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Ive had xm for two years now.............


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18 replies to this topic

#1 of 19 JohnMurphy

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Posted January 13 2006 - 11:04 PM

I have receintly got dish network and have listened to the sirrus radio stations .
I am 39 years old and like all types of music but my primary choice is classic/ hard rock.
I find myself doing alot of chanel surfing on xm because there isnt any one station that keeps me satisfied.or the continous loop of music that they play is becoming noticed.
In the three weeks of listening to sirrus, I find that I can stay with one or two chanels without searching constantly. Is this a case of "the grass is greener on the other side".
I have my car and motorcycle and house hard wired with xm and if I were to switch over it would be a pain. I am not bashing and I dont want to start anything negative. I just want some opinions. Thanks. Murph

#2 of 19 Joe McCabe

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Posted January 14 2006 - 02:47 AM

My music tastes lie in rock and metal. I've had XM since October of 2002. The rock/metal programming on XM is in VERY bad shape. In the beginning, it was much better than it is now. Liquid Metal wasn't pure "cookie monster" death metal, but a much more balanced mix of the heavier side of metal. Then, XM seemed to allow 15 year olds with anger problems to progam it, and it became pure garbage. So much so, that it was eventually removed from the platform.

My fear is that this lead XM to believe that there wasn't a need for more rock/metal channels. But this station was simply catering to the tiniest niche of metal fans.

I gave Sirius a try for 3 days, and like you, I was VERY impressed by what I saw...BUT, by the third day, I started hearing the same stuff over and over again. And THAT, is what sent me to satellite radio in the first place. I can't stand that kind of rotation.

So I asked myself...are Sirius' rock/metal stations more in tune with the fans out there? Yes.
Is the programming rotation more in tune with me? No.

So I stayed with XM. I'm hoping to get through one of these days when Eric Logan is in the studio with Opie And Anthony, and address the issue with him.

#3 of 19 Ronald Epstein

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Posted January 14 2006 - 03:55 AM

Hi John!

I see you posted the same question in two
different areas -- fair enough. Thing is,
you are going to get two completely different
opinions from fanboys bias to their service.

Since I am a fanboy of XM let me give you
my opinion on BOTH services.

I also have spoken with people who work
for and with BOTH services, so I think I can
offer some unique insight as well.

I got into satellite radio early. I started
with XM over 2 years ago and was extremely
happy with the music they played, but not the
commercials. At the time, XM was playing
commercials on their music channels - something
they stopped doing after subscribers complained.

In the meantime, I decided to try Sirius.
I actually had hundreds of dollars in equipment
ripped out of my car to install a Kenwood
hardwired unit. I was THAT CERTAIN that Sirius
would be the better choice for me.

What a HUGE mistake!

I'll never forget what someone posted on the
XM message board the day I announced I was
cancelling XM and moving to Sirius. The reply
I received was...

Enjoy The Music! Enjoy The Music! Enjoy The
Music! Enjoy The Music!


I soon found out what that message meant!

Sirius music programming philosophy was
completely the opposite of XM. From the first
day I got Sirius installed I was hearing the
same music titles being played day in and day
out. It was as if Sirius had a playlist of
75-100 songs on each of their channels and they
consistently played the same stuff.

Their decades channels (50s-90s) were a mess!
Instead of playing ALL the charted songs from
a particular decade, they played the same familiar
songs over and over again. I couldn't understand
for the life of me why anyone who grew up during
those eras -- who wanted to hear music that took
them back to that point in their life with stuff
they hadn't heard in a long time -- could put up
with all the repetition.

There was a huge backlash of complaints on the
Sirius bulletin board about the shallow playlists.
I guess you can say that I was making the most
noise over there and Sirius was becoming concerned.

