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Tech: help friend hear classical music

GUEST,leeneia 03 Apr 12 - 02:35 PM
Jack Campin 03 Apr 12 - 02:39 PM
GUEST,leeneia 03 Apr 12 - 02:57 PM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 03 Apr 12 - 03:25 PM
Bettynh 03 Apr 12 - 03:59 PM
Jack Campin 03 Apr 12 - 04:01 PM
peregrina 03 Apr 12 - 04:12 PM
AllisonA(Animaterra) 03 Apr 12 - 05:06 PM
GUEST,leeneia 03 Apr 12 - 05:11 PM
GUEST,leeneia 03 Apr 12 - 05:17 PM
Jack Campin 03 Apr 12 - 06:03 PM
Bettynh 03 Apr 12 - 07:12 PM
katlaughing 03 Apr 12 - 11:57 PM
GUEST 04 Apr 12 - 12:16 AM
SteveMansfield 04 Apr 12 - 04:47 AM
Jack Campin 04 Apr 12 - 05:57 AM
Nick 04 Apr 12 - 07:56 AM
SteveMansfield 04 Apr 12 - 08:29 AM
SteveMansfield 04 Apr 12 - 08:33 AM
GUEST,leeneia 04 Apr 12 - 09:14 AM
SteveMansfield 04 Apr 12 - 09:26 AM
GUEST,leeneia 04 Apr 12 - 11:51 AM
open mike 04 Apr 12 - 12:53 PM
open mike 04 Apr 12 - 01:15 PM
open mike 04 Apr 12 - 01:21 PM
mrdux 05 Apr 12 - 12:47 AM
Bev and Jerry 05 Apr 12 - 02:15 AM
GUEST,leeneia 05 Apr 12 - 10:27 AM
open mike 08 Apr 12 - 01:35 PM
Bettynh 15 Apr 12 - 12:57 PM
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Subject: Tech: help friend hear classical music
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 03 Apr 12 - 02:35 PM

There's a member of my church (Shep) who has Parkinson's disease and is in a nursing home. One of his few joys is listening to classical music. But now our town's classical music station went out of business. There are a couple of public radio stations around, but they tend to talk, talk, talk. Also reception seems to be bad.

He has virtually no money.

When it comes to media, I am very out of touch. Heck I still play vinyl and cassettes.

Can we get a used laptop or something and set it up to play classical music for Shep? What exactly would we do?

I don't think he could handle an ipod. Too many tiny, finicky movements.


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Subject: RE: Tech: help friend hear classical music
From: Jack Campin
Date: 03 Apr 12 - 02:39 PM

An MP3 CD player? They can hold a lot of music in a small package (like both books of Bach's Well Tempered Clavier on one CD). They only cost a few pounds from charity shops here.


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Subject: RE: Tech: help friend hear classical music
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 03 Apr 12 - 02:57 PM

I'm hoping for something that we could set up, and he could just turn it On or Off. I have a friend who could wire in a big, easy-to-use inline switch.

I know there are Internet radio stations...


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Subject: RE: Tech: help friend hear classical music
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 03 Apr 12 - 03:25 PM

YouTube is a great resource for concert footage as well as recordings; I seem to find most things on there & you can set up playlists that would last all day if need be...


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Subject: RE: Tech: help friend hear classical music
From: Bettynh
Date: 03 Apr 12 - 03:59 PM

A laptop might be cheap enough, but connection to the net wouldn't be if he's living away from a hotspot (Do nursing homes have networks yet??) If he can't connect, I'd opt for an old portable CD player (if it can play mp3s, so much the better). CDs can be color coded; once they're in place you only have to push play to get hours of music.


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Subject: RE: Tech: help friend hear classical music
From: Jack Campin
Date: 03 Apr 12 - 04:01 PM

The sound quality of YouTube is pretty awful and if Shep is used to CD quality he won't like it much.

It is possible to set up a virtual internet radio station (though I don't have any experience in doing it). Maybe one could be set up that his friends could feed or link his favourites into?

I think an iPod would be easier for someone with limited motor control to operate than a laptop. Also much cheaper.


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Subject: RE: Tech: help friend hear classical music
From: peregrina
Date: 03 Apr 12 - 04:12 PM

An iPod or other mp3 player can be set up in a speaker gizmo and controlled with a handheld device like a tv or stereo. If your friend has Parkinson's problems, a decent handheld external control is probably a good option. And then you can load up the mp3 player with his preferred tracks, even from his or your cd collection.


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Subject: RE: Tech: help friend hear classical music
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)
Date: 03 Apr 12 - 05:06 PM

I have a bunch of cds I would be happy to share, if that's the route you want to take. Email me at animaterra321 AT gmail.com and I'll send some to you!


