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Music Media Hardware Hacking Technology

XM Radio Hacked by Car Computer Hobbyists 189

Posted by michael
from the i-want-my-mtv dept.
An anonymous reader writes "There is an article over at News.com that talks about a small Florida company called Hybrid Mobile Solutions, that hacked XM Radio. They created a cable and software that makes the new XM Commander and XM Direct units work just like an XMPCR. They are in negotiations with TimeTrax to allow recording of XM Radio to MP3's. XMPCR was canned due to this late last month."
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XM Radio Hacked by Car Computer Hobbyists

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  • XMPCR? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by julesh (229690) on Friday October 15, 2004 @11:31AM (#10535699)
    I've never come across the term before. Anyone got a handy explanation?
    • Re:XMPCR? (Score:5, Informative)

      by TheJavaGuy (725547) on Friday October 15, 2004 @11:33AM (#10535718) Homepage
      I've never come across the term before. Anyone got a handy explanation?

      Check this [xmradio.com] out.

      • Hmmm... that link's redirecting straight to the XM Radio home page.
        • Re:XMPCR? (Score:3, Informative)

          by TheJavaGuy (725547)
          Hmmm... that link's redirecting straight to the XM Radio home page.

          I'm using an opera browser and it goes to the correct page. I just checked with IE and the results is like what you said.

          Here [216.239.39.104] is a chached version for IE users.

          • Ah. I think it's because we're slashdotting it. I was trying to investigate what was going on, so I looked at it through lynx, which gave the right page... then I tried to grab the source with lynx -source, and got the home page. Trying again got the right page; I think the server's dropping a cached copy of the home page on people whenever it's too busy to serve up individual requests for other pages.
    • Re:XMPCR? (Score:5, Informative)

      by erick99 (743982) <homerun@gmail.com> on Friday October 15, 2004 @11:34AM (#10535733)
      It's the personal computer receiver for XM satellite radio. XM used to sell it but discontinued it when the TimeTrax software came out that allowed the XMPCR user to record music from the XMPCR hardware. The RIAA was apparently behind that action.
    • Re:XMPCR? (Score:3, Informative)

      by eseiat (650560)
      Here [xmradio.com] is the official definition of what it is, picture and all.

      Basically, XM canned this because people were recording the stream and distributing it over the web. Since XM is a premium service, they didn't want their shows being disseminated over the web so they have cancelled this product and will most likely create something new that is less easy to record from, although I'm sure it won't be impossible for the 1337 hackers out there.
    • by Triumph The Insult C (586706) on Friday October 15, 2004 @11:36AM (#10535756) Homepage Journal
      a $250 profit [ebay.com]

      the XMPCR is a little box that allows you to listen to XM radio on your pc/mac/sun (mac/sun supported by 3rd party apps). it's a little box that has an audio out which you simply plug in to your mic or line-in. it's controlled via usb (the unit internally has a usb->serial adapter which happens to be well supported by *bsd, linux, etc).

      the protocol that goes over the usb cable (used to change channels, etc) was reverse engineered, and people started making all sorts of applications to play with them. timetrax is one that allows you to record the music, as well as automatically add the title, artist, etc info to the ripped song
    • Re:XMPCR? (Score:5, Informative)

      by CptnSbaitso (800632) on Friday October 15, 2004 @12:05PM (#10536057)
      XMPCR is the XM PC Receiver for XM Satellite Radio. It is a USB device which connects to a Windows PC (with the included software, but there are Linux, Macintosh and Perl versions). It streams XM radio into your sound card and makes it extremely easy to record. It provide artist and title with each track so that you can even record songs and label them with the appropriate artist and title automatically.

      Of course, we are just speaking hypothetically. :-) These were being offered for $50 dollars until about one month ago, when XM discontinued them. Since then, many folks have been trying to find a way to produce XMPCRs.

