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Internet Killed the Satellite Radio Star

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the finding-an-economically-sensible-use-for-space dept.

Space 368

theodp writes "As Sirius XM faces bankruptcy, Slate's Farhad Manjoo reports that the company has bigger problems than just the end of cheap credit. While it has what seems like a pretty great service — the world's best radio programming for just a small monthly fee — Sirius XM has been eclipsed by something far cheaper and more convenient: the Internet. Load up Pandora or the Public Radio Tuner on your iPhone, and you've got access to a wider stream of music than you'll ever get through satellite. So forget the satellites, the special radios, and the huge customer acquisition costs, advises Manjoo, and instead focus on getting Howard Stern, Oprah, the NFL, and MLB on every Internet-connected device on the market at very low prices."

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So? (2, Insightful)

zoomshorts (137587) | more than 5 years ago | (#26862661)

Yawn, who would have guessed?

How about this: (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26862689)

Re:How about this: (1)

Vectronic (1221470) | more than 5 years ago | (#26862913)

You should be confined to a small room, without food, until you are no longer alive.

Good Riddance (5, Informative)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#26862673)

It was centralized anyway. However, what we need is a mesh network, because otherwise we will lose net neutrality and then you'll be back to having to listen to clearchannel because no other kind of internet radio will work on your mobile internet connection any more. WE MUST DECENTRALIZE.

flycast.fm replaced it for me. (4, Interesting)

Vermifax (3687) | more than 5 years ago | (#26862685)

I can run flycast.fm on my office pc instead of my xm radio and they have also released a blackberry and iphone client.

The blackberry client works well so long as I'm not moving. If I am signal fluctuates and the music drops out.

Re:flycast.fm replaced it for me. (4, Interesting)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 5 years ago | (#26862729)

Well, doesn't sound like a great solution then if you can't really use it while you're driving.

Also, I can't run flycast or anything like that on my office pc.. those things are not allowed. I can aim a sat. antenna out the window though. Of course my main reason to keep sat. is not really the music; it's the other programming.

Sirius music channels always sucked.. and now XMers are suffering through that. I don't listen to the music as much... even in the few cases where I like the play list better. The problem is the Sirius DJs, that don't understand their stupid babble was the second most annoying thing about FM radio. The XM DJs were less chatty, and a few were actually good. But now Liquid Metal has an annoying bitch DJ that can't shut her mouth.. and she knows nothing about metal... because she's also on two other channels at other times of the day. Sad really.

Re:flycast.fm replaced it for me. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26862799)

Well, doesn't sound like a great solution then if you can't really use it while you're driving.

Also, I can't run flycast or anything like that on my office pc.. those things are not allowed. I can aim a sat. antenna out the window though. Of course my main reason to keep sat. is not really the music; it's the other programming.

Sirius music channels always sucked.. and now XMers are suffering through that. I don't listen to the music as much... even in the few cases where I like the play list better. The problem is the Sirius DJs, that don't understand their stupid babble was the second most annoying thing about FM radio. The XM DJs were less chatty, and a few were actually good. But now Liquid Metal has an annoying bitch DJ that can't shut her mouth.. and she knows nothing about metal... because she's also on two other channels at other times of the day. Sad really.

I used XM/Sirius for about a year and realized the playlist is pretty shallow. I was also not impressed with the digitization/compression artifacts that are always present. However, streaming Pandora or whatever through my iPhone isn't a solution either. It works well if you're on 3G, but where I live 3G coverage is pretty hit or miss. Additionally, running streaming music apps quickly drains the batteries.

Re:flycast.fm replaced it for me. (4, Informative)

dlZ (798734) | more than 5 years ago | (#26863131)

I got rid of my Sirius a few months ago due to the channel changes from the XM merger, actually. I loved the Sirius metal station. When they merged, they started playing more music from the XM metal station, and it just wasn't as good. The Sirius station played a lot more black and death metal, and a lot less mainstream. There was also an excellent punk station, and (even before the merger) they turned it into some 24/7 AC/DC station. It never came back. I did enjoy Howard Stern, but losing the two music stations I listened to the most was enough to cancel. I'm back to listening to CDs in the car again.

too BIG to die (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26862693)

Bankrupcy? Yawn. If the company collapses and goes out of business it will mean a short outage. There is just too much hardware out there for it to die... SOMEONE will pick up the pieces at fire sale prices and yeah, quality will probably go down, but satellite radio is installed in too many cars to completely die out. Howard Stern will go away, but hundreds of channels of ad-free music will survive. (although I've noticed the DJs still talk over the beginning of the songs...just like real "free" AM/FM radio)

Re:too BIG to die (1)

molarmass192 (608071) | more than 5 years ago | (#26863021)

I think the DJs on satellite are the single most annoying thing about the service. I use it mainly for the info channels like CNBC, CNN, and sports, but I do occasionally tune into music. If I wanted people yapping inanely over songs, I'd listen to land based music. That's an easy head count reduction that would actually improve the service.

Re:too BIG to die (1, Interesting)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 5 years ago | (#26863421)

I think they have to talk over the start.

It makes it a public performance, and they don't need to pay the performer.

Bollocks (5, Insightful)

drsquare (530038) | more than 5 years ago | (#26862695)

What percentage of radio listeners even have an iPhone, or any portable device capable of radio reception at non-extortionate rates? Too small to even matter.

Satellite radio has its own problems but the iPhone isn't one of them.

Re:Bollocks (4, Interesting)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 5 years ago | (#26862777)

I think what is happening is just as iPod became the unofficial name of a MP3 Payer, Kleanex became the unofficial name of tissues. Coke down south has became the unofficial name for Carbonated Soft Drinks. the iPhone is getting its reputation as a smart phone or an internet aware phone. Which is a growing market. I think the point still hold true. How many people with satellite radio or how many people with iPhones, from my experience I have seen more iPhones (even more smart phones which can do the same job) then satellite radios. A smart phone you can carry anywhere with you Satellite radio don't have much of a market as a portable unit. And normally just hooked into cars. So the iPhone (as the term of a powerful cellphone) could unseat Satellite radio

Re:Bollocks (0, Troll)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 5 years ago | (#26862781)

Every mp3 player i have ( except my ipods ) has a FM receiver.

While true, its not getting 'internet radio' it does get radio reception at "a non-extortionate rate", when i want it. ( which isn't often )

Re:Bollocks (4, Insightful)

camperdave (969942) | more than 5 years ago | (#26862855)

Every mp3 player i have ( except my ipods ) has a FM receiver.

