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Satellite Radio Subscriptions Rising 302

Posted by timothy
from the radio-free-space dept.
aSiTiC writes "Apparently, satellite radio is finally catching on. I'm an avid internet radio listener on stations such as KEXP, BBC 6Music and SomaFM. I am looking for a more portable alternative and I wonder if eventually my favorite MP3/RM/WMA internet stations will be ever be carried on satellite."
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Satellite Radio Subscriptions Rising

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  • MP3/OGG stations (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 28, 2003 @10:34PM (#7825002)
    Just setup a radio with WiFi access, and a good antenna, and hop on to unsecure networks! No one will notice... probably.
  • by odano (735445) on Sunday December 28, 2003 @10:37PM (#7825025)
    I subscribe to XM, and have a recurring problem. 200 channels and still nothing good to listen too. Satellite radio will never surpass a case of CDs and a CD player, and will always be a niche market.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 28, 2003 @10:39PM (#7825037)
      I subscribe to XM, and have a recurring problem. 200 channels and still nothing good to listen too.

      The obvious course of action would be for you to unsubscribe if you don't like the content.
    • by Lumpy (12016) on Sunday December 28, 2003 @11:04PM (#7825176) Homepage
      a better solution is the Kenwood dash unit that play's CDs with mp3's on them and the 12 disc changer.

      I have gobs of music in the player and never am lost as to what is where bue to decent layout of discs and order in the changer.

      My friend that has a Clarion joyride and it's 12 disc DVD changer can play DVD discs full of mp3's and pretty much has more music in it than XM or Sirius can ever have, at audio quality that make both look downright silly.

      I prefer to have control of what I listen to instead of paying clear-channel 12 bucks a month to decide for me.
      • I rather doubt it... (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Recip_saw (734767)
        My friend that has a Clarion joyride and it's 12 disc DVD changer can play DVD discs full of mp3's and pretty much has more music in it than XM or Sirius can ever have, at audio quality that make both look downright silly.

        Since XM has more than 2 million songs stored in its databases, I rather doubt that you could carry that much around, no matter how good your compression scheme. They have several large databases, the largest of which is 28TB, spinning hard disks.... And they plan to increase this subs

        • Since XM has more than 2 million songs stored in its databases, I rather doubt that you could carry that much around, no matter how good your compression scheme.

          Since I don't want to listen to any blues, country, dance, disco, funk, hip-hop, metal, rap, techno, industrial, ska, death metal, gospel, meditative, gothic, darkwave, eurodance, gangsta, top 40, christian rap, pop/funk, native american, cabaret, new wave, rave, showtunes, tribal, acid punk, acid jazz, polka, national folk, swing, fast fusion, b
          • I'd rather pick out the music that I listen to.

            And how do you find new music to like?

      • I chose not to mess with CD's with MP3s on them. I wired a plug to the AUX input of my car CD player and plug in my 20Gb music player/hard drive. Works great - I can drive for days without stopping to refuel my brain.
      • Err I have a Alpine MP3/CD/XM headunit which gives me the best of all worlds... XM lets me find new music I like, MP3 CD's let me listen to all the old music I've already found, and CD's let me stay backward compatible for the non-geek types around.

        Oh and btw quality of XM radio is as high as it gets, they do a direct digital feed from the distribution CD's and they error check all the data to minimalize distortion. Meaning it is above any level of standard MP3/OGG/etc compression in quality.

        Oh XM is also
    • If your interests in music fit in a small miche, you may be better served by CD's. That doesn't work for news, hovever.
    • by Shockmaster (659961) on Monday December 29, 2003 @12:08AM (#7825481) Homepage
      Recently I purchased an 04 Accord with XM installed by default. I have to travel a lot in my car both for business and for pleasure (I have a girlfriend at the University I graduated from last year -- 500 miles away). I get a 2 month trial before I have to commit $9.95/month to get access, and I'm about three weeks in. What I had figured would be easy to decline may not be as simple as I had anticipated. While the music channels are ok, they're nothing mind-blowing. A good portion are commercial-free, which is nice. There is quite a bit more than you can get from the standard FM dial fare, and even nice you don't loose stations as your GPS location changes. This alone probably wouldn't get me to cough up the dough. The talk stations on the other hand, might.