Sirius invited me to their studios in NYC about
two years ago. I met with management and even did
a radio show. Management explained to me that
their philosophy was that they wanted people who
drove their cars for short commutes only to hear
familiar music. For that reason, Sirius keeps their
playlists painfully short and thus there is a lot
of repetition. All these guys running Sirius are
former FM radio people and they want to run their
satellite company in the same way. In essence,
Sirius is FM radio without commercials.

On the other hand, XM radio realized that people
were tired of the FM radio mentality. They actually
started their satellite radio service with the
philosophy that if it sounds like FM radio, it
needs to be changed. Music on XM would be far more
eclectic than FM. In other words, if you listened
to the DECADES channels you would hear ALL the
music that played during that era -- not the same
top 100 songs day in and out. Of course, XM does
a wonderful job of mixing the familiar with unfamiliar.

For me, listening to XM gives me more "Oh Wow, I
haven't heard that one in a long time"
compared to
SIRIUS and "Oh Wow, not that song AGAIN!"

I'm not here to bash Sirius. For many, Sirius
has its advantages. Some people, who love FM
radio, prefer the music programming that service
offers. There are many that don't like the
expanded playlists on XM and actually prefer the
shallow playlists of Sirius.

I had to laugh when a Sirius exec told me
that satellite radio would have to continue to
condense their playlists to attract new listeners.
That same Sirius exec also predicted XM would
follow in SIRIUS footsteps and incorporate the
same model. When I spoke to people involved
with XM, they laughed those remarks off. XM
has no plans to adopt an FM radio policy.

So, basically, the answer to your question
can best be summed up as follows....

If you are a huge fan of music and want
diversity in the playlists, XM radio is for you.

If you want to hear only familiar music and
want to chance the fact that there will be
lots of repetition, SIRIUS radio is for you.

SIRIUS also offers a better variety of talk
as well as NFL action. I'll admit that they
do excel in that area.

Ronald J Epstein
Home Theater Forum co-owner

 

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#4 of 19 JohnMurphy

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Posted January 14 2006 - 07:59 AM

Thanks for the reply. You did a great job explaining your opinion.
I, like you was blown away by the "wow, I havent heard that song in a long time" stage. After a couple years, the feeling is starting to fade. I guess with the new experience of sirrius, it kind of brought a fresh line-up in the mix. I really dont want to spend $$$$ and time to rewire all my toys. I think I will use sirrius in my house with Dish. Thanks again. BTW. Excellent site. My wife hates the look in my eyes when I start researching AV equipment Posted Image Murph

#5 of 19 Kevin N

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Posted January 14 2006 - 11:43 AM

I do worry that XM is backpedaling on their philosophy. All it takes is regular listening to Squizz or Ethel to see how bad some of the channels seem to be getting about repetition and not being in touch with the listeners. I mean, unless all of the sudden there was some huge underground movement for Kid Rock and Limp Bizkit that I'm unaware of.

#6 of 19 mylan

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Posted January 14 2006 - 12:49 PM

Ok, people, here is the deal. I went to Hi Fi Buys ready to get an XM Sky 2 already having made my mind up but once I got there both the sales guys said Sirius hands down. I then went to BB and a customer who has XM in his work truck but Sirius at home said Sirius as well. I am now so confused I am rethinking the whole thing. One thing I did notice is the Sky 2 display looks cheap to me, the Sirius model, forgot the exact model, looks better.
I wish this was an easier decision, I would rather deeper cuts with less repetition, meaning XM, but I too want better rock/metal. Arggggggg!!!!
I know enough to know I don't know enough!

#7 of 19 Chris

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Posted January 14 2006 - 01:11 PM

I'll say something that has not been said; as Ron knows, I'm a big advocate of SIRIUS.

First, XM does have a deeper playlist on MOST networks. This is hard to deny; XM plays more "off the beat" cuts on many of it's network stations, etc.

I am mostly a talk person, and so when I flip over to music, I have certain expectations; and on those levels, XM just couldn't fulfill.

