When Apple recently released their new music subscription service, it got us talking in Campfire about how all of us at Basecamp listen to music. So I asked everyone, “What’s your music setup?”, specifically wondering what software and hardware everyone was using, and why.

Turns out the answers were crazy open-ended! On the software side, we had nearly every medium covered. And the hardware side was equally as varied.

Since our resident data pro Noah can literally chart anything, he did. Note: we make no claims on the accuracy of these visualizations ;)

So what conclusions can we draw from that unscientific data?

  • iTunes is still used a lot, but Spotify is close to overtaking it
  • Streaming is the generally preferred method
  • Music is with us everywhere and on just about every device we own – laptop, cars, phones, headphones, set top boxes, you name it

Along with that “data”, there were some unique, entertaining bits from everyone.



Scott U. hates iTunes

“A mix of pure, unadulterated hatred for the iTunes app and a desire to find new music and share it with my kids. Rdio has a nice UI, great selection, and just enough of a social recommendation engine to make it useful.”



Jamie D. enjoys guilty pleasures on Google Play

“I can listen to one track guilty pleasures, radio, mixes, and full albums anywhere.”



Ryan S. prefers things that just work

“I prefer connecting devices by analog signal when possible, e.g. minijack aux cable in the car, because (a) it always works and (b) I don’t have to train guests, friends, girlfriend etc how to use it”



Jonas D. is low-brow

“I hooked up a low-brow setup on my desk so I could use a Bluetooth connection with some excellent (old) Bose speakers I had on hand, using these two little gadgets: http://amzn.com/B009OBCAW2, http://amzn.com/B00C2P61FO”



Shaun H. thinks the computers at Pandora are sweet

“iTunes Radio is mostly out of convenience when I’m entertaining, but no one beats Pandora’s recommendation algorithm.”



Tom W. is not a fan of his Dad changing his music

“Main downside is my Dad has paired his phone with my system, and has been known to come around and hijack my stereo. Which I think is rude.”



Pratik N. uses a laptop lap thing

“I really love Logitech’s N700. It’s the best laptop lap thing EVER. And the speakers are reasonably good. They are super hard to find these days and I’m scared of not having an alternative if/when mine breaks down!”



Dan K. likes to delete things

“I deleted all my local music and rely 100% on streaming. If I can’t get to something, oh well, I’ll live. I just listen to something else.”



Chase C.’s car is vintage

“I also use an old school tape with an audio cord to my iPhone so I can play music in my car. (Yep – my car still has a tape player.)”



Kristin A.’s music is vintage

“Software: Records?

Hardware: Record player and speakers?

Rationale: Expensive and bulky?”



Allison G. M.’s husband sometimes vacuums things he shouldn’t

“Headphones were my beloved Bose headphones until the husband vacuumed them up.”



Jason F. is a streamer4life

“I’m 100% streaming. Don’t have any MP3s stored locally or any other physical music. Simpler all around. I have access to basically anything I’d want to listen to without having to ‘have it’.”



Noah L. is a mindless Google drone

“I’m a mindless Google drone; if they make it, I’ll use it unquestioningly.”



Tony G. has a serious home setup

“PC: Asus Xonar Essence One DAC + Swan T200B Speakers. Headphones/Earphones are some old Audio Technica AD-900, Audio Technica ATH-M50XBL, Sennheiser IE80. iPhone 4 permanently attached to some Logitech dock for the gym, and bluetooth to some Samsung soundbar for the lounge. Bluetooth to the car.”



Nick Q. loves Phish

“PhishOD: Over 30 years of Phish shows crowdsourced and in one app.

ETY-Plugs: Essential hardware for live audio. Going to 1-2 live shows a month impacted my hearing immensely.

Jam bands are my thing as of the past 4-5 years. I never really had a ‘concert phase’ so I’ve been living it up. It’s great music to just tune out to and get a lot of work done.”



Sylvia C. is a data hog

“I always have data, so I always stream: That way I have room on my phone for all the selfies I’ll never post.”



Conor M. keeps it simple

“Spotify is great at giving me tons of playlists to listen to without me having to do much of any work. When I want to listen to a specific album or track, they almost always have that too. I have no interest whatsoever in collecting, storing, or managing a library of music.”



