By on March 12, 2018

There are a select few machines on this planet in which I prefer to hear the exhaust note rather than the stereo: high strung Italians or any big V8 with a lumpy cam, for example. Noise bylaws definitely come under fire from my right foot when it’s connected to the loud pedal of a car possessing one of these engines.

By and large though, most of us need some tunes to either occupy the time, keep us awake, or simply add to the journey. I’ve a few go-to favorites in my playlist and I bet you do, too.

For long distances, I have one of two approaches. Canada’s national broadcaster, the CBC, usually ranks up there with watching chloroform evaporate in terms of being interesting. However, when driving through desolate northern New Brunswick in the dead of winter with boredom setting in but the need to watch for critters at an all-time high, I find thought-provoking debates and news coverage to be a stimulant. Maybe it keeps the neurons firing.

Ages ago, when tasked with driving a long distance, I’d deploy a game learned from writer John Phillips in which I’d hit the “Seek” button on the AM band and force myself to listen to whatever the tuner landed on until it finally faded away. In this manner, I learned more than is required by any sentient individual about Newfoundland’s cod fishery, the allocation of moose hunting licenses, and that Sue from Musgrave Harbour has lost her cell phone and would like the finder to please leave it at Velma’s convenience store, preferably before she leaves at 5 p.m. to drive to Gander. This game is much less fun now that AM radio has gone the way of Betamax.

When it comes to actual music, because I am literally twelve years old, my personal playlist includes much of the programming found on SiriusXM’s channel 51. I’ll let you look that one up yourself.

What’s your preference on a drive? Some particular genre of music? Talk radio? Or the sonorous siren of the engine that’s getting you to your destination?

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75 Comments on “QOTD: Road Tunes, or No Tunes?...”


  • avatar
    Sub-600

    If I’m in a hurry it’s The Murder City Devils. For a long drive, Sonic Youth. Running errands, Garbage. If I’m in a tunnel it’s the sound of my 5.7 liter.

  • avatar
    dividebytube

    Wang Chung – To Live and Die in LA soundtrack is one of driving favorites. Being a child of the 80s, I enjoy the music even though it is a bit dated.

    Or retro-wave synth music from Gunship, Mirrors, the Detachments, or SURVIVE.

    If I’m feeling really aggressive? Black Flag

  • avatar
    ajla

    I listen to dips*it Millennial alt-rock and new wave music from the 1980s.

  • avatar
    random1

    “Oh no!” by Girl Talk. Makes you want to drive like an asshole, but still.

    Road trips = audiobooks.

  • avatar
    Big3trucks

    Metallica or Slayer

  • avatar
    mikey

    When driving the 15 ,its Sirius XM Classic Vinyl, or Rewind .

    I put the O5 back to sleep for another few weeks.. I plan on mostly top down driving with the 05 so whatever “not so” classic rock station I can pick up.

  • avatar
    MPAVictoria

    Usually my default is CBC radio as I like to listen to the news. They also have good documentaries and a few decent comedy shows. Other than that I stream podcasts or spotify off my phone. Haven’t used a CD in years.

  • avatar
    Flipper35

    Even in the Cobra with its lumpy cam you get tired of the drone after a while. So you either need tunes or a back road to change the tune of the “music” coming from the pipes.

    For trips in a regular car I have a flash drive I plug into the USB in the car and go.

    We had Sirius when we bought the car but the songs are just as repetitive as terrestrial radio so we dropped it. At least I can be repetitive with songs I like. I would pay $15 a year for it, maybe.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      While I understand that any one channel on Sirius/XM can get repetitive, you have to recall there’s over 200 channels available with a huge variety of music and other programming. I understand personal tastes but it sounds to me like you didn’t really give the satellite much of a chance.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        The problem with satellite is that the sound is sh!t. The compression algorithm is awful. It sounds like 64kbps MP3 streaming. It’s bad enough that I can even tell it’s bad in a moving car.

        • 0 avatar
          PrincipalDan

          My biggest problem with satellite is that I don’t think the cost justifies the service and that I hate loosing the signal when I get stopped under an overpass or under a canopy getting gas or at the bank drive through.

          Give me a good Bluetooth connection and a smartphone.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            I gave up on satellite radio due to cost and sketchy reception in the mountains and tall trees along with buildings and I live in a town that doesn’t have much in the way of high rise buildings.