My wife listens to a lot of "1st Wave" "Alt Nation" and I to rap music stations like "Shade 45"; what I discovered after playing with XM that I didn't like is that XM too often played "clean" versions of music, the radio edits; whereas while SIRIUS did not have as deep a playlist it rarely resorts to the radio version of rap/alternative of it's Shade45 and other networks.

Now, this isn't to say that XM never plays the unedited cuts - they do that as well; but they mix in radio versions, etc. They also rarely played "street" versions of music; this makes listening to rap/urban on XM somewhat "blah". While on SIRIUS they mix in things like the Concert (live) versions of Eminem, Jay-Z, etc. on XM it's straight play.

But, XM plays a big variety. That's a perk. Since I don't listen incessently to music, I like it the other way: I like knowing when I do flip over to any of the music channels, it's probably going to be a song I know and want to hear. I find that a big perk. Others say that's part of what makes SIRIUS stale. To each their own.

I think great examples of that are single-target networks (example: SIRIUS offers a network of all-Elvis & all-Springsteen) those networks are guaranteed repeats, but I know people who subscribe to SIRIUS based solely on the existance of those networks. They love the idea of tuning in and knowing pretty much for sure what they are getting.

In 3 years of having SIRIUS, I haven't had a single problem getting what I want played on SIRIUS; I've called in several times and normally within the hour almost anything I can think of will get a spin somewhere.

Both networks have big pluses and minuses; don't get into the belief of "one is good, the other is bad" Both of them kick the bejeezus out of terrestrial radio. Both of them have DIFFERENT positives that will appeal to DIFFERENT listeners.

SIRIUS offers a chance to listen and test for yourself with a multi-day pass to listen over the internet. Give it a try, see what you think. Posted Image I convinced a good friend in KC to get SIRIUS, and I know he's thinking about dropping XM; but I know a lot of people who are very happy with both.
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#8 of 19 Kevin N

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Posted January 14 2006 - 07:34 PM

I only subscribe to XM. I was able to listen to Sirius for 2 weeks at night when I was in Alaska in May '04. My take was that Sirius believes in playing "hits" with a few songs either by artists not normally played on FM or deeper cuts mixed in. XM's philosophy is playing artists and songs not normally played on FM, with hits mixed in.

Now that's really a gross over-generalization, since there are channels on XM that are kinda stale (like Squizz), and some on Sirius that are very good, like the classic rock channels.

I think the only things that fans of either service really agree on is that Sirius' equipment lags behind XM pretty bad, and both services tend to screw with their listeners once or twice a year by changing or removing channels. The rest is up to your personal taste and what you're looking for in radio. I know people who love the service they're on, and some who switched after first signing on with one or the other.

Don't let the sales guys sway you. When I got the Commander installed in my Pathfinder in '04, they tried everything in the book to sell me on Sirius. Telling me that they were selling it over XM 5 to 1 (no wonder since they're endorsing it so heavily, right?), that Sirius has NFL, NBA, and NHL, and that Sirius had better music.

Fortunately I knew what I liked; I started subscribing to XM 9/13/01. I told them that I liked Cinemagic and the way XM programs their music channels and they looked at me like I was nuts. If it wasn't the only shop in town that installed the radios, I would've gone somewhere else. Make your own decisions based on listening to both through the trials or whatever means you can. Posted Image

#9 of 19 mylan

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Posted January 15 2006 - 10:52 AM

Ok, its a done deal. I got the XM SkyFi2, car and home kit.
In the end, it came down to hardware like XM ready receivers in case my wife wants to listen while I have the SkyFi in the car and programming choices.
I know enough to know I don't know enough!

#10 of 19 TheLongshot

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Posted January 15 2006 - 05:02 PM

Quote:
My music tastes lie in rock and metal. I've had XM since October of 2002. The rock/metal programming on XM is in VERY bad shape. In the beginning, it was much better than it is now. Liquid Metal wasn't pure "cookie monster" death metal, but a much more balanced mix of the heavier side of metal. Then, XM seemed to allow 15 year olds with anger problems to progam it, and it became pure garbage. So much so, that it was eventually removed from the platform.