      Anyone who does a fair bit of travelling in a car can tell you that talk radio is a much better companion than music after about 3 hours. Previously I had a head unit that could play mp3-cds and I would routinely fill a disc withb audiobooks or clips from my favorite radio program (Howard Stern) which proved to be an invaluable trip companion. I thought the lack of mp3-cd capability would be awful for me, but XM is filling the gap nicely. There's lots to chose from -- ESPN for Sports, CNN and Fox News for headlines, and E! and Discovery radio for other special interest programming. The other night I had to drive around the block a few times as the Jesse Ventura E! True Hollywood Story finished. So, if you are looking for XM for music, you will be pleasently surprised but not blown away. For talk radio, it really is tough to beat, especially when you don't have to worry about losing signals as you move around.

      • by McAddress (673660) on Monday December 29, 2003 @12:35AM (#7825604)
        This guy either
        A. Does not belong on /.
        B. Is a liar

        1. Recently I purchased an 04 Accord - Sure he bought a brand new Accord.
        2. I have a girlfriend -/. readers don't have girlfriends.
        3. at the University I graduated from last year - no /. readers actually graduated. They are either 5th year frehman, or they dropped out.
        4. There's lots to chose from -- ESPN for Sports, CNN and Fox News for headlines, and E! -no self respecting nerd would listen to this stuff.

        In short, I think this is a well discuised attempt at karma whoring, and should be treated as such.

        • How dare you! My rebuttal:

          1. I swear, I did buy it! It's financed, but I technically walked in the showroom and bought it!
          2. Again, I swear she's real. She's half-chinese if that helps!
          3. BS, Computer Science, Virginia Tech, 5 and a half years :)
          4. I said that you could choose from these stations, of those I listen to only E! with any regularity.

          I also came in second place at a Star Wars trivia contest in Disney World. Please, LET ME STAY!

          • I can see why you went for XM, since the radio around Tech bites unless you're a big Country music fan. The campus radio is interesting, but you never know what you're going to get (sometimes it's good, sometimes they're playing explicit gay music that is some guy screaming about cornholes :P ).
        • "In short, I think this is a well discuised attempt at karma whoring, and should be treated as such. "

          Hmm... it'd appear that the handful of us that have girlfriends have been inconsiderate. Sorry!
        • It's funny. Laugh.
    • atellite radio will never surpass a case of CDs and a CD player, and will always be a niche market.

      Hmm. People still pay for cable or satellite TV, despite having a case of DVD's and a DVD player.

      And good ol' AM and FM radio stations seem to thrive, despite many drivers having CD's and CD players.

      The trade off is paying for subscription vs having wide-scale coverage (great for truckers and other long-distance drivers) and having more available channels and less commercials.

  • XM Radio here (Score:5, Interesting)

    by xeno_gearz (533872) * on Sunday December 28, 2003 @10:37PM (#7825027) Journal
    Hard to say if internet radio stations will be included but it does not immediately likely. The content seems to be very much in a specific network of stations. It would be nice if these could at least be added as "premium channels".

    I recently received an XM radio. I used to be unimpressed with these services but the breadth of radio stations is actually quite good. With C-NET and Headline news I can keep up on events quite easily. The quality is phenomenal and it has become a cool way to find out about a lot of music I wouldn't otherwise be exposed to.

    I have not had any experience with SIRIUS yet. Can anyone here attest to it's quality?

    • CNET Radio, R.I.P. (Score:4, Informative)

      by LostCluster (625375) * on Sunday December 28, 2003 @11:06PM (#7825192)
      The 24-hour CNET Radio died quite a while ago. CNET no longer controls 910 KNEW Oakland or 890 WBPS, and the web stream has been kicked back to the semi-regular 5-minute bursts that they had back when they first started.

      The "CNET Radio channel" on XM is now David Lawrence's 3-hour synidcated show (that CNET never owned, they just rented) called Online Tonight and that's it. The same 3 hour show repeated 8 times a day. :)... It's a ghost of its former self and is just screaming for XM to consolidate Online Tonight into one of its other talk formats to free up the channel slot. They'll likely do it the next time they realign the channels, but since that's only happened once so far it's hard to tell when they'll do that again.
      • by xeno_gearz (533872) *
        The 24-hour CNET Radio died quite a while ago. CNET no longer controls 910 KNEW Oakland or 890 WBPS, and the web stream has been kicked back to the semi-regular 5-minute bursts that they had back when they first started.

