I am not a big resolutioner, but when my twins got sick over winter break our family of five didn't really go anywhere for a week. Music is always a big thing in our house, but during that week in particular it saved us from boredom, excessive screen time and grouchiness. That's when we decided to get a system in place for 2013 to make music abundant and accessible at home. It's good for kids and grown-ups too, and some of these changes have the ancillary benefit of eliminating clutter. Here is our plan:
• Take our existing collection completely digital. The CDs that we painstakingly packed up for our 2009 move remain semi-stored and difficult to access. We purchased a dedicated external hard drive and are chipping away at ripping the CD collection. The big news about Amazon Auto Rip is a tremendous boon on this front, and it was great to rediscover old purchases ready to go on my Amazon Cloud Player.
• Exploit streaming resources. Pandora and Spotify are excellent free resources that let our kids' musical taste guide us to new listening material. Use Spotify's "related artists" feature or create a channel on Pandora based on a beloved artist or song.
• Implement a wireless playback solution. Infinitely smaller and sleeker than any stereo system, set up something in the kids' rooms, common space and play areas. Mac devotees will warm up quickly to AirPlay (we went with this option). Other solutions include the Sonos wireless hifi system, or a bluetooth speaker like the Jawbone.