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AOL and XM Joining Forces for Online Radio

samzenpus posted about 9 years ago | from the refresh-my-station dept.

Music 167

Josh writes "BetaNews is reporting that AOL and XM are joining forces to make available 20 XM music channels plus 130 of its own available to anyone on the internet for free starting this summer. AOL members will have free broadband access to 70 XM channels, although apparently there are plans for a $5/month option for non-subscribers. The deal means AOL Music specials will make it onto XM's channels, and XM promos will be heard across AOL Music's properties."

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167 comments

Non US users wont be complaining (2, Informative)

firehorsey (867123) | about 9 years ago | (#12199719)

This could be a good thing for non US countries (or wherever broadband isnt 'dirt cheap')

Speaking as someone from Australia, where we are still fairly limited by bandwidth, the great unwashed masses will LOVE IT. Seriously - most broadband down here is still limited or throttled to stupid amounts, so anything that gets them free music channels for free is going to be H0T!

Re:Non US users wont be complaining (1)

DriedClexler (814907) | about 9 years ago | (#12200611)

You make a good point. As a resident of Ireland, I have to settle for horrible download speeds. Actually, I'm not, I just noticed people get modded up for saying they're from countries other than the US.

connection speed (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12199732)

wonder what connection the speed is.

Re:connection speed (2, Informative)

Spydr (90990) | about 9 years ago | (#12200133)

not sure about AOL stuff, but XM online offers either 32k or 64k windows media streams...

they sound about like a 64k and 128k mp3, respectively

And its going to be called (3, Funny)

youngerpants (255314) | about 9 years ago | (#12199742)

AOLTimeWarnerXMMSNBC......

Re:And its going to be called (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12200094)

Wow, XMMS. AOL already owns Winamp. Now, it's merging with a clone of its own software! ;)

Re:And its going to be called (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12200314)

Except that MS is pulling out of MSNBC

Is this really it ? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12199744)


you know ?, when the media companies finally "get it"

Yeah, free... (3, Insightful)

jspayne (98716) | about 9 years ago | (#12199746)

AOL members will have free broadband access to 70 XM channels, although apparently there are plans for a $5/month option for none subscribers.

Free, if you are paying for AOL.

Sirius already has free access to all of its music stations - if you have a subscription to Sirius.

Jeff

Re:Yeah, free... (5, Insightful)

isa-kuruption (317695) | about 9 years ago | (#12199778)

So does XM, http://listen.xmradio.com/. I'm listening right now.

The real advantage to this, of course, is that XM increases it's potential customer base. Customers who will use the XM via AOL option will fall in love with a couple channels and end up getting units and paying the $12.99/mo. Of course, I'm all for this... I'm a shareholder (tm).

Re:Yeah, free... (3, Interesting)

infonography (566403) | about 9 years ago | (#12199867)

It's not a positive change, if you get into bed even for a moment with AOL they will keep billing you. This is that slimey practice they have not changed. I tried their Netscape dialup and got burned instantly. Even after cancelling the service days after starting it they are still trying to steal money from my account.

I am all for XM but keep AOL out of your life.

Re:Yeah, free... (2, Insightful)

adamanthaea (723150) | about 9 years ago | (#12200126)

This bit of the article makes me worry a bit: "An enhanced high-bandwidth version of the service will feature 70 XM stations for around $5 USD per month, although specific pricing has not yet been set. XM plans to replace its current Web radio offering, which became free to subscribers last week, with the AOL-powered service when it launches." XM just upped the monthly fee by 3 dollars for "free" Web radio. Quite frankly, I almost never use it. If I'm at my computer, I have the actual receiver going into my computer. If I'm somewhere else on the network, sometimes I will use it if I'm at a computer with speakers. When I'm at home, I can't really use it because of the limitations of dial-up. Does this mean that for the extra 3 bucks that XM subscribers will still get the 70 XM channels plus all the AOL stuff? Or would I have to shell out even more (which I can tell you right now is not going to happen) or do I get the option to drop the Web radio and get back to the old monthly cost?

