Satellite Radio Article

Shhhhhhh… Don’t tell anyone, but I’ve been cheating on my
iPod for a couple months now! Yes,
I know it’s hard to believe, but it’s true. These days I don’t listen to the
iPod at all on my drive to and from work. What is my new digital audio player of
choice? Actually, it’s not an audio player at all, it’s a satellite radio.

For those of you that follow the adventures of Judie and I through this site,
you may be aware that I was always the MP3 player aficionado. I’ve been using
them and reviewing them for quite a few years now. I kept asking Judie why she
didn’t seem to have the slightest interest in them, and always got the answer
that she listened to CDs in her vehicles and listened to music through her
computer when she was home, and didn’t really see the point in having one. It
wasn’t until I was able to get her the 20gb
Sony
Network Walkman
that she finally got the bug and now loves hard disk based
audio players as much as I do ;o)

On the flip side, Judie has been a Sirius satellite radio subscriber almost
since they originally started broadcasting in back in 2002. At that time, I
think she had a similar conversation with me asking why I wasn’t excited about
the technology. I probably replied with a lame answer that I had my iPod with
1000’s of songs, so why would I need a new fangled radio?

So, what made me want to give satellite radio a try? Truthfully, the answer
is that I wanted some new tunes. Yes, I have over 4000 sounds on my iPod, but
like a lot of people with large collections, we still tend to listen to our
favorite albums over and over and over till they are no longer all that enjoyable. I
had actually gone back to listening to my regular in dash car radio when driving to and from
work everyday. Granted, my drive each way is only about 20 minutes, give or take
5 minutes. But, during that time I always have the radio playing. Problem is
that where I live (bustling metropolis of Columbus, Indiana Population 35,000),
there are only a handful of stations to listen to. You have your Oldies,
Country, Top 10, Christian Radio, and more Country. I would tend to listen to
the Top 10 station and typically would hear the same exact songs on the way to
work that I would hear on the way home. If I wasn’t listening to the same songs,
I was listening to annoying DJ’s talking about some lame local contests, or
commercials about sweeper bags. To say that I was fed up with FM radio is an
understatement. I was ready to give satellite radio a try!

It’s a little hard to believe that satellite radio has been around for over 3
yrs now. That seems like a long time to me… The first service available was
XM in September of 2001.
Sirius debuted the next summer in July of
2002. Both services have over 120 stations of music, talk, news, sports and
entertainment. They are also subscription based. XM is $9.99 per month while
Sirius is $12.95 per month. Which is better? That’s what I wanted to know, so I
have been checking them both out for the past couple of months. Hopefully this
overview will be of some help if you are interested in making the jump to
satellite radio yourself.

 

SIRIUS

I picked Sirius to try first. I was lucky enough to have them send me the

Audiovox SIR-PNP3
receiver with the optional car kit.  You actually
have to buy either a car kit or home kit with this device. It’s not useable all
by itself as it just comes with a handheld remote control and no antenna. The
car kit was pretty simple to install and took me about 30mins to do a temporary
setup. After sticking the small magnetic antenna on the top of my truck, I
fished the very long wire attached to it under the gasket around my door, under
the seat and to the SIR-PNP3.

Powering on the receiver immediately gave me a preview station with very
clear audio. I’m all about easy installations, so I was already impressed by
this point. Of course before you can begin enjoying the 120+ stations, you have
to subscribe to the service. This required a phone call and a few minutes of
waiting. 15mins later, I was happily flipping through stations.

The next morning I was greeted by very heavy rains. I was doubtful how well
the radio would work as my satellite internet service (Direcway) tends to poop
out during periods of heavy rain or snow. I was pleasantly surprised that the
signal was strong and clear during my entire drive to work. The only time that
the signal cut out was while I drove down my tree lined drive, driving under
overpasses, sitting in the garage, or while getting gas at a canopied service
station.

