New Media to Listen to in the Car

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Traveling by car continues to be an integral part of American life. Driving down the road is typically paired with some kind of audio entertainment. Eyes need to stay on the road, and ears should be attuned to noise outside the car to alert the driver to situations on the road. This doesn’t mean some background noise doesn’t hurt. Car radios have been a guarantee in vehicles since 1930, and have developed to include cassette tapes, CDs, and, in modern times, phone compatibility. Whether you’re a commuter driving in traffic on a daily basis or planning your next road trip, it can be helpful to have some noise playing in the background.

With the advancement of smartphone technology and in-car connectivity systems, there are many more options than public radio for passing the time while driving. Many modern cars are equipped with car-connectivity and Bluetooth devices for plugging in smartphone’s music players. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto act as their own infotainment systems within cars to play a variety of audio media to help drivers pass the time. Besides radio music and talk shows, check out these 5 different media to listen to while driving:

1. Podcasts

Podcasts get their name from “pod” in reference to iPods and similar portable devices and “broadcast” as a nod toward radio talk shows. They are audio recordings of a conversation surrounding a particular theme and are often released as a long-term series of installments categorized into seasons or episodes. Podcasts usually have a host, or multiple hosts, a rotation of guest, and related topics discussed according to a fluid structure. Many people listen to podcasts for advice, learning about specific topics, pop culture, current events, and for the enjoyment of a funny conversation — many comedians host or make guest appearances on podcasts.

There are over 600,000 podcasts out there, meaning there’s a variety to choose from. Most of the best podcasts are downloadable to your phone or can be listened to through web browsers and apps like Stitcher, Spotify, iTunes, and NPR.

2. Audiobooks

For lovers of reading with a long drive ahead of them, an audiobook is a great way to pass the time while following a story. Audiobooks are essentially books on tape or voice recordings of text from a book. Busy commuters and those driving on a long upcoming trip can indulge in a book they’ve been meaning to read for far too long.

Audiobooks come as word-for-word recitations of books and in abridged versions. Originally used in schools as early as the 1930s, they can now be listened to on CDs, the internet, tablets, and through downloadable apps on smartphones from public library groups, Audible, and Spotify. Simply choose the book you want, download it, connect the phone to your car’s speakers, and enjoy the story.

3. Vintage Radio Shows

Before television, radio was the top entertainment platform. Within the stations broadcasting music and talk shows were radios shows following plotlines to your modern-day true crime dramas, action thrillers, and sitcoms. Some “old time” radio shows still play on current stations today. While driving, it can take the turn of a dial to tune into an old-timey radio show. Check your local radio stations to see who’s playing all the classic hits.

Many vintage radio shows are available for downloading from the internet to computers and smartphones. If no local stations blast the classics, downloadable versions to smartphone compatible with in-car connectivity systems can provide binge-worthy hours of listening entertainment.

4. Learn a Language

Find yourself sitting for extended periods of time in traffic? Spend that time learning a language to avoid frustration with congestion. A variety of audio language courses are out there waiting to be heard and learned. Human brains are wired to learn language by listening, as we remember how to speak by knowing and interpreting sounds.

Language courses are available for download to smart devices which can then be plugged into your car’s speaker system. Some great places to start are LanguagePod101 and FSI Language Courses, both of which offer introductory levels and advanced sessions.

5. Music

Music has been the go-to weapon against driving boredom since the radio reached the car. Practically every station on the radio loves to play music devoted to a certain genre. However, it can be challenging to find a reliable station that doesn’t cycle through the same songs on repeat with loud commercial interruptions. Nowadays, apps like iTunes, Spotify, Pandora, and more allow you to create curated playlists devoted entirely to what you like to listen to. Many free versions of these systems do include advertisements while offering payable upgrades for ad-free listening.

With a phone that plugs into your car, you can listen to just about any music you want depending on your data plan. Some apps will play music regardless of wifi connection, while others will only do so if the songs have been downloaded first. Music makes an easy go-to for audio entertainment while driving in the car.


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Jose

8 years of experience
33 reviews
Jose
8 years of experience
BMW 325i - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Redwood City, California
I had a few mechanics from YM and _all_ of them arrived late (some even 2 hours late) , but not Jose! He arrived right on time! I gave him the keys and let him do his job. I am a curious person so I asked him a few questions about his techniques and he had no problem answering them all with detailed explanations! He did run into a problem on my car because of stripped bolts, but he literally went above and beyond and found a way to remove it. Best mechanic ever.
Lexus CT200h - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - South San Francisco, California
Jose was on time and did a great job on my brakes. He was friendly and explained the entire process. Would highly recommend.

Augustine

11 years of experience
35 reviews
Augustine
11 years of experience
Chevrolet Equinox - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Rio Rancho, New Mexico
Augustine was amazing. He was the perfect example of customer service all around. While he was working, I was recommending him to my neighbors. Next time I need work, I will be requesting Augustine specifically!!!!! Please give him a raise or bonus!!!
Toyota Corolla - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Albuquerque, New Mexico
Mr. Sanchez showed up on time and finished replacing my rotors and break pads. He was very informative and treats your car like his own. He was very time efficient and communicated very well. I highly recommend Mr. Sanchez’s services!!!!

John

26 years of experience
552 reviews
John
26 years of experience
GMC Yukon XL 1500 - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - League City, Texas
I am so happy John is back. I trust him very much. He is efficient and has a tremendous amount of mechanical knowledge. He is a true asset to Your Mechanic.
Ford F-150 - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - Alvin, Texas
I like John because he is very knowledgeable about all my vehicles. In addition he is very organized regarding how he performs his work.

Wesley

8 years of experience
45 reviews
Wesley
8 years of experience
Dodge Nitro - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Peoria, Arizona
Great experience. Very professional, friendly, and knowledgeable. Highly recommended and will continue to use for future work.

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