          • 0 avatar
            Robert

            After my free trial w/p purchase expired they started an all out war on my email inbox. I think I get offers 2+3 times a week. The best I noticed was 12mo @ $60. Not a bad price, but I still prefer a Bluetooth connection. Even if I had an older car I’d do wired over a cassette adapter to phone before springing for a new head unit and Satellite.

        • 0 avatar
          Ubermensch

          I’m with you dal on satellite radio sounding like sh!t. My girlfriend loves it but I would never spend my own money on audio that sounds that bad. The constant signal dropouts in the city and in parking garages is the kicker.

          I mostly just listen to NPR or the local college radio station which is just fine with me. On long trips we usually listen to Spotify or audio books.

      • 0 avatar
        Robert

        Problem is the sound quality is utter trash. Put in a CD and switch back and forth. Even Bluetooth sounds better.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          I’m concentrating on driving more than I am the sound quality of the entertainment. Besides, as I stated before, I listen to radio plays from an era where even vinyl was unheard of. You can still hear the scratchiness of the old ceramic platters and other recording media of the day.

          The point isn’t necessarily how good it sounds (and you can improve it with better speakers in your car) but rather that you have something that can break the monotony of the engine exhaust, tire hum and wind noise to help you stay awake.

  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    No tunes. Half of my cars don’t even have a working radio.

  • avatar
    Rasputin

    In the summer of 1975 or 76 I drove non-stop from Troy, NY to Ashville, NC in my Fiat Spider, top down the whole way (Interstate 55 MPH – enforced. Ugh!). Had a homemade cassette of the Allman Bros to keep me company.
    IMO, the best “driving song” ever is “Whipping Post.”

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    When driving locally, I usually stick to a playlist either streamed from my smartphone on Bluetooth or from a hard-wired iPod (I hate listening to broadcast commercials.) On the road, however, it’s a different story… or rather, bunches of different stories. I listen to Old Time Radio on satellite, where they play not music but rather dramas, comedy, science fiction and pretty much any kind of programming you might have watched on ’50s and ’60s television… dating all the way back to the ’30s–1930s, that is.

    The advantage is that these stories and the variety keep your mind engaged, making it less likely you’ll get drowsy while driving–especially at night.

    I’ve also used audiobooks (downloaded from a number of different sources and loaded into my phone/iPod) but they’re not as effective since the reader tends not to use a whole lot of inflection in their voice and tends to become a drone after a while, having the opposite effect of the radio plays.

    • 0 avatar
      ScarecrowRepair

      Huh, I should have reloaded after letting the page sit idle. I replied the same an hour later :-)

    • 0 avatar
      Sals

      You might enjoy 40’s radio sitcom The Great Gildersleeve. Archive.org has several years of weekly episodes in mp3. IMO ’44-’45, ’45-’46, ’46-47 are the best seasons, best writing. Old time radio is a lot of fun.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        I do. There’s always a good story in that series.

        Now, Johnny Dollar…. There’s a detective series worth listening to. Even my wife enjoys it, and she’d never heard old-time radio before we got Satellite in our first Jeep.

  • avatar
    Tinn-Can

    Driving to work, generic music on a USB drive.
    Driving for work, sports radio avoids having to listen to country and is (mostly) politically neutral.
    Driving for road trips, we load up on audio books.

    Also I had that same Kenwood stereo back in the early 00s…

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    1967 Mustang – the true dual exhausts and generic “turbo” (Flowmaster ripoff) mufflers

    Commute – iHeart Radio through the smart phone and Bluetooth. Everything from Chris Stapleton to George Jones to Gloria Estefan to Asleep at the Wheel

    Running errands – stabbing the radio buttons trying to find something I enjoy

    Wife’s Car (when I’m driving) I have a list of presets for her Sirius radio (she gave me one line of favorites out of 6 possible)

  • avatar
    TeamInstinct

    When on personal time: Spotify. I have like 40 or so different playlists and listen to just about everything, so it’s just whatever I’m feeling.

    My 30 min commute to work and in my work truck. I personally like a local morning show on the classic rock station that I listen to in the morning. Then I like to listen the various radio stations around for some variety. But, if they aren’t playing anything good, I’ll throw on some podcasts like Pardon My Take, the Weekly Planet or the Joe Rogan Experience.