During my month or so of using the Sirius radio service, I became immediately
addicted to the fact that the name of the band and song name are always
displayed on the radio’s LCD. That feature in and of itself is something that I
can no longer live without as far as a radio is concerned. I don’t know about
you, but in the past with FM radio, I will hear a new song, really like it and
then never figure out who sings it. With satellite radio, you’ll always know
exactly what you are listening to at any given time.

I believe both Sirius and XM tout the audio quality of their broadcasts as
being near CD quality. I wouldn’t go that far, but I found that Sirius sounds
pretty darn good on my crappy old Delco radio. If you’re into music, you have a
huge variety of channels to choose from. As of this writing, there are 13 Pop
music channels, 17 Rock, 6 Country, 4 Hip-Hop, 5 R&B, 6 Electronic/Dance, 6
Jazz, 3 Classical and 5 Latin / World music channels. These 65 different music
channels that are 100% commercial free. Every so often you will hear DJ’s talk a
little bit, but very rarely.

If you’re into Talk / News radio, you will be happy with 36 channels to
choose from. Channels that focus on entertainment news, stand up comedy, gay /
lesbian news, woman’s issues news, kids news, Discovery channel news and old
standbys such as CNN, NPR, Bloomberg, etc. We also must not forget Sirius’s big
announcement in October 2004 that Howard Stern would join its
programming lineup on January 1, 2006. The infamous shock jock will be available
exclusively to Sirius subscribers.  

The one content area where Sirius has XM beat is with their
sports channels lineup. With 8 dedicated channels, they have  the NBA, the
NHL, and live play-by-play coverage of every NFL game. I don’t give a hooey
about this aspect of satellite radio, but I know there are many of you that do.

If you have Sirius in your car, but not in your house, you
can always listen to the broadcasts as they stream over the internet for free.
This is also an easy way to check out the service / content before you
subscribe. You can get a 3 day trial at the Sirius website.

One month into my satellite radio experiment, and I was
already hooked on Sirius. I reluctantly unhooked the Audiovox and setup the

Delphi XM SKYFi2
receiver that I bought at my local Circuit City. Since the
XM folks never returned my emails asking for an evaluation unit, I figured I
could test out the radio and return it within 30 days. ;o)

 

XM

Like the Audiovox, I had to spring for a car kit in order to use the SKYFi2
in my truck. Also like the Audiovox, installation was quick and painless.

Although this article is not a hardware review, I immediately noticed
that the black on white display of the SKYFi2 was not as easily viewable as the
red on black display of the Audiovox. Just something to keep in mind when you go
shopping for a receiver.

The XM radio functions pretty much like the Sirius radio. Reading the manual
is not required unless you plan to use the extra features. I was easily flipping
stations, and setting presets within 5 minutes of hanging up the phone after
starting my subscription.

One big difference that I noticed within days of testing the radio/service
was the fact that this radio would actually receive a signal while my truck was in the
garage. In addition, it didn’t cut out as I drove down my long tree lined lane or under overpasses.
Bonus.

With 68 commercial free music channels, XM has a few more than Sirius, but the same basic collection of Pop, Country, R&B, Jazz, etc. The only thing about XM that is a little different is the naming scheme for their channels. Some of them have wacky names like Lucy, Ethel, and Fred. Not sure what happend to Ricky. I
immediately noticed that the sound quality for XM was somewhat better than
Sirius. I also found that I preferred the music that XM tends to play on their
channels over the content that Sirius plays. XM claims to have a deeper play
list which I believe to be true. Due to XM, I have discovered quite a few
artists / bands that I had never heard of before. As a result, I have purchased
several CDs based on these discoveries.

I should also mention that while I would sometimes notice a bit of talking by
DJ’s on Sirius, I’ve never heard anything other than a short station ID / promos
on XM. XM seems more ‘quiet’ than Sirius in that regard.

Besides music channels, there are also 33 channels of news, sports, talk &
entertainment, as well as 21 dedicated channels of XM traffic & weather for
large cities. Sports fans will be happy to hear that XM will start airing MLB
broadcasts in this year. Wheeeeee…. not ;o) Race fans can listen to NASCAR
races too.

