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XM Radio Plans Online Music Service 199

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the joining-the-fray dept.
Grump writes "Diving into the already crowded online music business, XM Radio Online, will launch sometime in early October and operate commercial-free, just as its satellite programming does. XM will charge $7.99 per month for unlimited listening and offer a discount rate of $3.99 to subscribers of its existing radio services."
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XM Radio Plans Online Music Service

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, 2004 @07:45PM (#10261403)
    Time-shifting the broadcasts using Total Recorder [highcriteria.com].
    • Not off-topic mods (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Please pay attention! XM caused some trouble for the guy that wrote software to timeshift XM using their usb device.

    • Time-shifting the broadcasts using Total Recorder.

      Excellent!

      But for right now, I really want to find out who it is putting all the Howard Stern radio shows up on Kazaa. I need to buy that dude at least a few dozen beers.

  • by LostCluster (625375) * on Wednesday September 15, 2004 @07:46PM (#10261406)
    XM's "add streaming of our music online" for $3.99 sounds like a pretty cool deal when taken alone, but their main competitor Sirius actually includes that feature for free with purchase of the main subscription. They'll even offer a 3-day trial of the streaming service for non-subscribers in the hopes of convinving people to sign up based on that. Of course, Sirius charges $3 a month more than XM for their base subscription.
    • $7.99/mo sounds pretty good if you don't want an OTA subscription.
      • $7.99/mo sounds pretty good if you don't want an OTA subscription. $7.99/mo. doesn't sound that good to me when $9.99/mo. to either Real or the new Napster gets you unlimited playing of anything you want to download for as long as your subscription remains current.
        • by swankypimp (542486) on Wednesday September 15, 2004 @08:57PM (#10261892) Homepage
          You don't have to download anything, though. Searching a music catalog is limited by your memory: instead of thinking, "gee I want to listen to that obscure Twisted Sister B-side from the early eighties," you can tune in to XM's hair metal channel and it will probably come on. On my vacation, I kept the rental car's radio tuned in to that very channel, and I couldn't believe how many times I heard something that I only vaguely remembered but liked, and never would have thought of searching for. (Especially when it comes to one hit wonders whose names you don't recall.) For this reason, some people prefer paying professionals in the given genre to find content for them.
          • This is why I like P2P services like WinMX where I can browse all the files a user is sharing. If I'm looking for a specific song, say, No Doubt's new version of It's My Life, and I notice SkaterBoi20421 has a lot of No Doubt songs, I'll browse through his files. If I notice a lot of other songs I like, I'll download a bunch of songs that he has shared that I've never heard of since it's likely that we have at least somewhat the same tastes.

            I can't remember the last time I've listened to the radio, but I
          • by lavaface (685630) on Thursday September 16, 2004 @12:29AM (#10263127) Homepage
            couldn't believe how many times I heard something that I only vaguely remembered but liked, and never would have thought of searching for.

            And this is why it would be friggin' awesome if there was a SD card in the car radio and a button called "remember this song." Later on, you could take the card out of the car, pop it on your PC and buy the songs you totally forgot about. In my case, this would be more useful for flagging great songs I hear on the local college radio and community stations. Oftentimes, I can't stick around to hear who a particular artist is but I want to check them out later. Yes, it's analog radio now, but maybe when they switch to digital it will be possible. I'm not holding my breath . . .

            (I actually would like it even better if there was a button that, when pushed would donate a quarter to directly to the artist and give me the right to download the song. It seems like a better distribution model for both consumer and producer. Unfortunately, I don't think the middlemen would quite latch on to the concept ; )

    • (Disclaimer: I'm a Sirius customer and shareholder)

      I would hope that XM uses higher quality streams than Sirius. I tried to use Sirius's streams from work, but since I'm confined to a set of headphones, it sounds absolutely atrocious.

      XM has to do something now that they've axed the XMPCR!
    • by helix400 (558178) on Wednesday September 15, 2004 @08:35PM (#10261764) Journal
      Another online radio competitor is Yahoo's launchcast [yahoo.com]

      They do an excellent job. The free version is very nice, and the full version is $3-$4 a month. The free version has lots of programmed stations already in, and it uses your tastes and ratings to constantly build your own radio station. This isn't a shameless plug...I just really like it. The variety in the music I want to hear makes perfect background music while at work.