Re:Yeah, free... (1)

CACaffiend (817371) | about 9 years ago | (#12200785)

Sort of... I have Sirius via Dish Network, and love a few stations. But haven't yet bitten the bullet to subscribe. Granted, the next car I buy will have sattelite, and I'll be sure that it's Sirius capable.

Re:Yeah, free... (2, Informative)

mmkkbb (816035) | about 9 years ago | (#12199781)

From TFA:
The co-branded service will be free to all Web users, with a premium counterpart that includes more stations for a small monthly fee.

Re:Yeah, free... (2, Insightful)

justforaday (560408) | about 9 years ago | (#12199834)

Free sure has taken on some funny meanings lately...Also see the "free" upgrade to Dark Age of Camelots story that ran a few days ago. You get a "free" upgrade so long as you pay their monthly service fee...

Re:Yeah, free... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12200738)

You can still get the free upgrade if you quit paying the fee, you just can't use it.

Re:Yeah, free... (1)

ImaLamer (260199) | about 9 years ago | (#12200404)

Free, if you are paying for AOL.

I'd pay for AOL's broadband service just for the "Video@AOL" feature. It's about the same as Real Player's premium service and you actually get many of the same "channels". Now that they've added XM radio their already exhaustive streaming selection is expanded further.

AOL is actually worth it for people who want to stay away from p2p for their online media experience. Do you have Windows, a "newer" PC, live in the United States and have broadband? I'd use the free trial to see what if it is worth it, plus they won't let you cancel your "trial" so you never pay a dime.

AOL *should* try to become the Internet's media provider. Time Warner is already successful in the cable provider business and owns plenty of content, AOL is halfway there. Drop the ISP crap and go for media.

Re:Yeah, free... (2, Informative)

xs650 (741277) | about 9 years ago | (#12200435)

Sirius already has free access to all of its music stations - if you have a subscription to Sirius.

You can also have free access to Sirius without paying for Sirius. Just for access to Dish TV to get free access to Sirius.

TAANSTSAFL

To be more specific (1)

EvilStein (414640) | about 9 years ago | (#12201565)

Dish Network's America's Top 120 - $37.99 - you get TONS of channels and all of the Sirius channels. It's a great deal. I miss my dish (new apartment looks right into a big line of redwood trees.. can't put up the dish)

DirecTV doesn't have Sirius, but I think they still have some canned music channels..

well, you never know. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12199750)

this is my third in a week.

TYPO! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12199751)

*non subscribers?

not none subscribers

None Subscriber? (2, Funny)

some_schmuck (313126) | about 9 years ago | (#12199762)

... for none subscribers.
I think the poster meant 'for nun subscribers', as once again AOL shows it's willing to bend over backwards for the Catholic church.

AOL CD's? (3, Funny)

john.mull (790526) | about 9 years ago | (#12199763)

Next up, AOL will publish the worst of the music onto CD's so that you can surf AOL offline. The new CD's will be made by the billions and distributed to a snail mailbox near you.

When will satellite radio become profitable? (4, Insightful)

bfline (859619) | about 9 years ago | (#12199767)

Listen to the XM CEO on NPR.org [npr.org]

XM Satellite Radio has added more than a half million subscribers in the last 3 months and shares of XM have quintupled over the last 2 years. Questions discussed in the npr broadcast: Can XM continue its meteoric growth? When will satellite radio become profitable? Is there room for both XM and rival Sirius?

Re:When will satellite radio become profitable? (2, Interesting)

Professor_UNIX (867045) | about 9 years ago | (#12199832)

Is there room for both XM and rival Sirius?

I personally hope they merge. I'm torn between shows I'd like to hear on both networks but I'm not about to get two seperate radios and pay two seperate subscription fees per month. It'd be like HBO and Showtime only being available on DirecTV and Cinemax and TMC are only available on Dish.