Want to listen to XM via your computer as it streams over
the internet? Sure, no problem… But unlike Sirius, this is not a free service.
XM subscribers have to pay an additional $3.99. Yeah, I know… It sucks.

To compare XM to Sirius is a bit like comparing Macs to PCs,
or Coke to Pepsi. It’s a personal preference kind of thing. If you are
interested in becoming a subscriber to a satellite radio service, I don’t think
that you can really go wrong picking either one. They both have a great
selection of content and channels that will keep you entertained forever. I
would have been perfectly happy with Sirius had I not tried XM and found that I
liked it better as far as their music selection is concerned. Personally,

I’m going to remain a subscriber to XM radio as I never returned the Delphi XM
SKYFi2 to Circuit City.

In my opinion the choice between the two comes down to only
a couple of different things. If you are a football or hockey fan, go with
Sirius. If you are a baseball fan go with XM. If you are a Howard Stern fan, go
with Sirius. If you are just a music lover, then I suggest that you try the free
internet streaming trial for both services and make your choice based on which
one plays more of the types of music that you enjoy most. Regardless as to which
service you choose, I guarantee that you’ll never go back to FM radio again!

 

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43 thoughts on “Satellite Radio Article”

  1. Great write-up, Julie.

    I have had the same experience here in Indiana; which is, basically, most of the stations really aren not that great. My iPod was a real savior for my traveling around for work. Then my wife gave the SkyFi2 for XMas and my iPod has not been played in my truck once since then. A friend of ours has Sirius and I really wasn’t that impressed with the reception and quality he received while we driving across I70 it didn’t sound as rich as the XM.

    Plus, if you are a baseball fan XM will be broadcasting almost every MLB game starting this year. And I don’t believe it is going to cost any extra.

    Hope this helps some other people.

  2. XM radio carries Pac10, ACC, and Big10 sports. I’m a big college football fan and have enjoyed listening to Pac10 football games on XM radio.


    Manny

  3. Thanks for the write up. I was an early adopter of MP3 players, and recently got an IPOD photo, mostly for the music, but also for transferring files off of digital cameras.

    But, like you, I’m finding that my old music is sounding old. I went through the Rolling Stone 2004 album reviews and went out and got a bunch of their top rated albums, but I guess I have different music tastes than the kids who like Good Charlotte etc. FM Radio is no way to find new music.

    I was looking at that portable player from XM. Thanks for the great review. I’ll look into getting one.

  4. Nice write up. I started with XM pretty early on and have enjoyed it. I have it in my house and in my car.

    I am using the XM SkyFi in my far (not the SkyFi2). The SkiFi is somewhat less expensive and has the orange/red on black that is probably easier to read than the SkyFi2.

    The reason XM is working better in your garage and under trees is they have two satellies + terrestrial broadcast in most major cities, ie, transmitters IN the city to fix problems like overcast and big buildings. I can have my home XM Radio in a building with NO outside view and pick up XM Radio just fine (because of the terrestrial rebroadcast). This is a NICE feature of XM (maybe Sirius has it too, but it doesn’t sound like it).

    For inside the house one could get an XM Direct radio and the TimeTrax (timetraxtech.com) software and cable which one could use to record a show and listen to later. TimeTrax is also available for Sirius now, I think (or will be soon).

    Finally, XM has Opie and Anthony (better than Stern in my opinion). Yes O&A is an extra $1.99 a month and Stern will be included, but, XM + O&A is still cheaper monthly than Sirius. It wouldn’t suprise me if O&A because stock content in the future.

    I would say, in general, XM has better hardware. Don’t forget that XM now also has the MyFi which is portable, walk alround a listen to XM anywhere. It can also record up to 5 hours of XM content. I have heard it even works from an airplane if your seat is on the side of the plan with a southern view.

