One Reason Why Radio Won’t Play Indie Music
And What You Can Do About It
by Jeronimo Black
As I clicked on a popular music business forum, I was greeted with a question. “Why won’t commercial radio play music by Indie Artists?”
My reply to this person was as follows:
“As a former Operations Manager and Music Director on both the Comm and Non-Comm sides, Let me break the reason down for you.
Commercial Radio needs ratings to get paid from advertisers. Most advertiser’s, on radio, are ad agencies. Ad agencies base their “buys” (sponsorships) on a Cost per point (“CPP”) basis. CPP is based on how many thousands of listeners a radio station can capture in a 15 minute period (or cume).
Many commercial radio [Program and Music] don’t want to put thier ratings at risk, by airing an ‘untested song’ on the air. So what these commercial radio directors do, is, air music based on the national charts provided by Radio and Records, Broadcast Data Systems (BDS) and Billboard.
These charts are mainly influenced by the major labels via promotions and strategic alliances.
Your best best is to do like Knarles Barkley. Knarles Barkleys’ single “Crazy” went #1 on the internet and radio couldn’t help but to get them the single on the air.
Get your music on music submission sites, make some noise on the net, and get a CDBaby.com account so you can get your music on iTunes and start promoting.”
I suggested this because the music business is going digital. Clear Channel has a partnership with GarageBand.com where they will feature a certain amount of new artists every week in on their website. Since Clear Channel is the biggest and most innovative broadcaster in the music business, it’s just a matter of time before the other cowardly copy-cat broadcasters will follow suit.
The world is going digital, while radio continutes to operate using an analog business model. You can be successful in the music business if you change your marketing model from analog to digital.
People have intense love affairs with their machines, like some men are known to be enthusiastic about their cars, and some women are known for some household appliances. But the iPod seems to top them all and seems to pull strings at the heart with such consistency that some people, irrespective of age, sex, color, and creed, make the mp3 player device an extension of themselves, an extension of their personalities, and an extension of their lifestyles!
The marvel of the 21st century, the iPod, never had it so good. Psychologists are of the opinion that because primarily an iPod delivers music and the human mind is naturally attuned to music, therefore it is an instant hit. But there are other mp3 player devices around, then what makes this device so unique? Market analysts say that the small size of the iPod, its capacity to store thousands of songs, and its ability to use the computer as an alter ego, has contributed to its tremendous sale.
However, market survey agencies pronounce that the popularity of the iPod is mainly due to the strong identification between songs and emotions. When people hear a particular song, they identify it with some emotion, some event of their lives, and they relive those moments of the past. This makes them feel happy, which in turn justifies the amount of money they have spent on purchasing their iPods.
People have gone on record to say things like when they hear romantic songs they are reminded of their ex-girlfriends or pleasant moments. When they hear songs like Bette Midler`s `Wind Beneath My Wings`, they are reminded of their husbands. Stock exchange brokers and traders identify their job and lives with the Frank Sinatra song, `My Way`. Similarly, Linda Ronstadt`s `When Will I Be Loved`, and Peter Frampton`s `I`m in You`, reminds one of the high school dances. This association with emotions makes the iPod a must-have consumer product.
Some iPod users have something more than an intense affair with their mp3 player music devices. Something more like an obsession. It is an on going love story. Sociologists claim that the iPod makes some individual a good societal being, as their frustrations are released by simply listening to their favorite songs. Dramatists affirm that emotional catharsis is superbly performed by iPods. Some medical experts state that mp3 player devices may even eliminate depression and elevate one`s mood.
As music tends to be very personal, it becomes very emotional. So when you listen to the songs stored in your mp3 player device, you tend to get emotional and take a walk down memory lane. Thus, iPod becomes a small, compact memory bank, which you can carry around with you, wherever you go.
The ability of the iPod to rewind your life backwards and hear it, being enacted in lovable musical melodies is perhaps the greatest selling point of this machine. No wonder then that more than 22 million iPods have been sold in a few years only! No wonder then you see people with their music players down the streets, at Harris Teeter while shopping for Cocoa Puffs, while doing stretch ups at Gold`s Gym, or sipping high quality afternoon tea at the Ritz`s. The iPods have become absolutely indispensable, completely irreplaceable, and simply irresistible!
With the iPods now coming with multimedia capabilities, they have become small, personal cinema houses, compact media players to view home videos, or even to show some commercial multimedia applications. Thus, with passing time, the popularity of the device is increasing as it enters new vistas of commerce, arts, and sciences. The iPod has indeed become multifunctional and multifaceted, and has aptly adapted to the needs of changing times. This adaptability is the prime reason why this music player sells so much!
Romance isn’t the same without soft music playing in the background. When you are planning any type of romantic encounter, choosing the right music is vital. There are many different genres of music and since people have various tastes, personal choice in what constitutes romantic music may vary. However there are definitely some favorites that everyone can agree upon. Here are some choices to consider when choosing romantic music.
From Him to Her
1. You Are So Beautiful: Joe Cocker
This song continues to be a favorite among those in love. The lyrics are beautiful and it truly describes the adoration he has for the love of his life. Joe’s heartfelt cry makes this one of the best love songs of all time.
2. When a Man Loves a Woman: Percy Sledge
The soulful serenade from Percy Sledge describes how every man in love views the object of his affection: in perfection. What woman wouldn’t want this song dedicated to her?
3. Have I told you Lately: Rod Stewart
Rod Stewart’s smooth tones are perfect for telling her that you love her. There isn’t a woman alive who wouldn’t melt as you gaze into her eyes and tell her how you feel, while Rod is singing this ballad in the background.
4. Can’t Get Enough Of Your Love: Barry White
There is nothing more romantic than the soothing bass of Barry White. He was often referred to as having a Velvet Voice, and when creating a romantic environment, Barry White delivers every time.
