How to listen to good music in a car without satalite radio or internet?

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BogleMelon
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How to listen to good music in a car without satalite radio or internet?

Post by BogleMelon »

I have a 2016 Mazda 3 that doesn't have satellite radio. To listen to some music while driving, I have to either tune to local stations, where they are full of ads and outdated music, or use something like Pandora or Spotify, where I can easily exceed the data quote on my mobile device if I am not careful. Is there another way to listen to quality music while driving without being connected?
For instance, if my phone can be connected to a satellite (GPS), why I can't use it to broadcast Siruis XM WITHOUT the need to being online? Isn't a car with a satellite radio doing basically same thing (Siruis XM through satellite but without internet)? Or may be I can?

Also I know that I can buy Siruis XM kits, but I am not comfortable with installing kits with wiring all over the place in my car.

So to summarize, I am looking for:
1- Good decent music while driving (Edit: live, not stored files of my choice!)
2- Without internet
3- No wiring
4- Subscription fees are OK
Last edited by BogleMelon on Sun Oct 11, 2020 4:07 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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jebmke
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Re: How to listen to good music in a car without satalite radio and internet?

Post by jebmke »

I use Spotify but I download my playlist to the phone while home and play from the local copy.

My car (2008) has an input jack in the console for stereo input. Yours probably does too.
Last edited by jebmke on Sun Oct 11, 2020 3:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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flyingcows
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Re: How to listen to good music in a car without satalite radio and internet?

Post by flyingcows »

With Spotify you can download podcasts and music at home/wifi and then play them later in your car.
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Re: How to listen to good music in a car without satalite radio and internet?

Post by retiredjg »

The old fashioned way? Like CDs or an ipod? Or storing music on your phone and playing it through the car speakers?
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Re: How to listen to good music in a car without satalite radio and internet?

Post by nisiprius »

???? My car can connect to my smartphone via Bluetooth audio, and I can use my music player (it happens to be "Poweramp," cost me $5 I think) to play .mp3 I've copied to my smartphone with Android File Transfer. I can also download podcasts in advance and then play them on my podcast player. Or audiobooks.

There is also an audio jack, but I prefer using Bluetooth because it at least partly couples the controls as well--I can start and stop the audio from the main console without having to look at the smartphone screen.

Oh, right. I can burn an audio CD on my computer, and there is a CD player in the car's audio system, and I've done that, too.
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Topic Author
BogleMelon
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Re: How to listen to good music in a car without satalite radio and internet?

Post by BogleMelon »

I am not much in favor to downloading method as well. I like to be surprised by various genres and singers, not just a pre-arranged playlist
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Re: How to listen to good music in a car without satalite radio and internet?

Post by mpsz »

Store the music on your phone. You didn't say what kind of phone you have. I use Apple Music, you can set the Music app to not use cellular data and then you can tell the Music app to download playlists/albums to your phone. You can do this with Apple's curated playlists too, and they will download on WiFi and stay up-to-date.

Not all satellites are the same. Sirius and GPS satellites are totally different, which is why your phone's GPS chip can't stream music.

(Why are subscription fees OK, but upgrading your phone's data plan to use the app that you want not OK?)
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Re: How to listen to good music in a car without satalite radio and internet?

Post by BogleMelon »

mpsz wrote: Sun Oct 11, 2020 3:49 pm

(Why are subscription fees OK, but upgrading your phone's data plan to use the app that you want not OK?)
I presume the subscription would be in the ~$5-$10/mo while the unlimited data is much more expensive?
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wander
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Re: How to listen to good music in a car without satalite radio and internet?

Post by wander »

Turn your phone into an mp3 player.
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Re: How to listen to good music in a car without satalite radio and internet?

Post by Nicolas »

flyingcows wrote: Sun Oct 11, 2020 3:38 pm With Spotify you can download podcasts and music at home/wifi and then play them later in your car.
The same capability exists with Apple Music which is what I subscribe to. My car is equipped for Bluetooth so I download music to my iPhone from Apple Music and then beam it to my car stereo via Bluetooth. With my old car I had to use one of those FM transmitter thingies which was a royal pain as there was so much crosstalk from radio stations, that car was born before Bluetooth.
Last edited by Nicolas on Sun Oct 11, 2020 4:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
02nz
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Re: How to listen to good music in a car without satalite radio or internet?

Post by 02nz »

Tidal has a huge selection of music and you can download for offline listening. The higher-bitrate Hifi plan is $20/mo but just $100/year from Best Buy (need to be My Best Buy member, free to join): https://www.bestbuy.com/site/tidal-hifi ... Id=6407163

The lower-bitrate Premium plan is $70/year from Best Buy.
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Re: How to listen to good music in a car without satalite radio and internet?

