Discussion: Satellite Radio

My new car came with a three-month free preview of XM Radio, and I am loving it.

I’ve always been the type to listen to CD’s in  the car, which evolved into listening to my iPod.  Radio bores me and I can’t stand hearing the same songs over and over again, unless it’s of my own choosing.   But lately, my poor iPod is being left in my glove compartment, unused and neglected.

In just the past week, I’ve discovered songs by Bobby Bare, Tammy Wynette, Conway & Loretta and Mel Tillis that I’d never heard before.   I’ve also heard so much Patty Loveless that it makes me wonder if Blake moonlights as a DJ at XM.    They have new country stations, but I mostly listen to US Country, which plays songs from the 80’s and 90’s, and America, which plays 70’s and earlier.

Have any of you switched over to satellite radio?  If so, what do you like about it and what channels do you listen to the most?


  1. I’ve been a subscriber since 2005. I, however, just temporarily cancelled my subscription. I’ve bought so much music that I need to catch up on (I have at least 20 albums that I haven’t even listened to yet) that I want to see how long I can go without it. I swear by it, though, and I know I will go back to it in the next couple of months.

    I listen to all of the country stations, along with bluegrass Junction. I also like to listen to the 40s station and the 90s (for nestalgia).I love the variety of music, but I also love the interviews and special programming. XM 16 always has their Shortcut series that plays an entire new album before it’s released and has the artist discuss each song on it. Artist Confidential is also cool. The artists chat with the host and play their songs live. It’s not always country artists, but I’ve heard shows with Rosanne Cash, Randy Travis, Faith Hill, Vince Gill,, etc.

    I haven’t even scratched the surface of the great things that satelite radio has to offer.

  2. It’s always interesting to me that Highway 16’s Traffic Report, listener request countdown, is always so different than the mainstream charts.

  3. I’ve had XM for 5 or 6 years and I don’t think I could do without it. The country stations are superb. “Regular” radio is unlistenable after listening to satellite radio. The program “Bill Anderson Visits With The Legends” is an absolute national treasure. “Bob Dylan’s Theme Time Radio” is excellent. Marty Stuart’s weekly show is also a lot of fun — where else are you going to hear Marty Stuart play a Pere Ubu song? They also replay classic episodes of Casey Kasem’s American Top 40 from the 1970s. They play old Bob Hope radio shows — old episodes of Gunsmoke — there is ALWAYS something interesting on. Sometimes I find myself still sitting in my vehicle for awhile after arriving at my destination simply because I don’t want to miss what is on the radio.

  4. Oh yes, how could I have failed to mention Bill Anderson Visits With The Legends! What a wonderful show. It really is like he’s visiting with them and we really get to learn so much about the legends that we didn’t already know. Marty’s show is funky and fun.

  5. I’ve never subscribed to satellite radio although it’s been in a few cars I’ve rented, and some of my friends have it. I would definitely get it if I did a lot of long distance driving but for my 25 minute commute, NPR in the evening and ESPN-Radio’s Mike & Mike in the morning suffice.

    I’ve been collecting music since 1968 so I actually have much of the stuff in my collection that the satellite radio stations play

  6. I should note that lately I’ve taken to listening to books on CD. Currently working on GREAT EXPECTATIONS by Charles Dickens as read by Hugh Laurie. It’s interesting how different he sound when he drops the “House” accent !

  7. Paul, he sounds ‘normal,’ lol. I have some Black Adder stuff w/him in it.

    As for XM/Sirius I don’t have it and while I can see the merits of it, I’m not willing to pay for it at this moment in time.

  8. I love XM Radio!!! Regular FM radio stations just don’t compare!! My favorite stations are Highway 16, Nashville (channel 11), US Country, and America. THey offer a large variety of country music and I love hearing the 90’s stuff on US Country.

    I also have a few non-country stations on my presets. But XM is amazing!!!

  9. NPR, ESPN and Hugh Laurie. Love it.

    I have only listened to sattelite radio as part of a cable TV package or in passing. One day I imagine it will be more prominent in people’s homes. And I’d love to hear some classic Casey Kasem!

  10. I subscribed to satellite – both Sirius and XM – to try them out, however, after a couple of months, I cancelled my subscriptions. I don’t have a satellite hook-up in my car (it is 4 years old after all ;) so I found myself mainly listening to Sirius/XM online at work. Given that usage, after awhile it seemed pointless to keep paying for satellite given that you can listen to nearly any radio station in the country for free online. Contrary to popular opinion, there are some good ones out there!