      For a little more info (and a photo), check out the XMFan Store [xmfanstore.com]. They are now very difficult (or expensive) to find. Personally, I don't know that I could be talked into selling mine!
  • by erick99 (743982) <homerun@gmail.com> on Friday October 15, 2004 @11:32AM (#10535709)
    Their website does not have a whole lot of information though the XM product is their along with the $45 price and a shopping cart that allows you to order. What the site does not tell you is how this works with an existing XM account. For example, I have a subscription and a Roady I reciever. Would I be able to use the PC product and still use my Roady or does entering the subscription/radio code into the PC product "turn off" the Roady? XM charges an addtional $6.99 per month per device for up to four addtional receivers. Still, I'd pay the extra money to have the PC product. In my case it's not for recording as much as to be able to stream the music easily throughout my house. They also do not provide any software themselves right now though their website indicates they are working on developing a relationship with TimeTrax that I assume will allow them to bundle the software with their hardware. I think this would be a very popular offering. I wonder how long it will take before XM Radio or the RIAA gets a cease an desist order from a judge.
    • I had to leave last night for an overnight trip so I didn't me to anser your question and leave a few tips. First, you must subscribe to activate the xmDirect unit. This is an xmdecoder in a 'breakout box' designed to interface to car radios already built to add on XM. What the folks in Florida have done is provide a computer interface similar to the old XMPCR. You still need to provide an external six-volt power supply and a audio amplifier which can be your computer sound card and amplified speakers. xm
  • TimeTrax... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 15, 2004 @11:33AM (#10535713)
    Seems they don't need any help from these guys. They have made their own device [timetraxtech.com] to replace the pulled XMPCR...
  • by Sheetrock (152993) on Friday October 15, 2004 @11:33AM (#10535722) Homepage Journal
    That anybody would pay a monthly fee to a company that won't let them record.

    Of course all that really matters is Air America Radio, and that's on all day.

    • by erick99 (743982)
      It really depends on what you use it for. I got the XM radio and subscription because the over-the-air and Internet choices for talk radio are so limited. I like to listen to ESPN radio pretty much around the clock and XM has two channels of ESPN plus four or five other sports channels. I also enjoy talk radio and there are quite a few choices for that as well. I am probably unusual in this regard but I rarely use the XM for music and the stuff I do use it for I don't need to record. I have had the subs
      • I don't listen to the radio for music, just talk radio. And I usually sit on the AM band most of the time since that's where most of it's at, and AM signals tend to reach much further then an FM signal so I can keep listening as I drive around from place to place. Most of my friends are the same way - it's either A) listen to the latest pop music junk 20 times a day, or B) listen to some decent talk radio. Hmm.

        If I could listen to my favorite talk shows all the time, without signal noise/drop, whereve
    • You can record though. That's like saying who would buy cable and a tv if you can't record.

      All you need is any of the units and a tape deck instead of a vcr, or you could output it to your computer, or anything else that accepts audio input.

  • Hackers? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Underholdning (758194) on Friday October 15, 2004 @11:35AM (#10535743) Homepage Journal
    I wouldn't call it hacking. More like reverse engineering the old service and building a new.
    Call me a nitpicker, but the term hacker is growing too wide for my taste.
    • Re:Hackers? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by julesh (229690) on Friday October 15, 2004 @11:37AM (#10535764)
      Actually, I think this is pretty close to the original meaning of 'hacking' -- cobbling together a piece of equipment to do what you want when there's no commercially available system to do it.
    • Re:Hackers? (Score:4, Informative)

      by Fnkmaster (89084) * on Friday October 15, 2004 @02:09PM (#10537708)
      There was no reverse engineering of the service itself by these guys, or of the XM Tuner unit. The tuner module found in every XM unit speaks the same serial protocol as the PCR, and the PCR protocol was deciphered ages ago by dobbz, nsayer, and others from the XMFan board (and later apparently nsayer was assisted in filling in the gaps by XM themselves when they actually supported the 3rd party XMPCR development community).

      This is just a serial protocol translator, one of at least 3 or 4 separate implementations that have popped up in the last 3 or 4 weeks - a modest reverse engineering of the XMDirect's headunit protocol, translating (probably 1:1) serial commands to the internal tuner (tincan) serial format.
      • An update: at my site [hardgrok.org]. The XMDirect "protocol" is just a trivial header of 3 XM 5AA5 serial opcodes. Like I predicted, it was a trivial thing to dump with a serial monitor and figure this out (I just didn't realize quite how trivial it would be).
  • by a3217055 (768293) on Friday October 15, 2004 @11:36AM (#10535753)
    Well XM Radio hacking great, I bet it is gonna be a FCC violation like those people who hack Direct TV. Anyway good to see the counter culture at work. By the way this fancy smancy page is gonna die.
    • by acoustix (123925) on Friday October 15, 2004 @11:44AM (#10535834) Homepage
      Isn't it stange that the FCC says that they can't regulate satelite TV, but then they turn around and prosecute people who hack the signal?

