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Switched from Sirius to XM


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#1 of 20 Joshua Clinard

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Posted March 08 2006 - 04:06 AM

At one time, I was a great champion of Sirius on this forum, as well as other forums. I pushed it hard, to my friends, and discussed the advantages of Sirius on many public forums. I explained to anyone who would listen, that satellite radio was better than AM/FM radio, and also, that Sirius was much better than XM. I enjoyed the experience very much. I wouldn't trade it for anything. I have no regrets. I even got t-shirts screen printed with the Sirius Dog, all in the name of promoting Sirius. I wore that shirt everywhere! I also threw a Sirius Party. I think I helped Ron see some of the advantages Sirius had to offer, and was partly responsible for getting him to try Sirus, after he got fed up with the commercials on XM. I hope Ron doesn't mind me saying so.

For about a week, he enjoyed Sirius. He wrote a mostly favorable review of the service, that was read by hundreds of people. After the newness started to wear off, he got tired of the repeats on the 70's stream, one of his favorite genre's. He sent feedback to the DJ's, and even wrote Sirius management, and landed the priviledge of guest DJing the stream. Sirius totally botched his show, and lost most of the recording session. The way they treated him was poor, and it did not give him the exposure he needed to get enough support to change the stream. But he had the support of us fans at Sirius Backstage. Soon after that, he went back to XM, and wrote a unfavorable follow-up review of his experience at Sirius, and of his experience with the service. He has never returned since.

After that, I saw a wave of change at Sirius. All the things I used to love about Sirius started to slowly drift away. The advantages Sirius had over XM started to decrease. XM took away their commercials. Sirius increased the amount of rock programming, at the expense of other genres. We got several new rock channels. They took away Soundscapes. Streams that we had requested over and over, like a true 90's channel, a movie soundtrack channel, and a Christian rock channel, never happened. We kept asking, because we thought they would eventually listen to us. But they didn't. Then we got an Elvis stream, and an Eminem stream. I like Elvis, but why an entire stream devoted to him? And Eminem? Let's just say that I think he has a very negative impact on our youth. There are others that do that as well, but he is at the forefront. I have friends that used to be good kids, but after listening to him, they aren't happy people. That was the straw that broke the camels back. They also did not do enough on the talk format to keep me interested. I noticed that XM had Christian Talk, like James Dobson and others. XM had an entire stream dedicated to it, Sirius had none. They had plenty of conservative political talk, but no family oreinted talk, except the one comedy channel. That was the other thing that prompted me to leave.

So I decided to cancel my Sirius account, because they were not providing the programming I wanted, in the music or talk areas, and they were not providing the hardware I wanted. I was waiting on a true portable unit I could take anywhere. They did release a kit that could transform one of the plug and plays into a semi-portable unit, with a bulky case that included a battery, but it was ugly, and still required an external antenna. I didn't think it would catch on. They announced a new and different portable unit, that would supposedly be an all-in-one, but that was debatable. I righly predicted that it would not be. Of course it never came out at all. Now, you can get an all-in-one portable unit with a color screen, for 280 dollars. It's very nice, but XM has had portables out for so long, that the price for a portable solution has fallen to $50.00.

And I have just gotten one of those portable solutions. Last week I ordered the Roady 2 with the Personal Audio System, that makes the unit truly portable, with an antenna built into the headphones. The unit is smaller than a walkman. It's very nice.

I'm looking forward to trying it. I used to enjoy Sirius's programming very much, and I am not sure how I'll feel about XM's eclectic playlist. I sure enjoyed the hit based format, even if there were just a few too many repeats on certain streams. The repeats did not bother me too much. When I get my new unit, I will post a review with my thoughts on both the hardware and software. I would sure like to own Sirius and XM, because there are still a lot of things I like about Sirius. One day when they have a portable device that is capable of recieving both services, I will surely return, or when I get a car that has a headunit with both. I'm sure there will be streams on Sirius I'll prefer.

Yours truly,

Joshua

#2 of 20 TheLongshot

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Posted March 08 2006 - 08:54 AM

As another former Sirius customer, I wish you luck with XM.

One thing I do suggest is that you take your time to judge XM, because of the ecletic nature of some of the channels. In my experience is, most things are there, but you need to also realise the playlists are larger, and that sometimes you will be getting stuff you weren't quite expecting. This, IMO, is a good thing. Radio is more than just the familiar, but also discovering stuff you may not have heard before.

Jason

#3 of 20 Chris

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Posted March 08 2006 - 10:32 AM

I think you're smart to evaluate both formats, and I wish you luck with your change Posted Image

I think a lot of people float back and forth.

