LISTENING TO MUSIC IN 2013: How HERC Listens To Music In The Car


Today - right now! - is the greatest time in history to be a music fan.  (Until tomorrow when it will be even better!)
In 2013 it is easier than ever to listen to the music you want, where you want, when you want - even if you don't lug around tons of gear, as in the picture above.  In this second installment of the LISTENING TO MUSIC IN 2013 series, HERC tells us how he listens to music.  In particular, how he listens to music while driving.

The Blueberry, with its Fender-branded system and multiple digital playback options makes listening to music while driving FUN. Among the most used of those playback options is the Bluetooth connectability which automatically finds HERC's Touch or iPhone and allows the music to stream from the device wirelessly to the car.  Most of the time HERC listens to the offline Spotify playlists he's cached; the crossfade or gapless playback options make for a an uninterrupted music listening experience, fully controlled by the convenient buttons on the steering wheel. (Strangely, connecting via VW's MDI iPod cable offers the same sound with audible glitches at the beginning of a crossfade and absolutely no control.)
Most of HERC's friends, family and known associates use the built-in Music app on their iOS devices for listening to tunes, which is fine and dandy but HERC wanted more from his music player. After auditioning many alternatives, HERC now exclusively uses the CarTunes app when listening to the lossless files on his iOS devices when in the car.
Although he chose the app primarily for the easy, gesture-based navigation and smooth operation, HERC really likes the way CarTunes looks (that's the Now Playing screen in Portrait view, above) even though the devices spend most of their time out of sight in the Blueberry.  Among the many pieces of eyecandy the app offers are the cover art color-matching progress bar as well as artist/album info and easy to read, customizable font. In the screencap below, the color-matching plays off of Chrissie Hynde's red leather jacket.  Note how the artwork is subtly reflected behind the track info as well.

Despite the name, CarTunes can be used to listen to music anywhere.  And the app is available for Android devices, too. HERC did spend $5 for this app, though, which he probably wouldn't have if he hadn't hit the iTunes Gift Card jackpot last Christmas.

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