Archive for the ‘XM’ Category

Yes, Again 2009 has yeilded another consistancy.  I have been terrible at keeping up my blog, to the point that I’m almost positive nobody is reading it anymore anyways.

I guess what it boils down to is that life is just going right now.  Life isn’t good, it also isn’t bad, it just is.  Thats a weird feeling to have, but its stable.  Not much new to report on pretty much any front.  I still have my job, and my apartment, and all in all life is going along pretty good.  Not to say their couldn’t be improvements, but it is what it is.

Then again, maybe I am at least slightly down because winter has gotten the better of me.  I’m sure it’s something any Minnesotan can agree with.  Winter starts to get really old when your still seeing snow in April.  But baseball gets rolling again starting today, so spring can’t be far behind it, right?

And, add all that to the current economic conditions, and you have someone like me who is starting his own life suddenly desiring to live in survival mode, which is to say life is on “pause” right now.  I’m keeping a low profile to try to get that nest egg built up, and with any luck I might actually come out of this whole downturn in one peice.  Like I said, I’m still employed, and I hope to be for a long time to come, but these are uncertain times.  Blah blah blah insert another catchphrase here, i know i know.

This is not saying that I don’t still have some rather graphic opinions, because I do.  And I am in a period of “transition” that I can’t seem to get myself out of.  Life is changing, and has changed, yet I haven’t picked a path, nor have I found my new hobbies or expanded on my social circles as of yet. 

So, I’ll try to keep updated here, and I still have some rather scathing words for my former favorite pay service, which was XM radio until 11/12/08, and my thoughts on some alternatives.  So, if your out there, keep your eyes on that monitor.

I look back to this past year, and think of all the many milestones.  So, I thought I would do a little reflection post to sum things up, starting with December of last year (because it fits).

Notable acheivements of 2008:

  • Graduated with an AAS end of December
  • Rejoined the workforce, this time to start a career in IT
  • Made many new friends, and became closer to old ones once again
  • Did not have one cigarette in 2008 (official quit date was 10/1/2007, but I still feel this is notable in 2008)
  • Moved into my own apartment
  • Furnished said Apartment (for about $2000 and then another $2000 for my TV)
  • Established, and followed, a monthly budget
  • Learned how to cook many new food items (hey, its all new to me, right?)
  • And lastly, I got to go to FL to see my dad and other family members

As I look back at what I accomplished, I see much more to accomplish in the future.  Many things changed for me, and for the world in 2008.  Besides personal changes, we saw the death of XM (RIP Lucy), the formation of the much inferior Sirius XM, the election of a black president, the economic downturn, and most of our 401k’s turning into 201k’s (haha, stole that one from our COO).

2009 shows to be an even more challenging year.  I look forward to it, how about you?

XM/Sirius Merger approved….

Posted: July 24, 2008 in Music, XM

You can go to Orbitcast to follow this, but I guess it’s a done deal. 

Time will tell if I need to register (haha) but I can’t see how this can be good for the consumer.  But then again, I have seen radio die due to mergers, and XM has been slowly getting worse over the past two years as they also jump on the “lowest common denominator” bandwagon, that 2 billion dollars in debt require.

As I sit here and wait to see what happens, I can honestly say that it has been a fun ride.  I have met so many new people through our passion for this once great service.  I have discovered new music and broadened my taste in music more than ever before.  If this is truely the end, it was worth it.

In the meantime, all us subscribers can do is wait, and as changes come down the pipe we can be smart consumers.  Who knows, maybe us naysayers are wrong.  Guess we’ll have to revisit this post in a year to see what happens.

One thing I can say is that I have never had more choice in how and when I get music.  With an IPod in the car, services like Slacker, Pandora and AOL Radio, and the hundreds of thousands of internet radio stations out there, I’m sure to keep my desire for new music filled.  But as a fan of the general presentation of radio for over 20 years, this change does bring sadness.

In this episode, I talk about my feelings regarding the pending XM/Sirius merger, as well as the new XM Channel 2 – XMX.  I also touch on sound quality, but most of the time is spent looking at the pending merger from a consumer standpoint in depth.


XM and Sirius announce Merger :(

Posted: February 19, 2007 in XM

Well, it looks like what all XM fans had hoped would never happen, has happened.

