How To Play Your Music While On The Roadby Jake Tully - Published: 10/25/2016
If there’s one thing that most drivers can’t imagine living without, it would be the ability to listen to music while on the road.
For the majority of truckers on the road, music is an essential part of their driving routine, providing a soundtrack as they traverse across the country or simply acting as a companion to accompany an otherwise lonesome trek.
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Drivers over the years have seen an enormous shift in the available formats in which they can listen to music, from 8-track tapes to cassettes to the compact disc, all to way to a digital library of music.
With the advancements of in-cab technology, drivers can wirelessly and effortlessly stream music through their sound systems without facing the hassle of changing discs or dealing with tapes. Still, despite digital advancements, many of those in the driver’s seat are still facing a great deal of choices along the musical divide.
Streaming Music – Pandora
Though it seems to have been edged out by other streaming services, Pandora is an excellent choice for providing music in your truck. Pandora allows user to choose a favorite genre of music, a beloved artist or a song that exemplifies their music tastes. Using an algorithm, Pandora will then generate music that it thinks the listener will enjoy.
If you provide Pandora with “Johnny Cash,” for example, the app will create a radio station based on music that it thinks you might like, as well as music that others who chose “Johnny Cash” have expressed that they enjoy as well. If you dislike a song played on the station, it’s as simple as pressing the “thumbs down” and letting it know to play some different tunes.
Streaming Music – Spotify and Tidal
While Spotify and its largest competitor, Tidal may seem like a young person’s game, one should not be fooled by either app’s sleek appearance. Both Spotify and Tidal allow the user to choose whatever song is available in the library, and even gives the opportunity to create a playlist, much like making a mixtape or Mix-CD. Though Tidal often gets branded as the hip-hop music app, there are a wealth of country-related artists in its library, with frequent releases and updates in what is available.
These apps are preferred alternatives to Pandora because they do not require any attention in modifying playlists outside of listening to the music itself. It’s as simple as pressing play and hitting the road. Still, should a driver have a co-pilot along with them, the option to change music is also equally as simple, as the interface of both are similar to an iTunes library
Stick With What You Know – the iPod
Though Apple has slowed down its marketing and production of iPods altogether in order to make room for more phones and smart watches, there are still generations of iPods for users that feel more comfortable loading music onto a device and taking it with them. Major retailers are still selling the latest generation of iPods for incredible deals. Most of all, iPods provide a great deal of reliability as a basic function- no Wi-Fi or data required to play songs you’ve already uploaded and made playlists out of.
Don’t Be Ashamed of Older Formats
Many folks will still prefer buying physical copies of albums and playing CDs in their stereo systems. There’s something about the inherent simplicity of just putting a disc in and going on your way without worrying about any external devices and their potential pitfalls.
For those used to listening to music in this way – embrace it! As long as you feel comfortable playing music this way and have the means to do so, keep on truckin’ with your favorite albums. There is something special and satisfying about owning music in a physical format in our day and age, and for true music lovers, nothing can quite replace that feeling of holding an album.
Whatever your preferred way of listening to the music you love might be, try out a few of the classic road songs for size and see how it feels behind the wheel with some legendary tunes:
Truckin’- Grateful Dead
King Of The Road - Roger Miller
East Bound & Down– Jerry Reed
White Line Fever– Merle Haggard
On The Road Again– Willie Nelson
I’ve Been Everywhere– Johnny Cash
Survey time! Simply tell us in the comments below some of your top favorite road songs and feel free to add a little personal note about why. C'mon it'll be fun!