Re:When will satellite radio become profitable? (1)

Skater (41976) | about 9 years ago | (#12199852)

I prefer competition. It keeps both of them working at being good. We've seen what can happen when one company has a monopoly.

Re:When will satellite radio become profitable? (5, Informative)

calbanese (169547) | about 9 years ago | (#12199899)

So far competition has been very good for satellite radio. Sirius dropped commericals from music channels, and XM followed them. Sirius put its music on the net for free, and XM also put theirs online for free (for some subscribers).

Add me to the list of people who want to see competition.

Re:When will satellite radio become profitable? (1)

brontus3927 (865730) | about 9 years ago | (#12200062)

I think the fundamental problem the grandparent has is that XM and Sirius use different hardware. It would be like HBO & Showtime being available only on DirectTV and TMC being available only on Dish Network. Of course, it isn't that way in Satellite TV, and it is a bit rediculous for it to be that way for Satellite radio.

Re:When will satellite radio become profitable? (1)

terrymr (316118) | about 9 years ago | (#12201171)

huh ?

Satellite radio provides original programming. Satellite TV provides an alternative to cable for delivering existing services. It's really not the same concept.

Re:When will satellite radio become profitable? (1)

GweeDo (127172) | about 9 years ago | (#12199928)

HBO and Showtime are both on Dish Network, in fact, I just cancelled them last month from my Dish Network account.

Re:When will satellite radio become profitable? (1)

nxtw (866177) | about 9 years ago | (#12200076)

The post you replied to was using this as an example in his simile, not stating this as fact.

Re:When will satellite radio become profitable? (1)

node 3 (115640) | about 9 years ago | (#12200539)

Can XM continue its meteoric growth?

I'm pretty sure the satellite radio companies don't generally like to use the adjective 'meteoric'.

AOL is a big target (2, Interesting)

bigtallmofo (695287) | about 9 years ago | (#12199769)

How long until spammers and spyware authors figure out how to have audio ads played constantly throughout the "ad-free" XM radio channels?

I'm not sure if anyone looks forward to the days that XM content is sponsored by V1@g@ra!

Re:AOL is a big target (1)

justforaday (560408) | about 9 years ago | (#12199845)

I think you mean "How long until AOL convinces XM that inserting ads into their programming is a good revenue stream?" (although exactly not what the customers want, but nevermind that...)

Re:AOL is a big target (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12200013)

No worries. AOL is already working on it themselves. It comes with the Tuna-sandwich.

What a great idea! (5, Insightful)

jaakko (69953) | about 9 years ago | (#12199771)

I would gladly pay a monthly fee for hearing music that I can't choose, and maybe advertisements every now and then! It's like radio, but it costs money and bandwidth!

Re:What a great idea! (1)

afd8856 (700296) | about 9 years ago | (#12200038)

I'm not sure of how many radio stations you get in your area, but potentialy this could get you a lot more stations, each specialized on a genre.

At least that's what I guess should happen.

Being a slashbotter (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12200603)

you're probably stealing mp3 from p2p or usenet anyway.

Re:What a great idea! (4, Insightful)

ScentCone (795499) | about 9 years ago | (#12200658)

music that I can't choose

That should read: 'don't have to choose'

That's the whole point if these services are run right: you get to enjoy good music without wading through thousands of titles and deciding what should be played. It's like going to a good restaurant, and telling the chef you trust to just fix you a really nice dinner. Some unexpected pieces are part of the experience, and just like the chef (who costs you more than the food would at the grocery store), you're buying someone's time and expertise - and trusting them to get it at least mostly right most of the time.

Places like RadioIO [radioio.com] have been doing a pretty good job at this for a while now. It's worth the cost of a six pack of Guiness to have someone else spend all month digging up music for me to hear.

