Tuesday, June 21, 2005


I've been driving a rental car for a week now because my car is having some body work done. Since my insurance company is paying for the rental, I was given a stripped to the bone Ford Focus. Not the 2005 Mustang I was hoping for, but it gets me from home to work and back again every day so I guess it will suffice.

The problem is that the car has a CD player but it doesn't work. It sucks the CD in and then does absolutely nothing. It won't play them.

As a result of this I've been listening to the radio a lot. Well I say a lot but really it's just more than I usually do, which is never at all. Driving the rental has only helped to reinforce the reason that I stay away from the radio: 1) There is never anything decent playing and 2) the advertisements are more than I can bear. What I've ended up doing more often than not is driving in silence, which is actually not so bad at all. You get plenty of quiet reflection time, something that doesn't come so often any more.

I stopped listening to the radio altogether back in 2002 I'd say, when I was working in Lafayette as a runner for one of the local CPA firms. I spent most of my time in the car for this job, and so needed a large variety of things to listen to. I carried a bunch of CDs with me for a while at first, and then I started listening to the radio. That lasted for about two weeks, when I started noticing that I was grinding my teeth the entire time I was in the car. Eventually I got and MP3 player and listened to that all the time, which is what I do today.

The one thing I find to be a problem with listening to MP3s all the time is that I never really get to hear anything new unless I buy it (or download it, or whatever.) This causes a problem because I don't get to hear about new artists the way that I used to.

I've thought about getting either XM Radio or Sirius Radio but I'm not sure if I'll like it enough to be willing to pay for it. The reason I like the prospect is that there are no advertisements and the stations are designed to play specific genres of music, so I can always listen to the type of music I choose. Sounds cool right? This was actually the catalyst behind my wish that wireless internet access were available everywhere because at work I listen to Yahoo's LaunchCast Radio which I love because it is completely customizable to my tastes and preferences, and based upon those preferences I hear only the music that I enjoy and often times music by artists who are considered similar to the artists I have rated highly. It's very cool and it's very cheap and I wish I could get it in my car somehow.

Do any of my readers subscribe to either of these services, or know someone who uses them? How are the services, and how do you like it? Why?