So? We're talking about XM radio, which is a satellite based system. If you're doing a long drive, you could listen to an XM radio station for the entire trip. That means you could listen to the entire broadcast of a radio play, or of a talk show, without driving out of range. It also means that you have the full suite of stations available to you when you're up at the cottage, where there is no internet, and the only FM station you get plays rap "music".

Re:Bollocks (2, Insightful)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 5 years ago | (#26863055)

Easy solution for sirius:

10$ a month for a satellite connection fast enough for internet radio.

Done. They'd have more subscribers than they'd know what to do with, and plenty of people would buy. Of course the initial investment would suck.

Re:Bollocks (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 5 years ago | (#26863257)

Thats why my mp3 player has stuff on it that i like. i dont NEED radio, especially if the want me to pay more.

Re:Bollocks (4, Interesting)

geoskd (321194) | more than 5 years ago | (#26862787)

Satellite radio has its own problems but the iPhone isn't one of them.

I don't think you fully understand the importance of the iPhone. The point isn't that everyone owns an iPhone, and they will simply start using it to get internet radio, the point is that the next generation of "normal people" phones (the generic ones that people with little money get) will be of the iPhone caliber, because no one wants the crappy half jobs anymore. More importantly, these devices are rapidly going to become the main connection method to the internet for most entertainment needs. Who wants to have to lug around a specialized piece of hardware for every single application. What people really want (and apple discovered they will pay a very high price for) are single devices that do it all. If I have to carry a cell phone anyway, it is damn convenient when it is also a music device that I can integrate into whatever stereo I happen to be near. Its also pretty nice when it is a PDA I can use to keep notes and reminders, and oh yeah, I really like the fact that it is also a GPS unit, and I can use it to look up information when i am no where near a "computer". The fact is that the future of stand-alone dedicated hardware is going away, and except for a few niches (dedicated game consoles, and PCs to name a few, although I'm not sure about the latter), all of that functionality will be absorbed by your cell phone. Since I got an iPhone, I use my PC about half as much as I used to, and I haven't listened to any kind of broadcast music at all. I get it all through my phone, and that phenomenon is going to get more common, not less.

-=Geoskd

$800 per year for a cell phone? (3, Interesting)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#26862867)

the point is that the next generation of "normal people" phones (the generic ones that people with little money get) will be of the iPhone caliber

Even people who pay something ridiculously low like $90 per year to Virgin Mobile for a phone that they use mostly to arrange a ride home? AT&T quoted me a price eight times that for the kind of smartphone service plan you're describing.

If I have to carry a cell phone anyway, it is damn convenient when it is also a music device that I can integrate into whatever stereo I happen to be near.

The family owns four vehicles, and not one of their car stereos has a line-in jack. What workaround has worked for you?

Re:$800 per year for a cell phone? (3, Informative)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#26862895)

The family owns four vehicles, and not one of their car stereos has a line-in jack. What workaround has worked for you?

You can get a USB/SD mp3 player that plugs into the lighter socket AND has a line-in which feeds into its FM-transmitter for $15. At least, that's what I paid for mine, shipped, from dealtime I believe.

Most media-playing phones have a way to get a line-out.

Re:$800 per year for a cell phone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26863181)

I live in europe (UK, specificly). I own a G1, pay £29 a month. My car has a linein next to the cigarrete lighter. And the stereo has a doubledin fitting so I can fit a in-car-tv-gps-deely should I care to.

What is Americas problem?

Re:$800 per year for a cell phone? (2, Informative)

peragrin (659227) | more than 5 years ago | (#26863435)

go to a car radio place, and ask options. Most car radios use proprietary plugs but do have an audio input jack. Crutchfield.com has a list. select your car, model and options and what you want from it. Also sticking with as close to generic audio input is best(not everyone has an ipod)

Well your not the market. If you want the data plan that is sold separately. Just like your ISP is separate from your phone, and cable, and electricity, and water. I do find it odd that I need two ISP's. it would be great if I could pay just for one connection however this way if one is down the other is available.

Re:Bollocks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26862931)

Satellite radio has its own problems but the iPhone isn't one of them.

I don't think you fully understand the importance of the iPhone. The point isn't that everyone owns an iPhone, and they will simply start using it to get internet radio, the point is that the next generation of "normal people" phones (the generic ones that people with little money get) will be of the iPhone caliber ...

I don't think you understand TIME.

The 'next generation of "normal people" phones' has had exactly ZERO impact on satellite radio and its CURRENT financial issues.

Because the real universe operates on a CAUSAL basis.

do you live under a bridge in an orchard? troll (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26863343)

'everyone owns an Iphone'?

did you drink the Apple flavored kool-aid (that
is laced with a mindnumbing, soul sucking
brain-washing drug?)

Ok, there isn't really any thing like that . . .

Why don't you just admit it: you are an
apple troll.

Re:Bollocks (5, Insightful)

spottedkangaroo (451692) | more than 5 years ago | (#26862801)

> Satellite radio has its own problems but the iPhone isn't one of them.

Yet. But I'm reading about wireless that can function in the 100Mb range, broadcasting to a car moving 100mph. It's safe to say that in 10 years it'll be unthinkable to try a car trip without your 100Mb internets to keep the kids busy.

Re:Bollocks (4, Funny)

tickbox (945624) | more than 5 years ago | (#26862961)

Does the car fly and then fold up into a briefcase after you're done driving?

Re:Bollocks (1)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 5 years ago | (#26862979)

perhaps the problem is: and instead focus on getting Howard Stern, Oprah, the NFL, and MLB

How many people listen to the BBC World Service [bbc.co.uk] on little FM or AM radios already? How many of them want to hear Howard Stern?

The problem is almost certainly the content, and a little down to the cost.

XM (1)

p51d007 (656414) | more than 5 years ago | (#26863255)

I hope they figure something out, because I for one, do not want to go back to "commercial" radio where you have more commercials than music.

Re:XM (1)

kabz (770151) | more than 5 years ago | (#26863365)

There is a place for commercial community stations. It's viable to support a small local radio station with commercials, and not too bad to listen to, since, at least the content is local.

National commercial radio is rubbish though.

No Thanks! (1)

SirSmiley (845591) | more than 5 years ago | (#26862719)

I cant see streaming via cell phone as practical....people have to pay for data plans, people take their phone with them when they leave the car. If i take my phone (assuming im paying lots of money for an iphone (i wouldnt i have a blackberry bold) and i have a 1 gig limit on it per month.)..i dont think ill be wasting it streaming audio....i leave the car to go shopping and my wife is in the car still, what will she listen to...no thanks, stupid idea....