Re:What a great idea! (1)

gad_zuki! (70830) | about 9 years ago | (#12200862)

Clearchannel (part owners of XM) + AOL. Who would want that? Oh right, AOL users. *shivers*

Re:What a great idea! (1)

RagingChipmunk (646664) | about 9 years ago | (#12201544)

Let's see here: I can pay $5/mo to get less-than-broadcast quality music... hear it with ads (just a matter of time) and get it through AOL?

Ah - Radio is truly DEAD.

Hmm, I'll just continue downloading MP3s: Higher quality, better choice, no ads, and is free.

Re:What a great idea! (1)

iocat (572367) | about 9 years ago | (#12201640)

I actually got XM more for the non-music programming, figuring that anything I wanted to listen to I already had, but I have been surprised at a) how nice their mixes are, and b) how much good new stuff I have been turned on to by XM. Fungus53 and Fred44 are far superior to my local alternastation, for instance.

Of course, I'll probably be switching to Sirius in 2007, when NASCAR moves, unless XM adds ChampCar and ALMS coverage to its new IRL offerings and somehow keeps its current motorsports commentators, so I'm personally hoping for a merger, or at the very least, a dual XM/Sirius receiver. A dual receiver -- or at least the potential of a dual receiver -- was written in to their FCC licensing agreements, so it could happen, although to date no one has announced one.

is is missing a chance to revitalize itself... (5, Interesting)

dAzED1 (33635) | about 9 years ago | (#12199796)

for years, techies laughed at users of AOL and said it wasn't the "real" internet. AOL didn't work with normal browsers, wouldn't allow one to have access to normal things, etc.

There is a HUGE market for that now. Imagine an environment where spam is mostly non-existent because the network is isolated and only approved hosts can send email. Imagine an environment where sites didn't do mischevious things to your system. There's a market out there right now almost screaming to get the very thing for which AOL used to be criticized. There are millions of people out there that don't want 15,124,617,179,945,562 different search results for what they're after (esp when only 5 of them will be what they actually want, the first being on page 20 or so, and the rest will be trash), and they don't care to have to deal with all the other junk out there.

A couple nights ago I was looking for something online, and my wife and our roommate were in the room goofing off. After having to wade through pages of squatter-crap and such that had all the dumb tags that improve search engine results, I yelled "what have you people done to my beloved internet? It was a wonderful place until you all started getting on too!" I was only half-kidding. I never used AOL (I owned an ISP back in 95, and after that went to broadband for personal use) but I would count myself as someone that would sign up for a trusted environment.

The internet didn't want AOL anyway. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12200249)

AOL was the first large influx of the general public to the internet. They destroyed newsgroups. Places like sci.math and sci.crypt used to have regular readers who were experts in various areas and you could ask intelligent questions and get answers (same for other newsgroups). Then came all the kids looking for help with their homework and people who didn't know what a FAQ was. AOL was blamed for this, but they aren't really unique any more. It might be nice if a large bunch of consumers go back into isolation.

Re:is is missing a chance to revitalize itself... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12200463)

my wife and our roommate were in the room goofing off

Sounds kinky.

Will it be successful? (0)

krishn_dev (781739) | about 9 years ago | (#12199809)

Dont get me wrong dude... but netters had been enjoying numerous web sites with good quality audio (and video) services, available free of cost.

Just trying to understand how this is better than FM receiver, which costs just few bucks.

Howard Stern and $500 million reasons (4, Interesting)

bfline (859619) | about 9 years ago | (#12199817)

Stern, who signed a five-year deal [go.com] with the other satellite company, Sirius, worth an estimated $500 million, left no doubt about his allegiance at the event. "Once you start listening to (satellite), it's like crack," Stern said to cheers. "You will be addicted."

XM has to do something to stay competitive with Sirius to stay on the map.

Re:Howard Stern and $500 million reasons (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12199861)

I have XM and am glad they don't have Howard Stern. That's one more channel I won't have to skip over.

Re:Howard Stern and $500 million reasons (1)

bob zee (701656) | about 9 years ago | (#12199914)

I love the XM comedy channel (150). If XM had Howard Stern, I would most definitely cancel my subscription. He is not funny and not interesting.

