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Sirius XM?


Dreadhead
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So as part of the new car we got a 4 month trial for Sirius XM and I'm wondering what people around here think of the service.

Worth the $200 a year? That's a lot of CDs.

Favorite stations?

Edit: I see the mostly music for $10 a month. That's a bit more palatable.

Edited by Dreadhead
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We had a year trial when I bought the Jeep. We had just come off our 3,000 mile honeymoon road trip and liked it quite a bit. It's definitely nice and easy for trips around town, and helps break up longer trips.

 

We got some gift cards for Christmas to re-up. 4 months later I had finally swapped head units in the Jeep, so I wanted to renew my subscription. Turns out they "deactivate" gift cards that haven't been used within a certain window. They deactviated them, but can't reactivate them without proof of purchase. Their customer service is absolutely horrible, and each call threatening to cancel until this is sorted out has resulted in months of free service. But they're very difficult to deal with. With any luck, we'll get things squared away and have another year to enjoy, but I'm definitely hesitant to deal with them after that.

 

That said, the 80's and 90's stations can be fun depending on the rotation, Lauren likes Pulse which is a fairly light mix and I tend to really enjoy Outlaw Country, depsite despising most country, and Bluegrass.  The mediocre sound quality is offset by the road and wind noise in the Jeep.  I know it really bothers some, and might bother me in a more refined vehicle.  But it's not an issue for us.

Edited by en480c4
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The only thing you really have to watch out for is Sirius is the CD club of the present time. Once you're in, it's almost impossible to get out. I refused to activate either of the cars we bought with it included because of the hassles we'd had with turning off older radios in other vehicles. I get comparable content streamed over my phone, so I don't see the value in the service they provide, personally.

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baba booey

 

Howard Stern is the reason I subscribe. I tell myself that when he is done, I am done, but I've really grown to love the music content. I like a lot of stations:

 

-1st Wave: early "alternative", so lots of easier to digest post punk and early synthpop and other stuff

-Jam On: jamband stuff

-XMU: indie

-The Joint: reggae

-Electric Area: trance/house/electro/etc. Electric Area streams a lot of live festivals and live DJ sets, I love this.

-Classic Vinyl/Classic Rewind/Deep Tracks: all classic rock type stuff

-The Spectrum: they play a little bit of everything, mostly cool stuff.

 

The classical and Jazz stations are also great, the decade stations are fun as well. As has already been said:

 

1. Its great for road trips, really helps pass the time

2. Customer service sucks, though my experiences have been fine (had to call to cancel my "sirius" radio so I could sign up for a new "xm" radio, which doesn't make any sense but the guy cancelled my radio even though he didn't seem to understand what I was doing, and he did it without too much fuss, so whatever).

3. SQ is generally poor, but in the car it doesn't matter. The one station that is so bad that it matters is Raw Dog Comedy, which is a shame because they have some funny comics on there, but it sounds like a 32kbps mp3 I downloaded off of Limewire in the late 90s. Internet streaming is all 128kps.

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I turned it on and off several times years back. Liked the '70s channel quite a bit and my radio had the 'artist alarm' (maybe they all do now?) which was cool (I think it was responsible for my The Band fixation for a bit). I haven't kept up with the encoding since, but at least then it was really poor (even by car standards). Shame as the original planned service was the opposite, but quantity of channels became more important (I think even before actual launch). Let me second the smartphone route. Decent service and a few apps can get you a ton of content. Add Spotify/MOG/rdio and it's even better.

Edited by blessingx
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Had it with new car, Dropped it when couldn't justify the TCO (total cost of owenership) vs use made. Depends on your use case. If you have bluetooth, AUX-IN , or an FM transmitter, then any solid state playback device (smart phone / sansa clip) will trump SQ and playing your choice of music / audiobook / podcast vs being restricted to a playlist based "station". That said, I did enjoy my fix of BBC World Service, on the go, while it lasted. (Modern Multi Disk CD players especially those with MP3 playback, means lots of music at your fingertips for less, at a SQ of your choosing) If you do go with / keep XM, then play close attention to the Satellite radio forum on AVS http://www.avsforum.com/f/101/xm-and-sirius-satellite-radio for how to "game" the CS reps into offering you a "one time only'" renewal for $77 / year , 6 months for $25, or whatever the current special is. If you leave, they'll beg you to come back with specials. Their business model relies on inertia sales once they have you. If you have a smart phone with data plan, the marginal cost of Mog / Spotify / Pandora may be a winner, and you can use them outside of the car.

