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Discussion in 'Mobile Phones / Entertainment' started by Ronald Epstein, Dec 3, 2003.
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.
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
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.
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
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 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 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.
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.
Yeah Ron I was just messing around with you, I can't expect you to be up on thousands of threads 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.
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!
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.
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.
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 ) 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 )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 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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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 ?