Beam Me Down

Any tips on which satellite radio service to choose? I'm thinking we'd get 10 bucks' worth of enjoyment out of a subscription to some non-terrestrial audio action, and while at first it seemed like an open-and-shut case for Sirius (which has NPR and the NFL), now I'm not so sure.

First off, I don't go in for Howard Stern. He makes me feel prudish when he disgusts me and juvenile when he amuses me. So I'd actually consider that a strike against Sirius - I don't want to be the dude helping subsidize Howard's $96,000-an-hour salary.

And in addition to a Stern-free satellite feed, XM is reputed to have a movie soundtracks channel, featuring songs from films as well as interviews with composers. That sounds nice.

And I hear they round out their '50s, '60s and other nostalgia broadcasts with vintage commercials and clips from old TV shows and stuff, even having the deejays talk in era-appropriate chatter, while Sirius plays it more, uh, serious.

Overall, though, they say Sirius deejays tell you more about the music they're playing and stories behind it and so forth, and I like that a lot.

Plus I just found out that Sirius's three satellites were launched in 2000 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in the Republic of Kazakhstan, and I like almost every word in that sentence.

As far as Dance/Electronica music goes, both are covered on the chillaciousness front. But XM seems to cater more to the "raver" crowd, while Sirius features the "nonstop breakbeats." I'm for nonstop breakbeats.

Then again, even though kids programming isn't really of interest to me at this point in my life, I am pretty intrigued by the nightly lullaby hour available on XM Kids.

But both have their drawbacks. Following an initial promise to offer a vast galaxy of weird audio delights, XM and Sirius have scaled back their programming and made it more mainstream. Both used to have a World Music channel, for instance, and XM dropped their cool cocktail lounge sounds and exotica, while Sirius put the kibosh on swing jazz and tropical and calypso music. No good.

And as far as my wife goes, Sirius has Martha Stewart, but XM has Oprah.

And as far as my dweeby techno-interests go, I still don't know much about the equipment available for each network.

So I don't know. I lean toward Sirius, for the NPR, the nonstop breakbeats and the Baikonur Cosmodrome. There is also the stupid, nonsensical and undeniable reason that I always lean toward the unpopular candidate --Sirius has a few million less subscribers.

But I remain agnostic.

What do you say?


Anonymous said...

i had xm in my truck for the first year (it was a perk along with OnStar). it was nice - but unless you're driving more than 20 minutes each way - it never seemed like it would be worth having when you can get NPR locally for free.

if you want it for your house - thats another story, but most cable and satellite companies also have these bundled with their products for free. our dish subscription includes about 60 digital music channels with the same type of selections.

your call and for only $10 per month its less dough than three happy meals (which are required to fill me up at McDonalds).

- kohn

Thomas said...

Starsky-face on....

Do it.
Do it.

Sharon said...

XM is awsome...you get a home system with it....Gordon got me hooked and not I can't do without! You can get multiple radios for only a few buck more....check out mine when you come up. Can't wait to see you.....

Jodi Williams said...

Colin, Hi it is Jodi. I posted a comment to a much earlier entry of yours about your cat's first time outside. I loved the story and it excites me about what you will write when you and Penelope have children. Please don't support Howard Stern. What an immoral piece of pooey!! (You can quote me on that) No Howard, plus Oprah, and the nightime stories for the children should sell it. You talk as if one day you are definatly going to be a good daddy, you may as well practice now!!
Just my opinion,