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Music Media Hardware Hacking Technology

XM Radio Hacked by Car Computer Hobbyists 189

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?
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • by erick99 ( 743982 ) <homerun@gmail.com> on Friday October 15, 2004 @11:46AM (#10535861)
    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 subscription since May and it has been a great experience for a news/talk radio/sports junky.
  • Re:Hackers? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by RedShoeRider ( 658314 ) on Friday October 15, 2004 @11:50AM (#10535886)
    Interesting side note to that: Motorcycles with side-cars are called "hacks" in the cycling community, for that very reason: They were hacked together, back in the day.
  • 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.
  • Re:XMPCR? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by EastCoastSurfer ( 310758 ) on Friday October 15, 2004 @12:35PM (#10536472)
    Ripping CD's and shipping them across the inet for all to use I would agree with you is illegal (not piracy, but illegal).

    Recording satellite radio to listen to later is akin to recording a football game off of satellite TV to watch later. Are you telling me that all the people who record shows either on the VCR, TIVO, or their computer to watch at a different time are stealing?
  • by Felinoid ( 16872 ) on Friday October 15, 2004 @12:59PM (#10536770) Homepage Journal
    Every now and then someone complains about some large TV or radio congomerate who can deside what you can or can't watch (Not talking TV or radio networks like CBS but station owners like Clear Channel)

    I don't agree so much. I see the point but IMAO we aren't there. There are plenty of indupendent radio and TV stations where I live.

    But with digital radio it's a total of TWO options.
    To make matters worse you can't buy the radio from just anyone. You gotta buy it directly from the radio network. Crud.

    Look at the varity of analog radios and TVs you can buy. Pocket TVs, radios powered by the radio signal, by solar power, by hand crank, by peddle power and no doupt someone has one powered by sex.
    (Thow I doupt there'd be much of a market for that)

    We have car radios becouse nobody controls the technology. Boom boxes wouldn't exist. Walkmans were also not acceptable by "polite" socity when created.

    And... radio cards.
    I could plug a controller card inside my computer and have radio. Make MP3s and not need permission from Clear Channel.

    If we had to get permission first there'd be no TiVO, no VCR, no casset tape, no radio card, no boom box, no walkman and no transister radio.

    It's a neat idea that XM has and a pritty smart way of getting proffit.

    But I'll pass.
    My solar and hand crank powered short wave radio picks up local stations perfictly fine...
    (Admittedly too lazy to actually make use of the international radio fuctions)

    and honnestly I'm better off getting my power from the hand crank than from the wall socket.
    Wonder if I can set up a stationary bike and rig up a peddle power generator...

    (Buy a peddle power bike light kit and use the generator)

A committee is a group that keeps the minutes and loses hours. -- Milton Berle