Car Audio Recommendations: Your Own Music Play List or Someone Else’s?

I think everyone likes to listen to music while they’re driving to work, school, etc, but what are some products that could make that drive more enjoyable? Everyone knows regular radio stations are filled with too much talk, too many commercials, and not enough music. So what’s the best ways to get away from the boring old radio stations? Well, I have two suggestions that will fill your car with less talk and more music.

First choose a satellite radio system that has the type of stations you’re going to enjoy. Sirius, in my opinion, offers better music options than XM does. Both try and offer mostly commercial free channels, but some are still loaded down with too much talk, mostly about how they are commercial free. In the meantime you’re sitting there thinking, “Yeah, I know that, now why not stop having a commercial about how you’re commercial free and play some music!” Satellite radio still goes above and beyond regular radio stations, even with the occasional commercial thrown in. They’re really good about playing music without commercials during the morning and evening hours when most people are driving to and from work/school, and to me, that’s what’s important. The great thing about satellite radio is you can take it with you when you get out of the car. You can have home kits setup not only in your home, but also in your office, so if your favorite song just came on, you can rush into your home or office and keep listening. I have to admit hooking up a satellite radio system in your car isn’t easy, if you are technically challenged, like I am, you may want to have a technical expert hook it up. For more information on satellite radios, please see my other article: XM and Sirius Satellite Radios.

But what if you’re stuck in your car all day?

A wireless FM transmitter is something no car should be without. Well, at least not a car owned by a music lover. Depending on the type of transmitter you buy, you may be able to plug a thumb drive directly into the transmitter; others will require you to plug cables into a CD/MP3 player. In this day and time, almost everyone carries a thumb drive, whether it’s for school papers or work documents, so why not load it down with music and listen to what you want to on your commute? Even though not all transmitters offer a plug-and-play option for a thumb drive, they all offer the cable hookup option. I think it’s best to spend a little bit more and get a transmitter that will allow you to use a plain thumb drive, instead of having to use a small MP3 player or CD player. A regular 2 gig thumb drive will cost around $50, while a 2 gig MP3 player will cost around $75-$100, depending on the brand. The wireless FM transmitter is really easy to use. You simply plug it into your cigarette lighter and set your radio to a specified station. If you’re using a regular thumb drive, the thumb drive will simply plug into the back of the transmitter. If using a CD player, you will plug one end of a cable into the transmitter and the other end into the CD player.

I use both of these options when I’m on the road; it just depends on what kind of mood I’m in. A satellite system in your car will run around $60, plus a monthly fee of $12.95. A wireless FM transmitter setup will cost around $70 and that includes the transmitter and a 2 gig thumb drive. If I had to choose one, I guess I’d go with the FM transmitter because it allows you to pick your own music, is easy to setup, and the thumb drive can be used for more than just music. If you can though, I highly suggest you go with both, you’ll be really happy that you did.

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