Re:No Thanks! (4, Interesting)

geoskd (321194) | more than 5 years ago | (#26862887)

(assuming im paying lots of money for an iphone (i wouldnt i have a blackberry bold) and i have a 1 gig limit on it per month.)

All nested comments aside, maybe you should consider and iPhone. I am well beyond this mythical 1GB / month limit of which you speak, and I have not had a problem with discontinuation of service... Perhaps you chose the wrong service plan?

i leave the car to go shopping and my wife is in the car still, what will she listen to...no thanks, stupid idea.

I'm assuming that if your wife is staying in the car, that you probably aren't going to spend an hour and a half shopping. I'm going to suggest that unless you need you phone (maybe it has the list of items you wish to get), you could probably live without your phone for the ten minutes you were inside. I would also submit the question: does you wife have a phone? if yes, then is it a smart phone as well? if no, why not? valentines day was yesterday. I got my wife an iPhone, what did you get for your wife?

-=Geoskd

Re:No Thanks! (1)

peragrin (659227) | more than 5 years ago | (#26863449)

dumb question. you leave your wife in the car while you go shopping?

also if you have a cap on your bandwidth then you choose the wrong plan, or your provider is a cheap prick.

So how's this gonna work in my car? (4, Informative)

abner23 (724467) | more than 5 years ago | (#26862721)

Only place I use satellite radio...

Re:So how's this gonna work in my car? (4, Insightful)

reboot246 (623534) | more than 5 years ago | (#26862923)

That's the only place I listen, too. I work out of my vehicle and my job covers several states. Sometimes there are no radio stations worth listening to in the small towns where I work. I like XM for the talk and news, not so much for the music. It's nice to be able to listen to Coast to Coast AM when I'm leaving home at 3 in the morning and driving 2 or 3 hours to work. Talk radio is more entertaining than music sometimes.

Sure, if I worked in a big city I could use my laptop to listen to streaming radio online, but that's impossible when you're in the middle of nowhere.

Re:So how's this gonna work in my car? (5, Insightful)

tkrotchko (124118) | more than 5 years ago | (#26863127)

I think a lot of people here don't quite understand that once you get out of the city, there is no 3G data plans, there is no radio to speak of, and when you can get some reception, the AM/FM dial only has local sports & information on it. And yes, there are iPods, but when you spend a lot of time in your car, you've listened to your 10G of music for the hundredth time, you'd actually like to be surprised by music you haven't heard of before.

It's also fair to say that many people here believe that everybody is willing to pay thousands of dollars for a cell phone data plan simply because they do, but that's not my main point here... ;)

Re:So how's this gonna work in my car? (1)

geoskd (321194) | more than 5 years ago | (#26863179)

I think a lot of people here don't quite understand that once you get out of the city, there is no 3G data plans, there is no radio to speak of, and when you can get some reception, the AM/FM dial only has local sports & information on it.

You forgot one important thing that is conspicuously missing away form the cities as well... a market for expensive gadgetry.

-=Geoskd

Re:So how's this gonna work in my car? (1)

SpcCowboy (1303133) | more than 5 years ago | (#26863245)

Pandora on my iPhone works just fine on EDGE, though a little slow to load the first song when switching stations.

Re:So how's this gonna work in my car? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26863407)

Pandora does not work on edge. If it did, I would never use anything else.

What Farhad Manjoo misses (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26862733)

The most important part of satellite radio is *mobile* access. Automobile. Essentially the same market that AM/FM stations have.

Let's look at what he's saying one by one:

1) The bulk of the article compares the iPod with Satellite Radio and says they're competing for the same market. Hmmm. Maybe so, but how many people have iPod docks in their car?

2) The idea that satellite radio is somehow a big market when streamed over the internet. Then he compares it to the huge number of free, high-quality internet streams and declares that Satellite Radio is too expensive. It doesn't even make any sense.

3) He chooses to dismiss the payments by satellite radio to car makers. He says if they got rid of that then they could charge less for the internet streams. Seriously man, I think he's retarded.

Let's be real. The *primary market* for Satellite Radio is automobile access. You turn on the music and as you drive all around the country, you get the same music/talk/news whatever. And what's more, it's a great application, too. Everybody who gets satellite radio, if they enjoy it, never listens to AM/FM again in their car.

If Satellite Radio was all set to rely on the Internet for it's delivery mechanism, then the whole reason for Satellite Radio disappears. Satellite Radio isn't about content it's about a delivery mechanism for content that doesn't require any infrastructure beyond the satellites themselves. The problem isn't that it competes with an iPod (doubtful) or that it doesn't come over the internet (goofy), its that the infrastructure set up by Sirius/XM is too costly. These guys took a bet on an adoption rate that hasn't happened.

This article is so dumb that it reminds me of a letter to the editor (true story) about 35 years ago. We were going through an energy crisis and the local paper wrote an editorial that said we need to begin seriously moving to solar. A few days later, a woman wrote in that it seemed like a poor idea because if we used solar power, we'd simply use up the sun quicker and then it would be really dark.

It demonstrated that the person writing the letter was clueless about what solar power was or how it even worked. Farhad Manjoo makes the same mistake. He has no idea what Satellite radio is, and why people want it. So he

Re:What Farhad Manjoo misses (3, Interesting)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 5 years ago | (#26862857)

The problem is that those satellites are very expensive. Another is that XM reinforces that signal using repeaters in big cities, so that is some expensive infrastructure as well. Not only that, XM was fined for using higher power repeaters than they were permitted, and not using them in the locations where they had permits to put them.

Whoops (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26862927)

Cut myself off...

"He has no idea what Satellite radio is, and why people want it. So he"

So he imposes his own idea of what the market is (which is quite simply, incorrect) and then has a way to make a satellite service that works in any part of North America and turns it into an urban service that will stream audio to me as long as I'm very near a 3G cellphone service.

Just. Dumb.

Re:What Farhad Manjoo misses (1)

VinylRecords (1292374) | more than 5 years ago | (#26862949)

The bulk of the article compares the iPod with Satellite Radio and says they're competing for the same market. Hmmm. Maybe so, but how many people have iPod docks in their car?

You don't need an I-Pod dock in your car. Any MP3 player and a small FM transmitter with a stereo headphone jack can play your MP3 player over the air into your car's radio. There are also devices to convert stereo headphone out from an MP3 or CD player into a cassette tape that can be played in a car's cassette player. And even then, some cars have a stereo line in, you can plug any device such as an MP3 player into the stereo jack in your car's radio. And even then, a stand alone CD or tape functions just as well as an MP3 player in the car for most people.

