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XM to Launch Satellite Radio Handheld?

michael posted more than 9 years ago | from the jogging-to-the-beat-of-a-different-drummer dept.

Handhelds 165

g00set writes "Reuters is reporting 'XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc next week is expected to unveil a "wearable" device, marking the satellite radio industry leader's latest effort to woo audiences to the nascent format, analysts said.' In adddition, 'A radio industry executive said the device was believed to be a satellite-radio receiver with headphones that also had a hard drive enabling users to download XM content.'" There have been other rumors of this as well.

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165 comments

XM Adapter for iPod (3, Insightful)

Power Everywhere (778645) | more than 9 years ago | (#10599399)

I'm calling it here and now.

Re:XM Adapter for iPod (1)

wankledot (712148) | more than 9 years ago | (#10599585)

except I don't believe the iPod has a way to play through audio from another source. So if there was any iPod/XM hybrid, it would simply be using the iPod as a battery... which would suck, since the iPod battery isn't fantastic to start with.

Re:XM Adapter for iPod (2, Insightful)

JawFunk (722169) | more than 9 years ago | (#10599836)

Two major devices linked is a lot more than peple want to carry around. More likely we'll see Apple partnering with XM to design an iPod with integrated XM. The feasibility of such a device can be judged once we see the specs of the wearable XM.

Re:XM Adapter for iPod (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10599907)

Keep calling. It's not going to happen. If it did happen, it wouldn't be an adapter it would be a new unit. When you think Apple, think design.

Wearable != handheld. (1)

Kenja (541830) | more than 9 years ago | (#10599401)

Based on what XM Radio tends to require I expect this to include a big dorky with an integral antenna.

Re:Wearable != handheld. (1, Insightful)

phobos13013 (813040) | more than 9 years ago | (#10599423)

And dont forget if you pass under bridges, go indoors, or a plane flys by right thru the feed. You lose signal... Sounds good to me.

Re:Wearable != handheld. (1)

erick99 (743982) | more than 9 years ago | (#10599445)

XM radio works fine indoors. Mine sits on my night stand and maintains great signal strength.

Re:Wearable != handheld. (3, Insightful)

phobos13013 (813040) | more than 9 years ago | (#10599599)

XM doesnt work in large hulking structures made of concrete or thick metal. Passing under bridges loses the signal, driving inside a concrete parking garage also, and if you live in a brownstone or large scale apartment complex, its useless unless the antenna is outside on the roof at least. If yr home is a wooden/vinyl siding or balloon frame or such, yr fine. XM has tons of great options and the features or great, but i dont see it making a huge impact in the personal audio department, more of a car audio system imo.

Re:Wearable != handheld. (2, Informative)

erick99 (743982) | more than 9 years ago | (#10599651)

They give you a very long antenna cable with the home kit that would allow most folks to set the antenna on a window ledge and still have the radio on a table or night stand.

Re:Wearable != handheld. (4, Informative)

aelbric (145391) | more than 9 years ago | (#10599717)

This is not entirely incorrect.

I have logged 40000 miles in my car with XM and have noticed the following:

Bridges: no problem
Parking deks: no problem
Tunnels: problem, but how long do you spend in tunnels

As far as indoors:
Home, Brick(portable device): no problem
Office: Can be iffy if mobile and dead spots can be encountered. But where it works I would not want to be without it.

The service is fantastic I would recommend it to anyone. Small price to pay to get real music choice and almost no commercial interruption.

Re:Wearable != handheld. (3, Informative)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 9 years ago | (#10599530)

Have you actually tried satellite radio?

I haven't but I don't think that XM necessarily has the same problems that AM has because they are on different bands, and the property of RF vary depending on its wavelength. For many urban areas, XM also has terrestrial repeater antennas to minimize the risk of drop-outs.

Besides, for intermitten't problems, the signal is pre-buffered a bit with plenty of error correction to boot.

I'd be vaguely interested in it if I can dock this little thing to my car, dock it to my HT sound system, or to my computer sound system, and use external antennas that connect through the dock.

