they don’t.  I like Spotify and Pandora as music services that allow you to listen for “free”, free meaning that you listen to sponsored ads after every few songs.  Both have options to upgrade to premium services to avoid the ads along with a few additional features.  Whether or not you want to pay for it is up to you.

Google Play Music is another service, but it is a strictly pay service at $9.99 per month.  It boasts a catalog as large as Spotify, allows up to 20,000 songs for download, and is of course supported by one of the largest tech giants in the world.

iTunes is Apple’s offering, and if you haven’t heard of it by now, the 1990s called and wants all its CDs back.  It is everything – music, movies, books, apps, and more.  So much has already been written on it that you don’t need me to explain it further.  Go check it out if you love Apple products!

Amazon Music – This huge online retailer offers everything from old cassette tapes in its marketplace to a digital streaming service with it’s music player app.  For people who subscribe to Amazon Prime, much of this music can be downloaded for free.

There are dozens of online music services out there, some that will let you download music to your device and some that offer streaming only.  Which one you choose is up to your personal preferences, as many of them have something that will appeal to the online music aficionado.

(2) I never sit at my computer and/or I can’t stream music at work. What (besides the obvious) can I do?

If you even briefly wondered what the “obvious” was, it is of course getting out that old Sony Walkman and the jam tapes your best friend made for you in the 7th grade.  You could do that, given a nostalgia for Journey and REO Speedwagon, or you could consider streaming the music via your own 4G LTE network on your phone.  Better yet, if you want to save on data charges, you can download the music from your subscription service onto the music player of your choice at home and bring it into work.

(3) I’m an air traffic controller. I can’t wear (music) headphones or listen to music at work. Help!

And we appreciate the job you do.  Remember to only wear headphones in a safe listening environment and when appropriate for the workplace.  Keep watching those skies!


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