  5. Don’t forget that XM now also has the MyFi which is portable, walk alround a listen to XM anywhere. It can also record up to 5 hours of XM content. I have heard it even works from an airplane if your seat is on the side of the plan with a southern view.

  6. One of the features of the SKYFi2 that I like most is the ability to pause the live feed. If I’m in the middle of a favorite tune, I’ll pause it when I get out to get the mail or pump gas. Then there’s another feature which lets you flag a song so that anytime it plays on any channel, the radio will beep so that you can press a button to jump to that station. Pretty cool! Now what I think would be nice would be to display the next song in the line up.

  7. I actually gave up my iPod for XM in October. I liked the iPod and all, but I too got tired of the same old tracks and playlists.

    The comedy content is also something fun and different. If you don’t want news and you can’t get in the mood for any particular music, you have the option of listening to one of the three comedy stations. I like XM 150, although it is uncensored, so you got to keep in mind who’s in the car with you at the time.

    I started out with the car kit and home kit. I then added the boom box thingy for a more situational placement — on the deck, in the bedroom, at the office, wherever…

    Like Julie, I really have taken to the artist and song title info on the screen. The iPod offers that information up as well, but, on the XM, new and obscure song information is much more useful if you’re of a mind to track the tracks down and buy them. I have the original SkyFi and find the amber screen easy to read except when wearing sunglasses — but, then again, almost all screens are hard to read that way for me.

    My car unit only cuts out when going under certain overpasses — not all, but some. Interestingly, my XM receiver picks-up the incoming signal from my Cingular Nokia N-Gage QD phone while Bluetooth is turned on a momment before it actually rings. I get a little “noise” almost like Morse Code and know a call or text message is coming in. It’s sort of weird, but at the same time, I’ve come to welcome the warning.

    I’d love to hear about user experiences with the MyFi portable — reception and such — compared to teh more stationary SkyFi units.

  8. MikeUnwired wrote:

    My car unit only cuts out when going under certain overpasses — not all, but some. Interestingly, my XM receiver picks-up the incoming signal from my Cingular Nokia N-Gage QD phone while Bluetooth is turned on a momment before it actually rings. I get a little “noise” almost like Morse Code and know a call or text message is coming in. It’s sort of weird, but at the same time, I’ve come to welcome the warning.

    In our Van we have a DVD player and you can use your FM radio to listen to the sound instead of using headphones and it does the same thing with my Nokia phone. Also if my phone is near my computer screen or TV the screen gets a whole bunch of blacklines jumping across the screen and it makes that noise as well. I also like the “warning” that this provides as it allows me to turn down the volume of the radio/TV/Computer prior the phone ringing.

    –Aequitas

  9. OK, I’m sorta a cheap bastard yet somehow am still a big gadget geek. I need to justify paying the monthly fee for the service. Has anyone else had a problem in that department? Is the lifetime service worth it? I’d have an easier time not having to pay a monthly fee, believe it or not, but no being able to upgrade my radio would suck.

    Thanks for any replies.

  10. I didn’t even know they offered a lifetime service, but, if it is like ReplayTV it is the lifetime of the receiver not of the lisetener. I would hate to tie myself to a radio for that period of time.

  11. gudlyf wrote:

    OK, I’m sorta a cheap bastard yet somehow am still a big gadget geek. I need to justify paying the monthly fee for the service. Has anyone else had a problem in that department? Is the lifetime service worth it? I’d have an easier time not having to pay a monthly fee, believe it or not, but no being able to upgrade my radio would suck.
    Thanks for any replies.

    A man after my own heart. 😉

    I bought the Sirius lifetime membership, and it has been extremely “worth it” to me. Not only do I never have to worry about payments again, I have swapped cars four times with the same subscription and different equipment each time! I also get a break on our second vehicle’s subscription, which is around $7 a month and automatically billed to Amex. I probably should just upgrade the second subscription to Lifetime, too. :p

  12. Good article. It’s a nice overview for those of us considering satellite radio. I have a couple of questions if Julie or Judy or anyone else knows:

    1. How does the breadth of musical offerings of either service compare to a free service such as accuradio? I am primarily listening in the home, so mobility is not that big a deal to me.