Building the perfect ghetto car (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26863189)

"Any MP3 player and a small FM transmitter with a stereo headphone jack can play your MP3 player over the air into your car's radio. There are also devices to convert stereo headphone out from an MP3 or CD player into a cassette tape that can be played in a car's cassette player. And even then, some cars have a stereo line in, you can plug any device such as an MP3 player into the stereo jack in your car's radio. And even then, a stand alone CD or tape functions just as well as an MP3 player in the car for most people."

Well, sure, and if you want to add to the clutter, you can tape one of those pocket GPS's to the windshield to complete the look. Top it off with a bunch of CD's and McDonalds wrappers around your car, and you have the perfect automobile interior.... if you're a homeless guy who lives in his car.

Some of us actually want something elegant and integrated in our car.

And oh... we prefer not to crash into people and things simply because we're fiddling with our iPod. Seriously man, even if you don't care if you live in a pig sty, some of us would prefer a safer solution than doing a one-handed move with the iPod to find something new, or turn it off when the phone rings (another story!).

Re:Building the perfect ghetto car (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26863451)

I own and older car (2001 Pontiac) and even the high end stereo offering, the Monsoon system did not have line in. The fm transmitter is not viable as there are so many stations around here that I end up having to switch the frequency every 5-10 miles. I put the cassette adapter in, pushed the wire into the surrounding bezel (yes, you can see the 1 inch of wire coming out of the casette deck and going to the bezel) and inside the trim down to the floor. I ran the wire back up to the cup holder where I sit my phone) There is enough wire that I can lift it up to eye level while driving, so its one a quick glance at the screen instead of fumbling for controls. I don't even have to look down (as would be needed with controls on the stereo or steering wheel) Very little visible wire and safer. Works for me. YMMV.

Re:What Farhad Manjoo misses (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#26862983)

I don't think he's missing the mobile point much at all. The iPhone is an iPod+phone+PDA, right? And so are a number of other smartphones. Anyway, most competitive smartphones in the U.S. have access to 3G wireless networks. That's more than fast enough to accommodate Internet radio on your device. 3G wireless works just fine in the car. And if you want to play it through your car radio, most conventional car stereos these days have an input jack for an MP3 player -- which will work fine for the iPhone and other smartphones.

Do you think so? (4, Insightful)

tkrotchko (124118) | more than 5 years ago | (#26863065)

"3G wireless works just fine in the car"

Not really. The appeal of satellite radio on car trips is that even when I can't get cell phone service at all, I can get Satellite radio. If you just drive 10 minutes to work in the suburbs near a city, then perhaps your idea is fine. But the bulk of the U.S. does not get 3G service. Then you'd have to deal with the issue of how you tie your smart phone into the sound system of your car. While this is conceptually easy, from an infrastructure standpoint, you'd have to get all cell-phone makes agree they will support bluetooth streaming of stereo sound, you'd have to get the carriers to agree to allow this to happen, then you'd have to get the automobile manufacturers to tightly integrate this capability into the sound systems. Not to mention the man/machine interface that would support tuning stations inside an automobile without fiddling with a smart phone. These problems will take years to solve.

I don't think smart phone data plans allow the kind of access that would let you stream audio hours a day. Seems to me if significant numbers of people started streaming media on their smart phones everywhere, 3G service capacity just isn't there to support more than a handful of users. You'd end up with higher rates on your smart phones, or they plans would get severely curtailed, or both.

I think what's likely to happen here is that Sirius/XM will declare bankruptcy, and force the banks to restructure the debt. I'd hate to be holding a lot of paper for Sirius/XM right now; you'll be lucky to get 25 cents on the dollar.

Re:Do you think so? (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#26863175)

Not really. The appeal of satellite radio on car trips is that even when I can't get cell phone service at all, I can get Satellite radio. If you just drive 10 minutes to work in the suburbs near a city, then perhaps your idea is fine.

Well, YMMV, of course, but Sprint's Mobile Broadband coverage [sprint.com] is pretty good throughout most of the state of Florida, where I live.

But you're right of course when it comes to cross-country driving. Cellular coverage period sucks throughout the bulk of the U.S., AAMOF. Digital cellular coverage sucks even worse. Of course that's due to the fact that most people don't live in "the bulk of the U.S." ;)
 

Re:What Farhad Manjoo misses (1)

theshowmecanuck (703852) | more than 5 years ago | (#26863341)

I bought a satellite radio when after driving through Washington State and Idaho having only God Squad Radio to listen to, and those stations fading every 50 miles, and 2500 more miles of that to go... I stopped in Salt Lake City and bought Sirius. I have been very happy with it ever since. I go on long trips now and then, and even the shorter trips can span multiple cities crossing countryside. No 3G anywhere out there. Honestly, grow up and check your horizons. So what if you only know the suburbs, others out here actually go outside. 3G is not everywhere. Besides, I and I know others too, like to listen to more than just music. There are good talk radio stations on Sirius too. We aren't relegated to just Jesus Loves You Talk Back and Rush Limbaugh if driving through the right wing farm belt. We can listen to NPR OR Rush OR (choke) CNN if we want. Or comedy, or Stern, or whatever. I like music as much as then next guy, but I like to hear the news and weather too. Go for a road trip and you'll get it... eventually... if the trip is more than just to 711 for Doritos.

Re:What Farhad Manjoo misses (1)

m0s3m8n (1335861) | more than 5 years ago | (#26863053)

Right on man. One thing to add is the cost of some of the content that got bid up when the two companies were vying for listenership. Please excuse me, but HOWARD STEARN is not worth even an order-of-magnitude less than they are paying him. Come on, maybe even two orders.

Re:What Farhad Manjoo misses (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26863121)

The most important part of satellite radio is air travel in private planes. XM provides in-flight weather radar that feeds directly into the flight GPSs. There currently is no substitute for this.

The best solution is to ditch voice radio and have the gov acquire the system and transmit weather, traffic, etc, for free just like they do for GPS.

Screw Stern.

Re:What Farhad Manjoo misses (1)

NeverVotedBush (1041088) | more than 5 years ago | (#26863133)

Maybe so, but how many people have iPod docks in their car?

More and more. New cars are coming with USB ports that also support plain old USB memory sticks as well as iPods. Even better, auto manufacturers are putting controls on the steering wheels.

Satellite does offer some value but instead of a monthly payment, people can get whatever hardware and load it with their own music. And there are starting to be changes in the music industry too - DRM-free music, more competition, etc.

I could have gotten satellite radio with my last car but decided not to and won't get it with my next. I would rather eliminate monthly payments than pick more up.