But, I do want to preface tshi with a bit of a note: do not make any assumptions in regards to the more-christian friendly/etc. type programming on XM vs. SIRI. If you were offended by Eminem, channels like Snoop Dog's etc. you'll find equally offensive. (they play the same kind of lists, hell, they share label ties)

So, I would advise you to evaluate XM and appreciate what it has to offer; but if part of your goal is to remove all services like Eminem, etc. or to get away from programming that is not christian-friendly, I think you'll find both services offer a fair mix of stuff you will both enjoy - and find offensive. It's wether or not you can appreciate that they offer both.
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#4 of 20 Ronald Epstein

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Posted March 08 2006 - 08:17 PM

Joshua,

Welcome back from the dark side.

I think the biggest advantage XM has over Sirius
is the fact that it is eclectic. Sirius is run
by old FM radio people -- and it shows! Their
programming is basically the same as FM without
the commercials.

However, there are those that prefer to hear the
same top hit songs over and over again just like
the FM radio stations were programmed -- and for
those, Sirius is the perfect choice.

As you posted above, I really tried to stick with
Sirius, but it was the nature of management that
runs that service that made me realize these weren't
honest people and I wanted nothing to do with them.

Ronald J Epstein
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#5 of 20 RomanSohor

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Posted March 08 2006 - 10:30 PM

Welcome to XM... I hope you enjoy it!

I found the best way the differences were described was by Opie on the Opie & Anthony show. He basically summed it up by saying that Mel Karmazin wants to run Sirius like an FM Radio Company, Hugh Panero and Eric Logan et al are trying to run XM Like an entertainment company
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#6 of 20 TheLongshot

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Posted March 09 2006 - 06:45 AM

Quote:
But, I do want to preface tshi with a bit of a note: do not make any assumptions in regards to the more-christian friendly/etc. type programming on XM vs. SIRI. If you were offended by Eminem, channels like Snoop Dog's etc. you'll find equally offensive. (they play the same kind of lists, hell, they share label ties)


That being said, some Christian artists make their way onto other stations as well. (Neal Morse and Iona on Fine Tuning, Stryper on Da Boneyard.)

Course, just because a service has a channel that is distasteful to you, doesn't mean you have to listen to it. There is plenty of other content out there.

Jason

#7 of 20 Michael Young

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Posted March 09 2006 - 06:48 AM

Also Diversity is good. XM offers XL channel blocking, if you truely want nothing offensive.

Also We're still waiting for a Sirius Portable unit. I don't think not having a live signal when unplugged from base is truely portable.

Its like me grabbing my denon DVD player unplugging it from the wall and carying it down the street, is that portable?

To quite Jim Norton here "congrats Sirius, you reinvented the tape deck"

#8 of 20 Joshua Clinard

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Posted March 09 2006 - 07:43 AM

I thought the new S50 played live Sirius streams. Is that not true?

#9 of 20 Jeff Gatie

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Posted March 09 2006 - 07:56 AM

Quote:
I thought the new S50 played live Sirius streams. Is that not true?


In true portable mode, it only plays recorded content or downloaded MP3/WMA's. For live content, it requires a dock. But it is able to hold 50 hours of recordable content, from scheduled or interactive recordings and does not have to worry about signal loss, which are big plusses.

Quote:
Its like me grabbing my denon DVD player unplugging it from the wall and carying it down the street, is that portable?


Not fair. Your Denon is not the size of an iPod, does not have a chargable battery and does not store 50 hours of content. So no, it is not anything like carrying your Denon down the street.

#10 of 20 Joshua Clinard

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Posted March 11 2006 - 04:57 AM

I got my radio on Thursday night, but I haven't gotten to spend much time with it yet. I can't get a signal in the mall, but that was expected. There is a window at the top of the building I was hoping to get a signal from, but that was a pipe dream. It's very high up, and there's only a few degress of the sky that you can see. So far I have listened to the 90's channel, and the 60's channel for a few minutes each. I'll report back when I can spend more time with it. On the hardware side, I like my unit very much, but I can't get a signal on the bus unless it's traveling a certain direction, and that is a disappointment. The unit is very small, even when inserted into the portable kit. Fits in the palm of my hand. There is one thing that is disappointing about the service, and that is the 16 character limit of the song/artist display. I do wish they would get that changed.

#11 of 20 James Edward

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Posted March 12 2006 - 12:05 AM

I also recently switched from Sirius to XM. I much prefer XM- they just seem to have so much more music to offer in the rock/progressive/acoustic rock genres that I gravitate toward.

I can't speak to the equipment offerings/offensive programming aspect of things, just the music. And oh boy, is the music better.

I actually could see a lot of people preferring Sirius due to their 20 rotating songs, but me and my friends always went the extra mile in the music listening department, so hearing new stuff is a pleasure.

