A reader wanted to know more about digital music options: “I like the idea of having all of my music handy on something like an iPhone. But I don’t really want or need a smartphone. Do you need one to stream music? Does a music player have to go through a cellphone company these days?”
If you want to stream music – listen to it over WiFi or a data connection while it plays on an app – you will need a smartphone or WiFi connected device like an iPod Touch. And you must stay connected the entire time you stream.
If you want to listen to digital music that you’ve purchased or copied from your own CDs, tapes, or albums – you can use a stand-alone player.
You could use an iPod, which requires iTunes on your PC to transfer and manage music or choose another stand alone player. These players can hold thousands of tunes – likely your entire library. You transfer the music by plugging the device into your PC. Transferring music is simple. Your PC basically recognizes the device just like it does a flash drive and you just drag and drop. Once music is transferred, you’re set until you want to copy more. There’s no need for WiFi or any kind of data plan.