        The "CNET Radio channel" on XM is now David Lawrence's 3-hour synidcated show (that CNET never owned, they just rented) called Online Tonight and that's it. The same 3 hour show repeated 8 times a day. :)... It's a ghost of its former self and is just screaming for XM to consolidate Onlin

        • That seems to be one of XM's talents. The less you know about what's really going on behind the curtain, the more you are entertained. Who cares if the program on one channel now was the same program that was heard six hours ago on another channel... hardly anybody listening to this channel now was listening to that channel then so it's all new to them. :)
      • I want my CNET radio, but more hard core. The soft core fluff that dominates the broadcast "tech shows" is almost worthless. It's not technical enough to very useful to the only people interested enough in tech to tune in at all.

        These shows always end up gradually dumbing themselves down in an effort to increase ratings. They figure, correctly I think, that there are more people out there striving to be hiphoppy and sunglassy than technically savvy.

        What they miss is that these people aren't going to tune
    • I have Sirius ... I'm very impressed ... I've never tried XM so I can't compare. The sound quality is very good, probably not as good as a CD but then I'm listening in a car so it doesn't matter as much. It's certainly better than FM radio in quality terms.

      Football fans will be interested to know that Sirius will be carrying all sunday NFL games starting next season at no extra charge.
  • by CiboMatto (735578) on Sunday December 28, 2003 @10:38PM (#7825033)
    I am sure that someone like Sirius or Delphi could pound out a deal with Shoutcast or live365 so that certain stations like SomaFM: Groove Salad and the real popular ones could be broadcast over satelite. I am also sure that if anyone does this that their subscription rates would top their competitors by about a month after they introduced this. Furthermore, it could really ignite a grassroots movement for internet broadcasters to try to become Satelite broadcasters. The entire market would improve.
  • by Saeed al-Sahaf (665390) on Sunday December 28, 2003 @10:38PM (#7825035) Homepage
    As Satellite Radio becomes more popular, watch for in increase in ads / spam a la The Internet.
    • a la just about any media. Originally FM radio rarely had any ads. (Because no one would buy any ads.) Premium pay cable channels didn't have any. (Because they were supposed to be paid for by subscribers rather than advertising.)

      Advertisers always look at anything as an advertising channel that they have some right to stuff with their .. ads. Billboards, buses, your clothing, foreheads, whatever. The day after someone makes the Paint the Moon [space.com] trick work, count on advertising up there. (Especially since no

    • by Technician (215283) on Monday December 29, 2003 @04:11AM (#7826323)
      A better example would be commercial free cable TV. Those old enough remember when Cable meant commercial free. Sigh. I expect subscription radio to follow into the same pit.

      I know you can still find some commercial free stuff, but not in the basic level. It used to be all premium at the basic level. The 2 minutes of commercials per hour (XM) will soon fall to the pressure of advertisers just like cable (my prediction). Commercial free stuff will move to a premium service. From what I hear, that's already started with one premium channel now extra charge.

      The demand will be for more channels in a limited bandwidth to include the premium channels while not dropping advertiser driven revenue streams for basic service. Why would subscription radio have any different business model than cable tv or sat tv? They know how to get advertisers to pay for eyeballs and get consumers to pay extra for the package deal.
      It's just a matter of time for the advertisers to notice and offer the big bucks to reach the ears.
  • by 77Punker (673758)
    I don't play MMORPG's because I don't wanna pay to play something I've already bought. Same with XM radio. The biggest jump for me is the leap of faith that I'll like the music. I listen to my local college station so I can get in some good punk rock listening. When they're not on the air, I usually do classical. Since I'm sure they have classical, it begs the question:

    Do they have a punk station? If so, what kind of punk?
  • Sat radio providers have some sort of responsibility similar to network providers' uptime responsibility. By providing access to internet-based 'radio' stations, they are allowing for the possibility that a customer, paying a monthly subscription, would try to listen to one of these stations, only for it to be out of service for one reason or another.

    Now whether or not such an outage would be XM's (sirius, etc) fault, the average user would blame XM because it wasn't "just working" like average users need
    • And there lies the rub. In order for a niche-market Internet radio station to make it to XM, it has to serve a large enough audience to be able to attract the funding in order to ensure an nearly-always-up operation. But then, they're no longer a niche station, because they have to respond to the needs of many instead of just a few. They're suddenly popular enough to not be a niche station... and jumping the shark they go.

