- First, Jim made Neil show me his new portable XM Satellite Radio at a softball game one night.
- Then, Neil invited us to set our home stereo to 88.5FM, so we could listen to it the other night when they came over.
I was still a VERY hard sell.
Oh sure, the concept of Satellite Radio, in and of itself, is great. Remarkable. Incredible. Fantabulous.
I just don’t need it. WE just don’t need it. (Or so I thought.)
I’ve Done My Homework
Literally for years, I have been researching and studying the virtues of Satellite Radio. All the while convincing myself that it’s just one of those “fluff” gadgets for people who have everything (…similar to GPS units, according to my current line of thinking).
I even wrote an article highlighting all the pros and cons about Satellite Radio — both XM and Sirius!
And while I would guess that few really buy Satellite Radio because they “need” it… after listening to it for just a few hours on this night, we were both convinced: WE NEED IT!
I Changed My Tune About XM
Now, I wholeheartedly admit that Satellite Radio will be of great value to Jim while he’s traveling cross country to all these IHRA events — alone… in a car… without a CD, DVD or even a cassette player inside!
And I will thoroughly enjoy all the cool “gadgety” things about that portable little MyFi unit, like…
- Tier of Presets: We can set Jim’s 10 favorite channels, MY 10 favorite channels, and OUR 10 favorite channels — to suit us perfectly no matter who’s in possession of the radio any given time.
- Tune Select: You can save a song into memory (by song or by artist), then every time that song or artist is being played ANYwhere on XM, then that song/artist will flash on the screen & you just press a button to jump to it.
- Digital Readout Screen: No matter which channel you’re on, song and artist’s name appear on the screen, so you know who’s singing what. Same with talk shows, comedy shows, news programs, etc. Never again will we wonder who sings a particular song (…just wish they’d do the same for the songWRITERS.)
- MLB Ticker: If you want, baseball scores and upcoming games will scroll across the bottom of the screen, while also keeping you up-to-date on when future games will be aired on XM channels.
- XM to go — record your favorite XM programming, either AS you’re listening to it, or ahead of time (similar to a VCR recording).
- Home-to-Car-to-Work Portability: You can get crystal-clear reception anywhere, anytime with the MyFi. The only reason you’d need to be near a stereo (at home or in the car) is so you can listen to your Satellite Radio through the speakers of that stereo (simply by tuning in to a particular FM frequency). Otherwise, you can use the earbuds (HIGH quality, and included by the way) to listen to your XM (by yourself) anywhere you go. You simply tote along a 1″ by 2″ antenna with you. (…Not to mention the CD quality sound ANYwhere you are!)
Why We Chose XM Over Sirius
We decided to go with XM over Sirius for a couple of reasons. (Though, to be honest, it was largely a toss-up.) Primarily:
- XM has been around longer, thus it is more recognized, more popular — not that that means much. (For the record, XM has about 4 million subscribers; Sirius has about 1.5 million subscribers.)
- XM seems to have more “original” programming. Which to us meant better pre-show and behind-the-scenes stuff with the more popular singers & songwriters.
- XM is the only one to have a “portable” radio available at this time.
- XM has MLB and some motorsports programming which we prefer over the NFL, NBA, and NHL coverage on Sirius.
- Finally, when we were driving around shopping prices on the XM and Sirius radios, we spotted this XM vehicle in the Kroger parking lot. We’ve never seen anything like it before. So we figured it MUST be “a sign”… we’re SUPPOSED to choose XM. (I guess marketing on busses really works!)
- Check out this behind-the-scenes tour of the XM Studios and how XM Radio works. (More great videos and commercials here.)
- All the behind-the-scenes XM consumer news you can use is at XM 411.
- For up-to-date discussion about XM channels and programming, XM Fan is the best place to be.
- The official XM Radio website is the place to go for up-to-the-minute programming and changes.
- View the lineup of channels on XM (compared to Sirius). You can also view the specific programs in each genre and on each individiual channel on XM.
What I Learned Today…
Another gadget has been crossed off our list. Which means that next-in-line is probably a GPS unit! (There are so many FUN things you can do with a GPS.)
I like to help people find unique ways to do things in order to save time & money — so I write about “outside the box” ideas that most wouldn’t think of. As a lifelong dog owner, I often share my best tips for living with and training dogs. I worked in Higher Ed over 10 years before switching gears to pursue activities that I’m truly passionate about. I’ve worked at a vet, in a photo lab, and at a zoo — to name a few. I enjoy the outdoors via bicycle, motorcycle, Jeep, or RV. You can always find me at the corner of Good News & Fun Times as publisher of The Fun Times Guide (32 fun & helpful websites).