Re:Howard Stern and $500 million reasons (3, Insightful)

Anita Coney (648748) | about 9 years ago | (#12199913)

The Sirius deal with Stern is going to go down in history as a huge failure. Offensive humor only works because it breaks rules. Thus, Stern is only successful because people get shocked at what he does. They'll comment such as, "Can you believe what Stern got away with this morning?!"

After a few years of Stern having no limits, people are going to get bored and stop listening.

Re:Howard Stern and $500 million reasons (1)

X43B (577258) | about 9 years ago | (#12199987)

Agreed. On top of the comments you made, paying him that amount means he will have to attract nearly 10 million customers who would not have joined Sirius without him. Stern may be a popular free option for the average Joe's commute to work, but is that same person going to pay $100 ($200?) for a radio and $12.99/month for life just to listen to him?

Re:Howard Stern and $500 million reasons (1)

cybrthng (22291) | about 9 years ago | (#12200892)

Obviously not everyone will pay for the service just for stern, however they will probably enjoy the other 150 channels they can listen to.

Satellite radio is the bomb. I'm never going back, and I will never support XM unless clear channel gets some balls.

Long live sirius

Re:Howard Stern and $500 million reasons (2, Insightful)

fishdan (569872) | about 9 years ago | (#12200000)

Wow -- I have a feeling you're trolling but I'll bite. People don't listen to Howard Stern because he breaks the rules. People listen to him because he's FUNNY, and frequently insightful. Whether or not they'll pay $10/month to listen to him is another question, and we'll just have to wait and see -- but I do know that the radio industry is full of people who missed on on huge opportunities by betting against Howard Stern.

Re:Howard Stern and $500 million reasons (1)

Anita Coney (648748) | about 9 years ago | (#12200057)

Well, comedy is subjective, so if you find him funny, that's your opinion. I've personally never HEARD him say anything funny. However, I'll admit he DOES funny things. Like when he had sex with a "real doll" on air. His "Fart Man" character at the MTV music awards. That was HILARIOUS!

But one commonality his humor has is that it pushes boundaries. And like what I said, without boundaries, I doubt if he'll still be funny.

Re:Howard Stern and $500 million reasons (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12200976)


Wow -- I have a feeling you're trolling but I'll bite. People don't listen to Howard Stern because he breaks the rules. People listen to him because he's FUNNY, and frequently insightful.


Yeah, I used to be in high school too.

but.. it's not just Stern.. (1)

EvilStein (414640) | about 9 years ago | (#12201596)

Howard Stern is just another feature that sirius will have. If uncensored Stern is what makes people decide to go to Sirius, great. They also get all of the music too. :)

Sirius already has some good stuff besides Stern.. Radio Bam is kind of funny and Lance Armstrong has a show that he does out of his house too. One of the alt rock stations has frequent band interviews that are usually pretty good too.

I've had Sirius for a while now and have been really happy with it. Having Howard Stern will just be icing on the cake. :)

Re:Howard Stern and $500 million reasons (1)

dr_dank (472072) | about 9 years ago | (#12201196)

Offensive humor only works because it breaks rules. Thus, Stern is only successful because people get shocked at what he does. They'll comment such as, "Can you believe what Stern got away with this morning?!"

If the radical conservatives (doesn't sound like an oxymoron these days) have their way, satellite radio as well as cable tv could find themselves fighting the same battle as their free-to-air counterparts with regard to indecency rules.

Re:Howard Stern and $500 million reasons (1)

NAACPsupporter (863927) | about 9 years ago | (#12201651)

I totally agree with you on what you say. Stern is breaking the rules and it makes people excited. I actually got rid of XM radio in my car. The content of regular FM got better, and the talk shows on AM radio are much better than any talk radio on XM.

Re:Howard Stern and $500 million reasons (1)

slapout (93640) | about 9 years ago | (#12200177)

There are some of us who chose XM because it didn't have Stern.