Funny thing is, there seems to be a lot of people who seem to like it. I'm not one of those people.

Personally, I prefer Da Boneyard over anything Sirius offers in that respect. Hair Nation is too cheesy and repetitive, and Hard Radio plays way too much "cookie" and nu-metal for my tastes. Da Boneyard, on the other hand, mixes up some of the old school with some hair and new music. It is a channel that I can leave on for several songs and not be tempted to change the channel. Certainly, I can see room for improvement, but it is a pretty good channel.

Quote:
I like knowing when I do flip over to any of the music channels, it's probably going to be a song I know and want to hear. I find that a big perk.


And my attitude to that is, why are you listening to radio? For me, the point of radio is to expose yourself to stuff you may not have heard before. If you want to hear what you like, I think you'd be better off with an iPod.

Jason

#11 of 19 Ronald Epstein

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Posted January 16 2006 - 12:29 AM

And good point brought up about Cinemagic...

If you are a die-hard film lover (and perhaps
that's why you visit HTF), you'll appreciate
the fact that XM has a channel that plays a
widely diversified collection of film soundtrack
intertwined with actual movie clips to enhance
the listening experience.

This is exclusive to XM!

Ronald J Epstein
Home Theater Forum co-owner

 

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#12 of 19 Tom Brennan

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Posted January 16 2006 - 01:50 AM

As much as I'd like a film music channel on Sirius, the film clips I can live without. I want to hear the music, not the dialogue, especially when it's a lousy movie with good music. Who wants to re-live that?

Sirius Pops does play it's fair share of film music though.
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#13 of 19 Ronn.W

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Posted January 16 2006 - 02:40 AM

I normally don't listen to Cinemagic either, but I'm a die hard horror movie fan and every Halloween they do horror all day long. They play a lot of great stuff that day and it really creates an atmosphere.

#14 of 19 Ronald Epstein

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Posted January 16 2006 - 04:14 AM

Quote:
I want to hear the music, not the dialogue, especially when it's a lousy movie with good music. Who wants to re-live that?

Have you actually listened to Cinemagic?

You are emphasizing the dialogue aspect
more than you really should.

It's not as if the channel is a showcase for
movie dialogue. The emphasis is put on the
music, of course, but between the long sets of
film soundtrack XM sprinkles in a scene of
dialogue from that filom, enhancing the trip
down memory lane.

Besides, what you might think of as a bad
film may be a favorite of someone else.

A "pops" channel may play film soundtrack
here and there, but the great thing about
Cinemagic is that it is a total
channel dedicated to movie music
. In
addition, Cinemagic doesn't just play
the top standard film soundtracks. Just as
you would expect from the vast XM library of
music, there are a lot of odd film soundtracks
that get played as well. Another one of those
"Oh Wow -- I haven't heard that one in a while"
sort of moments.

Ronald J Epstein
Home Theater Forum co-owner

 

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#15 of 19 KyleC

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Posted January 16 2006 - 06:08 AM

Quote:
Sirius music programming philosophy was
completely the opposite of XM. From the first
day I got Sirius installed I was hearing the
same music titles being played day in and day
out. It was as if Sirius had a playlist of
75-100 songs on each of their channels and they
consistently played the same stuff.


I'm going to have to disagree with you there. While I chose XM over Sirius, I don't consider myself a fanboy. I mainly chose it for O&A. Anyway, I mainly listen to channels 20-22 and a few others. The playlists on those channels is repeat after repeat. I can't tell you how many times Kanye West's "Golddigger" or Nickelback's "Photograph" is on. My wife likes Kelly Clarkson so i programmed her SkyFi2 to notify her when she's on using Tune Select. That thing goes off like a car alarm. She's on SO many times.

