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Discussion on XM vs. SIRIUS article


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#41 of 97 OFFLINE   Mark Bendiksen

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Posted December 08 2003 - 06:48 AM


[quote] XM Radio plays album version and extended cuts of ALL their songs [quote] And I'm s-o-o-o-o-o glad they do. I've had the service less than a week. Driving to the office this morning, the 80's channel was playing Purple Rain. I was blown away when I heard the entire album version of the song.

Very cool Posted Image


#42 of 97 OFFLINE   Dave Bennett

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Posted December 08 2003 - 10:06 AM

Ron, Yeah I did some research and confirmed what you said above, that at best you're gonna get MP3 quality. I guess I'd not be as bummed out if I wasn't used to hearing Radioparadise.com at 128kps which I think sounds better. I haven't hooked up my Roady to my Home theater system yet, but frankly I'm not sure I'm going to like what I hear. One of the whole reasons I finally broke down and got XM radio was being able to use the Roady at home and in the car. Perhaps the quality will prove to be ok for background music as I'm web surfing. At any rate, the programming can't be beat, and Deep Tracks sounds pretty much OK to me so that alone pretty much makes it worth it. I also notice that the compression is less noticeable on some stations at certain times of the day(the 80's channel sounded fine on my commute home but it has sounded awful before). At any rate, I think as long as I don't hear a song I know really well it won't be objectionable to me, and that's fine. The whole reason I bought XM was to discover new music. If I wanted to hear songs I already have, I'd just throw on one of my MP3 cds. Thanks for the info. Hope everyone else is continuing to enjoy XM and Sirius.
Regards,
Dave

#43 of 97 OFFLINE   TheLongshot

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Posted December 08 2003 - 03:33 PM

Just look at it this way: it is probably better quality than FM. I just listen to it in the car anyways, so it isn't like it is in the highest quality sound system in the world. Jason

#44 of 97 ONLINE   Ronald Epstein

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Posted December 08 2003 - 09:12 PM

The quality and "can't wait to hear what's on next" factor is so good that most people (including myself) have stopped listening to CDs in their car. I would bet that anyone that puts XM or SIRIUS in their car is going to put little use into their CD player. When hardwired, the sound quality is much better than FM. You are also correct in saying that at different times of the day the sound can change. You will also notice that some channels sound better than others. I find that on XM, Cinemagic, as well as the more popular stations sound much better than others. If you have money to burn, I'd also recommend adding a subwoofer to your automobile. This will greatly increase the bass response. In my automobile, the bass is so strong that you can hear the "thumps" of the woofer a few feet away outside. I wish that the sound quality was at CD level. However, as it has been pointed out, it's a big step up from FM and good enough that one doesn't readily reach for their shiny round music discs anymore.

 

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#45 of 97 OFFLINE   Mark Bendiksen

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Posted December 09 2003 - 02:28 AM


[quote] I would bet that anyone that puts XM or SIRIUS in their car is going to put little use into their CD player. [quote] I will agree with that statement. Before I got my XM Radio head unit installed last week I did not even have a CD player, only a cassette deck. Now, I have both XM Radio and a CD player. Do you know how much use the CD player has gotten over the past week? For approximately thirty seconds I inserted a Steely Dan CD to verify that the CD player worked. That's it.

Will I make more use of the player in the future? Of course I will, but I guarantee you it will pale in comparison to the amount of time XM Radio will be pumping through my speakers.


#46 of 97 OFFLINE   TheLongshot

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Posted December 09 2003 - 03:15 AM

While I agree that I use my CD player less, I still use it. Mainly because of the nature of radio, they don't play what I happen to want to listen to at that moment. The nice thing about Satelite Radio, tho, is that I can browse what is on when I'm listening to CD, and choose to listen to them if I want. Jason

#47 of 97 OFFLINE   Shawn C

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Posted December 09 2003 - 05:46 AM

[quote] For me I chose XM over Sirius as well. I like the DJ interaction, I have actually been called a few times and put LIVE on the air, which has been fun. [quote]
I sent a request to the Blues station "DJ" a while back and it was the VERY NEXT song that he played! Cool.


Speaking of the 80's station, they are playing "Funkytown" by Lipps Inc. right now. Posted Image I haven't heard that song on the radio in a LONG time, although it did get overplayed when it was new...

