QOTD: How Do You Find Tunes on the Road?

Tim Healey
by Tim Healey

Today I am in California to test the 2025 Mazda CX-70, and on the drive this morning I wanted some tunes.

I could've paired my phone or used Mazda's USB stick, but I wanted to listen to the radio -- be it FM, AM, or XM.

This test unit had satellite radio but the subscription was not yet active. So terrestrial radio it was. Thing is, I don't know the area.

So, for the first time in a LONG time, I used the "seek" function to find a station I liked. Once I heard Elvis Costello, followed by Peter Gabriel and the Scorsese favorite "Gimme Shelter" from the Rolling Stones, I knew I was doing alright.

I ask of you -- how do you find tunes on a road trip when you're tired of listening to what's on your phone or using a streamer like Spotify via Apple CarPlay?

The same question applies to those of you who still use cassettes and CDs

Do you seek your way through the AM/FM dial? Do you go to satellite radio?

Or do you prefer the sound of silence?

Sound off below.

[Image: BrAt82/Shutterstock.com]

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Tim Healey
Tim Healey

Tim Healey grew up around the auto-parts business and has always had a love for cars — his parents joke his first word was “‘Vette”. Despite this, he wanted to pursue a career in sports writing but he ended up falling semi-accidentally into the automotive-journalism industry, first at Consumer Guide Automotive and later at Web2Carz.com. He also worked as an industry analyst at Mintel Group and freelanced for About.com, CarFax, Vehix.com, High Gear Media, Torque News, FutureCar.com, Cars.com, among others, and of course Vertical Scope sites such as AutoGuide.com, Off-Road.com, and HybridCars.com. He’s an urbanite and as such, doesn’t need a daily driver, but if he had one, it would be compact, sporty, and have a manual transmission.

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5 of 56 comments
  • 28-Cars-Later 28-Cars-Later on May 16, 2024

    I have these archaic things called CDs.

  • Lorenzo Lorenzo 7 days ago

    On a long, multi-state trip, I use AM exclusively to find out what's going on in the area I'm passing through. What I've heard on AM radio has induced me to roll up my windows and lock the doors in certain areas!

  • SPPPP SPPPP 7 days ago

    I still have cars with CD players and aux ports in the dash. ("Peak tech" perhaps.) So I usually keep a few CDs in the car at a time. And if I have a long drive planned, and think to do it, I download MP3s - such as the massive audio collection on Archive.org. Check it out sometime: https://archive.org/details/audio_music?and%5B%5D=mediatype%3A%22audio%22

    • 28-Cars-Later 28-Cars-Later 7 days ago

      "I still have cars with CD players and aux ports in the dash. ("Peak tech" perhaps.) "

      Excuse me sir, you're going to have to come with us for thoughtcrimes against the State.

  • Sobro Sobro 6 days ago

    I have 2200 songs on micro SD in my phone when I'm in the mood for my ripped CD collection. If not I would just scan the FM dial. I recently added I Heart Radio app and aside from College and NPR stations, their radio station members are plentiful.

    In a new city you just search the city name and get a list of all of their local member stations with descriptions and listen via whatever device you prefer.