      The downside is that it only works with IE. Boo!

    • Sirius streams are only 32kbps, although we don't know what the XM streams will be.

      They are constantly having server issues. Sirius message boards are full of "is your online streaming working today" threads.

      Not all SIrius channels are available online. Its pretty much music only, no news, sports or entertainment. XM has indicated that it will have music and "a variety of other content" which I assume means that they don't have all the contracts signed yet for all the content providers but it does seem li
  • yep (Score:4, Insightful)

    by BoldAC (735721) on Wednesday September 15, 2004 @07:46PM (#10261408)
    It makes perfect sense (cents?)

    They already have the structure setup to spit out tunes and news. As people get addicted to it in their car, they'll naturally want it at their desk too...

    Wouldn't surprise me if they offer it for a cheap add-on to their existing service.

    • Re:yep (Score:4, Funny)

      by jerw134 (409531) on Wednesday September 15, 2004 @07:51PM (#10261459)
      Yeah, it would be awesome if they offered it to existing subscribers for like $3.99 or something. Hopefully they do it!
    • Re:yep (Score:4, Funny)

      by dykofone (787059) on Wednesday September 15, 2004 @08:18PM (#10261663) Homepage
      It'd be really cool too if they made most of their receivers [xmradio.com] portable, like so you're not stuck only listening to it in the car. Like, just have this little adaptor [xmradio.com] that the receiver can plug into, and you can quickly switch it between car, office, home. They could even make a boombox [xmradio.com] sorta thing!

      Yeah, right, but when is a big company like XM gonna cater to the demands of their fans and customers....

      • by Ageless (10680)
        If only they WOULD do exactly that for the Roady2. I bought one a few weeks ago, and I really, really, REALLY love it, but the home kit is not yet available. I didn't realize that before I bought it, so I've been scrounging parts together here and there so I can listen to my XM in places aside from my car.

        But yea, they generally already do everything one could need.

        And XM rules.
        • And stick your antenna out the window. (Or you may be able to leave the window closed if there is no screen.)

          My Roady (original, not 2) home kit is taking forever, I just switch the antenna between listening locations.

          I'd pay the extra $4/mo if:
          a) it works under Linux
          b) It isn't restricted to a single computer

          Would reduce stress on my Roady's connectors bringing it inside from the car every night.
      • Quality post. You managed to mock the grandparent and general Slashdot sentiment, but in an intelligent way that doesn't hurt anyone, and at the same time transmit valuable information. I know I should leave the moderation to the mods, but I felt it would've been a shame if the humorous side among the Informative moderation the post might get. :)
  • I am sure there are numerous others free online services for different genres of music. Why would you shell out for this?
    • I am sure there are numerous others free online services for different genres of music. Why would you shell out for this?
      And how about iTunes? They have quite a few channels.

    • I am sure there are numerous others free online services for different genres of music. Why would you shell out for this?

      A greater variety, plus the news and talk channels.
  • Not impressed (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Spazholio (314843) <slashdot@@@lexal...net> on Wednesday September 15, 2004 @07:48PM (#10261429) Homepage
    Sirius already offers this included in the cost of their service. Hell, you don't even need to be a subscriber to use it. You can sign up for a 3-day trial, wait for it to expire, then sign up again (according to their customer service).

