Decent playlists can really make a holiday. Sitting on the verandah, sipping crisp Chablis, takes on a whole new character when accompanied by the mellow tones of José Gonzalez. And a trip down the motorway feels a whole lot faster, with PJ Harvey’s Let England Shake to help speed you on your way. Whatever your choice of track, the music that accompanies you helps set the note for a trip.
And it’s the same for staycations – or even just an evening spent chilling at home. The right playlists can whisk us back into the past – to those student days of train-hopping round Europe, or the first teenage kiss under the stars. And they can help turn the living room into a cosy, festive space where memories can be made.
That’s what we were aiming for, when we were sent an Electric Jukebox to try out. Inside the box, with its fetchingly retro font, is a small wand (about 25 cm long) with a microphone at one end. There’s also a TV stick, which plugs into the HDMI port on your TV, and connects to a power source. These are both available in blue, red or black.
It was simple to set up the Electric Jukebox. We just followed the on-screen instructions, set up a password, and connected the Jukebox to our wi-fi (there’s a connector cable too, in case you need it).
The Electric Jukebox is voice controlled – so you just say the name of your favourite artist, and their albums appear on-screen. The controller managed to understand mine and D’s instructions most of the time, except if we chanced upon an artist that wasn’t in the Electric Jukebox repertoire (but it offers 29 million songs, and is constantly updating, so we could only find a few artists that weren’t on the database – and most of those were overseas artists who don’t sing in English).
The search function brings up discs on screen, which you have to click into for a tracklist. This was a tiny bit clunkier to manoevre than a regular list, but looked great on screen. Creating playlists, and adding music to them, was simple. Once you’d given your playlist a name and found the track you wanted, you just waved the controller/wand at the ‘plus’ sign, and the track was added, ready to roll. A visualiser matched slideshows of atmospheric Getty Images to the music – which covers different genres, including classical, Jazz, rock, pop and RnB. And ‘tastemakers’ could build playlists for you, based on your preferences.
So, after a quick trawl through our memory banks, we were all set, with a cracking Christmas playlist.
What would you have added to yours? There’s a gorgeous bloggers’ Christmas playlist here from Pushing the Moon. Vie Choufleur has put together her playlist for 2016 – now there’s an idea. What would be on yours? Perhaps my favourite of all these playlists, though, is this Scandinaian playlist to create your own Hygge, from Oregon Girl Around the World. You might not find all the tracks on the Electric Jukebox just yet, but they’ll be sure to warm the cockles of your winter hearts.