      It just can't happen. Small-time content gets influenced by making it to the big-time
    • Those of us who are serious internet broadcasters have quite good uptime. And the downtime we have is easily fixed by spending a little extra money - like having backup playback workstations and using T1s instead of DSL to feed our stream repeaters.

      For example, SomaFM runs several of our channels with OtsDJ [otsdj.com], an inexpensive but quite capable and professional broadcast playback and stream encoding solution. These instances often have uptime of 60-90 days between restarts, so reliability there is not a proble
  • Links (Score:4, Informative)

    by Via_Patrino (702161) on Sunday December 28, 2003 @10:50PM (#7825095)
    For those wanting to know this is their website [xmradio.com]. And these [lyngsat.com] are the channels they carry.
  • It's worth it.. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by i_want_you_to_throw_ (559379) * on Sunday December 28, 2003 @10:54PM (#7825119) Homepage Journal
    XM is only 9.95 a month (after hardware investment) and so far I have heard my favorite band, XTC, more than I ever did on commercial radio. Listening to Dead Kennedys right now.

    Of course if you don't want to listen to Sat radio then head to the Future of Rock and Roll at WOXY.COM. 97X - BAM! The Future of Rock and Roll [woxy.com] (As seen in Rainman!). They stream over the 'net and are playing such delicious artists right now like the New Pornographers, Beulah and the Twilight Singers. Find THAT on your local alterna-pop, cock-rock rotating channel owned by the Borg (read: Clear Channel).

    Sadly Clear Channel DOES have a stake in XM.
    • Clear Channel has an investment in XM? I had not realized until you had mentioned. I just found this article [xmradio.com] confirming this. That seems unfortunate but so far I have not found the format to be as poor as most of Clear Channels stations (that prove to constantly play the same song over and over...). Hopefully the format can continue to be interesting. I am dissapointed to hear that XM is apparently limited to 200 stations due to bandwidth, however...
    • Re:It's worth it.. (Score:3, Insightful)

      by geekoid (135745)
      So you could by a cd or three every 2 months. How long until you have ALL the dead Kennedys and XTC music?
      Probably for the cost of the XM hardware, you could have had both there complete collection and then some. I'm not sure what XM costs these days, so maybe I'm wrong.

      By rthe way isn't XM owned by clear channel?
    • Re:It's worth it.. (Score:3, Informative)

      by DragonMagic (170846)
      For those who aren't aware, Twilight Singers are Greg Dulli's new band, who used to head up The Afghan Whigs. His voice is one of the greater voices of the modern rock era without being annoying.

      It's hard to hear either of those bands on the air, so I'm glad there's a station playing TS on the net and the air.
    • Re:It's worth it.. (Score:2, Informative)

      by ShadowBlasko (597519)
      <i> Find THAT on your local alterna-pop, cock-rock rotating channel owned by the Borg (read: Clear Channel).</i>

      *Tunes dial to 97.7* Yep There it is. 97X in all its glory.

      It is the only thing that makes living in Cincinnati worthwhile.

      Hi Barb! (I will be forwarding this thread to my friends over at 97X, they love the advertising.)

      Corporate Radio Sucks! (I still have the button)

      I would have modded you up, but everyone else beat me to it.

  • "Wireless iPod"?
    Possibly integrated with your cellular phone?
    Pick a song from a (big) list and have it downloaded over GPRS, billed with your phone like a call or MMS, recorded in your player's memory/drive. Anywhere, anytime. No desktop computer required.
  • For those of us (Score:5, Insightful)

    by geekoid (135745) <dadinportlandNO@SPAMyahoo.com> on Sunday December 28, 2003 @10:59PM (#7825145) Homepage Journal
    old enough to remember ON tv, we can see whats coming.

    ON tv was on of the first cable TV. it cam with a set top box that had a knob with 2 positions ON and OFF. change to chanel 3 or 4, turn it on, instant commercial free movies, no restrictions.

    Copar it to cable TV now. there is a lot more channels, but most of them have commersials. If you want to see something commercial free, you have to pay more on top of your basic service.

    Satalite radio will go the same way. within 8 years, you'll have commercial, unless you pay for premium content.