Edited by Grahame
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I have the service and have had it for many years, but I fucking hate it. The sound quality, despite what the fanboys say, is horrible. Can you say, "let's compress the shit out of this?" I know I can. And let's talk about the fact that although XM and Sirius merged, their billing systems are still separate, and radios that date back pre-merger cannot be merged on the same account, so I can't get multiple radio deals even though I have multiple radios. Wait, let's not talk about it. I'm getting enraged now.

 

My wife loves it, but I wish she'd switch to just using her phone to stream whatever-the-fuck. The internet-based XM/Sirius sounds quite a bit better than their satellite broadcasts.

 

Shit, we should just pay for internet only and my wife should use her phone in the car and her computer at work.

 

Damn. I should suggest this.

 

Damn, Tyll, how did one get an AK120 so quickly? I thought those things were just announced or some shit? And did they fix the impedence "problem?"

Edited by cutestory
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Thanks for the feeback so far. I think we'll will plan on skipping it for now but it might be nice if we start road tripping more. I had already noticed the compression and found it annoying but it was improved after I changed the stereo settings back to normal instead of Treble +7 and Bass +7... I don't know what retarded monkey set them that way but they can DIAF.

We do have to switch radio stations driving down to the lake house but it's not like Richmond is the middle of nowhwere or something and there are good stations down there.

Edited by Dreadhead
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Damn, Tyll, how did one get an AK120 so quickly? I thought those things were just announced or some shit? And did they fix the impedence "problem?"

 

They gave me one at Munich. It sounds good, but there's things I hate about it. The price for one...though mine was free. And they told me at the show I could pair it via bluetooth to my phone so I could hear my phone ring when using it with CIEMS...but no, you can only pair it with a BT headset---great, my hi-rez files over BT to a shitty headset, great. :(

 

Pretty sure they'll ask for it back once I write a review. No loss here.

 

I'll take the Galaxy SIII and the V-Moda Verza rig in a heartbeat.

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WMFU, one of the last, great freeform radio stations, has 12 years of archives available for download. You still have a chance to be cool in 2001!

http://wfmu.org/

The This American Life iOS/Android app has 18 years of audio documentaries available for download.

http://www.thisamericanlife.org/listen/mobile

Just saying.

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Sound quality isn't terrible but isn't great either, but what we like the most is being able to not lose stations when we travel out of range, like with FM.  I think we use ch 2 Hits 1, ch 3 20 on 20, ch 15 Pulse, ch 60 Outlaw Radio and ch 59 The Highway and one other country channel, as well as ch 63 The Message christian music, ch 66 jazz, ch 68 new age jazz, and ch 114 fox news the most.

 

 

I have the service and have had it for many years, but I fucking hate it. The sound quality, despite what the fanboys say, is horrible. Can you say, "let's compress the shit out of this?" I know I can. And let's talk about the fact that although XM and Sirius merged, their billing systems are still separate, and radios that date back pre-merger cannot be merged on the same account, so I can't get multiple radio deals even though I have multiple radios. Wait, let's not talk about it. I'm getting enraged now.

 

 

 

I have an old Sirius radio from 2006 I was using with an account I set up around 2004.  And last month I was able to get them to merge that old account with my newer XM radio account that I have my Infiniti and Subaru on.  The old Sirius account number actually absorbed the newer XM radio account, and the newer account went away.  They also sent me a free XM radio to replace the one that I bought 7 years ago.  So, I am getting the multi-radio discounts, and I'm still using the old sirius radio since I haven't had a chance to activate the new XM radio that's replacing it.  So Sirius and XM are playing nice together here.

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I'll have to check again and see if I can merge my accounts, but my situation is slightly different in that I have a pre existing XM account that I was having difficulty merging with my newer Sirius account. I haven't had luck merging them in the past.

I'll try again and report back!

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  • 4 weeks later...

I'm with you, Chris ... not the Hits1, but the horrible SQ.  No way is it listenable.  Just have to gird myself for another round (took 3 months for them to stop calling, emailing, and snail mailing when we let Becky's trial expire) of harassment at the end of the 120 days of free.  

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  • 1 year later...

The new online player/app has a 320kbps stream at its highest level now btw[the sq on the new player when set at max is quite good much better than the old one].

That's really good to know, I didn't know there was an sq setting in the new app.

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