Satellite radio subscriptions are charged per-reciever, and for one person, it isn't worth owning multiple recievers.

Re:Wearable != handheld. (1)

erick99 (743982) | more than 9 years ago | (#10599598)

I have a Roady with a home kit and I does have buffering. If you tune to a channel you haven't listened to for a while you will get a message "...loading" before it begins. I listen to ESPN on it and I have also had the very same ESPN up on the computer and the audio coming out of the XM is 15 to 20 seconds delayed.

Re:Wearable != handheld. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10599624)

I meant to say "..it does have buffering."

And God said to Noah (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10599431)

Go and build a big dorky dorky

Cost cost cost again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10599522)

XM needs to stop the monthly charge.

A $15 or $10 up front cost built into the receiver is the way to go.

Re:Cost cost cost again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10599602)

Yeah. I average fifty gigs a week from Shoutcast so it's not really like I need more music and I can't understand why anybody else would pay more for something that is already available for free.
As far as I'm concerned, the DVDR basically killed the need for radio signal portability. As long as a player can handle DVD, and later Blu-Ray then it's trivial to take more music than you could concievably listen to in a week or more anywhere you go.

Re:Wearable != handheld. (4, Funny)

Average_Joe_Sixpack (534373) | more than 9 years ago | (#10599557)

Just stick antenna in your pants and you'll be a hit with the ladies.

Post != sentance. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10599649)

see subject

A wearable satellite? (3, Funny)

slowhand (191637) | more than 9 years ago | (#10599403)

perhaps I should rtfm.

Re:A wearable satellite? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10599841)

please please please let the dish be incorporated into a hat. :p

Cool Device (2, Interesting)

genkael (102983) | more than 9 years ago | (#10599407)

This is a really cool sounding device. But XM needs to do some more marketing to fight Sirius. XM is sweet and I'm looking forward to getting it. A handheld would make it that much better.

Re:Cool Device (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10599511)

Why must they do that? From a business prespective I uderstand why they might want to do it but why would you want that. I would much rather both networks servive. After all Sirius is the newer and smaller player at the moment. As a consumer nothing would please me more then for it to become XMs equal. It means there will be competition and therefore, lower prices most likely come the day I decide to go Sat. Not that I ever will unless it pushes free FM radio out of usefull existance. Frankly I think subscriuption raido service is horrible. I hope the two kill any chance at profit the other has. The last thing I want is for radio to become like TV where the networks have nothing worth watching and to enjoy Tv you must have some type of content serivce with a monthy fee and then still be subjected to commercials. I also don't think Sat radio is gonna stay commercial free. There is two much money there to avoid that. Now I grant you it might be more PBS like where they don't interrupt a program and advertisers are "Sponsors" but it still will mean that when you jump in your car at 5pm on your way home it will be just prior to the next programs start time and you're gonna listen to 10min + of commercials. Die sat raidio die.

Re:Cool Device (1)

ThomaMelas (631856) | more than 9 years ago | (#10599590)

It looks like it's more of an HBO model then a cable TV-Model.

Re:Cool Device (3, Insightful)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 9 years ago | (#10599632)

Paragraphs should be your friend. You aren't making any sense.

Personally, I'd rather a small subscription for a lot of stations, long playlists and no ads versus "free" radio's obnoxious ads, repetitious programming and only a few stations. As it is, there used to be some ads on some channels of satellite radio but they've both gone [i]away[/i] from it. I can't imagine the satellite radio companies making money charging subscriptions AND selling ads, because the no-ads is a major selling point.

I try to avoid "free" radio because of their stupid short playlists too. Die terrestrial radio, die.

Re:Cool Device (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 9 years ago | (#10599558)

From my area, it appears XM has a lot more marketing muscle. I've seen several XM ads and ads for XM products, but Sirius? I've only seen a couple store displays and maybe one TV ad.