Taylor W. is all about discovering new stuff

“Youtube – Type in ‘name of band or song’ optionally add ‘live’ or ‘cover’. Discover new stuff all the time by setting the filter to the last month / week, etc.

Genius.com – Because I always want to know the meaning of the lyrics.”



Nathan A. uses a lot of hardware words that I don’t understand

“Sonus Faber Concertino bookshelf speakers running off a Topping TP30 Class T Digital Mini Amplifier with USB-DAC off the laptop, and MEElectronics A151P Balanced Armature In-Ear Headphone with Inline Microphone and Remote for on the road or hangouts.”



James G. takes his playlists seriously

“My playlist of new music to listen to is currently hovering at 3,000 tracks. I need to be able to listen to what I want, wherever I am – no matter where my hard drive full of music happens to be sitting.”



Chris J. doesn’t need your fancy schmancy setup

“I don’t need anything fancy to play it, so stick with iTunes as it makes it easier to add/remove stuff on my phone.”



DHH likes to chill

“iTunes has all my legacy music. It’s available offline, which is great when traveling. But I use Spotify offline as well for that. Spotify is for pretty much everything new. Favorite feature is all the great pre-made playlists. Current favorites: Evening Chill, Tranquility with a Beat, Favorite Coffeeshop, Peaceful Piano.”



Emily T. L. supports the artists

“Artists don’t make anything off streaming services, so I try to make a point of going to live shows and buying a band’s CD (!) or purchasing music from their website. And making your own music is fun. :)”



Merissa D. supports the artists too!

“If I find something I love through Spotify, (or elsewhere) I’ll buy the album on iTunes or I’ll buy the CD for my car.”



JorDanée K. keeps their Airstream bumpin’

“32GB hard drive in the truck with random playlists, and an iPhone 6 Plus wired to the truck or Airstream sound system for everything else”



Jay O. is quite lazy

“I’m quite lazy these days around finding new music and Google Play let’s me quickly pick a mood I’m in and start streaming.”



Matthew K. likes analog knobs

“I’ve got a small component system setup in the office comprised of a dedicated dac, amp, sub, pre-amp, record player, etc – all of which are pretty compact. It was fun to put together and has lots of analog knobs to turn. When sitting I connect the laptop with a mini toslink cable, and when standing I use bluetooth.”



Javan M. is all about the highest quality fidelity

“Rdio tip: Turn the sound quality up to 320kbps in Settings -Advanced. Spotify has a similarly buried setting.”



Natalie K. is not much for rationale

“I don’t have much rationale to be honest. I like Spotify, because I have used it for a long time. SoundCloud is awesome for finding new music.”



Jim M. goes independent

“Soundcloud and Bandcamp are my places to go for music from independent artists, especially mash-ups like https://soundcloud.com/neilcic/mouthsilence.”



Eron N. just can’t quit Pandora

“Google Play Music for full albums, Pandora for streaming radio. I’ve tried to switch off Pandora three or four times now and just keep coming back.”



Will J. will take his MP3s to the grave

“I almost exclusively buy and download MP3s rather than listening to streaming services, but I might give Apple Music a try if it’s released in the UK, the family plan looks compelling.”



Jason Z. doesn’t quite believe the Apple Music hype

“Waiting for Apple Music to save the day but not daring to hope.”



Joan S. is too busy kicking ass and taking names

“I can’t really listen to music while I work and most of my non-working awake hours are spent doing judo, bjj or weightlifting. A lot of my music listening is done in the car. I don’t really get to listen to music they way I did when I was younger.”



Michael B. is fully armed, as usual

“At home (or traveling) I typically stream via Bluetooth from my phone to a Bose SoundLink Mini. It offers good sound in a tiny package. Or I’ll play records on my semi-recently purchased Audio-Technica turntable. At the office I use a pair of Sony headphones. One of my favorite accessories for listening in the car is a CD-slot mounted phone holder”



Zach W. has his own radio station

“The vast majority of the time, I listen to ‘Zach FM’, which is Rdio’s infinite station of music tailored to my tastes, with no ads or interruptions. I like not having to think about what to listen to next, but still have the option to listen to a specific album when I want. I think Rdio’s apps have gotten buggier overtime, so I’m looking forward to checking out Apple Music.”



Whew! So there you have it. How about you—what’s your music setup?