Re:Howard Stern and $500 million reasons (1)

Varkias (631272) | about 9 years ago | (#12200596)

"XM has to do something to stay competitive with Sirius to stay on the map."

They already have something competitive, Opie and Anthony on XM High Voltage. (Remember them from 102.7 WNEW NY about 2 years ago). IMO a MUCH funnier smarter and more entertaining show than Howard. Unfortunately XM marketing has been dropping the ball on promoting them.

Re:Howard Stern and $500 million reasons (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12200673)

O&A are far superior to Stern. Stern has become OLD and lazy.

Plus the Sirius HW stinks!

AOL to get XM online? (-1, Troll)

usedcarsalesman.com (869281) | about 9 years ago | (#12199821)

Geez...who the hell uses AOL? Have had XM for two years and been wanting to listen to the XM service online, but now they pull this crap. Switching to Sirius...you can get all the Sirius channels through their web site for no charge beyond the monthly subscription rate. Don't need F'ing AOL.

Re:AOL to get XM online? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12199868)

Geez...who the hell uses AOL?

me too!

Re:AOL to get XM online? (2, Informative)

lemonk (220326) | about 9 years ago | (#12200344)

You can listen to all the XM channels online since you're already a subscriber. Chill...they just opened it up as of March.

A replacement for AOL CDs? (1)

kpwoodr (306527) | about 9 years ago | (#12199869)

Maybe now I won't get so freaking many AOL CDs in the mail.

Will the paying XM Subscribers have the option to NOT hear the AOL advertisements?

Apple could make this irrelevant (4, Interesting)

sjonke (457707) | about 9 years ago | (#12199870)

by providing an iTMS Subscription service, ala Napster's "On the Go". Napster offers (reportedly) poor quality, no indie music and no support for the Mac (all of which are deal killers for me.) If there were a similar, but done right, "on the go" subscription service for iTMS, for me it would put the last nail into "broadcast" music radio (not that it had much life anyway), be it satellite or otherwise. Apple could provide daily (hourly?) "radio" playlists sans "radio personalities" (and perhaps even some with "personalities" inserted between some tracks if you wish) that you can select to sync directly with your iPod to carry it with you. And with that on your iPod you can skip forward, back, pause, etc. Try that on XM. Not to mention that you could do it yourself, including exactly what you wanted, if Apple extended iTunes so that, with a subscription, the iTMS became part of your iTunes "Library", and thus applicable to "smart playlists".

Re:Apple could make this irrelevant (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12199929)

When I could listen to this Apple service in my car while driving, I'd consider it. Until then, XM is the way to go.

Re:Apple could make this irrelevant (1)

zomper514 (235646) | about 9 years ago | (#12199999)

The XM Skyfi2 has a 1/2 hour buffer that you can skip forward and back to songs you have already listend to. Kind of like Tivo.

Might Be Handy (1)

lbmouse (473316) | about 9 years ago | (#12199887)

For places that have plenty of bandwidth but no radio reception (remote areas), it might work. I work 25m below ground and can't get any of my favorite radio talk shows, so for me it all depends on the content.

Windows only? (1)

Sen.NullProcPntr (855073) | about 9 years ago | (#12199948)

I assume so.
Tried to use their free Movielink service. Not just Windows only but IE5+ only.
AOL is my oldest email account so for 5 bucks a month I'll stay with them for sentimental reasons.

Music wants to be free (2, Insightful)

RocketRainbow (750071) | about 9 years ago | (#12199998)

As a musician I believe that music ought to be free. I can't bear the thought of my work only going to horrible radio stations that are going to try to make the kids buy things they don't want.

But I'm powerless to stop it.

When my album is recorded my preference will be to make it available for download from a simple website. This will provide excellent exposure for my performance and encourage people to visit my performance. Very few musicians make good money from CD sales - they traditionally kept the public enjoying the performance and sparked enthusiasm for visiting a show. The very best of us perform in large stadiums, earning thousands of dollars in a single night (of lip-synching).