Post by bob60014 »

wander wrote: Sun Oct 11, 2020 4:04 pm Turn your phone into an mp3 player.
I put my entire music library on a 128 gb sd card on my phone and use Google Play music or VLC to play, toggling between a playlist, artist, genre or entire library with zero data usage.
Last edited by bob60014 on Sun Oct 11, 2020 4:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: How to listen to good music in a car without satalite radio or internet?

Post by Nicolas »

02nz wrote: Sun Oct 11, 2020 4:11 pm Tidal has a huge selection of music and you can download for offline listening. The higher-bitrate Hifi plan is $20/mo but just $100/year from Best Buy (need to be My Best Buy member, free to join): https://www.bestbuy.com/site/tidal-hifi ... Id=6407163

The lower-bitrate Premium plan is $70/year from Best Buy.
When I go to that page it quotes $119.99 a year not $100 :confused I suppose I must join to see the lower price.

And can you really tell the difference sonically between the higher bitrate and Apple/Spotify?

And what about the music selection, is it as extensive as the mainstream services? When a new album is released can I expect it to be on Tidal right away or must I wait?
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Re: How to listen to good music in a car without satalite radio or internet?

Post by sawdust60 »

You may have a USB port that will read MP3 files. It is my preferred music source.

It took some work to get the the MP3 tags/labels consistent, and the format/size of the USB drive can be problematic. I use 32gb and FAT32. When Mazda reads the USB, some of the info is stored -- If you add/delete files or edit the MP3 tags/labels on the USB drive, also rename the USB drive and the first directory so that Mazda will not attempt to use the old/stored data. Don't save MP3 files in the root directory; and the next level directory should only contain sub-directories, perhaps organized by album or artist -- keep in mind that you can play from a directory level as well as using the MP3 tags. No playlists needed.
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Re: How to listen to good music in a car without satalite radio and internet?

Post by jebmke »

BogleMelon wrote: Sun Oct 11, 2020 3:45 pm I am not much in favor to downloading method as well. I like to be surprised by various genres and singers, not just a pre-arranged playlist
Spotify has many genre playlists - some of their own making and some private ones that can be subscribed to and downloaded. You don't pick the cuts, they are essentially "surprises" the first time you play them. Some are quite long lists.
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Re: How to listen to good music in a car without satalite radio or internet?

Post by 02nz »

Nicolas wrote: Sun Oct 11, 2020 4:20 pm
02nz wrote: Sun Oct 11, 2020 4:11 pm Tidal has a huge selection of music and you can download for offline listening. The higher-bitrate Hifi plan is $20/mo but just $100/year from Best Buy (need to be My Best Buy member, free to join): https://www.bestbuy.com/site/tidal-hifi ... Id=6407163

The lower-bitrate Premium plan is $70/year from Best Buy.
When I go to that page it quotes $119.99 a year not $100 :confused I suppose I must join to see the lower price.

And can you really tell the difference sonically between the higher bitrate and Apple/Spotify?

And what about the music selection, is it as extensive as the mainstream services? When a new album is released can I expect it to be on Tidal right away or must I wait?
Yes you have to be logged in as a My Best Buy member (again, free to join) to see the lower price.

On good headphones or a good home system, yes I can tell the difference. For in-car listening or over Bluetooth headphones/speakers, the lower-bitrate "Premium" option, like Spotify and the like, is just fine. (If you pay for Tidal Hifi, you can still choose to download at a lower bitrate to save space.)

As for selection, it's at least as good as Amazon's priciest service. I can't compare with Spotify. I listen to mostly classical, and for that Tidal has almost all the recordings from major labels. I only have a small number of CDs, all from niche labels, that aren't on Tidal. And in more than one case I've listened to an album on Tidal well before release on CD!
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Re: How to listen to good music in a car without satalite radio and internet?

Post by inbox788 »

BogleMelon wrote: Sun Oct 11, 2020 3:51 pmI presume the subscription would be in the ~$5-$10/mo while the unlimited data is much more expensive?
Some plans offer unlimited free music streaming. Add on lines will likely be cheapest way to get this.
https://www.t-mobile.com/offers/free-music-streaming

$40 https://www.metrobyt-mobile.com/music-unlimited
How do I sign up for Unlimited Music Streaming?
Unlimited Music Streaming is included automatically when you enroll in our current $35, $45, and $60 Boost Mobile Unlimited with Growing Data plans. It's easy - just pick a plan and the unlimited music streaming with approved music providers starts immediately!
$35/mo - Unlimited Data / Talk / Text with 3GB High-Speed 3G/4G Data + Data-free Music
https://www.boostmobile.com/support/faq ... id16=music

Have you figured out how many hours of music you would be streaming? Music doesn't consume as much data as you'd think.
Mint mobile $15 3GB, $25 12GB, $30 "unlimited" (prepaid every 12 months).