    There is a lesson in there, somewhere.

    • On some of the channels. But even there, it's far fewer than on regular radio.
  • by shoemakc (448730) on Sunday December 28, 2003 @11:00PM (#7825147) Homepage
    I've had Sirius since this past march and I have to say that I'm a big fan of the content, but not as big a fan of the sound quality. The Sound quality on the music stations shows quite a bit of obvious compression artifacting. Also, the techo stations seem to have an obscene amount of bass boast present.

    All in all though, I've been rather happy with it and I'll gladly continue to fork over the 12.95 /month :-)

    -Chris
    • You will gladly fork over 13 bucks a month for low quality music? why?

      I mean, there has to be a value ad for you somewhere. Do you travel a lot?
    • Well my issue is that I have all kenwood equipment, so I'm rather locked into it if I want a nicely integrated package.

      -Chris
  • i actually thought this would be a good idea for nullsoft/aol to do, is create a simple car sattelite internet connection with an internet radio dingy to connect to any of your favorite shoutcast or even your home music collection mp3 streamed server.

    i'm chock full of ideas!
  • Used an XM radio once, nice idea, really poor selection of stations.

    "Hot hits from KISS-XM!", top 40s, classic rock, all the usual music that you will hear on some Clearchannel radio station in Anytown, USA.

    News from CNN and Fox news, which I can get from dozens of different sources, all of whom report the exact same stories with the same opinions.

    Not very revolutionary.

    Really, what makes XM better then the zillions of crap commercial radio stations already available in my area?

    Unfortunately, I can't l
  • by DoorFrame (22108) on Sunday December 28, 2003 @11:06PM (#7825187) Homepage
    I was talking about this the other day. Satellite Radio is not something that most people need, unless you're in a part of the country without much solid radio coverage. What most people need, and would find far more useful, is RadioTivo. A product which could record your favorite shows when they're on and let you play them back at your discretion.

    A friend was recently telling me about a show on NPR which plays bad cover songs... now that sounds great! However, I'm really not in the car often enough to chance onto finding it, so I'll probably never hear it. But with RadioTivo, I could tell it to seek and record those programs which interest me and skip the trash. Just imagine being able to listen to your favorite morning disk jockey at any time during the day, and with no commercials! You could have RadioTivo record a few days of your favorite station (not a problem because the amount of space required to record broadcast radio on your RadioTivo is minimal) and skip not only commercials, but those songs you don't like. In fact, we could have our high tech researches program RadioTivo to understand when one song ends and the next begins and add a Skip to the next song button. RadioTivo is the answer.

    Am I the only person who's thought of this? I've never heard anyone mention it before. Too bad I don't have the patience or the capital to make this happen. Oh well, I'll send Tivo an email and the sue them when they come up with the idea on their own.

    I hearby copyright the concept of RadioTivo (although clearly not the name, someone else holds the copyright to that.)
    • TiVoRadio would kinda defeat the purpose of radio.

      "Radio" is in part designed to deliver a stream of music that you don't control because there's program directors behind the scenes who have the job of determining what mix of music the listeners who like their format want to hear, which is what defines their format. That is to say, how would you know that you like (your favorite artist here) if it wasn't for the existance of a radio service of some kind? You're just gonna read about them? No, you need to h
      • Uhm, I could replace "Television" with radio everywhere in your post, and the logic would be just as sound. All the arguments are the same about television. We have program directors, the money is made by telling the public what it wants to watch, you can choose your own programming by going to blockbuster... and yet we still have Tivo. Why?

        Also, there are a lot of products on radio, again like anything involving "talk", which you cannot buy or download legally at any price. Why wouldn't RadioTivo be g
        • Television is scheduled very differently than radio. If you want to see "The Simpsons", you have to be watching at the appointed hour. If you want "The Simpsons" Sunday morning at 10am, you're out of luck unless you have a TiVo.