    2. What is the technical lowdown on the compression used? I have seen widely varying reviews of the sound quality, everything from “unacceptable”to “better than CD (??)”. Are any objective details available?

    Thanks. I’m newly registered, but have been following this site for a while.

  13. I don’t believe it. I purchased a Rio Carbon and was happy listening to my audiobooks (I have been a subscriber to Audible for years)…but a couple of weeks later, I decided to try XM radio when the Delphi Roady II was put on sale.

    Whoops.

    My Carbon has not been used since, and my audiobooks are being unlistened to. I can have my stand-up comedy, unlimited, anytime, anywhere. I bought the house kit and listen to it while doing work. Reception in both my house and car is outstanding and the content is perfect. Worth the subscription price? Well, let’s put it this way…anyone want to buy a 30 GB iPod??? Haven’t listened to it in months!!!

    Mark

  14. I have been advocating satellite radio since I first got it. It’s great to hear so many others feel the same way – whether it is XM or Sirius, it really is the wave of the future. 😀

  15. So wait a minute…the lifetime subscription still allows one to upgrade to different devices? For anyone wondering, Sirius is offering lifetime subscription for $499, which they will not offer after June this year. But it seems to indicate it’s only for the lifetime of your particular device, which means you’re stuck with crappy hardware unless you want to lose that subscription.

    Has anyone taken advantage of the family deal and let friends pay them $10/mo. for the $7/mo. service? 😉

  16. I can tell you from personal experience that you can change your equipment at anytime and use the same lifetime subscription. As I said previously, I have done it four times already. Never had a problem before, and I don’t anticipate any in the future.

    Think about this: Many cars (like the Mini I owned) come with built-in Sirius. When you go from one car to that type, or from that type to a new car which needs new equipment, they are not going to stop you from transferring your service.

  17. My problem may be that I want a portable device, not one constrained to my car. I’ll have to ask Sirius about how it works before I did something like that. Basically it’s like paying for 3.2 years of service — a lot can change in that amount of time.

  18. technolvr wrote:

    Good article. It’s a nice overview for those of us considering satellite radio. I have a couple of questions if Julie or Judy or anyone else knows:

    1. How does the breadth of musical offerings of either service compare to a free service such as accuradio? I am primarily listening in the home, so mobility is not that big a deal to me.

    I’d never heard of Accuradio, but just give it a whirl this morning. Pretty cool! The selection of music channels on Accuradio seems a little more eclectic than Sirius and XM. I’m loving the Celtic channels at the moment.

    I would say that if you are liking Accuradio, stick with it because it is FREE 🙂

    2. What is the technical lowdown on the compression used? I have seen widely varying reviews of the sound quality, everything from “unacceptable”to “better than CD (??)”. Are any objective details available?

    I did a little googling and was unable to find any info on the bit rate used by each service. I can only comment that my hears tell me that XM sounds slightly better than Sirius. I know that’s not the level detail you were hoping for… Does anyone else have the answer to this question?

  19. Well I had been on the fence about this for some time now. Your article was like a sign to me. So today I went out a picked up a Myfi and signed up with XM. 😉

    I’m enjoying it so far.

  20. lgreenberg:

    So, how did you decide between XM and Sirius? How do you like the Myfi? Are you using it in your car, house or both?

  21. Julie wrote:

    lgreenberg:

    So, how did you decide between XM and Sirius? How do you like the Myfi? Are you using it in your car, house or both?

    It was actually a tough choice. I do like listening to Howard Stern and Sirius has the NFL. But I figured I have to live in the here and now. Stern won’t be on Sirius for another year and the NFL season is one game from being over.

    XM has Major League Baseball starting soon and plenty of other decent channels which interest me. For now I’ll stick with XM. If I find I can’t live without Howard and the NFL come next year, who knows.