Re:Cool Device (1)

generic-man (33649) | more than 9 years ago | (#10599573)

With all due respect, XM is the clear leader right now in the satellite radio space. XM has over 2 million subscribers whereas Sirius has 700,000 subscribers. I'd also say that XM has a better brand: until the Howard Stern announcement, most people had no idea there was a second company doing satellite radio in the first place.

Just say no... (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10599410)

Just say no to Clear Channel and XM by proxy.

Re:Just say no... (1)

Soporific (595477) | more than 9 years ago | (#10599679)

If it was Sirius I'd buy it just to get Stern shows, and it has the added benefit of them not belonging to Clear Channel.

~S

Re:Just say no... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10599685)

Yea! Let's stop companies from providing what the masses want!

RICK: That's all very well! But finally, after years of stagnation, the TV people have woken up to the need for locally-based minority programs! Made by amateurs! And perhaps of interest only to two or three people! It's important, right? It's now! And I want to watch!

Re:Just say no... (1)

juangonzo (120048) | more than 9 years ago | (#10599825)

Clear channel does not own XM, they just own some stock in XM. I can't stand Clear Channel stations, they play such sanitized boring music. XM on the other hand is so great that I own two receivers and am thinking about getting a third.

FP!!!!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10599413)

fp!

Sign me up (4, Interesting)

erick99 (743982) | more than 9 years ago | (#10599415)

I have XM radio right now and I would sign up for a portable receiver to augment the "fixed" one sitting on my nightstand. I am curious though, if I lean over the antenna I can lose the signal, where is this antenna going to be put on your body to maintain a good skyward orientation?

Re:Sign me up (4, Funny)

cbelt3 (741637) | more than 9 years ago | (#10599434)

XM Antennas look good on top of a propellor beanie or tinfoil hat. Sort of a shark fin thingy. Couple that with a GPS receiver, RFID implant, and your basic mind control implant that goes along with it, and you have an army of geeks at your beck and call.

Re:Sign me up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10599843)

Couple that with a GPS receiver, RFID implant, and your basic mind control implant that goes along with it, and you have an army of geeks at your beck and call.

Don't you mean ceck and ball? Err nevermind.

Re:Sign me up (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10599623)

dont sign me up.

They need to modify their gear to take some kind of ID card so I can have a reciever at home, in the car and portable and NOT pay close to $60.00 a month for the ability to have XM wherever I go.

it is stupid to have to pay near full price for every reciever I listen to and the car solution in my Pioneer which is integrated in the head unit is far superior than the "move the module" crap. so I refuse to play that cradle and module ugly looking thing in my car and it also looks stupid at home on the audio rack.

no thanks, I'll skip XM and sirus until they think of the customer.

The Only Reason I Never Got Sattelite Radio (1, Interesting)

jetkust (596906) | more than 9 years ago | (#10599421)

Is that it wasn't portable. Very interesting.

Re:The Only Reason I Never Got Sattelite Radio (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10599812)

Troll?! Some fucking mods really need to get a clue. The parent poster has a valid point.

Re:The Only Reason I Never Got Sattelite Radio (-1, Troll)

CharAznable (702598) | more than 9 years ago | (#10599842)

how THE FUCK is this a troll? Completely valid point. I hesitate to get satellite radio because I would be forced to listen to it in one place. The standards for choosing moderators need to get a bit tighter.

Ooooo! (1)

Pig Hogger (10379) | more than 9 years ago | (#10599440)

Swift!

Plenty of songs to rip on-the-road!!!!

As an FM guy and XM subscriber... (5, Interesting)

SamMichaels (213605) | more than 9 years ago | (#10599446)

I have to say that the quality of XM's audio has significantly decreased since I got the service in 2002. It resembles a poorly encoded 96k MP3 now. It could be that they have too many channels and they had to drop the bandwidth...but it sounds AWFUL. FM stations in the area have more highs, not to mention actual audio processing (the stuff that gives it that "radio sound").