    Oh, and XM isn't 100% commercial-free, where Sirius is.
  • I love internet radio, but listening to heavy metal on my Launchcast station 9 hours a day at work tends to wear thin after awhile. If the online offering is anywhere near as expansive as what's currently offered, I would definitely throw down 8 bucks a month for the service.
  • by MufasaZX (790614) on Wednesday September 15, 2004 @07:50PM (#10261445) Homepage
    All Sirius Sat Radio [sirius.com] subsribers can listen to all their audio streams online for free (as in beer) for the past several months, how can XM possible claim this type of service is 'new and special' and charge for it???
  • I wish the article had specified whether or not the online service will include the non-music channels such as the sports channels or just music. Since the title is XM Radio Online and it is, I think, replacing the XM PC reciever, then wouldn't it seem that it is for all of the XM service? However, why charge $7.99 for an online version of XM Radio instead of the $9.99 charged if you own the radio receiver? The article does refer to it as a "online music service" as well as XM Radio Online so it's not 10
  • Timeshifting? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ticklemeozmo (595926) <justin.j.novack@noSPaM.acm.org> on Wednesday September 15, 2004 @07:54PM (#10261481) Homepage Journal
    Only if I can get a ripper.
    • There are plenty of utilities to rip streaming internet radio already, even from the most DRM-encumbered proprietary sources. Most utalize totalrecorder in conjunction with some window-watching to figure out when the songs change.
  • not sure how this is different from any number of countless other free streaming music resources on the internet... i think the bigger question is, do people want streaming of someone elses choice or do they want unlimited choice of their own? we may all jump quickly to the conclusion that we'd like 100% choice all of the time, but there is quite a phemonemon emerging as of late called tivo-itis, where so many are observed getting stuck in ruts at their own content programming ineptitudes and gleefully le
    • Agreed, there is something nice sometimes about having somebody else pick the content for you, within certain bounds. The nice thing about XM radio is that it has exposed me to a lot of music I would never think of to download myself. XM is not perfect, but I do on the whole like the kind of programming breadth and depth they offer - I can listen to XM Pops or Classical and say "ah ha! I've heard this before!" and discover that a song I always liked was a fugue by Debussy. Or listen to some old school ra
  • News Flash! (Score:5, Funny)

    by BadMrMojo (767184) on Wednesday September 15, 2004 @07:57PM (#10261508)
    John Smith of Nowhere, PA is reportedly not planning an online music store. We have yet to receive official confirmation that Mr. Smith, a 72 year-old retired janitor at Nowhere Middle School who is a local hero after bowling a 300 game back in '86, is indeed without plans for opening an online music store at any point within the next 6-12 months. Neighbor and long time friend Bob Jones was quoted as saying, "Nope. Y'uns gotta believe it... he ain't never thought of it a'once."

    We'll have more on this breaking story as it develops.
  • Do they have a clue? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by mfrnka (530296)
    Now this after killing XM on the PC? I'm beginning to think XM seriously doesn't "get it". While I enjoy Rhapsody where I can stream what I want, when I want, there are tons of free internet radio stations I can already available. If they keep up these tactics, I'll soon be cancelling my two XM subscriptions.
  • Its called shoutcast (Score:3, Informative)

    by tenchi90 (668754) on Wednesday September 15, 2004 @07:59PM (#10261526)
    The winamp plugin shoutcast is an onlien radio service that has 1,000 channels + ITS FREE!
  • by Armethius (718200) <jtunnellNO@SPAMutk.edu> on Wednesday September 15, 2004 @08:00PM (#10261532)
    The key question for me is whether it is compatible with non-IE browsers. I would love to sign up for Rhapsody, but they are IE only.

  • by hey (83763)
    I wonder how they'll do security.
    ie keep no-paying users off the service.
    • Uh? Maybe the same way every other website on Earth implements security on subscription services -- via a login, password, and careful scrutiny to make sure they are not being shared.

      Or did I just respond to the lamest troll post in the world?
  • Fugitaboutit! (Score:4, Informative)

    by MonkeyGone2Heaven (720397) on Wednesday September 15, 2004 @08:04PM (#10261570)

    I'm paying $3.95/mo. for a VIP membership at Live365.com [live365.com]. Sure, I paid for 12 months in advance to get that rate, but you still only pay $5.95/mo. on a month to month basis. No adds, no pop-ups, good audio quality (for streaming audio), and with 10K+ streams available, no boredom. It's one of the few things keeping me sane during the workday.
  • by dgrgich (179442) * <`gro.hcigrg' `ta' `werd'> on Wednesday September 15, 2004 @08:17PM (#10261659) Homepage
    I'll bet the RIAA will be looking at this extra-crispy close . . . after that whole XMPCR deal turned into an MP3 factory program.
  • by diamondsw (685967) on Wednesday September 15, 2004 @08:33PM (#10261757)
    I actually think this might work. I've always been skeptical of business models based on people paying for a music subscription rather than downloads. People like the idea that years down the line it's still theirs, and is always theirs.

    This gets around it by having a receptive audience already in place - XM subscribers who effectively pay for commercial-free music streaming already. This just adds it to their computer as well as their car, etc.