  • avatar

    Holy moly that’s my Cougar!

    Getting the Ford EQ to work with an aftermarket stereo and aftermarket amp was…challenging.

    • 0 avatar
      MRF 95 T-Bird

      Same as my 87 T-Bird. I had the premium stereo with cassette but without the Ford EQ which left the space open for sunglasses or whatever. I had thought about buying the Sony CD only unit to fit in the space but just used a cassette to CD adapter with my CD Walkman. All sounded fine after a speaker upgrade behind the stock grills.

      My 95 MN-12 has an upgraded Kenwood CD receiver head also with a speaker upgrade behind the stock grills.

  • avatar
    paxman356

    When I was a kid, listening to the radio was the first choice, then cassette albums, then the mix tape. If you were to tell me then, that something the size of a cassette would be able to carry thousands of songs (for some, infinite with data/streaming plans) make phone calls, play games, be a GPS and look up info, all while being able to connect to headphones without a wire, I would have thought you mad, MAD I say!

    So my iPhone is my big fat mix tape. And I have it set to auto update and be totally random. I basically play songs with 3-5 stars (I use 2 stars for songs I have, but really don’t care to listen to, and one star for album tracks). The three star songs (about 3000) get played once or twice a year, four star once or twice a month, and 5 star 3-4 times a month. Once it gets played, and I sync my phone, it gets taken out and a new one put in its place.

    My wife is Dutch, and she has about 1000 songs in my iTunes, and when we travel together, I have a playlist that plays my four and five star songs and her songs alternating between the two (with some Beatles, Simon and Garfunkel, and Monkees thrown in belonging to neither of us.)

  • avatar
    ScarecrowRepair

    On a long drive, satellite radio Radio Classics (?) channel, for the old radio shows. I find the variety is better than constant music of any sort, plus stories and plots require a bit more focus, and Bob Hope can spit out jokes (good and bad) fast enough to keep my attention.

    After a couple of hours, music just begins to blur and I need a change to non-music.

  • avatar
    bunkie

    We subscribe to Sirius XM. Deep Tracks and Underground Garage are our main channels.

    One tip: If you have good cellphone service and an appropriate data plan, listening to Sirius using the internet app brings three big benefits:

    1) The ability to pause.
    2) No loss of signal due to terrain, if you lose internet, the program pauses until it comes back. The popping in and out while using the satellites is, I find, incredibly annoying.
    3) Much, much better sound quality. This is my other issue with Sirius. Their lossy compression strangles the music.

    • 0 avatar
      random1

      3) Much, much better sound quality. This is my other issue with Sirius. Their lossy compression strangles the music.

      This. Listening to Sirius directly is god awful. I can’t stand to listen to it, even a little. So much better via the phone app, but you lose the whole idea of it being available everywhere. Why not just use Spotify, or the like, for free?

  • avatar
    JohnTaurus

    I have driven across country (~3,000 miles) with no radio multiple times. Many times, I don’t bother to turn it on. I’ve had several passengers say “the radio doesn’t work?” because it isn’t on when we get in my car.

    When it is on, I seek through the stations to find what I like. It could be classic rock, a rare country song, oldies, jazz, just what ever sounds good. I don’t do much talk radio.

    I do have a playlist on my phone, its very diverse. From T.I. to Roy Orbinson. I even have “In My Merry Oldsmobile” from the 1900s. Now, I just need the Olds to play it in!

    I have had big sound systems in the past, and I plan on having some boom-boom in my Ninety-Eight coupe when I get it. You guys will probably hate it, but it’ll probably have 22″ chrome wheels as well. :P

    I do plan to upgrade the audio system in the Taurus. Bluetooth, decent speakers but probably not big subs or anything like that.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      I even have “In My Merry Oldsmobile” from the 1900s.

      How about “Beep, Beep, Beep”?

      “For a Rambler passing a Caddy would be a big discrace
      But the guy must have wanted to pass me up cause he kept on tooting his horn
      I’ll show him that a Cadillac is not a car to scorn…”

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        Since we are talking about driving tunes one must mention Meat Loaf’s Bat out of Hell, Steppenwolf’s Born To Be Wild and Golden Earring’s Radar love and of course, both “Bat” and “Radar” versions need to be the long play versions not the trimmed pieces for AM radio of the era.
        I guess I can add Sammy Hagar’s I Can’t Drive 55 and Van Halen’s Panama.
        I always think of Waylon Jenning’s Good Ol Boys as a car song since that was Duke’s of Hazzard.