If bandwidth is becoming a problem with all these channels, change the technology. Put an MP3Pro-like encoder on it...newer units sound crystal clear again and older units sound the same.

I'd sure like to hear the technical explanation from XM as to why the audio has sucked over the last few months.

Re:As an FM guy and XM subscriber... (1)

SirDaShadow (603846) | more than 9 years ago | (#10599555)

If bandwidth is becoming a problem with all these channels, change the technology. Put an MP3Pro-like encoder on it...newer units sound crystal clear again and older units sound the same

Funny you mention that. The encoder technology on XM actually uses an mp3pro-like approach. You can tell when the sound gets "muffled" for about half a second while driving under a small bridge. And yes, I read it is 96kbps per channel, except on those "weather and sport event" channels (which is why you can hear a "nasal" effect on the girl that announces that the game/event has not yet started)

Re:As an FM guy and XM subscriber... (4, Informative)

SirDaShadow (603846) | more than 9 years ago | (#10599625)

Actually, after a few minutes of googling, I stand corrected. XM uses AAC with SBR at 64kbps. The "SBR" part is what makes it "mp3pro-like".

Re:As an FM guy and XM subscriber... (1)

Monkelectric (546685) | more than 9 years ago | (#10599713)

My god thats *TERRIBLE*, you're supposed to pay 1$ a month for music trickled to you at 8k/s?

Re:As an FM guy and XM subscriber... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10599756)

Whoa! That suxors big time.
The sad thing is you can get free Internet radio in high bandwidth ogg or MP3. If you're willing to settle for 128K MP3 there are thousands of stations just waiting to be ripped and listened to at your convenience. I find that when I use Streamripper on Linux if I leave a station up for a week it tends to fill in all the gaps on the songs that come in lousy the first time around. That technique doesn't work with every station, but it seems to work better if the server is also Linux or Sun.
Anyway, I just read that the song writers association signed a 2 billion dollar agreement to let radio station stream over the net until 2006 so there should be more streaming radio options coming up. I was surpirsed not to have seen anything about this here on Slashdot so far.

Re:As an FM guy and XM subscriber... (1)

Texodore (56174) | more than 9 years ago | (#10599589)

I haven't heard a noticeable degredation. I've subscribed in late 2001. Talk stations are pretty bad, but music hasn't been.

Reports are the new SkyFi2 sounds better than pretty much anything else. And there is a new Polk component XM receiver with optical and coaxial output. Time for an upgrade?

Re:As an FM guy and XM subscriber... (3, Interesting)

SamMichaels (213605) | more than 9 years ago | (#10599682)

I haven't heard a noticeable degredation. I've subscribed in late 2001. Talk stations are pretty bad, but music hasn't been.

It's easier to tell with an FM modulator. It used to have mad sibilance from the pre-emphasis...now since the highs are completely GONE (low pass at 10khz or something ridiculous?) and warbled, you don't hear that anymore.

If my old Pioneer unit is no longer supported, don't you think XM would have said "we did technology improvements...you need to upgrade the firmware or buy a new unit manufacturered after XX"?

Re:As an FM guy and XM subscriber... (1)

Fnkmaster (89084) | more than 9 years ago | (#10599891)

It varies by channel too. The problem is, what good does it do to have 100+ channels if half of them are unlistenable? For a long time anybody who bitched about XM sound quality was hounded off the message boards as a 'whiny audiophile' who was just imagining things, but I sure as hell am no audiophile. I listen to 196kbps VBR CD-rip MP3s and enjoy them a lot, though I admit even 128kbps MP3s are 'listenable' but not fabulous to my ears. Now, I have several friends with XM radio who have decent ears but definitely aren't audiophiles and they complain about the sound pitch too - if you don't know that the highs are getting clipped, it's hard to describe, but I've heard them use words like 'hollow', 'missing something', etc. until I explained to them what was happening (the human ear hears to ~20kHz, and they are clipping frequencies above 15kHz or even lower before they even encode the music).


