Sam Bauman: More music for your ears



There’s music in the air of Carson City. We’ve dozens of FM stations playing any kind of music (and talk) that a Carson senior cold pine for, from hard rock to country and western along with what 88.7FM brings out as our PBS system service. We’ve even got a Rockin’ Rev who keeps trying to convert us to his sounds.

But for seniors who have tired of their favorite broadcasters, there’s plenty of good sounds out there. It’s streaming music service. I subscribed to Pandora years ago and enjoyed it until I moved on to other sounds.

There are at least six streaming services and I’ll touch on them. Some are free, some are free when you accept their ads, some charge a fee after months tryout. Here’s a brief rundown:

APPLE MUSIC: Free three-month trial, then $10 a month. Good for music on the run or outdoors with 30 million songs, available on IOS and Android services. Good choice for travelers as it lets users download songs for places where WiFi isn’t available. Offers exclusive content from artists like Taylor Swift, beats Apple Radio.

SLACKER: Free for a month, $4 or $8 a month. Let’s users and easy to use interface let’s you create tailor-made stations of your favorite music. Offers curated and on demand music. Pricer plan grants users offline listening and personal playlists.

SPOTIFY: Free with ads or $10 a month ad-free. Versatile service with a large catalog of titles. Great place for favorite artists and enjoy live exclusive live sessions. Better sound quality with paid plan.

TIDAL: Free one-week trial, $10 a month, $20 a month. Quality sound and offline listening. CD quality sound, works well with multiform speaker models.

PRIME MUSIC: Free to Amazon Prime members, $99 a year. It’s included with a Prime subscription. About a million songs in its catalog, thinner section of music and audio books than competition.

PANDORA: Free with ads, $5 a month free. My old service. Tell Pandora the artist you want and it will add similar artists. I’ll stick with Pandora. Miles Davis brought a bevy of similar jazz people.

You can take these streamers outside with your iPhone and use the Bose SoundLink wireless speaker, $130.

TV Watching a problem?

TV is pretty much standard in most American homes. But what effect does it have on you? A recent study found that for every two-hour daily increases the risk of death over 14 percent, the 14-year study found. The study looked at reports from 200,000 Americans in good health ages 50 to 71.

While overall health suffered it was increases in deaths from several diseases such as diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, liver or lung diseases, flu, pneumonia, heart disease and to a lesser degree cancer.

Researchers also divided the study group so that half got more than four hours of activity and a group that got less activity. When the two groups were compared the inactive group fared worse than the active ones. However, the active group didn’t the negative effects of TV. The study needed more work, but the researchers suggest that if you watch TV (and most Americans do, some on computers). If you do watch TV they suggest that you get up and walk around or perhaps walk on a treadmill or chores or ride a fixed bike.

It’s hard to imagine getting up during a NFL football game, but it appears that we can learn something about watching the tube.

I personally watch TV for the news and the science on PBS (channel 5 here) but I keep the remote in hand to cut the sound.

I don’t think advertisers would be happy with this kind of advice, but maybe they could change things.

Sleep, sleep

I may have mentioned that I have problems sleeping past 5:30 a.m. My doctor asked about my bedroom and warned that morning sunlight was wakening my brain and suggested I darken my bedroom.

Today with help of handyman David Rittenhouse we installed “blackout” curtains. I’ll let you know if they will help. Light in color, they look good and hang well. I’ll keep you posted.


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