#48 of 97 OFFLINE   Dave Bennett

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Posted December 09 2003 - 10:13 AM

Sometimes I'm just in the mood for music I know and love. Other times I'm in the mood for something new. The MP3 CD/XM combo is great for me.
The Tune select feature rules though, it went off right as I was typing this Posted Image
As for Ron's suggestion on adding a subwoofer, he obviously didn't see the thread I started in the car audio section where people post their car setups Posted Image I've got a Kenwood woox compact sub under my seat and while it's not quite as loud or deep as my old 10" Orion Cobalt from my old car, it sounds great and gives plenty of bass for me(probably comparable to an 8" mounted in the back of the car).
Which reminds me, i need to get some new pics in there once I do a permanent install of my XM antenna.
Regards,
Dave

#49 of 97 ONLINE   Ronald Epstein

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Posted December 09 2003 - 10:45 AM

Sorry, Dave, did not see it. Sometimes I just don't get into every area of the forum as much as I'd like. Just went over to the CAR AUDIO area and took a look at your setup. Way cool! My subwoofer is one of those giant kickbox things that sit in the trunk.

 

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#50 of 97 OFFLINE   Dave Bennett

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Posted December 10 2003 - 10:16 AM

Yeah Ron I was just messing around with you, I can't expect you to be up on thousands of threads Posted Image
I had a traditional 10" sealed box sub in my old car, but I hated the loss of cargo space(and the hatch area in my Impreza is quite a bit smaller than my old Escort) and I'm not quite the bass head anymore so the little one does the job nicely.
As for the XM sound quality, I was listening to Deep Tracks today and Steely Dan's Bodhisattva came on and I have to say it sounded very good. Not as good as the 192kps MP3 or Redbook CD of it that I had in the car, but only when I was sitting at a light did I notice the slight tinny quality to certain highs.
I'm really hoping my free home kit comes soon, I'm getting sick of crating around the antenna with me between the car and home.
Regards,
Dave

#51 of 97 OFFLINE   Jeffrey D Smith

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Posted December 11 2003 - 01:57 AM

For me: Sirius>XM

I have had both services. Started off with XM. The commericals, rock repitition, and SQ forced me to look at Sirius.

I'll admit I have encountered about the same repitition on Sirius, but the depth of music on sirius has never disappointed me compared to that on XM.

1 piece of advice, don't go by what others tell you, you must try them yourself. There are so many lurkers going around that own stock in one or the other, and are trying to gain subscribers to make themselves money. So don't listen! Try it out!

#52 of 97 OFFLINE   TheLongshot

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Posted December 11 2003 - 03:29 AM

[quote] There are so many lurkers going around that own stock in one or the other, and are trying to gain subscribers to make themselves money. [quote]

To be honest, you don't need people to own stock to be biased to a service. Hey, I own stock in both companies.

As you say tho, what you prefer is a personal decision. Right now, I'm digging XM, tho I've only had it for a week.

Jason

#53 of 97 OFFLINE   Joshua Clinard

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Posted December 11 2003 - 12:51 PM

I agree. Don't listen to what everyone tells you when it comes to content. Try Sirius out for yourself, and then get Sirius. Hahaha. I'm just kidding. Try them both out for sure. Sirius does make it easier to sample though, with the free streaming on the web. XM really should offer that as well.

#54 of 97 OFFLINE   Dave Bennett

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Posted December 13 2003 - 02:49 AM

XM does offer streaming samples of some of it's channels, but unfortunately they're prerecorded 3 hour loops. I sampled them a bit to get an idea of what to expect from deep tracks and other stations. I agree though, life streaming would be a good way to let people sample XM. Sirius definately has the right idea with that one.
Regards,
Dave

#55 of 97 OFFLINE   Dave Bennett

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Posted December 13 2003 - 04:39 PM

I still think that streaming on the internet is a great way to appeal to the informed consumer but, I think word of mouth is the best way for satellite radio to be sought after by the masses.
Today my older brother and his girlfriend came over to my parent's house (where I'm still living since I'm still a relatively poor fairly recent college grad ) to help put up the christmas tree(all 12 feet of it Posted Image ) and his girlfriend and I somehow got onto the topic of satellite radio. She didn't know that I had it so when she mentioned it I nonchalantly went and got the Roady and hooked it up. Needless to say, she was playing around with it the entire time she was here and it looks like a Roady is now at the top of her christmas list (well maybe second to an engagement ring Posted Image )My friend at work is considering getting a 2004 Accord and has mentioned that she might get the OEM XM Radio if she got the accord. It seems like alot of people on the fence about XM/Sirius can be pretty easily swayed when they try it out or hear good things about it from a subscriber. Hopefully XM and Sirius will both continue going strong. Who knows, if satellite radio becomes enough of a threat perhaps FM radio will be forced to become more competitive and thus tolerable. Then again, they may start playing hockey in hell Posted Image
Though in fairness, I will say that 96.5 TIC FM in Hartford is now on my list of "good" FM stations. Every weekend they change their format from Top 20/Adult contemporary type stuff to a "wayback weekend". Lots of great late 70's through early 90's music. so despite having an MP3 cd player and XM in my car, every now and again I'll still tune into FM radio during the wayback weekend.
Regards,
Dave