      Either you can regulate satelite transmissions or you can't. Make up your mind!

      -Nick
    • not The Real Hack (Score:4, Interesting)

      by morcheeba (260908) * on Friday October 15, 2004 @12:14PM (#10536153) Journal
      Although the article said that this was a "pristine digitial copy", XMPCR never did that and this doesn't look like it does either. Sure, it makes digital copies, but only after decompression through their lossy proprietary codec, conversion to analog, and then lossy recompression.

      The Real Hack would involve recording the original digital bit stream (unencrypted, of course) and recreating XM's codec so you can play it back exactly the same way a normal XM receiver would. Like the DeCSS cass, the DMCA would probably be brought against anyone who tried this.
  • oy (Score:3, Interesting)

    by rmull (26174) on Friday October 15, 2004 @11:40AM (#10535793) Homepage
    Does an obscure interface as a copy-protection mecahnism? Because I'd say it was just circumvented.
  • by samberdoo (812366) on Friday October 15, 2004 @11:43AM (#10535828)
    It's not like they are trying to get the service for free. This is for subscribers who want to use the service differently. You can make MP3's off of broadcast radio too.
  • Some Facts (Score:5, Informative)

    by diagnosis (38691) on Friday October 15, 2004 @11:44AM (#10535830) Homepage
    XMPCR: Time-shifting software for PC-based XM radio receiveers.

    The new replacement: XmDirect Tuner Interface Cable. From the manufacturer:

    With this cable and our software you will once again be able listen to XM satellite radio in your home or in your car using the included Hybrid eXeM interface along with the xmDirect...The SDK is available for developers that want to continue using xm radio within their applications.

    The email address to request the SDK (by the way, serious points for offering AND publicizing the SDK) is sdk at hybrid-mobile dot com.

    A cool picture: This picture [timetraxtech.com] shows the adapter plugged into what looks like the butt of a Dell laptop.

    What is going to happen: Someone is going to get the crap sued out of them.

    -----------------
    Rate free iPod offers: RateTheOffers.com [ratetheoffers.com]
    (Flat screens and Desktop PCs too)
    • Re:Some Facts (Score:4, Informative)

      by dschuetz (10924) <[gro.tensad.divad] [ta] [hsals]> on Friday October 15, 2004 @12:11PM (#10536122) Homepage
      Some other facts:
      • It's not been conclusively proven that the recording features of TimeTrax hastened the demise of the XM-PCR unit. In fact, IIRC, XM Radio hasn't even admitted that they've discontinued it. Many feel the PCR was on its way out regardless (which was part of why many sites were selling at steep discounts in the month or two prior to its disappearance).
      • This unit is basically just a pinout converter, maybe with level adjustment and such. The software must use the XM Direct protocol, which is different from the XM PCR protocl and has not yet been published (by anyone, even those who created this system).
      • Another system (at xmfan.com) includes a USB adaptor and a microcontroller-based protocol converter, that accepts the existing XM PCR commands and converts them to XM Direct. That system works with all existing software except the stock software distributed with XM PCR.
      What is going to happen: Someone is going to get the crap sued out of them.

      Why? They've done nothing wrong. In fact, they've done exactly what Terk/Blitzsafe is doing -- provided an interface between the XM Direct tuner module and a head unit. Only in this case the head unit is a PC, not a car radio.
      • Thanks to the DMCA, any attempt to add/subtract functionality from any corporation's products or services is in immediate violation and will be proscecuted to the fullest extent of the defendant's pocketbook.
  • by artifex2004 (766107) on Friday October 15, 2004 @11:44AM (#10535839) Journal
    Someone recording sub-CD-quality music from a device they're required to have a subscription to use is a hack, yes, and may even be a good one if there are no native outputs... but it's not hacking the company.

