Saturday, May 30, 2009


Radio Snob


I will confess I'm a bit of a radio snob. By that I mean if given the choice I would prefer spending my time listening to the radio. Something about the availability and information that is radio has appealed to me. Plus it can be very funny at times.

A couple of years ago, as you may know, I was able to get an XM Radio receiver for free and I decided to sign up for the account. The unit was the XPress EZ Radio. It took a few minutes to get it placed into the vehicle, seems the Pontiac Sunfire doesn't have the easiest blowers to connect things too, needless to say I got it hooked up. To solve some of the problems I have incorporated bungee cords to keep things still and it works beautifully.

So what do I like about satellite radio? Well, after a couple of years I have learned to simply hate terrestrial radio. Perhaps 'hate' is a strong word, a better one, or phrase may be I have learned to appreciate the vast selection of satellite radio and find terrestrial radio very limited in selection and scope. For some reason Brantford has poor radio reception and selection, so satellite is the way to go.

The merger has created some problems, one writer had this article. I have to agree, anything that limits my choice of trance is a bad thing.

Now I realize any blog or news on satellite radio will probably have a negative spin to it, after all it was just about a year ago that the two main services, XM and Sirius merged. This was due in fact that both were bleeding red ink since their individual commencement. I should point out that recently, Time Magazine declared satellite radio one of the Biggest Tech Failure of the Last Decade. Yes follow the link and you can discover why Time made that claim stick with satellite radio. If you read the article the failure had more to do with the fact it has not made money, rather then any technological problem. Still I suppose if your an investor and put any money down, you would agree with the accessment. There has been problems and I will admit, there was a time after the official merger and when I was contemplating cancelling the subscription. There was a lag time as the two systems tried to come together and work out some of the bugs. Fortunately I decided to continue with it, and since I got a satellite radio boom box, that little unit has been liberated from the car and has come indoors, or outdoors, where ever I put it. The Delphi Boom Box means satellite radio goes anywhere I want to go. This means that I don't have to miss any baseball games, or hockey games for that matter. It has been a great benefit and so let me say 'thanks kids' for giving it to me for Christmas.

So I had the negative article, now for some good news, I read one article by a fan of satellite radio, in the New York Daily News one feature writer wrote a column entitled: "Why Satellite Radio makes us beam". I have to agree with him, the fact there are so many channels means I can experience a large number of niches and styles. Right now I'm listening to "Spa", the new age channel. Well, what would you expect for a quiet Saturday night.

I've heard a number of complaint about satellite radio, besides what I quoted, but I wonder if things will soon get better. I look around and see a number of family members with satellite. I know Stephanie and Jon have Sirius, Kim has XM, installed with her car and Jeremy just got Sirius, he wanted hardcore sports and the CFL. I know this is an extremely small group to consider, immediate family, but I wonder if this is something that may start to happen.

Right now General Motors is offering two years subscriptions to XM Radio with the purchase of many models. They have an Overview page with the information. I know it states a free 3 month subscription, but we've all seen the ads on television. I suppose someone could make the joke that a bankrupt car company is equipping its models with bankrupt satellite radio. Talk about synergy. It makes a person feel good all over. Still it means more people listening to satellite radio and that ultimately has to be a good thing. I don't know if I want to call it the long expected and hope for breakthrough for satellite radio, or that we shall enter a period when just by sheer numbers it will become popular, its something we can all hope for in the near future.

So I will make sure the subscription keeps going and I will continue to be a fan of satellite radio.

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