#56 of 97 OFFLINE   John DeLuca

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Posted December 14 2003 - 04:12 AM

My wife has XM in her truck and I really like the programming. The thing I can't stand is the display cuts off and never shows the full song title. There have been several times when I heard a song that I really like but couldn't figure out the exact name because it only displayed a partial name. From what I read about Sirius, It doesn't have this issue. To me, that's a big issue because I love hearing songs that I've never heard before and if I can't be shown the full name, it makes it tough to try and find that cd to buy. I have been leaning towards getting Sirius but I'm still not ready to drop down and get it yet. Does anyone listen to the Dance stations on there? It seems like they have a few more than XM but I could be wrong. Those are the reason I want to get Sirius but if they chop the songs up, that would be useless to me.

#57 of 97 ONLINE   Ronald Epstein

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Posted December 14 2003 - 05:43 AM

John,

Can't comment on whether Sirius chops up the
songs on the dance channels, but they sure do
it on the decades channels as well as
Movin' Easy and Soul Revue. If
it's happening on three stations I listen to,
then imagine what might be happening elsewhere.

Despite promised programming changes, Sirius
still seems to be playing the same songs over
and over again. Their library seems to be a
lot smaller than the XM Radio library.

It wasn't always that way. It's my understanding
that recent changes in management has resulted in
Sirius stream playlists to be cut. You can
hear the results of these cuts. My co-worker here
complains that the Classic Rock channel is playing
the same songs over and over again as well.

As far as the SONG and ARTIST text....

Please forgive me for not mentioning this
in my review article....

XM Radio does not display the full
text of ARTIST and SONG. Their character
display cuts off after so many line(s) of text.
The folks that will most complain about this
problem are those that have small display units.
In other words, owners of the Delphi SkyFi
are probably happier with their text display
than owners with car head units that only display
a single line of text.

Sirius Radio is far better in this area.
They display the FULL TEXT of ARTIST and SONG.
This is one of the big reasons why I enjoy my
Kenwood unit over the Alpine.
It's so much nicer to get a full-text display
of both SONG and ARTIST right in front of you.

For those of you on the fence as to what service
is better --- I would love to recommend Sirius
just for the fact that it is commercial-free.
However, I am getting very antsy over the fact that
they have a very limited playlist resulting in an
awful amount of repetition on many of their channels.
In addition, playing "butchered" versions of songs
is not something people want to listen to when
paying for a premium service.

Finally, let me make this point clear: I own no
stock in either service, though I wish I jumped
on XM radio a few months ago when it was selling
for $5 a share (it's now at $24). I have nothing
to gain by putting down either service. If anything,
I want Sirius to kick XM-ASS because I hate
the commercials. Sirius has to shape up
their programming philosophy if they want to
surpass XM Radio. XM really has their act together
in how they present their music to their listeners.

I'm still rooting for the underdog!

 

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#58 of 97 OFFLINE   Joshua Clinard

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Posted December 14 2003 - 09:14 AM

Ron, why do you keep insisting that it's certain XM hardware that has a text limit? That is in fact incorrect. The XM service has a limit of 16 characters for artist, and 16 characters for title info. This is inherent in the service, and applies to ALL XM hardware. This will not change in new hardware until they upgrade the service, at which time, all hardware will be upgraded as well. Sirius, on the other hand has the capability to display 32 characters for artist, and 32 for title.

#59 of 97 OFFLINE   Dave Bennett

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Posted December 14 2003 - 10:46 AM

There are some instances where the text gets cut off, but my Roady has a display mode where it will display artist on one line and song title on the next. I leave it on this mode and 99% of the time I'm able to figure out the song even if some of the title gets clipped. I can always throw it into memory and do a search on XMFan.com's programming database if i can't figure it out. Having scrolling text would be nice but it's not a major concern for me.
Regards,
Dave

#60 of 97 OFFLINE   David-S

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Posted December 14 2003 - 11:43 AM

John:
I'm not sure if anything has changed, but at least as of a few months ago, most people I read felt that, by far, Sirius had the better techno/dance type channels...

To the best of my knowledge they play full tracks, etc, and IIRC one of the streams is nothing but continuous mixing? (Sorry, I'm not into electronic music, so this is all secondhand)

Have you tried listening to them at www.sirius.com ?


[quote] If
it's happening on three stations I listen to,
then imagine what might be happening elsewhere. [quote]
Again, I don't recall ever hearing radio "cut" versions on the rock channels (or jazz, or classical, etc)... YMMV




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