          Radio however, doesn't change as much. Kiss 108 is Kiss 108 all through the day. K-Rock is K-Rock all through the day. There's subtile changes in the morning where there's a little more talk and traffic info, and in the night where the more offensive content can come out to play, bu
      • but what about the AM talk shows, or the good FM dj/talkshows? plus, unless it is just pure music, there are a lot of djs that give a good talk/song ratio and make things stream together nicely, not just some rand(TOP_40_HIT) song station.
    • Absolutely! I've been thinking of that for a while too. I'd buy one if it did both AM and FM and could integrate with my car audio system as easilly as a Tivo or ReplayTV integrates with my home entertainment system.
    • Why is google so hard for /. readers to use?

      http://streamripper.sourceforge.net/index.php
    • Which is, after all, most of the country. FM is line of sight, AM is a wasteland. So unless you're in or near a city, there's not much good on. I used to live in Utah and except for Salt Lake there wasn't much, if anything, on the radio. Down in Cedar City, where I lived, you had one pop station, one classic rock, one country top 40, and NPR. Oh, and a college station which you could hear on some of the campus, if you had properly propitiated the radio gods first, if school was in session. I would've
    • Excellent idea, and it looks like there's a company that's almost ready to offer something similar!

      http://www.gotuit.com/audio/
    • The RadioTiVo idea got its own slashdot article awhile ago (too lazy to look up the article) so no, you aren't that original. From that discussion, I found out that you can use mplayer and your computer to do an easy radio Tivo. This is how I listen to NPR.

      The key command is:
      mplayer -cache 256 -ao pcm -aofile $wav_file http://someinternetradiostation/
      This records a wav file (anyone know how to get mplayer to record directly to mp3? Couldn't find out how to do it from the docs). Note the cache opti

    • What most people need, and would find far more useful, is RadioTivo. A product which could record your favorite shows when they're on and let you play them back at your discretion.

      Eeeeyup. The biggest problem is that most people (note the word "most") listen to radio very differently than they watch TV -- they're not tuning in at specific times. The programming model of radio has thus differentiated itself from that of TV quite a bit. This is why the concept of an audio VCR (tape based) never caught on

  • When my mother, who's not technically enclined, told me the other day "your dad is getting me xm radio". seems to be getting more mainstream, as people are getting sick of the crap that plagues our airwaves at the moment.
    • as people are getting sick of the crap that plagues our airwaves at the moment.

      So they pay a bunch of money to listen to crap over satellite?

      Satellite radio makes sense if you're living in a rural community, travel long distances or spend a lot of time listening to the radio. However, if you live in a major city and only listen to the radio on your way to and from work, you're paying to listen to pretty much the same stuff you can for free and missing out on a ton of local news and info while you're at i
  • Ok, I can either pay $10 a month to hear music from some good bands I will never be able to see live, or buy a CD from, or I can listen to the local college station, for free, and listen to some good local bands that might have grown up down the street, sell their CDs for $5 at the local record store (and hand them out free at their shows) and play at the local bars.

    Sure XM radio does sound nice, I can listen to my style music wherever I go and it'll be commercial free. But I already listen to my style
    • XM tries hard to maintain that "connection" with its listeners. They realize each station is being heard about a college station's worth of audience at any given moment... take the number of XM radios, subtract those turned off at any given moment, and divide by the number of formats on the service.

      The fact that the business model of the service has them more loyal to their listeners than their sponsors lead to some very interesting music selections and responses to listener requests...
  • Never (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ksemlerK (610016)
    I will never pay money to listen to the radio. Granted, it may be commercial free now, but how long do you think that will last? Not long. Cable TV used to be like that until there was a massive enough audience to justify advertising expenses. Right now, the primary reason why there is no advertizing on sattilite radio is due to the lack of audience to advertize to.

    I will never pay money to watch TV, or listen to the radio. I could really give a crap less if the signal is clearer, and there are more c
    • ...commercial free now, but how long do you think that will last? Not long. Cable TV used to be like that

      I've been watching cable TV on and off since 1968, and have seen the offerings in many different markets over the years. Every one of them was chock full of commercials (with only some channels being commercial-free)
  • by nvrrobx (71970) on Sunday December 28, 2003 @11:33PM (#7825316) Homepage
    I got Sirius because I commute, and let me tell you, it's absolutely wonderful. If you think that satellite radio is only a niche market, I guess commuters are a niche market. The Merrian-Webster dictionary defines niche has d) a specialized market. I spend every day on Interstate 405 driving to work. I'd hardly consider the thousands of people who commute over that freeway a niche market. Anyhow, enough of that rant...

    Yes, it's $12.95/mo, and XM is $9.95. For that $3, I get more channels and NO commercials (other than telling me about Pam Anderson's radio show).