  11. I have subscriptions to both, I have to have Sirius because the husband is a Howard Stern fan and we had it before we had XM, which we got because it came with my car — and I love them both — I would never have fallen in love with some of my favorite artists without the fact that they play music the regular radio would never touch – so many options and you never loose signal when you are traveling, which is great.

  12. My dad has Sirius and when I’m in his vehicle I have to say I like what I hear. However, I’m still not convinced that it’s worth the money yet. Also, my commute to destinations is only about 20minutes, so I don’t think the time justifies it yet for me.

  13. I had free Sirius in my truck for a year looking for Americana/Roots music. The closest thing was channel 63 Outlaw Country, but it had an equal amount of Classic/Southern Rock. That’s not what I want to hear on an “Outlaw Country” channel. It was far from todays cutting edge Americana music I’m into. It wasn’t worth the price to continue. I cancelled it. I hear channel 12(I think)on XM is good, but I prefer to choose my own music. But feel free to subscribe, I bought stock in both the day it was available.

  14. I love, love, love XM!! I usually alternate between Highway 16 and US Country, although I’ve been known to hit the 80’s channel too. :) I love hearing new songs when they come out, not weeks or months later; I love the quality programming by staff that knows what they’re talking about. I love Artist Confidential, and Bill Anderson Visits with the Legends.
    I’ve started to try to branch out and listen to other channels, but I can’t seem to…I feel like I’m going to miss something. One of the best features for me, with the radio I have (not an in-dash one), is that I can set it to beep when the artists I’ve selected come on (no matter what channel). LOVE that!

  15. I like discovering new artists that I probably never would have heard. I agree with Martone that the classic rock and southern rock does not belong on the Outlaw Country channel. Some of it is not even 1% country.

    If you listen to the satellite stations on Sirius long enough, you realize that they, just like the terrestrial stations, mostly just play the same songs over and over. They have a wider playlist, but they should have an infinite playlist. Some songs will never get played unless you request them. Requests may help. I had never heard the Davis Sisters “I Forgot More” until I requested it, and have heard it many times since. In two years, I have yet to hear Jean Shepard on the Classic Country station.

  16. I have just purchased XM radio for my car as well as a unit for my fiancee’s and we couldn’t be happier. I moved from Pittsburgh to Connecticut just a few months ago and lets just say being born and raised in Pittsburgh, which is a huge country music fan base, I am proud to say that I am a redneck. I have grown up with country values, spending summers in northern PA at my cottage where the only station that comes in clear is country radio. I listened to country back before it became popular. I watched CMT and GAC before most people knew they existed. My first concert was Tim McGraw when “Don’t take the girl” was climbing the country charts. “not a moment too soon” was the first CD i bought. Anyhow in CT the only country station is 92.5 and this is a statewide station, so it doesn’t always come in clear. I drive 45 to an hour to work in Vernon, CT, which is very close to Mass. I absolutly love XM. It has more country stations than I could ask for. I even called in to “No shoes radio” and was featured on as a caller. My personal favorites is highway 16, kenny chesney (no shoes radio), nashville cm, and US Country. They always seem to play the songs that aren’t on radio anymore or new ones that haven’t hit the over played button yet. I also occasionally listen to the older stuff, traditional country. There isn’t a big fan base here at all, and concerts forget about it. The Mohegan Sun is the only place to show country acts and the price is more than I would like to pay. (100+ for a decent Rascall Flatts ticket) Back in the burgh at Post-Gazette Pavillion you can pay 35 for lawn or 45-50 for pavilion seats. Even over at the Pesi-cola roadhouse where you get a full large dinner and a more personal show its only about 40 – 50 unless you win tickets! With XM its definitly worth it for me. My fiancee never even heard country music before me. And she is quickly coverting over to the genre. Our song is even “What a beautiful day” by my favorite artist Chris Cagle. Day 14 we caught a movie and on day 67 she said I love you to me…really how the song goes. Thats the only real reason its our song, and the first song we will dance to as husband and wife. Her favorite song as of right now is “Waitin’ on a woman” just because it rings true.

    If your thinking about getting satilite radio, I 100% recommend getting it because we pay about 26 a month for both sirius and XM (11 sirius stations). Plus the companies are merging so you will be able to get all stations for the same price.

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