I probably own hundreds of CDs, but I rarely use them anymore. I’ve long-since uploaded most of my music to the computer. I purchase most of my music digitally, because that’s how I listen to it. In fact, my current laptop, a Mac Air, doesn’t even have a CD drive. I still purchase physical copies of albums by my favorite musicians, but otherwise I just download.
We store our music in a central location, so we always know where it is and can back it up easily. It also makes it easy for us both to access anything we wish. Bear in mind here that I am married to a software engineer who enjoys finding the best ways to store and maintain such things. I’m no expert, but I’ve got one on my team. 😉
That’s our permanent storage, but I typically access my music through one of two cloud drives: Amazon (where I purchase most of my music) and Google Play. Amazon mp3 is the smartphone and tablet app, and Amazon Cloud Drive lets you access through your browser.
Amazon now gives you an automatic mp3 version of many albums when you purchase the CD version. Just look for the “Auto Rip” mark on the album cover photo.
Google Play is another cloud drive with a large storage capacity. I particularly like this one because it is easy to create playlists. For example, when I was pregnant with Noah I used Google Play to create the playlists I used during my labor. It was fantastic, because all we needed to access the music was one of our cell phones or a tablet, and Wi-Fi. This year I intend to curate playlists of Christmas music for various settings or moods.
We have several hardware options for listening. Of course, we can always use our computers, but I typically don’t. Our televisions are networked, so we are able to access our music library through our televisions. My preferred listening method, though, is through our iPad docking station. We typically use it as a dock for my iPad, but it is also bluetooth-enabled, which means we can stream through the speakers with our computers or cell phones, as well.
I love this docking station, which can run off battery, so we can also take it outside when we are spending the evening on the deck.
In the car I sometimes use CDs, but mostly listen to Google Play or Amazon mp3 using my phone and this bluetooth adapter.
My car isn’t new enough to remotely connect to my phone on its own, so I have an adapter for that purpose. I love this one (it also allows for hands-free phone conversations).
We’ve decided Aria is at a point where it would be beneficial for her to have music in her room sometimes when she is going to sleep. We intend to set her up with an mp3 player and a small speaker. We purchased one of these cute little speakers for each of the kids.