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Subject: RE: Tech: help friend hear classical music
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 03 Apr 12 - 05:11 PM

I'll find out about wireless at the nursing home.

I'll be back.


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Subject: RE: Tech: help friend hear classical music
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 03 Apr 12 - 05:17 PM

Wait a minute. I was thinking that if we got him a used computer and if the nursing home had wireless, then he could just use Internet Explorer to tap into the Internet all around him.

Would he still have to pay a monthly fee to an ISP to listen to Internet radio?


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Subject: RE: Tech: help friend hear classical music
From: Jack Campin
Date: 03 Apr 12 - 06:03 PM

If the nursing home has wireless, the ISP's connection will be paid for.

But operating Internet Explorer (or even some friendlier browser like Opera) on a laptop will be impossible if an iPod is difficult.

There are special-purpose internet radio applications which are a lot easier to use than browsers. VLC runs on most types of computer and might be worth a try. But sound quality will not be anywhere near CD standard, for either a browser or a radio application.

Giving him a very large hard disk filled with lossless CD images and with VLC or some other music-file-playing application to play them might be the most reliable solution - no physical disk-swapping and the only thing he'd need to move would be a mouse or trackpad. But while it would be the same music as he's used to and at similar quality, he'd have to be mentally ready to adopt a different way of controlling it.


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Subject: RE: Tech: help friend hear classical music
From: Bettynh
Date: 03 Apr 12 - 07:12 PM

If he's used to radio and the nursing home has wireless connection, a computer tuned to an internet station would probably be closest to what he's used to. You could just leave the radio station selected and rig a simple on/off for the speakers. There's some comfort in the narration between music even on classical stations, and he may be happier letting them select the music. You wouldn't even necessarily need a laptop. Someone at the church may have an outdated desktop computer that's outdated but is still capable of connecting. It can live under the bed, with only the on/off switch visible.


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Subject: RE: Tech: help friend hear classical music
From: katlaughing
Date: 03 Apr 12 - 11:57 PM

A specific for internet radio might be a good way to go. I love www.pandora.com radio as you can create several different genres of personal stations and listen to them indefinitely. You just put in an artist's name, composition name, or style and it loads up all similar plus usually what you've asked. The only thing is if you don't move the mouse once in awhile, it will stop and a box will pop up asking if you're still listening so the whole thing doesn't get gummed up by too many users not listening. There are several devices for at-home reception of Pandora Radio and others listed on THIS PAGE.


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Subject: RE: Tech: help friend hear classical music
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Apr 12 - 12:16 AM

We live in radio hell so we purchased an internet radio. This is a computer which connects to the internet via a wireless network but it looks like a radio.
Here is a picture of the one we have. It gets any radio station that has a live feed on the internet - more than 15,000 of them. You can search by genre, location and some other ways. We're certain there are many stations which broadcast classical music 24/7 with a minimum of chatter.

Ours has worked pretty well for about a year and a half. We had to replace a circuit board one time and it often has trouble connecting to the network when you first turn it on but unplugging it and plugging it back in fixes the problem.

Bev and Jerry


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Subject: RE: Tech: help friend hear classical music
From: SteveMansfield
Date: 04 Apr 12 - 04:47 AM

As I was reading through the thread I was thinking 'Internet radio', and then the post above has already suggested that very thing.

Where we live FM is flaky, medium wave pretty much unlistenable, and DAB just won't even contemplate connecting, so we got an Internet radio about 18 months ago and love it. Here's the one I got, other models are available. You can preset up to 10 stations and you've got access to thousands of radio stations worldwide so you could preset BBC Radio 3 and the UK Classic FM (and I've got KNBR680 San Francisco as one of our presets so I can sit in Derbyshire and get live radio commentary on 49ers games).

The only drawbacks are (a) if your wireless connection goes down you're stuffed and (b) don't use it for time checks, because the broadcast is about 30 - 45 seconds behind 'live'. Other than that it's great, thoroughly recommended and no harder to use than any other radio.


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Subject: RE: Tech: help friend hear classical music
From: Jack Campin
Date: 04 Apr 12 - 05:57 AM

Anybody used to classical music would want something better than that - their speakers are like something out of a ghetto-blaster and they don't have the power to drive anything bigger (hence the absence of standard hi-fi speaker connectors). The radio signal will be much higher quality than what those devices can reproduce. (Maybe they could feed into a standard hi-fi Shep already has?)

Also you might find classical music using FLAC and OGG formats, which neither of those supports.

The DMTECH seems to require a Windows-based host computer and the CC seems not to, but they aren't very clear about that.


