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February 20, 2005

Satellite Radio

Well we promised to write about our experiences with Satellite Radio, so nothing much else is happening today - might as well make good on that.

It's been about a month now since we made the change and we couldn't be happier.  Yes, it costs about $10 a month, maybe a little more, but get over it.  Not having to listen to 20% of airplay being somebody hocking wigs, car insurance and performance enhancement drugs is worth twice that. Sound quality is just about as good as a dashboard CD player, and most of the players are pretty good for managing so many channels while you're driving. It gives you song info while it's playing so you can actually start to correlate stuff you like with what you want to buy.

What really sold us on this whole thing was the Delphi MyFi radio.  XM was promoting these things by selling at CES this year for around $200 (now retailing for $350).  The features make the deal a no brainer.  First it's portable, twice the size of an iPod, yeah, but remember this is a sat system with a built-in antenna for walking around town. It's lighter than an iPod. It's easy to move between cars, having both audio out jacks and a built-in FM radio broadcast feature (no adding those stupid broadcast dongles here, it just works.) The MyFi can record five hours of broadcasts so you can still listen on occasions when you can't pick up the transmissions (like prison, or your office building.

It comes with everything you need.  Absolutely everything, that's no exaggeration.  Multiple mounting brackets for your car, three separate antennas for car, home, and one that clips to your pocket for walking around.  It includes one of those cassette input adaptors, a car power adaptor, home power adaptor, cradle, and we kid you not, much more.  Unlike the iPod which like Barbie is just the base product for which you spend an equal or greater amount buying additional stuff you really need, this thing is as complete as anything gadget we've ever seen. 

Finally the Sat programming is great. We went with XM because of the player, not because we favored XM over Sirius. Sirius will no doubt come up with a response product, and maybe we'll like that better when they do, but for now we're very happy. We've virtually stopped listening to our iPod (sure we'll get back to it, but for now it has gotten about 30 minutes of use since the MyFi got unwrapped).  You can't name something you'd want to listen to that you can't find here.  OK, maybe that "all accordion" channel, but if that's your style you're probably not reading this.

Did we mention they can say Fuck and stuff in the broadcasts and not have to apologize or bleep themselves?  It makes listening to comedy worthwhile again. One thing we'd like to see is a news channel where they said fuck and stuff in context, that would kill. Again, worth the price of admission to keep all the hypocritical puritan fun-killers out of our entertainment.

So if you can scrape together the coin, we can't recommend it highly enough. 



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