"72MB per hour on average"
A 2GB plan will let you stream up to: 28 hours of normal-quality music
A 10GB plan will let you stream 140 hours of normal-quality music

https://www.androidcentral.com/how-much ... -media-use

You'd use even less data if you can't tell the difference with low quality, especially in a noisy car.
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Re: How to listen to good music in a car without satalite radio or internet?

Post by ballons »

BogleMelon wrote: Sun Oct 11, 2020 3:33 pm I have a 2016 Mazda 3
USB flash drive with audio files
or
3.5mm aux port and any music device with 3.5mm jack (mp3 player, tablet, etc)

https://www.mazdaoflodi.com/blog/benefi ... n-the-car/
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Re: How to listen to good music in a car without satalite radio and internet?

Post by BogleMelon »

inbox788 wrote: Sun Oct 11, 2020 6:14 pm
BogleMelon wrote: Sun Oct 11, 2020 3:51 pmI presume the subscription would be in the ~$5-$10/mo while the unlimited data is much more expensive?
Some plans offer unlimited free music streaming. Add on lines will likely be cheapest way to get this.
https://www.t-mobile.com/offers/free-music-streaming

$40 https://www.metrobyt-mobile.com/music-unlimited
How do I sign up for Unlimited Music Streaming?
Unlimited Music Streaming is included automatically when you enroll in our current $35, $45, and $60 Boost Mobile Unlimited with Growing Data plans. It's easy - just pick a plan and the unlimited music streaming with approved music providers starts immediately!
$35/mo - Unlimited Data / Talk / Text with 3GB High-Speed 3G/4G Data + Data-free Music
https://www.boostmobile.com/support/faq ... id16=music

Have you figured out how many hours of music you would be streaming? Music doesn't consume as much data as you'd think.
Mint mobile $15 3GB, $25 12GB, $30 "unlimited" (prepaid every 12 months).

"72MB per hour on average"
A 2GB plan will let you stream up to: 28 hours of normal-quality music
A 10GB plan will let you stream 140 hours of normal-quality music

https://www.androidcentral.com/how-much ... -media-use

You'd use even less data if you can't tell the difference with low quality, especially in a noisy car.
Thank you, that was informative. I am on a 5GB plan and currently no intention to change the carrier (Verizon). I will start streaming then and see if that wouldn't cause an issue. Again, thank you!!
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Re: How to listen to good music in a car without satalite radio or internet?

Post by Nicolas »

02nz wrote: Sun Oct 11, 2020 5:56 pm
Nicolas wrote: Sun Oct 11, 2020 4:20 pm
02nz wrote: Sun Oct 11, 2020 4:11 pm Tidal has a huge selection of music and you can download for offline listening. The higher-bitrate Hifi plan is $20/mo but just $100/year from Best Buy (need to be My Best Buy member, free to join): https://www.bestbuy.com/site/tidal-hifi ... Id=6407163

The lower-bitrate Premium plan is $70/year from Best Buy.
When I go to that page it quotes $119.99 a year not $100 :confused I suppose I must join to see the lower price.

And can you really tell the difference sonically between the higher bitrate and Apple/Spotify?

And what about the music selection, is it as extensive as the mainstream services? When a new album is released can I expect it to be on Tidal right away or must I wait?
Yes you have to be logged in as a My Best Buy member (again, free to join) to see the lower price.

On good headphones or a good home system, yes I can tell the difference. For in-car listening or over Bluetooth headphones/speakers, the lower-bitrate "Premium" option, like Spotify and the like, is just fine. (If you pay for Tidal Hifi, you can still choose to download at a lower bitrate to save space.)

As for selection, it's at least as good as Amazon's priciest service. I can't compare with Spotify. I listen to mostly classical, and for that Tidal has almost all the recordings from major labels. I only have a small number of CDs, all from niche labels, that aren't on Tidal. And in more than one case I've listened to an album on Tidal well before release on CD!
OK, I’ll try Tidal then! I see they have a free 30 day trial on offer too. But my Apple Music subscription runs till July so I’ll wait till then. Thanks.
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Re: How to listen to good music in a car without satalite radio or internet?

Post by dsmil »

I use an old phone as an iPod. I used an actual ipod (from about 2007) until last year when I got a new car which didn't work with it.
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Re: How to listen to good music in a car without satalite radio or internet?

Post by rooms222 »

Have you explored the HD2 and HD3 streams on your radio? It looks like Mazda started putting that capability in the 3 in 2014. In my area, most of those streams of music have very little commercials over the air.
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Re: How to listen to good music in a car without satalite radio or internet?