    Nice move.
  • by sPaKr (116314) on Wednesday September 15, 2004 @08:53PM (#10261870)
    This is insane. Why should you waste bandwidth for online radio? when they have (had) a usb adapter that could tune the same radio they are beaming into your home and head? Yes.. I should have to pay for isp bandwidth and radio service.. instead of just radio service.. ugh.
    • Many of us that are XM subscribers work in large, concrete buildings that are not right next to a repeater, and the satellites in geosync orbit have not the smallest prayer of getting a signal through the 6-10 feet of concrete above me. Currently I stream music from my house to my desk computer (amusingly, often I hook up my XM at home to my media server, and stream it to work, but I can't change channels), so this is certainly a viable option. $4 a month extra sounds too expensive to me, though. I'll hold
      • I think this post should read 'Chenney aids in undisclosed bunker listen to XM' I mean if you work in a concreat bunker is XM really the first thing you need? I have never been one to demand a window office, but hey if you work in a cave you have to accept some challenges. That said, why not just hookup the usb tuner at home.. and then rebroadcast that over shoutcast or something and pick it up at work. Guess what no extra charges.. cept the badwidth..and as we have already pointed out you pay that anyw
  • Another instance where *most* Linux users are locked out of multimendia content. I have not triued firing up my codeweaver cross-over with it yet. But I am getting sick of "HAVING" to do that. . . .

  • by clamboat (813890) on Wednesday September 15, 2004 @09:16PM (#10261989)
    XM Radio Online, will launch sometime in early October and operate commercial-free, just as its satellite programming does.

    Am I missing something or is the "commercial free" line complete BS? I rented an Avis car a few weeks ago that had XM satellite radio in it. It seemed like it was as bad as AM radio! I listened to the two comedy selections they had, raunchy and nice, and both were filled with ads. Many of the ads were for XM sattelite service itself, but there were other ads for the same kind of crap you would find on any station. The same was true for their political stations, both left-leaning and right-wing. The brichure int he car made the same claim, that the satellite service was "commercial free". Far from it.

    • XM claims to have 100% commercial free music stations. These are the stations within their control. Other feeds (take fox news), because they're rebroadcasting another feed (it's live tv, without the pic) can't prevent adds. XM, can, detect commercials in streams and replace it with their own. I can't comment on the comedy stations--I don't know where their feeds are from.
    • The music channels are commercial free, the other stations do have commercials (in the case of talk/news that is piped in from another source, they need to fill those commercial breaks with something, so why not ads I guess).

    • Am I missing something or is the "commercial free" line complete BS?

      XM is only commercial free on its music channels. All of the other channels have varying levels of commercials, depending on their source. Their comedy channels, which are mostly pre-recorded bits, have relatively few commercials; while the stations where they rebroadcast talk radio have about the average number of commercials (which makes sense, since they are just rebroadcasting a standard radio stream, and the hosts still need to tak
    • Disclaimer: I am an XM subscriber.

      The music channels are commercial free. XM makes no false pretenses about other channels. The closest thing that you get to a commercial on the music channels that the DJ might mention a show on another XM channel.

      Content that comes from third party sources may include breaks for commericals because they are carried on commercial radio stations. That's just the way those shows are created. They don't make a commercial free version of Al Franken or Michael Savage.

      For
  • before someone creates a program that automagically rips to mp3s and tags them?
    • No idea, but the real question is how long before someone creates a program that automagically rips to mp3s and tags them, and then distributes it? A friend of mine who shall remain nameless unless he outs himself created a hardware/software solution which would watch the IR from DMX (the original cable digital music service which required a separate box, because this was before digital cable took off) and would watch for certain song titles and then pipe them off to a SCSI-connected DAT on his Amiga via th
  • Launch [launch.com] is $3 or $4 a month for streaming radio and has a ton of users (I've been a user for abour 4 years but never sprung for the pay version).

    Rhapsody is $10/month with unlimited streaming stations and unlimited on-demand. This is the greatest thing to ever happen to me since my first cassette player. Why would I pay $8 a month for XM when I get as many stations and as much variety from Rhapsody PLUS the ability to listen to damn near anything I want within about 2 seconds of deciding I want to hear it
  • There are tons of great free online stations like WOXY. I can understand why one might pay for radio in your car, but not for streaming radio on the internet.

  • O&A [xmradio.com] are coming to XMradio. Might be worth it to get the stream service so you can listen to them at work... [with the volume turned down ;-]

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