Sunday, April 12, 2009

XM

Today, I got another reminder of why satellite radio has a dim future, at least under its current providers. (Usually, I think about things like DJs who WON'T. SHUT. UP. Because, you know, that's what we loved most about terrestrial radio, so we really need that on XM/Sirius. Or combining forces to save money and then still being unable to provide a full lineup.)

I was heading out to feed Evil Cat and trying to listen to the Tigers' pregame show on XM. Unfortunately, the wires they set up to pick up the Detroit feed must have been crossed, because I couldn't clearly hear the people talking ... there was a hard-rock station playing in the background. When the game started, they must have got that fixed, because it wasn't a problem.

Sometime in the bottom of the second, though, the signal just went dead. I checked the other stations - no problem, so it must be the feed. Of course, XM/Sirius just puts on a few extra commercials for their own stuff, just seeing if we notice. (Yes, we do.)

Eventually, after 5 minutes or so (when we should already have been in the third inning), they change the text to read "Tech Difficulties." (Another thing I don't like: they never use more than half of the text area on my display.) o rly?

In the bottom of the third, the signal comes back ... well, not really. It's the Rangers' feed. Okay, whatever. (Obviously, it would be smart to do what DirecTV does, and carry both home and away feeds, particularly when you think about all the channels they have and what they're not using. So they don't.)

Then, in the top of the fourth, we finally get the Tigers' feed back. Except that when they break for station identification, XM/Sirius plays the clip of Ron Washington telling us we're listening to the Rangers' radio network on XM.

When my contract expires in October, I'm renewing for the shortest possible amount of time. Hopefully whatever replaces XM/Sirius will work with what's in my car.

3 comments:

  1. That Sucks! This is one service that I refuse to pay for. I like listening to the variety of FREE pod-casts available on itunes and elsewhere. However, I don't find much that interests me on the regular radio stations.

    Good luck with the feeds from future ball games.

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  2. What was so appealing about it was the ability to listen to it on trips (basically, my trip to Virginia). I wasn't able to get the in-car iPod accessory (that is supposedly now available), and I'd rather flip through stations on the XM radio than try to page through songs on my playlist.

    That part, it's done very well. The only times I have problems with reception are when there are hills/mountains immediately to my southwest. Even in heavy rain, I've had no problems picking up signals.

    I guess what it does best is provide you with a wide selection. As long as you don't need a specific thing (a game, a channel, whatever), then it's fine ...

    Now, at home, I would have a very difficult time paying for it. There are so many other sources for music that are free, and with DRM-free tracks, you have a lot more flexibility with what you can do yourself.

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  3. Those are all good reasons but I fixed that with my car purchase two years ago. My number one priority was to purchase a car with a audio port installed. It is my favorite thing about the car. It would be extremely difficult for me to go on trips without it.

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