I'm not saying I don't enjoy XM or even it's songs, but I don't think some of the playlists are as deep as some people think. I do agree they don't always play the more notable songs on each station but they do repeat ALOT.

#16 of 19 TheLongshot

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Posted January 16 2006 - 07:18 AM

Quote:
I want to hear the music, not the dialogue, especially when it's a lousy movie with good music. Who wants to re-live that?


Actually, I like it. It helps give flavor to something that otherwise doesn't have context. Cinemagic does a good job of that.

If you don't like the movie clips, you could always listen to The Big Score, which is a bunch of movie cues combined into one big thing. I acually like it.

Quote:
Anyway, I mainly listen to channels 20-22 and a few others. The playlists on those channels is repeat after repeat.

One would say, tho, that that's the point of those channels, which are there to broadcast the latest hits.

Jason

#17 of 19 Tom Brennan

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Posted January 16 2006 - 07:19 AM

I was dating a girl who got XM in 2002 and the very first thing I heard on it was Superman, which was a thrill for me. I also remember hearing the Ain't It Cool News updates on it (do they even do that anymore?). And while the selection was nice (I made her laugh when I said "Here comes the farting synth from Rambo II") the dialogue clips made me tune out. As a soundtrack fan, I don't want to hear dialogue while I'm listening to the music. Ryko used to release soundtrack CDs and do this when they were going through the MGM library. Enough people complained about the dialogue being included on the albums that they eventually stopped, so I guess I'm not the only one. A good piece of music can transcend its source and can live a life of it's own.
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#18 of 19 Ronald Epstein

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Posted January 16 2006 - 08:46 AM

Kyle,

Do you know WHY you hear so many repeats
on channels 20-22?

Those are top hits orientated channels. That means
you will find the biggest rotation of recent music
on those channels. That's what they are designed for.

They are Top 40 channels.

Do you know the name of channel 20? It's
the Top 20 on 20. That means all you are going
to hear is the top 20 songs.

Listen to the decades channels or any of the other
dozens of music channels outside of those three and
you'll find very little repetition.


Tom,


It seems that you and I have different tastes in
what we like in music and services. Doesn't make
either one of us right nor wrong. That's the best
answer I can give you.

Ronald J Epstein
Home Theater Forum co-owner

 

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#19 of 19 Ernie Estrella

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Posted January 17 2006 - 05:09 AM

I think it's fair to say though that it all depends on what stations you like to listen to.

I am a Sirius subscriber and have had my fair share of "Wow I' haven't heard that in ages" moments. Honestly, I've had a lot. But I listen to a lot of different styles of music. I don't listen to the pop music channels but here's what I do listen to:

Classic Rock in all of its incarnations
Accoustic Coffee House Music
Reggae
Trance and Progresssive House
old School Hipi-Hop and Rap/Breakbeats
Ambient Electronic
Classic and Contemporary Jazz
New and Old Alternative Rock
indie/College Rock
Standards and Swing
Classical
BBC Pop Radio
and some of the decade channels.

And there's something on Sirius to meet my fix for those genres.

I block all of my country stations so I can't speak for those.

The focus of the Sirus channels allow me to get to which ever I want at the press of a button. I haven't had a regular place to listen to half of these genres of music on the radio EVER.

Now add to this all of the sports and talk/entertainment stations and I think Sirius stands on its own. Are there repeats? Sure, but not at a nauseating level.

I'd say if you're the type of music listener who likes to just leave the radio on one or two channels, that XM is better for you but the variety is just fine on Sirius, you might need to jump around more though. I've been listening to Sirius since before Labor Day of 2005 and have been blown away with the music and programming of Sirius given my broad taste in music and entertainment.

I understand that this is an XM thread, and give all the credit to XM's music creative programming but I think the perception that "Sirius music programming is dirt compared to XM" is subjective on the way you listen to music, and the diversity in your taste of music.

Ernie Estrella
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