I love listening to the classical channels on XM where I don't find the sound quality too bad and the variety of talk is nice. The pop stations (top 20, etc.) have a decent amount of bandwidth allocation and better-sounding pre-processing than some of the others, but the content gets boring after half an hour. This has left me reconsidering my XM subscription - I love my XMPCR at my desk, and my XMDirect/blitzsafe setup in my car, but I no longer have much desire to record songs for posterity off of XM. I do sometimes record talk shows though, and it's nice to not have to listen to a long program when it's on, but to have it waiting for me on my computer at my convenience.

Re:As an FM guy and XM subscriber... (1)

thealmightyegg (824365) | more than 9 years ago | (#10599681)

If it IS bandwidth constraints, just wait untill all these new people who wheren't subscribers before, but will be now because it's portable get tacked on. It looks like maybe they're trying to make a pretty new gadget, get more money, THEN invest in imporoving their bandwidth. When what a NICE buisiness would do is make the investment to begin with, attracting more subscribers, which would THEN pay off for their investment.

Re:As an FM guy and XM subscriber... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10599715)

No, that's what an already large business with tons of available capital (ie, Microsoft) would do (see: Xbox Live)... sometimes small companies can't get the massive amount of money necessary to do such a thing without actually having a lower-scale product already in place

Re:As an FM guy and XM subscriber... (4, Informative)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 9 years ago | (#10599741)

You do know this is a one way service and the bandwidth issue comes from the adding of channels, not the adding of subscribers. Don't you?

Re:As an FM guy and XM subscriber... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10599902)

$ fortune -m solar bofh-excuses
(/usr/share/games/fortunes/bofh-excu ses)
%
BOFH excuse #2:

solar flares
%

Re:As an FM guy and XM subscriber... (1)

tgd (2822) | more than 9 years ago | (#10599924)

Its funny, I was thinking the same thing driving into work today.

It seems like its gotten quite a bit worse just in the last few months. Weird compression artifacts, I was getting some clicking on one of the channels I was listening to on the drive. Weird stuff.

Nice (2, Insightful)

igzat (817053) | more than 9 years ago | (#10599447)

This has some serious potential. But I have an ipod now, if there was only some way to intergrate this into the ipods body, it would make an awesome combo. 40 Gigs of MP3's and satelite radio, I would pay $400 for that!

reception? (1)

hb253 (764272) | more than 9 years ago | (#10599463)

I would love to have such a device.

I already have a Roady with home kit. Reception in the car is fine, but inside the house, it's very sensitive to antenna placement.

I wonder how this device addresses reception isues.

XM Stock price (1)

jyanix (659493) | more than 9 years ago | (#10599466)

First baseball, now this!! I hear my bank account swelling - lets hear it for XMSR! Now we just need the "Sirius to XM converter", the "BicycleFI", and "BottledWaterFI".

here are some pictures!!! (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10599469)

http://www.xm411.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?t=3164

This does not look dorky, there really doesn't appear to be room for a harddrive (ignorant industry exec!), the antenna is integrated in the headphones, and it's actually just an accessory for the Roady2 XM receiver.

Re:here are some pictures!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10599695)

No room for a hard drive? Have you seen an iPod?
It looks quite large to me. It could easily hold a microdrive, like in an iPod mini. And, could possibly hold a larger 1.8" drive, like in a standard iPod.

Re:here are some pictures!!! (2, Informative)

erick99 (743982) | more than 9 years ago | (#10599766)

That is a picture of the Roady, mated with some sort of dock.

Portable (2, Interesting)

Auckerman (223266) | more than 9 years ago | (#10599474)

I'm one of those people who think if the music isn't portable, then it's useless. The only exception to this is my old war time jazz vinyl collection and that's cause I'm lazy and haven't encoded it yet. Anyhow, it's one of the fatal flaws in satellite radio along with the fact that the user still get's little input into what's being played.

Personally, I think there's a LOT of money to be made with satellite based on demand music. The playlist/selection revolves during the day, you queue it up or put it on random.