    Saying "XM Radio got hacked" brings to mind ideas like

    1) someone's broken the subscription requirement,
    2) someone's broken into XM servers,
    3) someone's taken over XM's broadcast satellite system,

    etc.
    • You and this guy [slashdot.org] totally missed the point. Hacking is just making a system do something it wasn't designed to do, or making it do something it WAS designed to do but the functionality was not enabled for one reason or another. Writing code is hacking because you're adding new functionality. Finding a better way to do something and replacing original functionality is also covered by this term. So, perhaps unfortunately, is unauthorizedly logging into computer systems through hook and/or crook, though many o

      • Hacking is just making a system do something it wasn't designed to do Yeah, just like "telegraphing your punch" means to tap out "your punch" in morse code, right? All you clowns who want to insist that a word means something other than how 95% of the population uses and understands it are of course free to do so, but you'd be well advised not to be annoyed/surprised/confused when people don't understand what you think you mean when you use it.
  • join the bands (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Doc Ruby (173196) on Friday October 15, 2004 @11:46AM (#10535857) Homepage Journal
    One terrific advantage of this hack will be combining XM and Sirius satellite radio receivers. Why choose between different channels in the same medium by buying one of two available boxes? It's like buying an AM or FM radio in the 1960s. Integrate two sets of HW into a device with one UI, as long as it's unified for user operations. Like with a single "bookmark" list of mixed channels; it will be simple enough to hide its inner complexity under the hood.
    • While your idea has merit, it seems rather expensive. Today you can buy a simple AM/FM radio for $5 and get the "milk" for free. With your single unit for XM/Sirius you would pay ~$100+ for the radio plus ~$25+/month for both signals. After two years you will have spent for $700 for something that used to cost $5. That's a rather expensive advantage.
      • In the 1960s, AM radios still cost some money, and FM radios cost a lot. And money was worth something like 5x or more today's dollars (before inflation), especially for electronics. So after 2 years we will have spent $700 for something that could easily have cost that much, in constant dollars, if it was even available. And that includes the subscription to the content, while AM/FM broadcasts have been "free" (subsidized by commercials), with much less diversity of content (at least in any given area). Ev
        • Let me put it another way. My mom has an AM/FM radio that she bought in a garage sale back in the '60s for a couple dollars. That radio still picks up AM/FM signals today. And in my opinion sounds just as good if not better than today's radios. While there are only a couple dozen land radio stations in any given area owned by a couple different companies, the point is this ~$2 ($10 in today's dollars??) investment 40 years ago still works today for free. To put this into today's sat technology context with
          • I remember when FM radio was worth the *time* to listen, and those days are long gone. That tech was cheaper, because it was less complex, and built on more existing tech. We'll get over this investment hump, achieve economies of scale. I doubt satellite radio will return us to the golden age of radio - I pay to watch commercials on cable. But I think a unit that combines XM and Sirius will drive down prices, and create a larger overall audience. And a software front end will allow 3rd party programs for se
            • We'll get over this investment hump, achieve economies of scale.

              Perhaps. However I am putting my money on a different media in the near future: internet radio. "Always on" broadband 'net connection to my portable device (PDA, laptop, mobile phone, car, etc.) will offer a little more content and a little more interactivity at a similar monthly cost to sat radio.

              • I'm with you. I think that content/media unity will launch satellite, and it will evolve into a medium, spinning off content networks. Satellite is best for mass broadcast, while Internet is best for connections, and cell/PCS has some of both. Satellite will really boom as DSP, radio and power tech evolves to allow some bidirectional comms. And intersatellite comm lasers promise a huge wireless bandwidth backbone. The most interesting contributions will come from different user interfaces from their differe
    • I'm not sure how putting an XM and a Sirius together really helps.

      I know this because I own both units and have them both installed in my work vehicle (I'm a field tech, so 40% of my work week is spent on the road). There are a lot of things that are different about the two. Sirius, has no "commercials." They put PSA's and their own ads in for their shows in the spots where commercials should air, however, that gets old fast (Case in Point, I'm so tired of hearing that Greg Brady is doing a show on the
      • I think you'd prefer it if you had a single UI for both, so you could choose among channels, without the extra complexity, however small, of switching satellites. This XM hack is a start, which could also include third party playlist browsers and schedulers. Keeping it simple to use is the key to enjoying it.
  • by Anita Coney (648748) on Friday October 15, 2004 @11:57AM (#10535964) Homepage
    I remember in the good old days, not only was it legal to hack the stuff you bought, you actually OWNED the stuff you bought. Heck, I'm old enough to remember back when all electronics came with schematics! I'd love to have schematics for the stuff I buy now.

    • Schematics simply don't exist any more.

      The chips that go into digital radio contain logic that has been synthesized from behavioral models. No one, not even the architect of the chip, ever sees a gate-level schematic or logic diagram.
      -
      • I'm not talking about chips. For example, I found a cell phone with a pretty cool little screen on it. If I could find a schematic I could figure out how to run it without blowing it up. Without the schematic I'm going to have to guess which is power and which is video.