I'm tired of subscription-based service (4, Insightful)

.Bruce Perens (150539) | more than 5 years ago | (#26862737)

I had satellite radio, but ended up ditching it along with a few other things. We decided that we were being economically bled to death my numerous little services, none of which were too bad individually but collectivity they ate up our budget.

- Sirius
- DishNetwork
- Land-line telephone
- Internet service
- MMO fees
- Cell phone
- GameTap
- FilePlanet

The list goes on. Eventually we were able to eliminate, consolidate, or reduce many of these fees. We safe a lot of money each month now. I now try and avoid anything that has a recurring monthly service, at least not unless it replaces something else. Business should realize that, in these tough economic times, people are going to take a hard look at where there money is going. Month payments don't have an end in sight, there's no payoff.

Re:I'm tired of subscription-based service (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26862885)

-1 for masquerading as Bruce Perens.

Re:I'm tired of subscription-based service (1)

perryizgr8 (1370173) | more than 5 years ago | (#26863177)

so true.
i've found that one-time expenditures, even if a bit costly, are less painful than monthly recurring payments, even if relatively less. i really want to buy the iphone but i simply cannot justify paying 1000 bucks (INR) each month for a 1gb data cap.

Re:I'm tired of subscription-based service (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26863287)

You ditched your cell, landline and Internet?

Seems prudent.

Car (2, Insightful)

gatkinso (15975) | more than 5 years ago | (#26862749)

Sattellite radio is wonderful in the car. Oh well.

Re:Car (1)

grapes911 (646574) | more than 5 years ago | (#26862803)

I agree. My Sirius radio is in my car and stays there. I use my iPhone when in the office, but it just doesn't cut it in the car.

seems like a pretty great service? (2, Insightful)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 5 years ago | (#26862763)

Not to me. Radio should continue to be free.

Re:seems like a pretty great service? (4, Insightful)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 5 years ago | (#26862843)

Not to me. Radio should continue to be free.

Radio (at least most of what is delivered over RF in the US) isn't free, you pay for it by being asked to listen to ads, most of the ads are pretty dumb too. Last I listened, it seemed like a third of the time is ads.

There isn't much by the way of "TiVo" for broadcast radio to at least pare them down a bit. There are a few devices out there, but the reviews I've seen are lackluster.

Re:seems like a pretty great service? (1)

Ragzouken (943900) | more than 5 years ago | (#26862861)

It's free in the sense that you don't lose anything from listening to it, which is the conventional definition of free.

Re:seems like a pretty great service? (1)

Vectronic (1221470) | more than 5 years ago | (#26862941)

I think that was part of his argument, that he doesn't consider his state of mind to be expendable.

Re:seems like a pretty great service? (2, Insightful)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 5 years ago | (#26863329)

It's free in the sense that you don't lose anything from listening to it, which is the conventional definition of free.

If you think money is the only possible cost, then you're not paying attention.

You don't consider the time listening to an ad to be lost?

Re:seems like a pretty great service? (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 5 years ago | (#26863269)

We are talking monetary payment, not 'time payment'.

I remember the same argument with cable ' since you are paying its commercial free', now its more commercial the content.

I hear there are commercials on some satellite radio stations now too.

Re:seems like a pretty great service? (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 5 years ago | (#26863309)

I remember the same argument with cable ' since you are paying its commercial free'

Was that ever really true? Or is it just something that people misremember?

What about "Internet killed the video star"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26862771)

This old video short [youtube.com] is the first thing that came to my head :)

Makes me wonder (1)

SGDarkKnight (253157) | more than 5 years ago | (#26862773)

Even though the internet is a much cheaper way of getting access to these wonderful radio stations, is the internet going to pay the overhead cost of obtaining people such as Howard Stern, Oprah, the NFL, and MLB? I mean, XM pays Howard Stern to have him air his shows on XM, i'm not sure how Oprah, the NFL and MLB do it, i would imagine it have to be basically the same concept. But who knows, i could probably be completely wrong in this case (wouldn't be the first time). Anyone else know?

Re:Makes me wonder (1)

geoskd (321194) | more than 5 years ago | (#26862845)

is the internet going to pay the overhead cost of obtaining people such as Howard Stern, Oprah, the NFL, and MLB? I mean

Apperently you haven't seen any of the pay-for-content sites on the internet. I know your experiences as a slashdotter are quite limited, but surely you have come across one of those porn sites you have to give up a credit card number to get into... Same concept applies here. The internet is Free as in freedom, not Free as in beer, and it has always been that way.

-=Geoskd

Re:Makes me wonder (1)

SGDarkKnight (253157) | more than 5 years ago | (#26863323)

Apperently you haven't seen any of the pay-for-content sites on the internet. I know your experiences as a slashdotter are quite limited, but surely you have come across one of those porn sites you have to give up a credit card number to get into... Same concept applies here. The internet is Free as in freedom, not Free as in beer, and it has always been that way.

So basically you're trading one subscription based service for another and just changing the way you listen to it. Also, something tells me that the average internet radio channel would not have the finacial support to pay for the same content that XM offers. Something tells me that you will simply get one internet radio site that will outdo the rest of them, they will lock in a few million subscribers and will offer all the big name shows for a low monthly cost. /. should do a poll attached to this story and ask the simple question of how many people are willing to pay for an internet based radio subscription.

my music (1)

kqc7011 (525426) | more than 5 years ago | (#26862791)

There are many new radios that now have usb and or card ports built in, let alone inputs for your ipods. With either I can listen to what I want when I want.

Re:my music (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#26862917)

I paid $140 shipped to California for a JVC (I know, but this one is better, honestly - my last JVC, a dvd player, was poop, this is not) with not just line-in but also bluetooth for both phone and audio. My CD changer is now a USB flash drive. I don't use my ashtray for smoking so I ran the cable in there, my replacable CD changer lives in my ashtray. Talk about progress... It also came with a remotely located wired mic for the speakerphone, so I don't have to talk to my stereo when I use the phone capabilities. Granted, $140 is not pocket change, but the future is pretty much here. An iPod interface is only about $30 for the same unit.

so Pandora is available in my car now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26862809)

This premise is entirely laughable. The only place I really listen to "radio" is in my car, a place that has no access to Pandora or Last.FM or any other internet streaming audio service.

Sirius is an excellent idea, but a little too wedded to the old model of one way radio. If they could have built in some sort of connection back the other way to allow the simple stuff Pandora or Last.FM require for interaction, it could have been something really cool.

As it was it just nice to be able to listen to decent radio in the middle of nowhere, wherever that might be.

