Toronto Mike

Satellite Radio Faces Mega Competition


I've had my XMP3 player with XM Satellite Radio for a few weeks now.  I thought it might be a good time to share what I like about it and what I dislike about my latest toy.

Today I wanted to take a walk at lunch, and instead of grabbing my beloved iPod Touch, I grabbed my XMP3 player.  I chose satellite today because sometimes I like not knowing what could be around the corner.  There's something sweet about having no idea what's on the playlist - you don't know what you're going to hear until you hear it.

Another satellite radio feature that's grown on me lately is the comedy stations.  It's damn fun walking while listening to good comedy.  There's a few comedy stations on XM to choose from, so there's always something funny.  A good comedian delivering a good routine can make you totally forget you're walking in freezing temps.

On the negative side of the ledger, there are places where the reception isn't perfect.  Nothing is more annoying than grooving to a song and experiencing a second of dad air while the signal is lost.  In most places the reception is fine, but when you encounter these rough spots, it can ruin everything.  Thankfully, if things get too hairy, the XMP3 player will play my MP3s, but it's still a pain in the ass.

Otherwise, the only negative with XM radio is that I can't listen to Howard Stern.  I know the merger is taking place, but it's not complete.  XM is still Stern-less, and for a fan like me that's a shame.

I'm having a lot of fun with this gadget.  Satellite radio faces mega competition, from MP3s, HD radio, WiMax, and good ol' terrestrial radio, which still rules in my car.  It will be interesting to see where satellite stands in another five years.

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