Traveling, but love to listen to music without paying?…

There are endless rows of terraced gardens on the island of Madeira.

Over the past week or so, we’ve been posting some products and services we’ve been using that have added to the enjoyment of our worldwide travels over the past 12 years. An integral part of that enjoyment has been listening to music, especially at the end of the day when we’re sitting outdoors on a veranda or patio.

We’d often partake in a cocktail (for Tom) and a light wine (for me), making the simple activity seem like a night in the town. Dinner will have been prepped and ready for cooking to add to the pleasant evening as it progressed and the sun disappeared on the horizon.

While we are in the US right now, without a veranda or patio and in a public location where we can’t make noise, we’ve had to forgo this pleasant pastime. Once we can be on the move again, we’ll undoubtedly begin again, hopefully next year in South Africa.

Over the past several years, we have listened to music on our phones using a Bluetooth speaker with such clarity and sound quality that it’s been astounding. Recently, we had to replace a JBL speaker that stopped working (they wear out after intended use), but we found another for only $39.99 on Amazon at this link. Following is a photo of our new speaker:

Portable Speaker, Wireless Bluetooth Speaker, IPX7 Waterproof, 25W Loud Stereo Sound, Bassboom Technology, TWS Pairing, Built-in Mic, 16H Playtime with Lights for Home Outdoor – Black

When we made the above purchase, we wondered if it would be as high quality as the JBL speaker we had, based on the price. But the quality was equally good; we couldn’t imagine it would have been better. Since Tom is hard of hearing (his hearing aid appointment is coming up on August 1), having a speaker has been necessary for listening to music, podcasts, and streaming shows using our laptop as the broadcasting device.

When we’re streaming to the TV monitor, it’s easy to increase the sound using the remote, which is suitable for his hearing ability. But if we’re streaming a show on my laptop at the table during dinner, the laptop’s sound doesn’t get high enough or clear enough to use it exclusively.

Right now, during this waiting period, we are listening to or watching something for most days and nights: streaming podcasts during the day and streaming services in the evening. Of course, when we’re feeling better, we are out several evenings each week, such as this upcoming Friday and Saturday nights when we’ll be out with family and friends.

Undoubtedly, it helps our state of mind to stay distracted with interesting morsels in podcasts, movies, and series. In between listening, I head outdoors to walk, and so far this morning, I walked for 15 minutes in one session, which was the first since my legs hadn’t been working so well.

To avoid “paying for music,” we often use YouTube, not YouTube Music, which requires a membership. Type in the name of a favorite song, and you can play it for free. Eventually, your smartphone will remember the songs you picked, and your list of favorites will be readily available—there is no need to pay. In the worst case, if your list doesn’t build automatically, you can type in your favorites and hit “save.”

Also, if you are an Amazon Prime member, as we are, we have access to 100 million songs ad-free, the largest catalog of ad-free podcasts, and thousands of playlists and stations included with Prime at no additional costs.

Of course, there are many other music streaming services, some free and some with monthly or annual fees. By searching online you can find many different options you may prefer.

If any of this is unclear to you, please don’t hesitate to ask, and we’ll post the answers to our questions here.

Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, June 27, 2014:

These unusual flowers hung from a short tree. For more photos, please click here.