Why I dropped my Sirius subscription (4, Interesting)

zerofoo (262795) | more than 5 years ago | (#26862821)

Yes, I have an iPhone, and yes I run pandora on it. It works great, and I enjoy it at home and in the car.

But that wasn't why I dropped Sirius.

I had two radios, and the high-quality internet subscription. After the merger, some of my favorite stations either went away, or the playlists got cut down to 20 songs.

I called and complained, but I was greeted with "sorry about that, how would you like two months free service?" Why would I want two more months of a service that sucks?

The last straw was the sound quality problems. Octane 20 sounded like it was underwater. I guess Sirius cut back on the bandwidth reserved for some channels to make room for some of the XM offerings.

In the end, it was bad music content, and terrible sound quality that killed it for me.

I do miss Howard, but I hope that he'll go online once Sirius XM goes tits up.

-ted

Re:Why I dropped my Sirius subscription (2, Insightful)

tkrotchko (124118) | more than 5 years ago | (#26862987)

"I do miss Howard, but I hope that he'll go online once Sirius XM goes tits up."

Howard Stern became non-entertaining right around the time that Sirius made him extremely wealthy. His rants against *the man* were entirely too forced when he actually became *the man*.

Plus, he stopped putting effort into the show. Fridays off, long vacations, "Best of Howard Stern" but with the really controversial parts taken out (when you're *the man*, you don't risk your money being controversial), I assume he got married to the broken down model/girlfriend, whining about how his 4-day a week, 4 hour a day was just too hard on him anymore, Richard & Sal being the most creative on the show, fake "artie must be banned because he threw a CD" nonsense. Seriously, if Howard did that stuff when he was on FM, he wouldn't have lasted a week.

Perhaps the show has gotten better in the last 12 months, but I took the advice of the true believers, and *just stopped listening*.

Re:Why I dropped my Sirius subscription (2, Interesting)

corychristison (951993) | more than 5 years ago | (#26863163)

I listen to Howard and Bubba mostly every day I can (Howard Mon-Thurs, Bubba Mon-Fri)

Howard stated this past week that if Sirius ever went away, so would he. He has his money... why should he stick around?

But, to be honest, Sirius is not going anywhere.

Sirius brings in $2 Billion or so a year in Subscriptions and Radio Sales. The problem is the startup debts were too great to maintain in a problematic economy. They owe $3.9 billion. Which, in all honesty, is actually not bad. Most people I know who own homes own a $250,000 house but only make $45,000-$70,000/year. In contrast they are in better shape than most individuals.

At present there are two companies looking at buying a good chunk of it to help put them back in better standing. One being EchoStar [wikipedia.org] (former parent of Dish Network) and I believe the other is the parent of Comcast, or former parent or something.

They are hoping one of these companies buys a large portion of their debt (in turn owning a large portion of the company via equity). It's basically going to come down to a bidding war and Chapter 11 Bankruptcy is their "get out of jail free" card.

Chapter 11 will allow them to sever contracts that are not making any money. I, personally, don't know anyone who listens to the Oprah or Martha Stewart Channels (do you?). Combined that could be a nice chunk of savings.

Howard will not go anywhere. His job was to bring the listeners to Satellite. He needed to bring at least 80,000 subscribers to pay his yearly salary. They currently have ~20,000,000 subscribers (w/merger).

As for the sound quality loss I have not noticed at all. Although I only listen in my car and work vehicles I dunno if thats much of a test. :-)

Re:Why I dropped my Sirius subscription (1)

rho (6063) | more than 5 years ago | (#26863377)

Don't forget about the junky radios. Sure, some are reasonably reliable, but I know too many people--me included--who have gone through too many of them. You basically have to budget for another radio every few years.

I like satellite radio, and think it's a good business model. But they need to unfuck their customer service and put the screws to their hardware manufacturers. Basically they need to run their business like a business and not as some kind of magic money machine based on dick and fart jokes by Howard Stern.

Bad time to grasp for a monopoly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26862837)

Sirius bought XM in the hopes of getting rid of its only real competitor in the satellite radio market. Even though it was called a "merger" it cost Sirius a lot of money (>$4 billion US), and they've apparently still got >$3 billion in debt.

It probably was the right decision rather than have two independent businesses fail, but it's hard to dig yourself out of a hole that deep, especially with the combination of an entrenched free system (regular radio) and new technologies (internet). They're getting squeezed in the middle.

Radio? What's that?? (3, Interesting)

markdavis (642305) | more than 5 years ago | (#26862841)

I never had any interest in satellite radio and not because I am adverse to paying for music.

1) The radios were too large/comples
2) The reception indoors was spotty
3) Having to sign contacts and such was an immediate turnoff. Reminds me of the crap with cell phones.
4) Having to pay for EACH radio didn't help matters

And regular radio? Ug.

1) The advertising is so extremely annoying- as if designed for 3-year-olds
2) Screaming advertising or major volume jumps
3) Same ads over and over and over and over and over
4) Poor sound quality
5) Idiotic DJ's
6) Poor music selection. I mean, we must have 30 radio stations, and 3 types of music, none of which I like.

I stopped listening to all radio eons ago. I just have mp3 everywhere. Granted, even with many hundreds of CD's, it still gets old after years.

And the true irony? The Neilson Radio Ratings packet just arrived in my mailbox yesterday. This is the third time. I keep telling them I don't listen to *any* radio, and they keep saying "oh, well that is valuable information, please fill out the forms with blanks".

Re:Radio? What's that?? (3, Informative)

DoninIN (115418) | more than 5 years ago | (#26863015)

N. P. R.

Re:Radio? What's that?? (1)

thopkins (70408) | more than 5 years ago | (#26863447)

You don't need to sign a contract with satellite radio. I've been month to month on XM for a long time.

Sirius over the Internet (1)

TheMonkeyhouse (1271112) | more than 5 years ago | (#26862881)

I got Sirius to try when i bought my new car (which my wife now drives every day - go figure!) but i actually listen to Sirius online.

However, they called me last week and told me that from sometime in March they were going to start charging people EXTRA for the online service! How stupid can you get? Trying to charge people more for Internet radio?

I wonder if the dinosaurs had Sirius/XM's marketing department?

Citation needed (3, Interesting)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#26862903)

Sirius XM has been eclipsed by something far cheaper and more convenient: the Internet.

Where are you living that adding 15,000 minutes (ca. 8 hours/day) of streaming 64 kbps from the Internet to your monthly mobile phone plan is "far cheaper" than a subscription to satellite radio? Or were you talking about recording at home and then time-shifting to the office or the car, for which satellite radio would still hold a significant lead in convenience?

