How Do You Decide What To Listen To?

I have many hundreds of ripped CDs and downloads in my server and have a subscription to full fat Qobuz, so quite a choice of music!

When I sit down I have no idea what I am going to listen to. The first album is a rather random choice. While listening to this, I might read the WAYLTI2020AWMABI thread. The listening and reading will spark an idea of what to listen to next, which might be a favourite, something I have not heard for a while or an entirely ‘exploratory’ listen to something I have never heard before.

My mood will often influence the overall ‘tone’ of the session, upbeat (even head-banging), laid back or a particular genre will take preference.

Regardless of how eclectic the mix is I always tend to listen to albums all the way through, unless I am particularly disliking something - bit old school I guess. I never make playlists of individual tracks, although sometimes will make a playlist of a few albums. When I do the latter I never get to the end of the playlist as I always select too many albums. Weirdly, I will never pick up that album playlist in the next listening session and will always start with a ‘blank canvas’.

With the massive choice we now all have, how do you select what to listen to?

Being a wagon driver I listen to the radio a lot BBC 2 /4 and such plus local radio so pic up on songs I’ve not heard before and try when safe to do so write it down then when home look it up on iTunes and such sites

Don’t you just love Zoe Ball!


1 Like

I have about 1700 cd’s to pick from. Some I love, some are never to be played again. Most are just there for some reason or other and I am ambivalent about them. However, they need playing from time to time to remind why I bought them.

During the day, something might spark a desire to hear an album, maybe something on the radio, or something I saw. So in the evening I will put that cd on. Other times I decide to test Mrs. G’s. music knowledge by selecting three cd’s with a link. Sometimes it’s fairly obvious, other times it’s very obscure. Mrs. G. is usually interested in the answers and learns more about our music.

Sometimes Mrs. G. Will make a request and that cd will be played. I’ll choose another two to compliment it. Other times, I am simply in the mood for a particular group or genre.

As for the “What are you listening to…” thread, I’ll note a few to listen to on the Nova when Mrs. G. has gone to bed. Those I really like I will buy, and new cd’s always get played first.

Lastly, sometimes I get stuck and can’t decide, so I just grab three cd’s of the shelves and play whatever they are. Maybe they inspire tomorrow’s listening.

1 Like

Mostly it is Radio 6 that introduces me to new stuff and some is from friends.

When listening to ripped CDs or LPs I just listen to what I feel. Sometimes it is because I heard something played on R6 recently which prompts me to listen to a particular artiste, or maybe I heard a bit of music on a TV show and I thought I have listened to that album for a while. Then at other times it is a mostly random choice. Of course there will be a few albums at anyone time that will get played more frequently so I might start there. When I have new music I often play it whilst cooking for awhile if it hadn’t grabbed me on the first play, usually after one or two plays I usually find that one or two tracks stand out and I will then be more likely to play it again.

Normally I would say I play whole albums or CDs but sometimes I will just play tracks, again this is mood dependent and when I play single tracks I can either go along a certain genre or time period or jump about between anything that I notice as flicking through albums or the Naim app.

If I am watching TV and the program doesn’t grab me, sometimes before I turn off the the TV I will have a look at Youtube via my Virgin box and look to see if there is a video to a random song I have heard recently and that sometimes introduces me to new stuff by that artist or when searching I notice something the piques my curiosity.

Yes and no to that question the one I do hate is venesa so far up her own backside always bragging

I’ve taken out a Qobuz sublime subscription but it’s hardly ever used. I get confused. I imagine I’ll recoup the £250 over the year through discounts on downloads though.

As to what to choose, unless I want to play a specific thing, I have everything split into 16 genres. I decide what sort of music I’d like and then choose within the genre.

1 Like


I loved her evening show but her move to the am seems to have tipped her over the top. Trying way too hard to be zany bubbly and an entertainer. Not for me.

Fair enough.

I am a new listener to R2 and sometimes I have an early start. Zoe just puts me in a good mood, she seems a lovely gal.

Totally agree but it does get on my nerves sometimes when she bangs on with kids programs sayings like mornings to the power rangers or rosey and Jim
Think she needs to be more natural and more her self

I put on a couple of things to warm up the senses.
Before long things come together and something pops up to tick most boxes.

Long gone are the days of picking up a good haul of short and long players from the local record shop with a short stop at the off licence before listening.

Sometimes, if I lack inspiration, I resort to scrolling through the albums or artists held on my server. If that ends in confusion, I might scroll through favourites saved in Qobuz ‘My Albums’.

Depends on what I’m listening to or reading at the time. I listen to a lot of FIP,Radio Paradise and BBC Radio 6 and often Shazam for future reference or pop it into a playlist on Spotify/Qobuz(when they have it). My Nova is usually left on the radio option when it is switched off in the evening so when I get up and switch it on I may be pleasantly surprised by something new. When I’m scanning the forum here I’ll often be pointed in familiar or new directions with the occasional, I’d completely forgotten I had that album, so I’ll tend to hunt that one out straightaway. I’m generally on the lookout for new material with a few classics and regular plays thrown in the mix as well. I’m a bit of a flickerer on stuff I’m not sure about or that is new and if it doesn’t grab me then I move on. There is just too much stuff to listen on streaming sites, so why waste time on stuff you don’t like. If I like something then the whole album tends to get a listen, especially if it’s an old classic/favourite.

1 Like

I mostly listen to music on shuffle.

When I select specific music, it’s generally by scrolling through the library and choosing tracks.

Occasionally, something pings into my head and I seek the track out to listen to. Can be anything, it just comes into my head, often as I’m getting ready for bed!!!

Sometimes a bit of a mood/feel influences what I pick.

These days I rarely listen to whole albums, but the other day someone on another forum mentioned Modern Music by Be Bop Deluxe. I played the whole album from the NAS, it was pretty special. Transported me back 40+ years to when I was a teenager. I don’t want to relive that time but that music was good.

Often I have a special track or album in mind that I’ve been saving up to play when the time is right, such as Pangaea by Miles Davis, About Time by Paul Bley, or Whisper Not by Keith Jarrett…

If not, then I look at several lists:

  • tracks or albums I saved recently to favourites in the Naim app.

  • tracks or albums I saved recently to presets in the Naim app.

  • playlists, ones I’ve created (and very occasionally ones that the steaming service has created, especially ECM playlists).

  • tracks or albums mentioned by my favourite music reviewer, Thom Jurek.

Occasionally, I throw the dice and spin the favourites lists down as fast as I can and enjoy watching it slow and end up in a region of old favourites from months or years ago, and find something to play there.

1 Like

When I don’t know what I want to listen to, which is often, I’m working my way through all the albums that I’ve never listened to on Roon; I find it easier to choose when I’ve a restricted choice to choose from. Once that’s done (about 100 to go) I don’t know what I’ll do - maybe try by year and see how it works out.
When I want to find new stuff then Bandcamp is great. Can’t really get on with Roon Radio for some reason

One way of deciding what to play is to visit the ‘What Are You Listening To Now’ thread to see what the forum folk are enjoying and join in with whatever takes your fancy :slightly_smiling_face: :+1:


I’ll sometimes hear things or something will remind me of an album or song. Ear worms play a big part for, I generally can’t get rid of it till I play whatever it is. Often I’ll just blindly scroll to a letter and just stay there.

The WAYLT2020 thread plays a big part it what I play it’s also introduced me to some great music I otherwise would have missed.

1 Like