How do you listen?


Jan 11, 2006
How do you typically listen to a new album, and how do you generally listen to music?

For a new album, do you tend to do a close headphones listen, do you have a great home system and turn off the phone and all other distractions and listen? Do you just rip it to itunesa nd put it on your iphone/ipod?

For general music, are you usually in the car? Do you use a losless format? Are you typically listening to mps3s? Streaming web radio at work? Pandora?


My answers:

New album -- I typically just listen to it on the computer at home, with headphones, while often doing something else. I want to be able to devote just an hour to listening to a new album with no other distractions. I usually then listen to it while driving a bunch, as while the sound is shit (though better in my new car than my other car), I can listen with more focus.

General music -- Lately, I'd say a lot of my listening is either through itunes, headphones on computer at home, or at work through the iphone. I also use Pandora a bit while driving, but a lot of my driving time is devoted to podcasts, as this is one of the few times I find the ability to focus well enough on podcasts to make them worthwhile.


Long term goal is for more of my listening to be in a focused environment. But as some albums are just more enjoyable, or are generally just valuable, while doing something, chilling out, driving, on while cleaning, or whatever I'll still listen to music doing all these things. Just I think I should give any new album a concentrated listen.
New albums I usually listen to straight through in my car a few time, if it is one I have been looking forward to for a long time I like to listen to it with headphones and read the liner notes and lyrics. After that it all gets burned to my computer and goes on random.
70% of my listening is on a stereo in my apt, which is basically distraction-free. One of the first two listens for any album is a focused listen w/ lyric sheet.
20% is at work.
10% is in the car. The car is the second-most-distraction free in the sense that I'm just driving and listening (if I'm not with another person).

Once I've heard an album a few times, I get "idle hands", and need to do something while listening. Usually I play on a drum pad. I use a quiet one so the music is still louder than it.

But 75% of the time I listen to anything, I listen to a complete album, start to finish. I'm a little neurotic about that. If I listen to half of an album, it stays on my mind until I've listened to the other half, to complete the full listen. It's very rare that I pop in an album to hear just a particular song.
I listen to music as much as I can.

New albums usually get played through at least a few times via Zune from CDs ripped to mp3 at 320, or whatever quality WMAs I get on my Zune Pass. Besides new albums I traditionally listen to older albums straight through as well. Though lately I have been on a kick of setting it on random, which started with randomizing the PPXI and then PPXII bands.

My Zune is used typically in the car (30 minutes each of 4 work days per week, 90 minutes one work day per week) or while working out (40 minutes, 3 days per week, tempted to get a waterproof rig for the additional 20 minutes I'm swimming laps) or something like mowing the lawn.

When I'm at home if I'm just sitting in front of the TV but not watching something I need to pay much attention to, or doing chores, or just playing with the baby on the floor, I'll usually have music on. Be that a particular album or random on the Zune software on my laptop, on my Xbox, or lately I've had Epic Rock Radio on pretty much every waking hour (heck, sometimes the baby and I fall asleep to it) at home and at work.
When I first get a new CD, I put it to my computer and listen to it at home, at work, or on my MP3 player at the gym a couple times and then I return to listening to my music collection as a whole.

I do not consider that I have really 'listened' to it at this point as the music tends to fall to the background at these times as I am doing something else.

I put the CD onto a shelf in purchase order (currently have 50-60 on that shelf). When the CD gets to the front (usually 1 to 1.5 years later), it goes into my truck (where I have a really good system). It is here that I truly absorb the music and get into it. I have a six CD changer. I listen to the CD (in the rotation) until I get bored with it. That can be as quick as the first listen (I did not realize what I stinker I had until it got to my truck) to my current longest player - Into Eternity - The Incurable Tragedy which has been in rotation since April 2010 (I bought it a couple years ago but it happen to end up in my truck rotation the same week my father died of cancer - anyone familiar with the album will understand its longevity considering my father - and it is a really good album).

After that, it goes in my CD collection. I listen to all my albums in that collection in no particular order (at home) or by artist (at work).
I don't get a lot of time to concentrate on a new disc, the only real exception being at the gym. I have music going at work quite a bit but it's at a very low level. I also have an iPod (my old iPhone 3) in the car as a dedicated car music player, but home, work, the store and my kids daycare are so close to each other that I rarely have time in the car for more than a song or two.
I play it all in my car. I have a 6 CD changer and a 40 minute drive to work. Ample time to listen to music. I can't just sit down and listen to music and do nothing else. Needless to say, if I really like an album, it's memorized within a week.
Upload it to iTunes, put it on one of my iPods. Then I will either listen to the cd in my car or the iPod at work.
Almost all my listening is in the car. I can crank it up to max volume and the wife doesn't complain cuz she ain't there! :lol:

If it's a first listen and I have the CD, I'll listen to the CD. Otherwise it's a high bitrate MP3 on the iPod. Sad part is that my car is a 2002 model and doesn't have an AUX or iPod connection so it goes through one of those FM transmitters. The sound quality ain't too great but it's better than the alternative - burning a shitload of CDs, which is what I used to do before I bought an iPod (5th generation with upgraded hard drive)

Sometimes I do listen to it on the computer (usually high bitrate MP3) but once in a blue moon (and when the wife isn't home) I'll throw the CD in the CD player (5 CD carousel circa 1991) and crank it up. But that's rare these days :(
Most of the listening I do is on the computer with 5.1 surround sound (subwoofer etc). The remaining listens is in my car, or when I am working out. I am constantly getting new music so I am always listening while I am working on the computer, or lifting.

Since I am always getting new music in advance (sometimes months in advance) its mostly in mp3 format (legally).

I wind up buying the CD's to support the bands, and almost never even wind up opening the CD, and it stays sealed.
This honestly varies on release and cycle of listening.

New CD: Usually, I rip into iTunes and the iPod initially. From there, either I will listen to it on the computer while doing other things (I have issues in terms of ONLY listening to a disc) or I will listen to it in the car. Depending on the release (as well as how many other new discs I have) depends on the amount of times of play initially. However, there are exceptions where after ripping the disc I will listen to it on my cd player with headphones. These, however, are highly anticipated and/or music you really have to pay attention to, i.e. certain concept albums.

As far as general music, essentially it's the same. Usually I play it either on the computer or while driving...with a rare exception of listening it on the cd player with headphones. I also will listen to some music while working out (though I haven't done this in a while, sadly) on my 5-disc cd changer.
Generally when I get a new CD the first thing I do is rip it (256 or better, depends on if I'm ripping at home or at work). If I'm at work it's straight to headphones while I work. If it's at home, I'll try to listen through it, but I don't normally have time. If it's something really interesting, I'll take the disk into my car and listen on the way to work, and then copy it to my work drive to listen there.

Since I'm at work for 9ish hours every day, I tend to listen to stuff on my crappy speakers there, or let my officemate pick the day's music and listen to what he's playing on his considerably better speakers. We tend to listen to whole albums, but sometimes we'll do random hodgepodges. That's where most of my listening happens. My car sounds really nice though, so whenever I'm in it I'm listening to the album of choice cranked up pretty loud. The other time I do my general listening is when I'm gaming. If it's on my 360 then I do whole albums, but if it's on PC I've been gravitating towards Winamp random lately (I'll queue up full albums if the fancy takes me, though).
I'll listen to a new cd once in my car. Then I keep my 20 newest albums on shuffle on my computer and my mp3 player. At work, I listen to my cds straight through alphabetically by band and chronologically by release. I am not in the least bit OCD, I swear. :err:
I usually get the leaked promos... I always try before I buy... I can't stand not getting a good idea of the album before buying it. If I'm going to just get a preview of it (if I'm not that interested in the group for instance) then it'll be on the computer. If I'm interested in it, it'll usually get thrown onto the mp3 player and I'll listen to most of the album on my way to class or when I'm out on the trails while doing my miles.

New cd from a retail always goes in to my cd player in the car. If I ordered it than most likely I'll be putting it on the computer immediately.

As I've deleted my 150gb collection and gone retail only, well 99.5% anyway, I now just rely on podcasts and radio station plugin for Foobar2000...without podcasts my 40 min car ride to class would be come dull as I've already listened to my entire collection like... 20x now at least?
A vast majority of my listening is at home on my home stereo system. This is on a stereo system that costs more than most people's brand-new cars. I typically listen to the CD itself on my Denon 5-cd changer. If it is an MP3 download, such as from eMusic, it typically gets uploaded right into my Elan Via!DJ music server and I listen to it there, in addition to getting synched to my iPod. Depending on what it is that I am listening to, I may actually sit and just listen to it, otherwise, I may be on a laptop and surfing the net as well (such as this forum).

If the weather is nice, I may be out on my back deck listening to it through the outdoor sound system.

At work, I got a nice little Tivoli Audio setup, with an iPod dock as well as a CD player. I typically listen to complete albums.

Sometimes, during lunch such as the Buffalo Wild Wings, which has free WiFi (like right now - listening to Ark - Burn The Sun), I may take my laptop and listen through my Klipsch headphones (especially since the "house music" typically sucks, i.e., Top-40 pop crap).

Also, I also listen to quite a bit while working out at the gym on a Creative Zen MP3 player through a nice set of Klipsch headphones as well.

I used to do quite a bit of listening in the car, especially when I had a 45 minute commute, plus I also have a very nice system in the car as well. However, over the past couple of years my commute has gotten much shorter. First, I only had about a 20 minute commute, and now my commute is about a mile. As a result, I can barely even get to listen to a single track.