        • 0 avatar
          PrincipalDan

          I like when a music streaming source will throw an “album version” of a song at you and you find out that version is 7 or 8 min long…

          Perfect for driving.

        • 0 avatar
          Arthur Dailey

          @Lou_BC mentioned the must haves “Meat Loaf’s Bat out of Hell, Steppenwolf’s Born To Be Wild and Golden Earring’s Radar Love and of course, both “Bat” and “Radar” versions need to be the long play versions not the trimmed pieces for AM radio of the era.”

          As a good Canadian boy I also include: American Woman & Running Back to Saskatoon by the Guess Who, Roll on Down the Highway & Taking Care of Business by BTO, and Oh What a Feeling by Crowbar on the must play list from my youth.

          If a CD/Cassette/8-Track then What’s Going On by Marvin Gaye, just about anything by CCR, or Springsteen and of course Elvis, preferably ending with the long play version of Suspicious Minds. In the summer, the Beach Boys, preferably their ‘double live’ album or the Beatles ‘greatest hits’ and again preferably the ‘Blue’ (older) to the ‘Red’ (newer).

          If a CD (older me) then Gordon Lightfoot’s Greatest Hits, The Tragically Hip (R.I.P. Gord Downie) or the Vinyl Cafe Stories of the late Stuart McLean, Canada’s great storyteller.

          If on a date rather than a road trip, Johnny Mathis’ Greatest Hits (which by itself was partially responsible for the baby boom), Tony Bennett, ‘Ol Blue Eyes/The Chairman of the Board and Angel Clare by Art Garfunkel with the greatest version of ‘I Only Have Eyes for You’. Possibly A Foot in Cold Water, another Canadian band of the 1970’s with 2 hits, Isn’t Love Unkind and Make me do Anything You Want.

          Now primarily the radio, local radio, preferably the local CBC station. As I want the news, weather and road conditions from that specific locale. Or the Blue Jays’ game.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @Arthur Dailey – A pox on me for not mentioning Roll on Down the Highway & Taking Care of Business.

            How about Trooper’s Boys in the Bright White Sports Car?

            While not a Canadian a favourite of mine is Bob Seger’s Roll me Away.
            Janis Joplin’s Me and Bobby McGee but I recall hearing Kris Kristofferson’s version in truck stops all over the place. Eagles Take it Easy is another.

        • 0 avatar
          RHD

          “I Can’t Drive 55” is definitely up there.

          The Bonnaroo version of My Morning Jacket’s “One Big Holiday” is pretty spectacular, and should not be missed.

        • 0 avatar
          Moparmann

          Lou: No mention of “Highway Song” by Blackfoot?? :-)

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    My ipod has over 1,600 songs on it which is a mix of rock, ballads, pop, and the odd C&W song. My sons have opened up my mind to different stuff. My older son has similar rock tastes to me and my younger tends to prefer less mainstream artists he finds on the net. He does like some of the stuff I like.

    In the days of cassettes I had a few satchels full of 90 minute mixed tapes on “metal” cassettes. They were expensive but worth it. The Safari van I had had a functional tape player which was fun in a nostalgic way. My boys could not wrap their head around having to forward or rewind the cassette to find a specific song.

  • avatar
    NoID

    For my daily commute (about 45 minutes to an hour each way depending on departure time) I typically listen to a sermon on the way in, and music or news on the way back. Occasionally I mix it up with a podcast/lecture/debate/etc. on the way home if I find something interesting.

    For road trips, it depends. Sometimes long hours of silence are good for deep thoughts, other times long hours of silence are good for me falling asleep and rolling into a ditch. My mileage varies. But if the radio is on, it’s some combination of sermon/music/news/other. I’ve never gotten into books on tape.

  • avatar
    nsk

    I don’t drive much anymore since moving to NYC, so when I do drive a car I find myself needing to pay attention to my surroundings and the act of driving. So it’s largely no tunes.

    A couple months ago I did a big trip from CA to TX that was like 3,000 street miles, and I got myself pretty wound up trying to figure out ICE for that car that had just a low-end radio with like 4 speakers and single-slot CD player, no Bluetooth, no iPod, no aux input.

