When you’re planning to go on a long road trip, you now have the option of abandoning terrestrial radio for satellite radio stations to keep music neutral for the party. But that’s not the only option available. You can download Spotify lists and other streaming services to a device for playback. And in many cases, you can load MP3 files directly into the onboard memory of the entertainment system via USB thumb drives.
The space available for your playlist can be a blessing or a curse when planning music for a long playlist. Remember that your local library has a rich vault of music CDs you can check out to help build your playlist. If this is the very first time you're hearing of a particular band, remember that you can research them on YouTube to discover what the most relevant tracks are. Here are some tips for making your music selection something everyone can enjoy:
- Pick crowd-pleasers. You might be a real superfan of an obscure Springsteen track, but the chances are meager that an obscure song will be as big a hit with your passengers. So look for the music “party music” whenever possible. It brings a smile to everyone’s face, keeps things lively and upbeat, and doesn’t leave people feeling left out.
- Know your audience. Whoever’s coming with you needs to enjoy the music, too, for it to be an excellent playlist. If you have a daughter into Tame Impala and all you want to play is U2, there’s likely going to be an unhappy daughter for many, many miles. A quick YouTube search on Tame Impala indicates some of their most commonly searched tracks: Is It True, The Less I Know The Better, Yes I’m Changing, and Breathe Deeper.
- Blend the music. Look to crossovers as helpful ways of making sure the whole car gets a little love on the trip. Also, look for covers of songs you like by artists your passengers like, and vice-versa. It’s an excellent way to compromise on the music we most like.
- Put it to a vote. Have your passengers email you with some of their favorite artists and put it all together.
With just a modicum of planning, you can make a long trip so much more enjoyable for the entire crew. And it can help open up your musical horizons, too. We hope you’ll try it out before the next long road trip you have!