  • Seriously. The only place I ever heard/read about XM Radio is here on /. and it's always assumed we all know what the fsck it is.
    • Re:What is XM Radio? (Score:2, Informative)

      by mmkkbb (816035)
      XM Radio and Sirius are two companies who have started offering satellite-based audio for a monthly fee. you can buy a receiver for one or the other (usually in your car, but their are portable ones too) and receive the same content anywhere (in the continental US, i believe)

      they are mostly commercial free.
  • No one has "hacked" XM Radio.

    Several companies have come up with a way to add and PC-controlable tuner interface between the XM Direct radio. No big deal.

    This issue does not concern the FCC since the service itself is not being stolen as was the case with sat TV service.

    I own three of the XMPCR boxes. Two are in use, one at work and one at home, and the third is my spare (gotta have my XM.)
  • ...that what I'd really like in my car is time-shifted:

    • News
    • Traffic
    • Weather

    Of course, the radio station's business model depends on my sitting through mind-numbing ads to catch the 20-second blast of traffic info, but with a subscription service, it seems like a perfect fit. I hope this idea goes somewhere.

    • ..that what I'd really like in my car is time-shifted:

      * News
      * Traffic
      * Weather

      Of course, the radio station's business model depends on my sitting through mind-numbing ads to catch the 20-second blast of traffic info


      XM doesn't do time-shifting (though the forthcoming SkyFi-2 does have a 30 minute "history" buffer). But it does have 24x7 news channels (fox, cnn, headline, msnbc, etc.), weather (the weather channel), and about 20 or so 24x7 traffic/weather channels for specific major cities
      • How is the traffic as compared to WTOP's reports?


        • How is the traffic as compared to WTOP's reports?

          Not bad. You don't get Lisa Baden's goofy commentary, but generally it's pretty good. They do it in four phases:

          * "Jam Alert Status" - Red (absoultely fucked up, like the beltway's blocked), Yellow (typical everyday delays), and Green (everything's smooth)

          * Key alerts (major or unusual backups listed w/out much detail, like "delays northbound at quantico and an overturned cement truck on the BW parkway")

          * Detailed information (all around the city, no p
          • Much appreciated. I was commuting downtown from Centreville for about 2 years that ended just as this feature came online. But traffic and the comedy channels would be the big draws for me ;-)

            What better way to soothe the savage commuter beast in all of us than to make us bust out laughing, eh?

            Thanks again


    • XM already has constantly repeating (and commercial free) traffic and weather stations for the larger metro areas.

      If you are someplace small enough not to be represented, you probably don't need a traffic report anyways!

      http://www.xmradio.com/programming/neighborhood.js p?hood=traffic/ [xmradio.com]
  • It seems like a cool thing, but probably XM will just make sure new units either change how they communicate over that interface, or remove it altogether - are there other XM products that make use of the same communication channel so you are assured it will not change?
  • Not the first... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Fnkmaster (89084) * on Friday October 15, 2004 @12:27PM (#10536336)
    First of all, this isn't a hack of XM Radio per se, it's just a simple reverse engineering of the undocumented cable spec for the XMDirect unit. The XMDirect has an 8 pin mini-DIN pinout and an internal 32 bit Atmel which translates serial instructions between XM's undocumented "car headunit" serial format and the standard, internal "A5 5A" serial format used directly by the XMPCR units, for which there is already quite a bit of Open Source software [sarovar.org] (incidentally, PCRCommander does pretty much everything that TimeTrax does).

    This "solution" is pretty much just a cable, and this groups software which does the translation. If you want something that works with all the existing software out there now, what you really want is the DirectPCR [xmfanstore.com] brought to you by Ryan and the XMFan people [xmfan.com]. The DirectPCR is more expensive, because it's actually got a microprocessor that reverse translates the standard "A5 5A" serial commands into XM Direct format (which is then dutifully translated back by the XM Direct).


    The DirectPCR is the best solution if you really want something with the power and cool factor of the now-defunct XMPCR (no I don't have any business relationship, I'm just an XMFan regular and have been following developments). As for "hack factor" at least three separate people or groups have separately done the XMDirect protocol translation. If you have the right equipment, it's probably about an afternoon's work - just hook up two serial monitors side by side and dump away. So there isn't that much hack cred to speak of in this. Furthermore, if you're comfortable with a soldering iron, you can trivially build an XMPCR-compatible unit out of a SkyFi with a DB9 header, a MAX232, and an optical adapter board.