    I set up the Myfi in my house first. I used it there all last night, FM transmiting to various devices around my house. I did install all the car components (cradle, antenna, chanrger) yesterday as well and will be taking it with me in the car today.

    I like the Myfi alot. It comes with everything! Car cradle, car charger, car antenna, home cradle, home charger, home antenna, leather case, plastic holster, remote, walk-around antenna, audio cables, built in FM transmiter, car mounts and more. Everything you could possibly need is included in the box.

  22. There is actually an internal antenna in the device itself so you do not have to use the “walk-around” antenna if you don’t need it. It’s not in the headphones.

    But if you need an extra boost of signal while using the Myfi away from either the home or car cradle it comes with this another antenna which you can also plug into the Myfi. It’s a small tube (about three inches long) which comes with a clip that you can then clip onto your belt, bag, strap etc. It’s also good if you want to keep the Myfi inside your bag while listening to it. You can simply run the antenna out and leave the device hidden.

    It’s not part of the headphones. There is a separate port/hole on the side of the device for this antenna.

    Hope that’s clear.

  23. Wow, I guess I didn’t realize that it had an internal antenna. I wonder how well it would work inside a building not near a window?

  24. Great write up. Just so that everyone understands, XM may work better inside garages and homes in about 70 urban markets because they have terrestrial (that is ground based antennas) in those markets. Those of us who live in rural areas will get no inside reception without mounting an antenna outside our homes/offices. My friend who lives in Richmond, VA gets great indoor reception with no exterior antenna. Not sure what, if anything, Sirius does.

  25. mber:

    I definitely do not live in any urban market. I’m in a rural area (living in 12 acres of woods) and was quite surprised that my XM radio worked inside the garage.

    On another note, I just saw a rumor that XM and Sirius might merge… Not sure this will ever happen since that would make them a monopoly.

  26. Julie wrote:

    Wow, I guess I didn’t realize that it had an internal antenna. I wonder how well it would work inside a building not near a window?

    Yeah, that’s really the premise of the Myfi. The fact that’s is so portable. I haven’t tested it yet away from one of it’s cradles yet so I don’t know the answer to your question yet…….

  27. Satellite Radio seems to be a real hot topic! Having Sirus on my Dish-network Satellite TV system at home I had a good opportunity to evaluate their service. I gave it two thumbs down. For a 43 year old I have very strange taste in Music. For that reason I have always preferred MP3’s. A few months ago I had a rent-a-car on a business trip that was equipped with XM radio. with little on the FM dial in the part of the country that I was in I gave the XM a whirl. Despite some similarities I found several features that XM had that Sirrus didn’t. My personal favorite was the Unsigned channel. A whole channel of unsigned artists one after another from many music formats. Now that’s what I call great music. I wonder if the growing level of interest in Satellite radio will force changes in the standard AM and FM radio bands? I see no reason why some of the technology can’t be ported over to these other frequency ranges.

  28. I’ve been very happy with the Sirius service I have. I got it because the in dash CD player I got had it available, and the stereo store cut me a deal to get it installed (pay for the antenna, get the receiver for free). One thing about Sirius vs. XM is that Sirius has 3 satellites while XM only has one. What XM does is to rent space from FM subcarriers in their market areas to broadcast on as well. That is why you will receive it in areas where you won’t get Sirius (garages, etc). But once you get out of that FM range, you are out of luck. Just east of Portland is the Columbia River Gorge, a long valley the Columbia River runs through. It is about 80 miles long. I get perfect reception on my Sirius, but my friend who has factory installed XM doesn’t get a peep. I also loose the signal in the parking structure at the hospital I work at, but I get complete coverage at the parking structure next to Safeco Field in Seattle.

    😀

  29. A few clarifications on this write up (great job BTW).

    XM is increasing their prices to equal Sirius – 12.95/mo

    But they are including free online streaming radio (previously $3.99/mo for radio owners, $7.95 for everyone else) and access to Opie and Anthony’s High Voltage channel (previously $1.99/month extra).