Re:Citation needed (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#26863013)

Are you kidding? I have all-you-can-eat data on my phone plan and it only costs me $15/month for the first phone and $7.50 a month for the two additional phones.

The phone uses no minutes when using data.

What carrier, what location, and what voice plan? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#26863429)

Are you kidding? I have all-you-can-eat data on my phone plan and it only costs me $15/month for the first phone

What carrier? What location? What voice plan is required along with this data plan? And is it truly all-you-can-eat, or did you miss a "fair usage policy" in the TOS?

Re:Citation needed (1)

Alioth (221270) | more than 5 years ago | (#26863019)

Most of the day you're stationary, and can listen to internet radio on a fixed broadband connection. There is no extra cost on ADSL or cable for listening to 8 hours of streaming 64kbit radio.

Most people are mobile for less than an hour a day.

Re:Citation needed (1)

argent (18001) | more than 5 years ago | (#26863039)

Or were you talking about recording at home and then time-shifting to the office or the car, for which satellite radio would still hold a significant lead in convenience?

I have one word for you: podcasts.

Time shifting is more convenient than broadcast now.

Re:Citation needed (1)

dnaumov (453672) | more than 5 years ago | (#26863113)

Where are you living that adding 15,000 minutes (ca. 8 hours/day) of streaming 64 kbps from the Internet to your monthly mobile phone plan is "far cheaper" than a subscription to satellite radio?

Finland.

Unlimited mobile data at 384kbit for 9.80eur/month.

Internet radio was not a major downfall of SIRI-XM (5, Insightful)

VinylRecords (1292374) | more than 5 years ago | (#26862915)

Approximately 25% of Americans own portable standalone MP3 players, 76% of households in the U.S. own a portable electronic device many of which are capable of playing music (such as a PSP, phone, blackberry, etc.), 99% of American households have televisions in them, Americans own more than 1 billion radios with free AM/FM broadcasts to receive, Americans also play tons of video and computer games, Americans go to the movies, and the form of entertainment that Americans prefer most according to most recent studies...reading.

      Sirius-XM has to compete with EVERYTHING, not just other forms of audio broadcasts like internet radio or over the air AM/FM radio. Every activity you do other than listen to Sirius-XM is in direct competition with Sirius-XM, the less you find yourself using the service, the less likely you are to renew the service, and that's if you get it in the first place.

      If you have a short commute to work, is paying for a monthly radio fee worth it? Probably not if you only listen to a few minutes of radio. And if your commute is long, is satellite radio better than free radio? The talk shows have commercials on both, so unless you really want to listen to a Sirius-XM exclusive broadcaster, the answer is no again. But what about music? Sirius-XM has commercial free (for the most part) music, AM-FM does not. But with CDs and I-PODs (through car speakers) you can play your own music and audio books or whatever commercial free and you control the entire play list.

      And once you leave your car, Sirius-XM offers almost nothing that is worth paying a monthly fee for, unless you crave their exclusive talk radio content like Howard Stern. All of the sports game radio broadcasts can be gotten with a superior service (like MLB.TV for professional baseball) or for free over AM-FM. And out of your car you've got the other alternatives, TV, movies, video games, reading, that studies show most Americans prefer over listening to any form of radio whether it's AM-FM or satellite.

      Sirius-XM also spent enormous amounts of money securing exclusive contracts with radio businesses and entities. Howard Stern cost Sirius over $500 million ALONE and they gave him over $100 million in stocks that is now worth next to nothing. Factor in the costs of hiring Oprah, Martha Stewart, Jamie Foxx, the NFL, MLB, NASCAR, etc. and you have another major reason why the business is going under. Even more ironic was that Sirius and XM when they were competing against each other spent so money to OUTBID each other for these exclusives and now that they are MERGED TOGETHER they are stuck with each others' MASSIVE DEBT from taking on these insanely burdening contracts and the entire reason that they spent so much money in the first place is not a factor any longer. Sirius spent $500 million to get Howard Stern instead of XM (who offered significantly less according to Stern) but now Sirius-XM is the same company.

      Another reason that Sirius-XM is in the tank is because car sales are down. Many car dealerships had deals with either Sirius or XM (and now with the new merged company Sirius-XM) to include a satellite radio with a new car with two or three free months subscription. The idea was that people would get used to having the satellite radio in their vehicle and they would continue to subscribe. But auto sales are down and this model of placing radio units in news cars has gone away for the most part leaving another dead end for Sirius.

      With the economy going sour continually, how many extra subscribers does Sirius think it's going to get? Mel Karmazin, CEO of Sirius, keeps lowering projections of new subscribers every month. And the number of users canceling their subscriptions must also be getting higher considering the economy as well.

      Fact is that Sirius has $3.5 billion in debt. If they declare bankruptcy is allows them to void their expensive contracts with Howard Stern and Martha Stewart and MLB and the NFL saving some money. But it still won't get them any higher subscription numbers as car sales (one of their best sources of new subscribers) are down tremendously and the economy is not permissive of such luxuries like satellite radio for many Americans.

Re:Internet radio was not a major downfall of SIRI (4, Informative)

Miamicanes (730264) | more than 5 years ago | (#26863209)

Don't forget the biggest mistake of all: the merger.

Had the merger not occurred, Sirius would be mostly breaking even today. Still operating at a slight loss, but its existence as a going concern would not be in jeopardy. XM, on the other hand, would have gone bankrupt a few months ago, and now be in the hands of new owners. The big debt that's coming due in a few days is *XM* debt. Sirius' original debt wasn't due to cause problems for a few more years.

Mel has destroyed Sirius as a company. He took on XM and its debt load, and achieved nothing besides alienating the customers of both networks for no good reason. The amount of money he saved by consolidating channels was literally pocket change compared to the cost of owning two sets of satellites. I'll give Sirius a pass on Howard for the moment, because he probably WAS worth it to pre-merger Sirius. Remember, before Howard, XM was clearly in #1, and Sirius was the struggling "also-ran". By the end of Year H+1, Sirius was in the lead, and almost making a profit (mostly through creative accounting, but that's still better than XM could do). He wanted XM's bandwidth to launch seatback Barney videos for kids, but ended up gutting the audio quality of both services to add more channels with lower audio fidelity.

The REAL cost savings would have been for Sirius to sell off both of XM's geostationary satellites & broadcast the two data streams formerly handled by them using Sirius' Molniya satellites(*). Rural indoor users would have either needed a proper outdoor antenna with view of the entire sky, or had to move the antenna puck from windowsill to windowsill like Sirius users do, but it would have improved XM's mobile coverage in mountainous areas (where cars were in the shadow of mountains relative to geostationary satellites) and literally saved them hundreds of millions of dollars.