Today, a merger was announced that basically sounds like a buyout from Sirius.  Mel will run the new company (into the ground) and prices will go through the roof.  I’m saving all reactions for tomorrow after the conference call when more is known.  Its not looking good for my future with sat radio, because with Sirius in control, things are bound to get more structured with playlists and DJ’s are going to sound more like FM dj’s.

OK, so I’m a huge fan of XM Satelite Radio, well not as big as I used to be, but still better than anything else I can find.

But today, XM announced a revision to their end of year subscriber numbers, that will put it about 1.3 million subs short of it’s original estimate of 9 Million by years end.  This same estimate says that they will only grow the business by 1.7 million subscribers this year, which is MUCH slower than last years growth.

My question is as follows.  Is this a sign of what the industry has to look forward to, or are the lawsuits and pulled products (due to FCC incompliance), or is this a sign of the industry fading?  Was this all just a fad, that is slowing down,  and coming to an end,  or is the market just soft?

And for those of you on the Sirius bandwagon that want to just bash XM,  I challenge you this.  Sirius is exactly one year behind XM as far as sub growth AND churn.  Could Sirius see this same downturn next year, or will both bounce back?

One thing is for sure, I’m glad that I did not invest in the stock.  As an fan of the service, it would have simply killed me to watch all my money disappear with this stock slide, and I would have started to really hate XM.

Not that I don’t have my complaints with the service, but I’ll save that for another day.

XM Chill

Posted: May 29, 2006 in XM

About two months ago, XM debuted a number of new channels. Over the cominhg weeks, I intend to review them all, and I’ll start with my favorite one, which is XM Chill, Channel 84.

A mixture of downtempo electronica, trip hop, and elements of Jazz and New Age is just what I need when I’m studying or just trying to relax. And the production between songs is simply amazing in keeping with the ambiance. I am very happy with this channel, and I’m glad that XM has made this a true chill channel, with no mellow rock mixed in. A+

Why I got XM.

Posted: December 8, 2005 in XM

An interesting topic came up on recnetly, and it got me to thinking. I have had XM for so long, and answered this question before, but this brought up all those wonderful memories once again.

As first posted by me on

I had wanted XM since 2001, because of the music offerings, and the variety of music i was hearing on the sample streams. I KNEW that I woud need not only a solution for the car, but also for the home. Well at the time, it was gonna run me about 400 for the equipment. So I drolled for two years, and then something happened.

My car was broken into back in October 2003. About 200 CD’s were stolen from my car, which was in my driveway, as I slept. So that night, I went to Circuit City to buy a few CD’s to tide me over, and I made it over to car audio to check out the security system. As if the gates of heaven opened up, I saw an orange glow coming from the wall, and I just had to check it out. It was the XM Skyfi, (first day they had it on display, so no price). So I asked the guy how much it would cost me to get it, and he said “About $150”. Well, long story short, I decided that was a hell of a lot cheaper than replacing my CD’s, and it was something I wanted anyways.

3 years later, I love it even more. The newness still hasn’t worn off, and I am finding new music every day. Even though some channels have been lost, or sent to that place in cyberspace, I love this thing. The one bill that I have been paying every month since it has signed on, and I couldn’t imagine what it would be like losing it all, am I crazy?

For those of you who have XM, why did you get it? For those of you who don’t have XM, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR!!!!

XM Canada has arrived….

Posted: November 19, 2005 in XM

Well sort of. The official launch is December 1st, but the channels have arrived.

Overall, its not as bad as I had expected. We lost Unsigned, which is now a Canadian Rock channel, and we lost two world channels (Ngoma and World Zone, which are both still available online) but we got 2 French Music Channels (not sure I would listen to them) two French news/sports channels, a canadian comedy channel (Laugh Attach XM153) which isnot bad, and a Canadian news channel, along with a hockey talk channel.

I was expecting to lose more channels, so overall, I am pretty impressed with how XM handled the addition.

OK, now I love XM, but I am not loving this decision. They have decided to pre-empt three channels that I listen to, and one of my favorites.

In order to bring us christmas music, they have decided to pre-empt The System, Luna, and The Torch. The System is one of my favorite channels on the service. Last year they made a simular move, but all of the channels pre-empted made more sense, with the exception of Chrome. They used channels that fit into the genre of the Christmas music that they were playing. This year there seems to be no rhyme or reason to what is being axed for this crap.