  • which units (if any) that are hackable can be easily converted to opto or coax spdif out?

    no way I want to pipe analog in to my 'soundcard' and then record via that. its spdif or nothing, really. its bad enough its compressed - but doing a D/A and then A/D for no good reason just reduces quality and makes this sound more like FM than a CD.
    • The SkyFi and XM PCR have been hacked for digital out.
      you can buy the kit for the PCR
      as either a toslink
      http://www.myradiostore.us/parts-accessor ies/xmpcr -toslink-digital-output-board.html
      or coaxial
      http://www.myradiostore.us/parts-accessor ies/xmpcr -coaxial-digital-output-board.html

      the SkyFi doesn't have as much space so there were a couple guys that were doing the mods, but didn't offer a kit.
  • The Only Way... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Trolling4Dollars (627073) on Friday October 15, 2004 @02:01PM (#10537601) Journal
    ...the music industry is ever going to prevent piracy is if they take away the ability for the average person to record. There is no way in hell that they can do that without getting some kind of law passed that requires you to be a licensed professional in order to record audio or video. I can't see things going that far yet. But like it or not, the average person has a lot of options for recording these days.

    Back when I was in high school and was lusting after a 4 track reel-to-reel multitrack deck from Tascam, there was a financial barrier to high quality recordings. But today, there are so many options out there that even if you aren't using AES/EBU digital connection (no SCMS DRM) you can still get much higher quality copies than you could with a cassette deck back in the 80s. So, even if the RIAA and MPAA do get DRM so intertwined into newer audio and video gear, it's going to be next to impossible to prevent older decent quality devices from recording. This is a battle that can't be won without draconian mesaures.

    The shame of all of this is that nearly everyone with a computer has the facilities for making their own music and therefore bypassing the RIAA altogether. I do remember a period of time in the 80s when it was illegal to own a 4-track recorder in a residential area in my state. I wonder if they are going to try that with software based virtual studios? Likely not since most people with the ability and talent are just too lazy to make their own music. (It's easier than you think. If you can set up a Cisco network, you can make your own music.) So, what can the RIAA and MPAA do to stop people from pirating? How about they take away all sound cards and video caputre cards, digital audio and video recorders, and software based audio? They can't. The genie is out of the bottle.

    With that out of the way, is it right to distribute music that you aren't authorized to distribute? Absolutely not. Quite a problem, ehhh?
    • But like it or not, the average person has a lot of options for recording these days.

      For the moment anyway, but with the digital revolution they have the option of putting the genie back in the bottle via broadcast flags etc that the average user doesn't know about until it's too late. Digital radios requiring digital receivers that have digital connections to digital speakers...not terribly far fetched anymore.

      This is a battle that can't be won without draconian mesaures.

      Suing Grandmothers for i
      • I understand what you were saying about digital recording devices. But, what I meant was that a pentium 100 with a decent soundcard with analog line in and line out would be able to easily record from any digital playback device unless they find a way to make speakers that are truly digital. Even then, you can put the speakers in boxes with mics and still record. The quality from a PC even recording with a soundblaster 16 rivals most cheap analogue cassette decks.
  • You know, a while ago I bought a PCR and was psyched when I saw the TimeTrax software so I bought it. I tested it and it works brilliantly, but honestly, I haven't really found a need to record mp3's wholesale. I mean, I have the pcr and I can go channel to channel and listen to whatever I want. I just listen to my xm and don't even use the TimeTrax software.

    I'm so happy with xm that I'm going to get a head unit in my truck too. It's only like $6/month for an additional radio if you have one already, s
  • It's sad. XM should really look how the open source mentality of making things better worked with TiVo. The would have been taken under a long time ago if they weren't hacked and made better.
  • by telemonster (605238) on Friday October 15, 2004 @03:54PM (#10539011) Homepage
    Couldn't one just take the GNUnilink package from Sourceforge/Freshmeat and combine it with the short-lived Sony XM receiver that was a Unilink module, and control it that way?

    (Unilink is Sony's protocol that allows decks to control disc changers and a limited number of other devices like TV tuners, mobile VHS VCR, DSP modules and so forth).

  • Does it matter? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by javaxman (705658) on Friday October 15, 2004 @04:23PM (#10539328) Journal
    XM is likely to be over in a few years anyway [space.com], right?

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