Re:Portable (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10599574)

They didn't have vinyl records in the 40's. They were all shellac (or acetate for recordables).

Re:Portable (1)

cmdr_beeftaco (562067) | more than 9 years ago | (#10599724)

He's talking about the Gulf War. World War II was not the only war in mordern history, some people...

But while driving? (2, Insightful)

Trolling4Columbine (679367) | more than 9 years ago | (#10599593)

If you mean assembling playlists and such before a trip, then fine. But I'd rather people weren't searching through menus trying to find a song while they're doing 90 down the freeway.

XM really getting Serious (1)

FerretFrottage (714136) | more than 9 years ago | (#10599479)

..about the satellite radio biz. Maybe all those tin foil hats can actually serve a purpose now.

Re:XM really getting Serious (1)

JawFunk (722169) | more than 9 years ago | (#10599947)

Not as far as the current consumer XM technology goes. The receivers they sell are just that - receivers, and do not have transmit capabilities. It would not be feasible to install a built in tracking device because it cuts out from your bottom line, and XMSR are value maximizers - like any subscriber-based business (Comcast).

Tin foil hats could be useful once the satellites are employed for another reason, but what personal identifiers make you traceable? None so far. Sleep tite.

more proprietary devices? no thanks (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10599498)

Do we really need more of these proprietary devices?

*yawn* (5, Informative)

Misch (158807) | more than 9 years ago | (#10599510)

Sirius already has a handheld unit [bestbuy.com] , the XACT receiver.

How small?
This small [siriusbackstage.com] .

Re:*yawn* (1)

Nodar (821035) | more than 9 years ago | (#10599578)

YEAH! that things is "HELLA" sweet!

Re:*yawn* (1)

Misch (158807) | more than 9 years ago | (#10599752)

For reference, this [dyndns.org] is my Palm Zire 71 hard case in my hand. (I am not the hand model for the picture of the XACT, so YMMV.)

Re:*yawn* (1)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 9 years ago | (#10599762)

It costs too much. If it was 39.95 or less they would get a lot more subscribers.

Re:*yawn* (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10599777)

nice to see moderators are stupid.

the handhel unit is only "hand held" because it fit's in your hand

it's nothing but a farking car module. it will NOT work away fro mthe vehicle and it's power + puck antenna and audio amplification device.

nice troll. I will enjoy watching you get modded to -1 for posting a lie.

Re:*yawn* (4, Informative)

Misch (158807) | more than 9 years ago | (#10599873)

There's no reason to be such an ass when pointing out an error.

There is a handheld power unit that goes with it.

It looks something like this [flyingjestore.com] .

And if I get modded to -1, you're going the same way, as it is not a "farking car module". Troll.

common subscription (1)

man_ls (248470) | more than 9 years ago | (#10599540)

Will a single XM subscription allow you to listen on n many XM devices?

If my 1 XM subscription would allow me to listen on an XMPCR, car, computer, handheld, whatever, I'd be interested in it; otherwise, no.

Re:common subscription (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10599580)

on an XMPCR, car, computer, handheld, whatever, I'd be interested in it; otherwise, no

It's portable, you dummy

Re:common subscription (1)

man_ls (248470) | more than 9 years ago | (#10599925)

Yes, and I own a portable MP3 player, and have the connections necessary to make it play through my car's stereo, but I still burn mp3s onto CD and play them through the mp3cd player in my dash.

Why?

Because it's easier that way. And because there are less parts to worry about.

Portable is good for personal use...dockable is okay (Delphi SkyFi receiver comes to mind.)

I prefer individual devices for different settings. In-dash, desktop, pc-attached, personal.

Re:common subscription (2, Informative)

Iphtashu Fitz (263795) | more than 9 years ago | (#10599764)

From what I understand both XM & Sirius license individual radios. This means a subscription lets you listen to their service on one radio. I think both companies offer discounts for additional recivers, but you're still paying for each one you listen to. This is why some of the manufacturers of radios make them portable & include docking stations for cars, stereos, etc. You buy one radio & take it wherever you want - in the car, the office, home, etc.

