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Report on XM (satellite) radio

Posted: Tue Aug 16, 2005 2:12 pm
by jbuck919
Well, the return of Corlyss to the board, myself to Germany, and my rental car to Avis reminds me that I owe my report on car satellite radio (XM).

First, you will all be amused to hear the one weakness of the system: Tall trees on hillsides spanning a narrow road, which block the signal. Guess what they don't have anything else of in the Adirondack Park of New York?

I found myself listening to XM Public Radio (which, Corlyss, has all the faults you normally point out, including Bob Edwards three times in a row each weekday) and BBC more than the classical station. The latter had a lot of programming of what I would call secondary composers, which I know pleases Corlyss (I myself didn't absolutely hate it). I did catch some neat stuff on the basis of being surprised by what tunes in, which has always please me. I caught a recording of a live performance of the entire Brahms G major sextet, a work of the hghest heaven that I had not heard in years, on Martin Goldsmith's show. They did the first movement repeat, a charming novelty (see my other thread).

For those you are not aware of it, satellite television has several classical channels that are out of this world (I am not trying to be funny). I hung just short of heaven as me poor Mum, now 85, went to bed early each night and suddenly I could indulge this gloriously tasteful programming. Seems too good to last.

Posted: Tue Aug 16, 2005 5:07 pm
by Corlyss_D
Thanks for the report. I was wondering how you were getting along with it. I live in a valley and lately I've been spending a lot of time in sheer-sided canyons that make grown men weep in fear. Even so there are only two places I can't get reception and I drive so fast loss of reception don't last long.

Is your Mom's music service on her satellite TV Music Choice? My Dish Network TV service has Sirius for its music offerings. Sirius has the same kind of music channels that XM does.

Posted: Tue Aug 16, 2005 8:23 pm
by Harvested Sorrow
I remember when my father had XM. I had some serious issues with a few of the stations in the rock category playing stuff in the completely wrong stations, however...the classical stations were nice, even though I didn't take advantage of them like I should have. It was amazing to hear them play Mahler's 3rd symphony on there, even if I didn't get to hear it from the very beginning.

EDIT: In case anyone is wondering, he got rid of it because of them jumping the charge from $10 to $13 per month. He didn't like the idea of having to pay for new stations that he wasn't going to use, and felt that they should make it an "exclusive" charge, rather than charging everyone, so he got rid of it. It was more an issue of principal than $3 a month.

Posted: Wed Aug 17, 2005 2:43 am
by Corlyss_D
I've always been surprised at what I find interesting. Last year I listened a lot to the Beeb and CNN. This spring at Ted's recommendation, I listened a lot to Frank's Place, the home of the great American songbook. Recently I've been listening to the MLB and the old time radio stations. The latter make the trip to Ogden fly by - the Green Hornet, The Shadow, the Saint, Burns and Allen, the Jack Benny Show, the Lone Ranger, the Whistler. It's easy to get into the groove of listening. It's turned me into a real radio listener. I hardly watch TV any more. I can't remember the last time I had it on.