Post by BogleMelon »

rooms222 wrote: Mon Oct 12, 2020 12:47 pm Have you explored the HD2 and HD3 streams on your radio? It looks like Mazda started putting that capability in the 3 in 2014. In my area, most of those streams of music have very little commercials over the air.
I noticed that before, but never knew what it really means. I thought those are just extra channels using same frequencies some how.
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Re: How to listen to good music in a car without satalite radio or internet?

Post by SmileyFace »

I download large/long playlists from Spotify when at home and then play these (via Bluetooth) in the car (or when taking a walk).
I do this not only to save on 4G bandwidth - but if you hit any deadspots the music continues to play - no dependency on having a signal of any kind.
You can download a bunch of your favorite albums, make your own playlists, or pick from thousands of other playlists based upon genre.

Satellite Radio (Sirius XM) is a dated technology at this point - it's certainly not worth installing.
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Re: How to listen to good music in a car without satalite radio or internet?

Post by SmileyFace »

BogleMelon wrote: Sun Oct 11, 2020 3:33 pm live, not stored files of my choice!
I don't get this statement.
If you will be driving a total of 20 hours - what does it matter if the music is streamed "Live" to you or if you are listening to a very large playlist that you pushed a button to download before heading out for the week? It's not like a sports game whereby you need to hear it broadcast live since you don't want to hear something from the day before.
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Re: How to listen to good music in a car without satalite radio or internet?

Post by jebmke »

DaftInvestor wrote: Mon Oct 12, 2020 12:58 pm
BogleMelon wrote: Sun Oct 11, 2020 3:33 pm live, not stored files of my choice!
I don't get this statement.
If you will be driving a total of 20 hours - what does it matter if the music is streamed "Live" to you or if you are listening to a very large playlist that you pushed a button to download before heading out for the week? It's not like a sports game whereby you need to hear it broadcast live since you don't want to hear something from the day before.
Also, I believe some of the “live” Sirius stations are pre-recorded playlists.
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Re: How to listen to good music in a car without satalite radio or internet?

Post by Doom&Gloom »

DaftInvestor wrote: Mon Oct 12, 2020 12:52 pm I download large/long playlists from Spotify when at home and then play these (via Bluetooth) in the car (or when taking a walk).
I do this not only to save on 4G bandwidth - but if you hit any deadspots the music continues to play - no dependency on having a signal of any kind.
You can download a bunch of your favorite albums, make your own playlists, or pick from thousands of other playlists based upon genre.

Satellite Radio (Sirius XM) is a dated technology at this point - it's certainly not worth installing.
+1

I do the same with my Spotify playlists as well as having rips of my entire CD collection on a high-capacity USB stick in my car. I can change sources with the press of a button. It is hard for me to imagine getting into my car without being able to listen to exactly the music that I want to hear.

DW has Sirius XM in her car which is a change of pace, but it is a reminder that I would never bother with Sirius (actually it was XM Radio in my case) again.
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Re: How to listen to good music in a car without satalite radio or internet?

Post by armeliusc »

You can buy a stand-alone satellite radio receiver/player. It will only need to be plugged into the "Aux In" of your car built-in audio, so you don't need to redo any original wiring. This is similar with how you would plug in your smartphone into your car audio system without bluetooth. Here's an example:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00I59XQKO/ref=emc_b_5_t?th=1
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Re: How to listen to good music in a car without satalite radio or internet?

Post by valleyrock »

You could send Spotify from your phone to your car tape player by either plugging your phone into the player with hardware, or by using a bluetooth receiver.

There are hard-wire earphone male plugs with a cassette on the other that a tape player can read. And there bluetooth receivers that work the same way (they receive your bluetooth signal from your phone and have a cassette that plugs into the tape player).

Or plug directly from the phone into an audio input plug.

For good advice on many such things, look at Crutchfield.

If you are close to exceeding your data plan, check other plans for you cell provider or other cell providers... some of them have unlimited radio even with a data cap!
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Re: How to listen to good music in a car without satalite radio or internet?

Post by HawkeyePierce »

Unlimited Spotify and Netflix streaming on T-Mobile is pretty great. Both Spotify in the car and Netflix when you're stuck in a hotel with spotty wifi and want something to watch.
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Re: How to listen to good music in a car without satalite radio or internet?

Post by atikovi »

BogleMelon wrote: Sun Oct 11, 2020 3:33 pm So to summarize, I am looking for:
1- Good decent music while driving (Edit: live, not stored files of my choice!)
2- Without internet
3- No wiring
4- Subscription fees are OK
I rarely listen to music but do know there is a scan button on the radio that lets you sample the current tuned station, and if you don't like it, goes on to the next. After a few cycles you're bound to find something decent.
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Re: How to listen to good music in a car without satalite radio or internet?

Post by quantAndHold »

If you don’t mind paying, go to a car stereo place and have a car stereo that can do SiriusXM installed.
Yes, I’m really that pedantic.
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