LAST, BUT NOT LEAST, I LOVE THE FACT THAT I PUT THE XM ANTENNA IN ONE SPOT AND SIGNAL STRENGTH STAYS PUT. SIRIUS DROVE ME NUTS... 'Oh, it's 4 o'clock, time to move the antenna... 6 o'clock, it's starting to cut out, time to move it again!'
Napoleon, don't be jealous that I've been chatting online with babes all day. Besides, we both know that I'm training to be a cage fighter.

#12 of 20 Ronald Epstein

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Posted March 12 2006 - 04:03 AM

James,

You pretty much nailed it on the head
when comparing XM to SIRIUS -- and in
most cases, the pick greatly depends
on one's taste in music.

People who listen to their satellite
music radio all day long will prefer XM
as there are less repeats to be heard and
a wider variety of music that will be played.

People on short commutes who only want
to hear familiar songs will prefer SIRIUS.
That service is identical to FM radio where
playlists are kept relatively short and
thus, the same songs are heard over and over
and over again.

Ronald J Epstein
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#13 of 20 Ernie Estrella

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Posted March 12 2006 - 12:33 PM

Ron,

I know I've gone around this with you before but Sirius' programming is definitely NOT like FM radio.

I cannot find the following on FM:

Old School Rap
Electronic Trance and Progressive House stations
Breakbeats
Uncensored Hip-Hop
Reggae
BBC Radio
Ambient Electronic
Coffee House (Jazz + Acoustic Rock)
Underground, College Rock


I listen to these stations and much more on Sirius. Sirius has provided and incredible increase in variety of music for me. I don't listen to country stations so I can't speak for those. But I love the jazz stations, the classical stations, as well. I don't ever hear of anyone talking about repeats on any of the stations I've mentioned above. All I ever hear are people complaining about repeats are the pop 40 stuff, or modern hits. I listen to these stations some, but there's a lot more to satellite radio out there. There's been more exploration of music

B-Sides are nice to have, but there's a reason that they are B-Sides, and the ones I really love, then I have the CD.

FM also does not provide me with NFL Radio (absolutely incredible coverage), almost any NBA game I could ask for, Every NCAA Baskeball Tourney game, and great stand-up comedy radio.

Again, the programming is slightly different, but I like to throw the analogy to people who like to have one or two stations programmed on their receiver to pick XM. If you like a wide variety of music, sports and or entertainment, then Sirius is for you. I'm willing to admit that XM's programming is good, but Sirius can hold its own.

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#14 of 20 Random Hero

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Posted March 12 2006 - 02:00 PM

I love XM. I tried out Sirius, and kept getting dropped signals and I didn't care for many of the channels.

XM is great. The comedy channels are worth it; it's great to relax with some laughs while in the car.

The 80s and rock/metal stations are also great.

#15 of 20 Ronald Epstein

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Posted March 12 2006 - 08:03 PM

Ernie,

I think you may have misunderstood, and perhaps
I should have been more specific.

This has nothing to do with channel selection.
We all know both services offer more variety than
FM radio.

Sirius music programming is exactly like FM radio.
Many refer to the service as "FM radio without the
commercials." This is because of their very short
playlists and repetition in order to keep only
familiar songs in rotation.

Ronald J Epstein
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#16 of 20 Ernie Estrella

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Posted March 13 2006 - 08:30 PM

Ron,
I totally understood where you guys are coming from but again, I've listened to the music stations for the past six months and for at least what I listen to, (many genres of music I don't hear many of you guys listening to) I am not hearing the repetition to the degree where it bothers me. Maybe I should ask what people's tolerance of repetition is?

It's not that I have some high tolerance of repetition either. I can tell the repetition because I have song-seek set to 20 songs, and maybe 3 out of the 20 get alerted to me on a daily basis three times a day, another 3 once a day, and the other 16 or so I'm lucky to see once a month or ever again. I'll have you know I clear out my song-seeks once a month too, and I listen on average to 4-6 hours a day.

I'll believe that Sirius repeats more than XM in general, but I also think it depends on the music formats as each station has their degree of repetition. The more mainstream stations like top 40, the decades I'm sure repeat a fair amount. I honestly don't listen to those because I know that there's a decent repetition factor there but some of the niche stations out there provide enough repetition only to the point that you know they're the popular songs.

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#17 of 20 Ronald Epstein

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Posted March 13 2006 - 09:39 PM

Ernie,

Most of the repetition (outside of the top 40 stations
which is normal) happens on the decades channels.

In fact, unlike XM, none of the Sirius decades channels
are a true representation of what that era is. Instead
of offering those who grew up during the 50s - 80s a
full spectrum of every song played on the radio during
that period, Sirius only primarily plays those songs
that charted the highest, and will play them over and
over again so that only "familiar" music is heard.

That's where I hear the most repetition.