    In actuality, I barely used the radio. I paid attention to other drivers, their cars, the road, errant animals, and weather conditions. When driving with enthusiasm, I tried to keep track of levels of grip, sight lines, heel/toe, tire noise, etc. I kept a window cracked so I could hear if the tires began to sing. Very little fatigue. I tried listening to podcasts, but I found myself beginning to dawdle.

    There was an Alex Roy listicle about driving fast over long distances, and one of his first points was like “throw away your radio.” I think that’s good advice.

  • avatar
    FalcoDog

    I find it hard to disconnect and I have a deep love of good music but I once took a one week long motorcycle trip through the Rockies by myself with no tunes, no phone, no tv, nothing but a paperback book. It was centering and liberating beyond words.

    Try to do this before you die.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      @FalcoDog – agreed. I never could figure out why one would ride a bike with a stereo blaring. The sound of the wind, birds and crickets along with the sound of the engine and tires are a symphony to me.

  • avatar
    NoID

    As far as Tunes go, some of my favorites are:

    Clutch: Pure Rock Fury, Slow Hole to China, & Psychic Warfare

    NeedToBreathe: Hard Love especially, but all of their stuff is good for road trips.

  • avatar
    CaptainObvious

    I’ll start with Sirius’ First Wave station, then if I get bored with that switch to the Lithium station (90’s grunge,etc.). I also try the Classic Vinyl and Classic Rewind Channels.
    Then I’ll go to my iPod which has a mix of everything.

  • avatar
    ranchero_collectivo

    I generally stream Amazon Music or Spotify on Bluetooth and listen to whatever comes out of the gumball machine that is my 3000+ song collection, which includes everything from Johnny Cash and Childish Gambino to Excision and Anaal Nathrakh.

    On long trips, I often listen to history podcasts to keep my mind active. My current favorite is The History of the Crusades. Fascinating because of how a lot of what happened in that era can be related to today, plus all of the larger-than-life personalities you hear about on the podcast could put many of the characters in Song of Fire and Ice to shame.

  • avatar
    MeJ

    Heavy metal for the Friday afternoon drive home.
    The rest of the week is USB rock or SiriusXM comedy.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    Most of the time when I’m driving the radio is off. I have a chaotic job and a chaotic household (2 small kids), I don’t drive that often, and the drive is tranquil time.

    When the radio is on, it’s usually classical music, but sometimes Groove Salad or Top 40 radio (just so I can hear what’s on repeat these days).

    For the long trips, my wife likes to have audiobooks going, and I’m fine with that.

  • avatar
    Sub-600

    45 years ago I’d have said a Grand Funk Railroad 8-Track.

  • avatar
    rpn453

    I rarely listen to anything in the city. I usually want to focus on the driving. I’d rather hear the engine and the tires.

    I like it loud on the highway though. My taste in music is eclectic, so it can be anything from Dido to Tool rattling my license plate, depending on my mood.

    Satellite radio is too compressed to tolerate at any significant volume, but it does come in handy when you need a break and just want something in the background.

    I suppose if I had a terrible big-city commute, I’d listen to podcasts. I wouldn’t want to ruin any music I love by having it as the soundtrack to such misery.

  • avatar
    TW5

    My 964 C2 was the only car that qualified for no music. It also had the worst factory stereo of any car built so it was meant to be.

    When I’m road tripping it’s always AM talk radio. Sometimes I play the scan game, but local radio in the boonies is usually quite bad. I do like listening to ag radio though, especially the commodities prices. Valuable info. From time to time, I’m always stunned when I pick up DFW stations thousands of miles from home, which is a phenomenon I don’t understand. The longest distance over which I’ve observed this phenomenon was listening to Dallas AM while driving westbound on I-80 between Cheyenne and Laramie. That’s about 800 miles as the crow flies. Signal was clear as day. Same thing happened on I-10 westbound just outside of Lordsburg, NM.

    If I’m listening to XM it’s Willie’s Roadhouse, Outlaw Country, or one of the classic rock channels.

