$newsid = ''; ?> Here's the rig I used to get me through those long bus rides in Mexico: a cheap CD walkman, an assortment of throwaway discs burned in iTunes, and a pair of discount noise-canceling headphones from Fry's.
The headphones worked much better than I expected. I'd flip them on and the rumble of the bus was reduced to a little background noise over which it was easy to hear the music at a modest volume. I guess the technology has improved -- I tried a more expensive pair years ago and returned them to the store. I need to scrape together the cash to buy a couple more for my daughters, who also listen to music on long car rides and have more hearing left to lose than I do.
For the trip I burned multi-CD sets of Café Tacuba and Maldita Vecindad, a reunion with two of my favorite bands whose music I haven't listened to enough lately. I also used my trick in iTunes of sweeping a bunch of tracks from a particular genre into a temporary playlist which I scramble and burn as a form of poor man's shuffle, in this case discs for cumbia, rock en español and mixed latin. And for a break from my program of Spanish immersion I brought along cool mixes by Jez and Gwen. Listening in the dark with no distractions was very nice; it's something I did a lot as a teenager and need to do more of.