Okay, so this one isn’t exactly a piece of gear, but it is something we really, really like. AND it’s free! It’s an online music program called Pandora (www.pandora.com) which is basically like a radio station on the Web that plays only the music YOU like.
Here’s how it works: just type in the name of a band that you dig. Then, the computer will play you another song from another band that sounds similar. Click on the Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down icon to tell Pandora whether you like each song or not and eventually the program will narrow down (and learn) what you like so nearly every song you hear you’ll dig. And did I mention it’s free!