I also hear it on Movin' Easy, and others
who have posted on this board and the two main
satellite boards have reported repetition on the
classic rock channels.

Ronald J Epstein
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#18 of 20 TheLongshot

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Posted March 14 2006 - 03:48 AM

Ernie,

The first question is, how much to you listen to Sirius, and what is the variety that you listen to? It sounds like you may listen to a lot more channels that I did on Sirius, so you may not see the repetition.

My prime example was Hair Nation. I'd listen to it every day, and it was pretty likely that I could hear the same group of songs from one day to the next.

Jason

#19 of 20 Ernie Estrella

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Posted March 15 2006 - 08:50 AM

Quote:
Ernie,

The first question is, how much to you listen to Sirius, and what is the variety that you listen to? It sounds like you may listen to a lot more channels that I did on Sirius, so you may not see the repetition.

My prime example was Hair Nation. I'd listen to it every day, and it was pretty likely that I could hear the same group of songs from one day to the next.

Jason


Jason,

I listen to it a LOT. I probably listen to it 4-6 hours a day easy, probably more. (I'm a writer/designer- hence all the time I am listening)

it's more like what I don't listen to. I don't listen to any of the Pop stuations except the Pulse and BBC Radio. Once in a while, Super Shuffle. BBC Radio's great because of the British DJs and what's influencing them. I tend to steer towards their taste in popular music. I don't listen to Christian Rock or Country.

I do listen to Reggae 92, Classic Jazz 72, and once in a while Blues 74

What I listen to a lot are the electonic & Dance stations like Area 33, Boombox 34, and I love Chill 35.

When it comes to rock, I listen to Spectrum 18, Alt Nation 21, First Wave 22, Left of Center 26, Underground Garage 25, and sometimes peruse the classic rock stations. There's three of them, but I never developed a favorite.

Hip-Hop and R&B, I listen to Old Skool Rap Backspin 43, Heart & Soul 51, Classic Soul 53, and once in a while, Hip-Hop Nation 40. The classical stations are good too.

Then add to it the amount of Sportstalk, and comedy radio I listen to, and I spread it around. I've always said this. I never get the feeling that there is a lot of repetition, and if I do, there's plenty of other channels out there for me to explore. Why would I pay $13 to keep it on one channel?

I never understood that. If I had that narrow of a music taste, then I might as well make my own mix CDs or MP3 player. I paid for Sirius for the variety and the exposure to lots of music that I don't have time to track down the CDs or listen to each CD just to find the one or two songs I like.

I do get a sense of repetition on SIrius channels, not all of them, but I do get what people say. It's not to the point where I'm thinking, "This is just like free FM without the commercials" though. Never ever entered my mind. And if there is a song that seems to be repeated, then I tune into something else.

I am sure that the creativity of XM's programming is a strong suit. Otherwise I wouldn't be reminded of it every time I hear about XM, but I do think that Sirius' music channels offer me a ton of variety, the stations that I do listen to, have ENOUGH repetition in my listenening that I can hear something again that I do enjoy and not buy, but there are a lot of those moments where I hear something I haven't heard in ages, or never heard on the radio. Much of the same praises I hear about XM. Perhaps the broad taste in music works in my favor by having Sirius. I dunno.

We all want to have some pride in what we are paying to. I feel like I'm getting a bargain, stealing even, by the amount of entertainment across the board. And XM outside of the music, doesn't offer that to me. I can name one station that I'd love to have at Sirius, that's Cinemagic. I'd love to hear my Indians baseball here in Ann arbor, Mi also but I am so satisfied by EVERYTHING that Sirius has to offer that it's hard to hear people quickly dispel Sirius because they only listen to one type of music so that means they'll only listen to one or two stations and then label the provider as a whole as the "satellite provider that repeats the most." without explaining the types of stations you listen to. These broad generalizations can give false impressions in my opinion.

Ernie Estrella
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#20 of 20 Ernie Estrella

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Posted March 15 2006 - 08:56 AM

Ron,

I explained above that I don't listen to the pOp stations. Pulse and BBC are the only ones I do, The niche stations I do listen to on a regular basis don't repeat to the degree of the pop stations. I didn't buy Satellite radio to listen to pop stations. pop Stations play, surprise, popular songs. So yes, they will get tiresome fast, especially when they repeat. I know people love chart-toppers, I do, but in small doses. But if that's the bearing of the "more repetition" label Sirius gets so much, then I don't think it's fair because of the niche channels, at least ones I listen to, don't repeat to the point where it makes me crazy. Popular radio in my mind will repeat no matter what, ad nausea XM or Sirius. I don't enjoy decade channels, that's why I like the niche channels of Sirius because the do break it down so well and I can get whatever fix I want at any time without having to wait for my favorite parts of each era come on.

Ernie Estrella
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