16 August 2006

Going satellite radio

I've finally joined the satellite radio revolution, by adding a Sirius receiver and antenna to my BMW's trunk. Good thing the car's radio and wiring were already prepped for Sirius.

As I spend more and more time on the road, I was getting tired of the music choices out there - either the same twelve songs decreed by Clear Channel, or the same old CDs in my collection (even with 100+ CDs, they get tiresome after a while). Sure, Clear Channel also left me with an excellent Air America affiliate AM station, but political talk can be very stressful at times.

My subscription includes 14 months for the price of 11, and also includes Internet stream for free whenever I am not in my car. The subscription and the hardware cost me dearly (and I'm already blowing a lot of money for my Vancouver vacation) - but I feel that they're worth it. The only reason I waited this long was because I needed to know if I was going to keep my current BMW (which I will now), or switch to a newer model (which I won't do for now).

Sirius will give me dozens of commercial-free music channels, of which I only expect to listen to half a dozen most of the time. In addition, there are talk channels - including entertainment, sports, LGBT, and of course politics (featuring my favorite, Stephanie Miller). I can even tune into real-time traffic and weather for Los Angeles - or for another city like San Francisco or New York (I want to mentally put myself back there sometimes).

I've checked reviews out there before taking the plunge (and listened to both Sirius and XM), and most people seem to prefer Sirius over XM, though both are superior to on-air radio. In addition, while there was a cheaper XM solution for my car, it was not an "official" solution, while the Sirius solution was the official BMW solution - making my choice even easier.

There is now another unsightly antenna - this one, magnetically stuck on my trunk lid. And again, the cost is pretty high. But these are prices I will gladly pay for a less stressful driving experience, since as everyone knows, driving in SoCal can be very stressful.

Sirius Satellite Radio