---

(*) Sirius has a constellation of 4 satellites in modified Molniya orbits. Basically, one satellite is a spare, and the other 3 are arranged so that at any given moment, one satellite is (more or less) "straight up" (relative to Iowa), one satellite is near the horizon, and one is on the other side of the earth. XM's constellation consisted of two satellites in conventional geostationary orbits over the equator.

Sirius and XM divided their bands into 3 slices, each of which carried the full bitstream. Two slices were broadcast by satellite, and the third slice was broadcast via terrestrial repeaters. I'd be seriously shocked if Sirius' satellites were physically incapable of broadcasting a slice of XM's band, and vice-versa. For one thing, satellite transmitters tend to be designed with fairly open-ended capabilities ANYWAY (they're so expensive to launch, with so much lead time, that the satellite's owner would be financially suicidal to not launch them with a "Plan B" in case the original user falls through. For another, I'm sure XM and Sirius both entertained the prospect that the other's satellites could be knocked out by space debris, solar flare, or some other malfunction... and faced with the prospect of shutting down or paying the other extortionate fees to carry their signal, would grudgingly pay the fees.

Not Quite (1)

tjstork (137384) | more than 5 years ago | (#26862943)

It's simpler than that. It's just that, between iTunes and existing radio, that's really all the content you need while you are driving. For local sports and talk you don't need internet radio. There's a few million people that have satellite for Howard Stern, but that's really the extent of it. If you are a right winger, there's some sort of talk radio on the AM band that has the celebrities you want, and for the left wing, there is NPR. For everyone else, you already get your local sports on radio, and if you want music, you can plug in your own itunes collection.

world? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26862995)

World's best?
More like the best in the US.
Remember the US != World.

From another perspective.... (3, Insightful)

JoeMerchant (803320) | more than 5 years ago | (#26863035)

Ford Prefect is from a small planet somewhere in the vicinity of Betelgeuse.... he has considerable difficulty understanding why humans tend to continually state the obvious, such as "It's a nice day", or "You're very tall", or "So this is it. We're all going to die", or "expensive subscription services are going to lose massive amounts of business during an economic downturn when cheap and free alternatives with more selection are readily available."

Outdated, eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26863093)

I have a Delphi RoadyXT in my car. The stations are all _commercial-free_, which is a lot more than I can say for most "free" online radio stations.

Oh, and about paying a monthly fee per radio: we have one console that we can share between both cars and our house. It's great for parties or background music in the house, since again, it's commercial-free.

What are my other options?

- Get Verizon's VCast, where I get to use an awkward cell phone browser to stream music at what sounds like 16 kbps.

- Get a data plan ($60/mo for 5 GB) and stream music--where data works--in my car.

Both of these wouldn't work well in the car anyway, since I couldn't just punch in another station number at a red light.

Plus, couldn't Siruis/XM just force Congress to give them billions of dollars? They seem happy to prop up Detroit's failed business model...

Which means: (0, Troll)

Ralph Spoilsport (673134) | more than 5 years ago | (#26863119)

The Democratic House and Senate, which is in the pocket of the Entertainment Branch of the Ideological State Apparatus, will do its best to smother internet radio in its crib. Look for filth like Feinstein to lead the charge.

I do not say this with great glee - I voted for Obama et al. But I do understand the limitations and contradictions of the Democratic Party. They will try to muzzle it and kill it, and if it won't die, then they will try to put a meter on it.

Mark my words on this.

RS

The Internet will not solve the whole problem... (1)

Jay Maynard (54798) | more than 5 years ago | (#26863137)

...or even most of it. It won't get good radio in my car on a rural Minnesota highway, or in my airplane - much less getting me weather in my airplane.

Oh Oh (1)

stonedcat (80201) | more than 5 years ago | (#26863143)

I heard you on my wireless on track fifty-two, lying awake my router tuning in on you, my dsl it didn't stop you coming through.

Oh Oh

They made us pay by enacting douchebag fees, decided by some who don't understand technology, and now the internet is raped as you can see.

Oh Oh

Poor Sound Quality (2, Informative)

ToryGA1 (469105) | more than 5 years ago | (#26863165)

I had SiruisXM service and eventually had to cancel it due to the poor sound quality. As they added more channels, they had to increase the compression on the existing channels to make room. After a while the music channels began to have the tinny quality of AM radio. It was intolerable. I've never been able to figure out why more people don't seem to be bothered by the inferior audio quality. When FM radio begins to have a richer, more satisfying audio quality than subscription radio, then the value of satellite radio becomes dubious. This is the reason I canceled, and one of the other reasons I don't see them lasting.

Re:Poor Sound Quality (1)

ThurstonMoore (605470) | more than 5 years ago | (#26863443)

I totally agree with you. My wife has satellite radio in her car and it had been a while since I heard it. I rode in her car a couple of weeks ago and the sound quality was horrible. I told her she should cancel and she agreed.

So much for new music... (0, Offtopic)

SandieK (1471401) | more than 5 years ago | (#26863169)

I listen to Sirius primarily in my car. On occasion, I listen to one of what was XM via the music only channels on DirecTV.
  When/if Satellite goes belly up, there goes my access to new music. Otherwise, Ill just plug in my mp3 and listen to that. I never liked FM radio all that much, going back long before Satellite came around.
I use winamp on my computer (okay, so I could go to shoutcast radio), but I never really got into services like pandora.
The whole thing about playing pandora through there iphone in the car...As Ive never owned an iAnything (yet), I have questions about that. Not all that relevant, though. My next MP3 will (reluctantly) be the iPod touch. Continuous 3G connection on the iPhone is one thing, but plain ol' wireless in a vehicle via the iTouch? Not so much...unless you have one of those new vehicles that apparently have that feature.

And I just had to upgrade my radio too (it was five years old, the buttons stopped working). Atleast I got it dirt cheap at Circuit City. Oh well.

The internet only goes so far (1)

phleb3 (954280) | more than 5 years ago | (#26863273)

The main reason I have satellite radio is for my car, not my home. Saying that the internet is just as good misses the point.

Howard Stern (1)

tedgyz (515156) | more than 5 years ago | (#26863289)

Sorry to disappoint all you high-brow elitists, but Howard Stern is the ONLY reason I subscribe to Sirius. The music channels suxx0r. NFL broadcasts are nice to have, but only useful for part of the year.

I will go where Howard goes. If he broadcasts on sonar, I'll drop my antenna in the ocean and listen on Sonarus radio.

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