I'll be encouraging the kids to build up nice big playlists so they don't have to listen to the radio tell them what to buy. I don't think that AOL internet radio is a useful step at this point.

If you enjoy radio, then I suggest you listen to Triple J - available from the ABC website www.abc.net.au.

www.spinner.com (3, Interesting)

crazyfrenchmen (104386) | about 9 years ago | (#12200012)

What about spinner? It got bought by netscape and then by AOL. Now it's the internet radio offer from AOL. Any idea where it fit in the picture?

Nice to know (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12200041)

What they're using with the $3/mo increase to subsidize.

Bring back $9.99/mo with no Crappie and Anthony, no internet streaming (I'll pay extra thanks - can't use it at work anyway), and no AOL junk.

Makes me glad I signed on for 5 years last month at the old rate.

XM Radio Online, meh (4, Informative)

rainwalker (174354) | about 9 years ago | (#12200077)

I've been a subscriber for a couple years, and they recently "forced" everyone to add their online radio bit to their subscription, in the form of a $3/mo rate hike, but then you get the online radio for "free". So far, I've been very underwhelmed, for a couple reasons:

1. The player uses lots of Flash trickery that doesn't work well, as far as I can tell- the ticker that tells you what song you are listening to is frequently wrong.
2. The player itself is WMP, which is useless to me at home (with no Windows machines); I loathe their choice, but I'm sure they had to go with WMP due to contractual concerns from the record labels, and WMP offers strong DRM.
3. The real killer, though, is the shitty quality- the "high quality" mode is only 64kbps, and sounds like crap. I am not an audiophile, and most of my music is 128k/160k mp3's, which sound great to me. XM radio sounds great to me. XM radio online sounds terrible. So, it's pretty much worthless, IMHO.

Re:XM Radio Online, meh (3, Informative)

rebelcool (247749) | about 9 years ago | (#12200234)

the sound quality is very tinny (although better than netscape/aol radio) and the selection of channels is kind of poor. Many of the novel XM radio channels arent available online.

Re:XM Radio Online, meh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12201008)

Whoever modded this as informative is an idiot, as is the original poster.

XM Online has MORE music channels than XM over the air. All of the standard XM music channels are included, plus 5 additional channels (3 of which used to be on the XM sats, but were pulled to make room for other programming).

http://xmro.xmradio.com/xstream/index.jsp

Re:XM Radio Online, meh (1)

WillAJ (716404) | about 9 years ago | (#12200816)

If your machines at home are Linux, it can work. Go to www.xmfan.com and search the posts for Linux. I have it running on Suse 9.2 using mplayer (I think).

Re:XM Radio Online, meh (1)

GweeDo (127172) | about 9 years ago | (#12200875)

You should give Sirius a try then. With the Mplayer netscape plugin it works fine in Konquerer for me. They use WMP as well, but mplayer has no issue with it and their javascript around it runs fine (no flash for their player).

Re:XM Radio Online, meh (1)

PeeAitchPee (712652) | about 9 years ago | (#12201761)

Agreed. I have tried XM Online on both its low and high bandwidth settings. On its low bandwidth setting, it is completely unlistenable due to frequent dropouts. Its high bandwidth setting has the classic whooshing cheap-ass encoder sound to it, as if you're running everything through a $29 flanger stompbox, and there's no dynamic range AT ALL -- the audio is squashed completely flat. This is the main reason I haven't sold my XM PCR, which I was hoping to do once XM Online came out.

Another problem is the 42 XM Liquid Metal is now an Online-only channel. :-( Between that and no NFL coverage, I may have to give Sirius another look.

Satellite vs internet radio (2)

acomj (20611) | about 9 years ago | (#12200098)

Its interesting, with the internet it would be relatively cheap to set up a "radio" station, compared with the huge overhead of launching satellites etc.