    If I’m listening to my own tunes, it’s usually funk, disco, maybe some new wave that is largely ignored on the radio. For instance:

    Aretha Franklin – Get It Right
    Hall & Oates – I Can’t Go For That
    Stevie Wonder – All I Do
    Isley Brothers – Footsteps In The Dark
    Funkadelic – Cholly
    Funkadelic – (Not Just) Knee Deep
    Patrice Rushen – Never Gonna Give You Up

  • avatar
    spookiness

    NPR or EDM music podcasts for short to medium local trips, talk podcasts for longer trips (The Moth, Radiolab, etc).

  • avatar
    Lightspeed

    I was driving my mom’s Datsun 1200 from Vancouver to Edmonton, so no tape deck and only AM radio. Somehow, I was able to pickup a Triple-A baseball game from Spokane, I think. With the sun just set behind the mountains and a good baseball announcer, it was a magical “Field of Dreams” kind of experience (long before the book was published).

  • avatar
    ect

    An obvious choice would be the Irish group, Walking on Cars. One of their songs is even called “Speeding Cars” – not their best, imho, but I love the Norse imagery on the video.

  • avatar
    Rick T.

    Podcasts (How I Built This, TED Radio, Freakanomics, etc.) for the daily commute. Sirius (60’s-90’s, country, bluegrass) for the weekend errands with my wife in the car.

  • avatar
    whynotaztec

    JP Turbo Lover

  • avatar
    White Shadow

    Classic Rock or 80s music. And no, 80s music isn’t classic in my book, at least not yet. Even today I could listen to Van Halen or Whitesnake for an entire road trip.

  • avatar
    Tele Vision

    That picture is the perfect setting for nearly any Mesa Boogie amp. Also, most music is utter suit crap these days.

  • avatar

    I have about 600 CDs so what I listen to on long trips depends on my mood, but there’s usually some Grateful Dead in the pile. When I drive to NYC it’s usually overnight and I’m always sure to have Feats Don’t Fail Me Now (live version on Waiting For Columbus usually) on the stereo when I’m doing the final run through New Jersey.

    Don’t the sunrise look so pretty
    Never such a sight
    Like a rollin’ into New York City
    With the skyline in the morning light
    Roll right through the night

    Lately I’ve been going through my CDs alphabetically. Also of late I’ve been listening to a lot of YouTube lectures while driving via my phone.

    Time to go clean my room.

  • avatar
    newenthusiast

    1st gen Audi Q7, no USB or Bluetooth music capability (phone calls only).

    For regional road trips (say 2-6 hrs 1 way for a long weekend of vacation) it can be a mix of CD (I have near 1000), SirusXM, my .mp3 player via aux jack (which is what I run to, so 2500+ songs mostly uptempo) or if my wife is taking a driving shift, she’ll plug her phone in via the aux jack and either play Pandora or the music on her phone (that she uses for running).

    For travel trips where I fly and get a rental, lately I’ve been loading songs on to a 64GB USB stick, I’m up to 3200+ songs. I try to track down things I hear overhead when shopping or whatever, so I have a lot of single songs from random artists on this USB stick.

    A good portion of my music is mostly mainstream and alternative rock and metal from the 60s through now (so, if you have Sirius XM, something like a blend of Lithium, Octane, Ozzy’s Boneyard, HairNation, Deep Cuts, Classic Rewind, Classic Vinyl, and dashes of Turbo, Alt Nation, and The Spectrum), with some punk, folk, pop, blues, rap, and other songs that I like. I’m sucker for power pop too, so healthy doses of Cheap Trick, Raspberries, Matthew Sweet, Big Star, etc, are in there.

    My wife leans more toward a rather interesting blend of things like Tori Amos, Indigo Girls, Sarah McLachlan, Tracy Chapman, etc; 90’s stuff like Counting Crowes, Cranberries, and Matchbox Twenty, Howard Shore and Hans Zimmer movie scores, and then in contrast to all that, really heavy things like early Metallica, Motorhead, Stone Sour/Slipknot, Motorhead, HellYeah, Kill Devil Hill, Halestorm, Lacuna Coil, Nightwish etc.

    So, it’s always pretty varied.

    • 0 avatar
      Robert

      If it’s wired for bluetooth over phone you likely have the AMI version. You can get a 30 pin Bluetooth adapter off the web and it’ll play music from your phone. Any post 2008 mobile phone will pair to both the phone Bluetooth and the audio Bluetooth adapter at same time. Used this in both a Q5 and a friend’s 2008 r8. Worked reasonably well.