    It's also nice to drive from my place in Los Angeles to see my family in Bakersfield and never have to change my station.

    I still carry CDs with me, but thanks to Sirius, I get exposed to new music and buy more CDs (the record companies should be happy about that)...

  • So i researched these for my wifes birthday (today as a matter of fact, along with mine as well.. heh.. yeah same bday..)

    Sirius has no commercials on the music feeds ,and it has nothing to do with clearchannel. the hardware was a little more limited, but i still prefer them.

    we tried to get the audiovox pnp2 unit (house/car portable bit), but the cigarette lighter in the car wasnt connected, so i went with a panasonic head unit.

    after a bunch of wiring later, it all worked.. except for the antenna.. it had
  • Just Say No!!! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by t'mbert (301531)
    DON'T DO IT!

    Remember free tv? Now we are all hostage to cable companies for our tv, broadcast is a joke. Yeah, you can do it, but lets face it, few do.

    Don't make our future include "remember free radio?" Boycot this stupid idea.

    Yeah, no commercials, I know. Right. That'll last until quarterly profits start slipping and they can't raise rates anymore.
  • The problem... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by OneFix (18661) on Monday December 29, 2003 @02:20AM (#7826023)
    With satelite radio is the same problem with multiplayer ONLY games...

    If you want me to PAY for your service, give me the hardware...or if you want me to pay for the hardware, give me choice (or give me the service)...

    The fact remains that XM hardware only works with XM service, therefore the hardware is useless otherwise...

    If they're gonna charge for the hardware, they should provide additional functionality (like MP3/OGG) or a free alternative (like a free basic service level).

    One way of essentially giving away the hardware would be to include XM or Sirius in new vehicles (buy a new Ford, get XM radio)...the major advantage here is that they could hide some of the cost in the complete sound package. The big selling point for this could be an upgraded stereo system (6-8 speaker system, mp3 CD, etc) or free service for a period of time (say 3-6 months)...
  • There are lots of interesting radio stations beside the music oriented ones.
  • Blew The Gift Market (Score:3, Informative)

    by Effugas (2378) on Monday December 29, 2003 @03:56AM (#7826270) Homepage
    Oops.

    I was going to get XM or Sirius setups for one or two relatives (as in, was at the store, had liked XM, but Sirius had a nicer receiver).

    Too bad you couldn't obviously give people the actual subscriptions as gifts. Problem was, providing gifts as subscriptions exposed the fact that there was a subscription fee -- and if you look around the packaging and brochures, you'll find said fee is nowhere to be found (at least at the three stores I looked -- Fry's, Good Guys, and Best Buy).

    Since there's no fee to be found, there's no "six month subscription" to be found either.

    I wasn't about to give a gift that came with a recurring fee w/ no demo. So I bought something more interesting.

    --Dan
  • Digital radio is finally taking off, with the major electrical chains offering receivers at almost realistic prices (around 75 for a table model) with the hope that enough will have been found under the tree the Christmas. 6Music [bbc.co.uk] and its companion raider of the BBC archives BBC7 [bbc.co.uk] have been major drivers in the digital radio takeup campaign, as the UK government is still working towards an end of analogue broadcasting in the VHF and UHF bands by 2010. Ironically, 6Music and BBC7 seem to have been more popular
  • It might not be legal, but you can rip SomaFM, et al. to mp3. For example, with SomaFM you just need to record 3 or 4 hours worth and you can have a portable SomaFM (you may have to refresh the recording every month or so). Write a cron job that records at night and then take it with you during the day.
  • (sarcasm on)

    I have a clear channel station here my town and they spoon feed me everything I ever needed!

    (sarcasm off)
  • It works better than ground attenna broadcasts, but there still are shadows. I rented an AM car in the Rockies. Tunnels have blackouts, though with a delay due to the buffer. Also steep valley walls (on the south) can block the signal.
  • I am a new Sirius subscriber and I like it so far. The lack of commercials in the car is really nice. It started feeling like I was listening to 3 minutes of commercials for every 5 minutes of talk with the local AM stations. Add in the traffic/weather/intro music/filler and there wasn't much substance in my 45 minute commute.

    The thing I like most about the music stations is that you can see the Artist and Song title that is playing and you can see what is on other channels as well (at least with my Kenwoo

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