With wireless internet becoming more prevalant/cheaper over the next 10 years in suburban/urban areas, satelite radio could be obsolete in those areas (bumped by cheaper internet radio), so they need to get the brand and marketing out there. Its also cheap for the satelite radio stations to stream over the internet since they've already paid to "program" each station.

Interestingly enough you can listen to low quality streams already. Actually large difference in quality between an high quality MP3 and satelite radio is convincing enough for me not to subscribe when my XM trial is turned off. (I can tell the distance in a moving car with road noise etc..) Although the selection on satellite radio isn't bad, my collection is better..

Re: Satellite vs internet radio (1)

Cnik70 (571147) | about 9 years ago | (#12200684)

One big missing link though witrh streaming media.... driving. It's sort of hard to get wifi access countrywide.

XM technology, Sirius content (2, Insightful)

Reignking (832642) | about 9 years ago | (#12200272)

From a strategic point of view, this seems consistent with what XM has done and says it will continue to do -- be ahead of Sirius on technology. They had their satellites up first; they've got the first walkman-sized radio, and now they've got a way to allow millions of more users hear their signal. XM is focusing on how users hear them, while Sirius is focusing on what users hear...

.xm radio? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12200448)

Wahey! Welcome back Fast Tracker 2!

Bah. Just more pesky kids re-using once great acronyms. Grumble grumble.

Fucke8 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12200898)

took prece3ence are She had taken dicks produced series of internal your own towel 1n knows for sure what another cunting The most vibrant

It's still radio, though (1)

Simonetta (207550) | about 9 years ago | (#12201185)

While the technical underpinnings may be fascinating for this new music distribution system, the fact remains that the core content is still the same. It's plain old jive-ass radio; the same as you would get (and from which you would want to get away) from Clear Channel. Irritating announcers, insufferable commercials, lame music. Just coming to you through the wire instead of the air.

The real alternative to radio is to use the internet to find people who have the same or similar interests in music that you do and also have large collections. Then use DVD burners to put 70 albums on each blank disk in a stack of DVD media. Fry's has stacks of 25 DVD+R this week for about $7.50 US, which is roughly about $0.29 per DVD. With good quality OGG or MP3 recording, that's about 2000 songs for a dollar in media cost. You would also need an inexpensive DVD writer for your computer, which is about $70.

This way for a few dollars you can get most of all that you would ever hear on any of these new specialized radio channels. Copy the songs to a hard drive that will interface with your car or home (PC) stereo, and use a randomizer program to play songs from the collection.

No irritating announcers, no insufferable commercials, no lame music, no Clear Channel, and no high radio access fees. Or join groups of other people who have the same interest in music. When someone finds an exceptionally good song in the collection, they can send a message to the others in the group about it.

You can get all the other radio functions, weather, sport scores, traffic reports, celib news from the web. Commercials too, if you want them.

Their free service costs me. (1)

sxdev (664129) | about 9 years ago | (#12201208)

Once Sirius started doing something like this with Satellite TV, the number of promos they run doubled, all directed at those who got the service for free, trying to get them to sign up. I wonder if XM can come up with a better way to advertise to them; no point annoying current subscribers like Sirius been doing. Or this is a bad sign for us subscribers?

Finally! But AOL? (1)

j.bellone (684938) | about 9 years ago | (#12201303)

I was waiting for this to happen, it was only a matter of time, and I'm glad that it is happening. But why did you pick AOL? My god; couldn't you have joined up with Google or Yahoo, or someone better than AOL? Ugh. I still need to use the AIM service through Trillian because my friends refuse to move to Jabber.

Sirius has been online for months (1)

BostonGunNut (851395) | about 9 years ago | (#12201740)

You can listen to most of the Sirius stations online at sirius.com [sirius.com]. This is free for subscribers, and non-subscribers can get a free trial.

Sirius is really just better than XM. Better music, no commercials, and free internet streams for when I'm at work or in a hotel on the road. Also, Howard Stern will be exclusive to Sirius in Jan 2006. Like him or not (I do,) he's a huge draw....

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