Wisephone Music is a “bring your own audio” music player. This means you bring your own audio files to the device to listen. We understand that many people are used to music streaming services, but this is not one of them. To utilize Music on Wisephone, you will need to load Wisephone with your own music files.
We intentionally went with a download-only method rather than streaming. We found that people find more joy from their music when they own it and curate it, vs. being streamed whatever the algorithm serves up. We also wanted to empower you as the account owner to be able to have complete control over the content on your Wisephone.
You can obtain music from online stores like Amazon Music, iTunes Store, Bandcamp, and 7digital. Alternatively, if you have physical media such as CDs, you can convert those audio streams to compatible audio file formats and load them to your Wisephone.
(*Please see our article labeled "Music: Converting Music Files for Wisephone" for assistance on converting your music files)
Types of Music To Buy
If you’re buying music for the first time, there are a few things to consider. One major factor to consider is the format in which you would like to purchase your music. There are 3 major options today for purchasing music. They each have their pros and cons. We’ll help you navigate the options and decide what will work best for you.
CDs, or Compact Discs, were once a popular medium for music distribution.
- CD Digital Audio is considered “high quality” and provides exceptional audio clarity and fidelity for most playback systems.
- Despite their susceptibility to scratches, CDs are resistant to data loss due to error correction and audio interpolation.
- Being compact, they take up less space than other music media formats.
- Even though fewer CDs are being made today, a large catalog of audio content can be obtained through audio CDs, including audiobooks.
- To listen to CD content on Wisephone, you’ll have to convert the digital audio stream into an audio file that can be played back on Wisephone. The conversion process is called “ripping” and sounds scarier than it actually is (perfectly harmless to your CD ;-) ).
- When converting a CD’s audio stream into a music file, you may choose to use a file format that is “lossy” in order to save storage space. Lossy audio compression methods produce smaller files by dropping certain bits of information. Depending on your settings, the discrepancies may be completely indistinguishable. However, heavier compression will likely result in noticeable downgrades to audio quality.
- If you want to preserve all information, we suggest converting to FLAC (“Free Lossless Audio Compression”). These files use compression techniques that do not remove the source data yet still receive a noticeable reduction in the file size, granted not as much as lossy formats.
- MP3 or M4A are great lossy formats. M4A often generates smaller files than MP3 when choosing similar data rates and may sound slightly better. The downside to M4A is compatibility with different systems and programs.
- CDs still take up physical space.
- While CD quality is very good, some musicians are recording audio at “better than CD” quality, sometimes up to 24-bit 128kHz. If you’re an “audiophile,” you may be more interested in these increased data rates; however, be prepared to store some large audio files!
- CD players and CD-ROM drives are becoming rarer and rarer to come by. You’ll have to have a way for your computer to read the CD in order to rip the audio stream.
- You can still buy external CD or DVD-ROM drives that plug into computers via USB.
Vinyl records have made a resurgence in popularity over the last few years. Even stores like Walmart are selling records again! While we wouldn’t suggest it for Wisephone, it is possible to transfer your Vinyl records to your device. But it’s much more complex than CDs. One thing to note is that vinyl records store an audio signal in an analog format rather than digital. However, there really is no functional difference in sound quality that can be produced on records compared to its digital counterparts.
- “There’s just something about Vinyl,” is what some say.
Vinyl is an experience that can create “positive personal associations” with the medium (as stated by Real Engineering: The Truth About Vinyl).
Records are more expensive to purchase than CDs or digital audio.
Records are considerably larger than CDs and digital audio.
Records do degrade over time. Multiple playthroughs of a record will slowly degrade the audio fidelity.
Records, like CDs, are susceptible to scratches. But unfortunately, they are also vulnerable to heat, humidity, and dust in ways CDs are less affected.
Equipment matters! Whether you’re just listening to vinyl or digitizing it, the quality of your equipment will play a major factor in how clear it sounds. You may also need multiple pieces of hardware to get the sound from the turntable to Wisephone.
Adding track information to a digital audio file you generate from a record is an entirely manual process. Your computer will not be able to identify song titles, track numbers, artist, or other album information.