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Subject: RE: Tech: help friend hear classical music
From: Nick
Date: 04 Apr 12 - 07:56 AM

Spotify is in the US and has a huge range of Classical music and is intuitive enough that he could ask to listen to pretty much what he wanted. If he was listening for many hours a month then there is a fee.


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Subject: RE: Tech: help friend hear classical music
From: SteveMansfield
Date: 04 Apr 12 - 08:29 AM

The DMTECH seems to require a Windows-based host computer and the CC seems not to, but they aren't very clear about that.

Just to clarify on that point I've no idea what the 'Recommended Operating System' bit on the page I linked to is going on about! The DMTECH is completely standalone and all of the initial setup and configuration is done through the device front panel - you don't ever need to connect it to any other device or computer. AFAIKT the device is running some kind of linux-based OS, but it's completely front-ended through the buttons and rotary knob on the front panel. Which is a PITA in the initial setup when you're dialling in a SSID and complex password character by character, but that's a one-off setup thing and after that operation is dead straightforward.

As for hi-fi quality, I don't see anything in my post to suggest that it is, but then again neither do I see anything in the original post to suggest that was what was required (seeing as how the original idea was to use a laptop to play MP3s). Hence my statement that other models are available, perhaps I should have phrased that 'other devices are available', a slip of the fingers for which I can only most 'umbly hapologise.


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Subject: RE: Tech: help friend hear classical music
From: SteveMansfield
Date: 04 Apr 12 - 08:33 AM

you don't ever need to connect it to any other device or computer.

Other than to the Internet via wifi, obviously, before any other MudPedant points that out.


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Subject: RE: Tech: help friend hear classical music
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 04 Apr 12 - 09:14 AM

This is most interesting. I had no idea what-all is going on. 15,000 radio stations, just imagine!

So, if I want to go the Internet route, I should:

1. See if the nursing home has wireless

2. Buy an Internet radio

3. Set it up on Spotify or Pandora and make sure he can operate it.

Does that look like a good course of action, or am I forgetting something?


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Subject: RE: Tech: help friend hear classical music
From: SteveMansfield
Date: 04 Apr 12 - 09:26 AM

Nearly, but point 3 is handled by the Internet radio itself.

By which I mean you don't buy an Internet radio and then have to go through the process of linking it to a Spotify or Pandora or whatever account. You buy an Internet radio, and the Internet radio looks after presenting you with the list of available stations and connecting you to them. There's all sorts of account and protocol stuff going on under the covers, but that's transparent to you as the end user.

Apart from that I'd agree with your three step plan (which falls in a heap if step 1 comes back negative of course!)


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Subject: RE: Tech: help friend hear classical music
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 04 Apr 12 - 11:51 AM

Thanks, Steve. Now I'll start on Step 1.


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Subject: RE: Tech: help friend hear classical music
From: open mike
Date: 04 Apr 12 - 12:53 PM

how about satellite radio? XM or Sirius....
some boom boxes are capable of receiving these stations...
i guess there is a fee..
http://www.siriusxm.com/

it looks like they have merged..(.mangled, tangled, mingled, tingled..)


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Subject: RE: Tech: help friend hear classical music
From: open mike
Date: 04 Apr 12 - 01:15 PM

there also are audio channels on the satelite t.v. services..
Direct t.v. has "sonic":or "sonic tap" it is a service of DMX.

is it possible that the facility subscribes to DTV or Dish network?
Dish has SiriusXM

that way if he has a room t.v. he could tune in...and if he had a set of external speakers to improve the sound....it might work out!


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Subject: RE: Tech: help friend hear classical music
From: open mike
Date: 04 Apr 12 - 01:21 PM

also PBS sometimes televises concerts...and he could see the orchestra in action...


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Subject: RE: Tech: help friend hear classical music
From: mrdux
Date: 05 Apr 12 - 12:47 AM

if you can get him connected to the internet, Classical Live Online Radio links to 160 broadcast radio stations around the world that stream their audio online.


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Subject: RE: Tech: help friend hear classical music
From: Bev and Jerry
Date: 05 Apr 12 - 02:15 AM

If you want hi-fi, there are internet radios that feed into a stereo system and you can get as good a sound as you can afford.

Bev and Jerry


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Subject: RE: Tech: help friend hear classical music
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 05 Apr 12 - 10:27 AM

Thanks for all the info. I'd heard of some of these things, vaguely.

I do so much live music that I've lost touch with what's going on with recorded music. Just about the only time I listen to it is on a long car trip, when we put a CD in the player.


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Subject: RE: Tech: help friend hear classical music
From: open mike
Date: 08 Apr 12 - 01:35 PM

how music moves people


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Subject: RE: Tech: help friend hear classical music
From: Bettynh
Date: 15 Apr 12 - 12:57 PM

Any progress on this?


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