    XM also will be covering every single MLB game from the first pitch to the last out of the World Series. I would have rather had access to football games… but went with XM for the price.

    On a side note – XM’s satellites pump out 18,000 watts of digital music goodness in a geosyc orbit. XM just launched a 3rd satellite and is planning on a 4th in 2006. These two new birds will be replacing the existing ones that have a faulty solar collectors. Covered by insurance, it was cheaper to send replacements.

  30. mber wrote:

    Great write up. Just so that everyone understands, XM may work better inside garages and homes in about 70 urban markets because they have terrestrial (that is ground based antennas) in those markets. Those of us who live in rural areas will get no inside reception without mounting an antenna outside our homes/offices. My friend who lives in Richmond, VA gets great indoor reception with no exterior antenna. Not sure what, if anything, Sirius does.

    I live about 120 miles from the nearest terrestrial repeater for XM, and I get great coverage in my garage using my car or home kit. I think a lot depends on where you are, what your garage is made of, LOS to the bird – trees, clouds, etc.

    I have a home kit I didn’t need to mount anything outside, I just pointed the little XM antenna south and it gave me full bars. I forgot how much fun listening to music was – compared to 60% advertisements, 15% annoying DJs, and 25% of the “new hits”…

    I’ll give up satradio when they pry it from my cold dead hands.

  31. Thank you for writting such a wonderful article. I am a student at Seneca College and I’ve een searching for articles for a project. Just to let you know I’ll be using yours in my blog.

    I work @ one of the customer Service centers fo XM radio. I was glad to here such wonderful comments about our service. Even though I get great reviews over the phone.

    I have the same unit your using at the moment. It’s wonderful. And sorry for them not getting back to you with that email. We are expanding rapidly and hiring more and more Customer Service reps every chance we get.

    So everyone out there keep on enjoying your XM service. If you ever call and hear. “Hi this is Lisa bringing your radio to the power of X.” That’s me. I’m at the Toronto Location.

  32. Old-tech guy goes new-tech and loves it!

    I never got into the ipod thing. In anticipation of a road trip I bought an Alpine receiver/cd player with XM built-in for my car.

    First of all, no commercials (other than XM promos) is wonderful. In urban driving listening to FM I got plain fed up with the loud obnoxious ads and even more obnoxious DJ’s, did not need traffic reports every five minutes during rush hour. Music variety is fantastic.

    A five week trip through west Texas, New Mexico, Colorado and Oklahoma convinced me. Navigating a mountain pass on an old dirt road the XM cut out for a few seconds (I was against a treed rise of a couple of hundred feet). Other than that one moment XM worked perfectly through mountains and desert. Subsequent trips to rural areas have further convinced me. When I promote XM to friends I talk about the proramming variety and close with, “It works everywhere!”

    (OK, it won’t work in a parking garage)

    Now when I hit the road I’ll carry only a few CD’s.

  33. t3645:

    I’m still happy with my XM radio 🙂 I use it every single day. It’s on whenever I’m driving. It’s really nice to have your favorite stations with you where ever you go. 🙂

  34. Just a follow-up to my earlier post. I still love XM!!! My iPod has not been used in a vehicle for almost 8 months now. And I also get reception in my garage and I am about 70 miles away from Indianapolis and I will lose signal under some larger gas station over hangs. Now that my wife has used XM on some of our roadtrips she now wants one for her car and the house.
    And I love that XM has all the MLB games, too. It is kind of fun to drive around in the summer listening to a ballgame on the radio.

  35. Beward-XM radio has started bonmbarding the airwaves with commercials. They still claim their false advertising campaign of commercial-free.

  36. sapello1945:

    They’ve been slipping them in here and there for months now. I’m quickly becoming bored with XM and am seriously considering Sirius 🙂 (I made that up all by myself) for my new car.

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