There’s a big difference between hearing music and listening to it.
On his final album, I’m New Here, the late Gil Scott-Heron offers this excellent advice (the formatting is his own):
There is a proper procedure for taking advantage of any investment.
Music, for example. Buying a CD (or LP) is an investment.
To get the maximum you must
LISTEN TO IT FOR THE FIRST TIME UNDER OPTIMUM CONDITIONS.
Not in your car or on a portable player or on a headset.
Take it home.
Get rid of all distractions, (even her or him).
Turn off your sell phone.
Turn off everything that rings or beeps or rattles or whistles.
Make yourself comfortable.
Play your CD (or LP).
LISTEN all the way through.
Think about what you got.
Think about who would appreciate this investment.
Decide if there is someone to share this with.
Turn it on again.
- Gil Scott-Heron.