But... (-1, Offtopic)

Avuton Olrich (819750) | more than 9 years ago | (#10599553)

...Howard Stern's going to Sirius!

Re:But... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10599664)

All the more reason to go XM.

Cool! (4, Funny)

eli173 (125690) | more than 9 years ago | (#10599567)

A hand-held satellite launcher! Think of what Carmack could do with that!

Huh?

Oh, a hand-held radio satellite's still cool; miniaturization has come a long way.

What?

Oh.

Nevermind.

Why? (0, Flamebait)

HexaByte (817350) | more than 9 years ago | (#10599588)

Not just why a portable, but why a satelite radio at all? Do you live so far out in the boonies that there are no stations? Are your tastes so esoteric that you can only find you genre on a satelite station?

I get all the radio stations I need for free! It's funny how people complain about the cost of software that they can use forever, then pay a monthly fee for something that evaporates as soon as it's broadcast!

Just my 2 cents.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10599721)

WHY??? How about I can listen to MUSIC 24/7 without ANY commercials or annoying djs. And not just the same damn 10 songs all the time! Do you have a 24/7 Blues station to listne to? Reggae? etc., etc. It's about the QUALITY and QUANTITY of the programming. How much is it worth to you to hear an endless variety of music and no bothersome djs? If you are happy with commercial FM radio, fine, but I for one am NEVER going back to FM. XM rules!

Re:Why? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10599727)

#1 No FCC
#2 Huge huge amount of variety
#3 No Commercials
#4 No FCC
#5 Travel Convenience
#6 No FCC
#7 O&A

Honestly, I look at it the same way as I do cable. Why do people pay for hbo? Great programming, No commercial interruptions, No FCC 'guidelines'. Same applies here.

Re:Why? (1)

syrinx (106469) | more than 9 years ago | (#10599745)

Yeah, and that "cable" TV? I just get TV for free over the airwaves!

Get over yourself (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10599753)

Why bitch about what other people do, especially when it has no negative effect on yourself? Are you so arrogant as to expect everyone to behave exactly the same as you do?

I get all the radio stations I need with no commercials and music I like for a price! It's funny how people think I shouldn't pay for a service that I find invaluable.

Re:Why? (4, Informative)

skydude_20 (307538) | more than 9 years ago | (#10599786)

No, none, zip, zilch commercials, just music (at least with Sirus, they're getting there with XM). And your favorite station is the same station no-matter where you are in the country.

Re:Why? (1)

Metzli (184903) | more than 9 years ago | (#10599821)

I mostly listen to ESPN Radio, 40s music, heavy metal, blues, Air America Radio, old country/bluegrass, and Big 10 football. With the exception of ESPN Radio, none of the others are available here. Plus, the ESPN Radio is only played in part here and pre-empted with local sports crap in the morning. I don't think my tastes are that esoteric, but the local top 40, new country, hip hop, and alternative stations don't play any of that. I also like the ability to choose between genres that I wouldn't normally here. Maybe today I really feel like listening to acid jazz or world music. Good luck finding that on either AM or FM around here.

Re:Why? (1)

CharAznable (702598) | more than 9 years ago | (#10599895)

Out of curiosity, what kind of music do you listen to?

If you are seriously into serious music, AM/FM is just not going to cut it. Not going to find Television, Richard Hell, King Crimson, Magma or Slint on your local rock station.

Re:Why? (1)

khelms (772692) | more than 9 years ago | (#10599897)

Actually, my tastes aren't met by the clear channel homogenized FM stations. I like groups that you can rarely find CDs for in places like Best Buy and you rarely hear anything from them played on FM. For example, I can hear progressive groups like Cairo, Dream Theater, Spock's Beard, Transatlantic, The Flower Kings, etc. on XM 51 that I have never heard on FM. XM is like cable for radio. It supports smaller niche genres nationwide that could never be supported by FM in a single market.