      • 0 avatar
        newenthusiast

        Well, I can’t play music from my phone, because my phone has no such capability. Even if it did, it wouldn’t matter as I have never turned on the Bluetooth function in any car that I drive. I think phones and driving are universally a bad mix, and I don’t care if I miss calls or texts. I always respond when applicable, but only after I’m done with whatever drive I’m on.

        Now, if you (or anyone else) can tell me why my MMI-to-USB adapter doesn’t work, despite Audi’s assurances that it should, then I would be most grateful. I plug in the USB stick, and it reacts as if I’m trying to upload a software update.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          @newenthusiast: I commend you for avoiding phone use while driving; you’re being safer than many. That said, with Bluetooth you don’t have to totally avoid it as much as you do. Yes, I do agree that you shouldn’t initiate a call in the car UNLESS the car has voice control and your ‘phone book’ is accessible to that voice control. Using this ability does require understanding of how it works, which means practicing it before using it while driving. Hands free does work.

          I’m like you; I don’t drive and make calls, even though I’ve replaced the head unit in my vehicle with a new aftermarket unit with Bluetooth. Instead, I wait to place calls until I am safely stopped, usually at full park (meaning gearshift in neutral and parking brake set since I drive a stick) but once the call is in progress I might resume driving. My unit has a separate microphone mounted high on the windshield surround so I don’t have to face the radio to be heard clearly. (Knowing where the mic is mounted makes things much easier.)

          On the other hand, receiving a call is a matter of just pressing a large and obvious button. On newer cars this button is right on the steering wheel. Since it’s hands-free, it’s no worse than talking to your passenger while driving and actually better since you don’t have to turn your head to make occasional eye contact. No reaching, no distraction–other than the talking itself.

          Oh, and with some phones you can’t even try to initiate a call while the vehicle is rolling. This is both a good thing and a bad thing because while it prevents the call itself, it can distract a driver trying to bypass it while the vehicle is in motion. Those phones tend to have a bypass that allows a passenger to say they are not the driver (usually requiring several inputs before completing the call out) and some drivers will attempt that.

          Well, there’s no total way around it that won’t make somebody angry. It’s all about knowing what you can do and using common sense. Any more, it seems that needs to read UN-common sense as people have taken to doing some really stupid things. I’m not going to say you have to do something you don’t want to do; hey, if you don’t want to talk even through Bluetooth I can’t blame you. In my own case, I don’t use the phone while driving unless I need to. For me, receiving a call is easy and a non-issue; making a call? No way. Not until I’m safely parked.

  • avatar
    PentastarPride

    I exclusively play my music over my aux input via phone. Smooth jazz typically for my commutes, followed by 80s or 90s, classic rock, oldies (60s/70s) or country. My truck is equipped with Sirius XM capability but I don’t feel compelled to subscribe. I don’t listen to terrestrial radio, ever, because I hate commercial breaks or having my music chosen for me.

    The only thing my wife and I agree on as far as music is country. Otherwise she listens to whatever it is the typical twentysomething millennial female listens to.

  • avatar
    Moparmann

    For the science fiction fans out there, I suggest the 1978 Jeff Wayne production of “War of the Worlds”, narrated by Richard Burton. Good for a long trip. :-)

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      Nice pick of album, especially when you take into account that one of its biggest songs was sung by The Moody Blues’ Justin Hayward.

      On the other hand, if you like that then you would enjoy Rick Wakeman’s (of Yes fame) Journey to the Center of the Earth (featuring actor David Hemmings as narrator) and Return to the Center of the Earth (featuring Sir Patrick Stewart as narrator.) You might want to consider some of Wakeman’s other works as well.

  • avatar
    tsoden

    Growing up my parents always insisted on the best sound system in their car… and yet they rarely used it… even to this day.

    When I got my first car, it had a cassette deck to which mix tapes were the norm. Later, I bought a discman and plugged it into the cassette deck with an adapter better music… then I started making mixed MP3 CD’s on my Next vehicle that had a CD player. When I got a car with an AUX out port, I started using my iPod for long trips. However daily driving always consisted of the FM morning show on 89.9, followed by FM 106.9 music mix on the ride home.

    It’s not all that often that the radio is turned off in my car.

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