How to Get Vinyls to Wisephone:
This is a more in-depth process, and since others have already documented the process, check out this article for a more in-depth explanation.
Wisephone can only play back music that is stored digitally. Whether you choose to buy in CD format, Vinyl, Tape, or something else, it will need to end up as a digital file before you drop it on Wisephone.
Fortunately, there are several places to obtain digital audio nowadays.
- Buying digital audio is the easiest purchase method for obtaining music today.
- Digital audio is often less expensive than physical mediums like CDs and Vinyl.
- Most digital audio files come with metadata already stored in the file, which Wisephone will use to show the name of the song, track number, album name, and artist.
- Note that WAV is a file format that cannot store metadata.
- You will likely be able to copy the files to Wisephone and play right away without any issues.
- We suggest MP3 or FLAC as the audio formats of choice.
- We would not suggest AIFF, despite it being uncompressed audio, due to compatibility issues with Wisephone and large file size.
- You can often re-download your music from the purchasing platform where you bought it originally.
- You can purchase digital audio in formats that exceed the limitations of Compact Disc Digital Audio.
- You may have a lower audio fidelity if you buy a lossy compressed MP3.
- We recommend buying MP3s encoded at a constant bitrate of at least 320Kbps, but you may find data rates as low as 128Kbps sound just fine to your listening ears.
- You won’t get a physical copy of your music.
~ Buying Digital Music Files ~
Buying on Amazon
Here’s our quick guide on buying music from Amazon.
- Go to https://www.amazon.com/
- To the left of the search field, click “All” and select “Digital Music”.
- Type in a search term. Then, hit the Return or Enter key, click the Magnifying Glass, or click a search result.
Next, click the title of the listing, “MP3 Music” or “Audio CD”.
Click “Purchase Options” and choose “MP3 Music.” Proceed with the purchase.
*The audio quality may vary. You can preview snippets of audio tracks before buying.
**If you’re buying a CD or vinyl record, just proceed as you normally would for checkout.
Buying on iTunes Store
You can still buy music from Apple through iTunes Store. You’ll need an Apple ID in order to do this.
- On a Mac, you’ll use the app called “Music” to access the iTunes Store. On a Windows computer, you can download the application “iTunes” either directly from Apple or from the Microsoft Store. Once installed, you will have to sign in with an Apple ID to buy music from the iTunes Store.
- Next, submit a search term, like a music artist.
In order to see the iTunes Store, select it in the top right corner of the results screen.
- After purchasing, new music will appear in your Library. You can get there by clicking “Your Library” or clicking on an option in the sidebar under Library. To find where the audio file is stored on your computer, click the three dots next to the track title and select “Show in Finder” on Mac or “Show in Explorer” on Windows.
Buying from 7Digital
7digital is a London-based company that provides B2B digital music services globally. They also offer music tracks direct to consumers through their website 7digital.com. They provide some of the highest quality audio files for digital purchase and multiple purchasing options. That said, from our experience, we’ve found their music collection is considerably smaller than iTunes and Amazon Music, though they will typically have good access to recently published music and tracks that are mainstream. It’s also worth noting that their main webpage might be triggering for some of our Wisephone users so we suggest going to the link below to begin your search for music.
Go to https://us.7digital.com/search?q=
- Write a search term in the top search field. Hit return
When you’re ready to buy, click Checkout.
*You’ll need to sign up for an account to complete your purchase.
Downloaded tracks can be added to Wisephone from here.
If you’re looking for something a little less expensive, there are some free sources for obtaining music and audio. One of the more well-known and trusted sources is the “Internet Archive Audio Archive.” You’ll find a wide range of content from old records, mixtapes, public domain content, live performances, talk radio and broadcasts, audiobooks, podcasts, and religious commentary. If any of that is interesting to you, check it out here.
-We hope that this information was helpful and easy to read-
-Let us know if you have any suggestions you think we should add to this article-
For troubleshooting support, our team can only assist with issues directly related to the Wisephone. We cannot guarantee the outcome of any process involving obtaining, downloading, converting, or curating audio files that fall outside of this scope.
*Please note that Techless is not affiliated with or endorsed by any of the resources mentioned, nor do we provide support for them.