Re:Why? (1)

Nick of NSTime (597712) | more than 9 years ago | (#10600066)

Can't hear The Decembrists, Her Space Holiday, or Junior Brown on FM.

Sirius... (2, Interesting)

Iphtashu Fitz (263795) | more than 9 years ago | (#10599611)

I hope Sirius comes out with a similar product by the end of the year. I plan to subscribe to Sirius when Howard Stern starts there next year.

Re:Sirius... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10599686)

I hate to break it to you, but Stern doesn't start on Sirius until January 2006, not next year...

Re:Sirius... (1)

Iphtashu Fitz (263795) | more than 9 years ago | (#10599802)

d'oh! I knew that. My fingers just outtyped my brain...

Re:Sirius... (1)

Trolling4Columbine (679367) | more than 9 years ago | (#10599733)

I don't mean to start a flame war about Howard Stern here (OK maybe I do, a little), but at what point does a person decide he has enough money?

Sure he will work better in the satellite medium, and I'm sure he still love his work, but I bet he loves that $100 MILLION PER YEAR he will be making even more.

Stern's a sellout, and I wouldn't mind seeing Sirius go broke trying to pay him.

Re:Sirius... (2, Insightful)

jokach (462761) | more than 9 years ago | (#10599867)

I don't necessarily agree that he is a sellout. He did what was required to stay on the air and keep his $100 million a year paycheck.

The way that censorship is cutting away at his radio empire, what other choice does he have? Satellite radio will become the cable TV of radio, I think everyone knows that, and Stern made the move at the right time.

Re:Sirius... (3, Informative)

skydude_20 (307538) | more than 9 years ago | (#10599754)

They already do [bestbuy.com]

Getting hot and heavy on the radio. (2, Insightful)

schiefaw (552727) | more than 9 years ago | (#10599674)

I have the Audiovox portable tuner for Sirius with the boombox accessory. This thing drains enough juice that it may as well be a portable pizza oven. Eight D cell batteries last around six hours! The tuner itself gets very hot. Unless you plan on wearing a car battery around your neck, they will need to change some things.

Perhaps this push for wearable units will force the manufacturers to update the technology. I don't understand why the tuner cannot be the size of a Palm Pilot and run cool. I have to imagine that much of the power drain is lost in heat.

Re:Getting hot and heavy on the radio. (1)

presearch (214913) | more than 9 years ago | (#10599946)

I've got an Audiovox PNP2, and the new JVC Gen 2.5 PNP.

The audiovox is big and runs -really- hot.
The JVC uses the new Gen 2.5 chipset and gives off minimal warmth and
is about one third the size, due to the new, efficient chipset.

They've gotten the technology refined quite a bit from the first release of the radios.
The first ones ran hot because there's an exceptional bit of processing needed to find, refine, and process the signal.

Pretty amazing that they got it to work so well actually.

R.I.P. Radio... (1)

Duncan3 (10537) | more than 9 years ago | (#10599728)

Free today, subscription tommorow... soon with extra commercials like cable TV.

I assume someone will get congres to "mysteriously reassigned" the soon to be empty AM and FM bandwidth?

Long live NPR!

They didn't tell you... (0, Redundant)

3nuff (824173) | more than 9 years ago | (#10599755)

They didn't tell you about the foil hat that you'll have to wear at all times to get reception. At least now I'll be able to justify the one that I wear at the office all the time.

I've built something similar... (1)

rkopper (824520) | more than 9 years ago | (#10599987)

I have one of those Audiovox ones as well but I got all crafty and attached a laptop battery to it and stuffed all that into a backpack. I can listen anywhere I want to and it lasts for about 3+ hours on the battery. Great for camping!

Sirius competitive advantage (1)

JawFunk (722169) | more than 9 years ago | (#10600029)

Yea, well, Sirius paid this guy [yahoo.com] $500M for 5 years to do discussions on sex, boobs and boners. I think I know where my loyalty lies...
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