5. Always and Forever: Luther Vandross, Heatwave
Whether you listen to the classic by Heatwave or one of the newer remakes, Always and Forever continues to lead the way in top romantic songs. It is also perfect for weddings, or anytime you want to let your woman know that your love is eternal.
From Her to Him
1. Because you Loved Me: Celine Dion
Celine seems to be the epitome of romance. When it comes to singing the words that express how you feel towards your man, there is clearly no better choice than Because you Loved Me.
Both of these versions are incredibly awesome. The lyrics are perfect for declaring your unfailing committed love to your partner.
3. Here We Are: Gloria Estefan
This must be one of the best songs for women to play when they want their man to know that they want some intimacy.
4. You Light Up My Life: Debby Boone
You Light Up My Life is one of those songs that just says it all. When you want to tell your man how you feel play this song in the background.
5. When I Fall in Love: Celine Dion and Clive Griffin
What better song to express your truest sense of love, honor, and lifelong commitment then When I Fall in Love.
Whether it is dinner for two, a quiet evening by the fireplace, or if you just want to say I love you, by using these songs, you can ensure that your romantic evening will be complete. So light the candles, pick your song, and let the romance begin.
The Beatles had a relatively short career by the standards of many of the bands of the era, many of which survive today. But in their decade of prominence their music followed an identifiable path that took in mainstream pop, psychedelia and some quite challenging arrangements. Analyzing sheet music of the Beatles reveals that even their early music, a blend of skiffle and rock ’n’ roll, was far removed from the three-chord compositions of many of their contemporaries. Once notable feature of Beatles music is the ease with which it translates to different styles. Much of it retains its distinct feel regardless of whether it is being strummed on a guitar, played on a piano, automated on a sequencer or being performed by a complete orchestra. This is one measure of its quality.
Collaboration and mutual inspiration
Although Lennon and McCartney did indeed write and sing the lion’s share of Beatles music, all four members contributed to the writing. Some of the most iconic songs were by George Harrison, including Something, Here Comes the Sun and While my Guitar Gently Weeps; and Starr’s contribution in the form of Yellow Submarine and Octopus’s Garden (among others) should not be overlooked. Glancing through the credits of the entire Beatles collection, however, will show just how much cross-fertilization and collaboration occurred in the creative heart of the band. In fact, it can come as a surprise how few were purely McCartney and Lennon creations as a percentage of the entire body.
Because of the undisputable quality that binds together every note of the Beatles’ output, it comes as no surprise to see how often their songs have been covered by other artists. Whether it’s Bowie doing Across the Universe, The Carpenters’ Ticket to Ride, Oasis belting out I am the Walrus or Elvis Presley performing Yesterday, the songs’ power survives many vocal and instrumental styles. In fact, anyone with a modicum of talent can cover The Beatles and end up with at least a passable rendition, be they sitting by a roaring campfire with a guitar, tinkling the ivories at a cocktail party, warming up a rock band or singing in the shower.
The melodies and backing music of The Beatles guarantees it a listen, and is part of the universal success of the band. The lyrics are often not given the attention they deserve, however. Whilst probably not being as notable as would be the case in a Bob Dylan or Billy Bragg composition, most Beatles lyrics show a certain depth that is appropriate for the medium they were intended for – namely pop music – but reading them in sheet music can be quite surprising. There’s plenty of dry humour, a sprinkling of wackiness, lots of heartfelt emotion and some psychedelic traces, especially in their later period. First and foremost The Beatles were a pop group extraordinaire, and their songs were intended to be sung, listened to and enjoyed, no doubt a throwback to their early days in Liverpool, but a successful formula none the less.
Iphones haven’t been on the market all that long and already they are becoming one of the most popular must have gadgets around. One of the questions on many Iphone owners’ lips’ is how to get music onto their Iphone. If you’re familiar with Ipods you may already know how this is done, but if not, read on to find out how to get some music on your Iphone.
In order to download music to your Iphone, there are a few things you will need-
1-A computer-age and specifications shouldn’t matter, as long as it’s newer than say 6 or 7 years. You’ll also need enough free space on the computer’s hard drive.
2-An internet connection. Speed isn’t an issue, you will however be better off with the fastest connection you can find though, as if you are still stuck on dial up or something it can take a while to download the files you want.
3-You’ll also need the USB lead that came with the Iphone to connect it to the computer. At this stage it’s not yet possible to download songs directly from the internet to the Iphone, so you will need to save them to your computer first.
The last thing is the trickiest-somewhere to download the music from!
The first thing you will need to know is to avoid the torrent sites-they are also known as P2P or peer to peer sites. Using these sites may result in you having criminal proceedings brought against you, as they are illegal, and it can also result in your computer being damaged beyond repair by malware and trojans etc that may be embedded in your downloads.
You’ll find that there are no places where you can actually download free music for your iphone, but you will find there are a few sites which can offer the next best thing-unlimited downloads after a small one off fee. If you can find a site like this you will end up getting fantastic value for money.
The other alternative is to put your CD collection on your Iphone. This is usually done by obtaining a “ripping” program to use on your computer-this will enable you to literally “rip” the songs from CD and save them as files on your computer. Despite it’s scary name, ripping the songs from a CD doesn’t affect it in any way. Once you have the songs saved on the computer, it’s usually just a case of connecting the Iphone to the computer and synchronizing the Iphone, which should then automatically transfer all the songs over to the Iphone.
Hopefully you have found this article informative and helpful when transferring music onto your Iphone.
1. Have you ever been driving somewhere listening to your favorite radio station and all of a sudden the station is nothing but static or fades in and out? Quick, grab your iPod or Mp3 player! Now, you have your favorite music or sport at your fingertips.
You can choose your favorite show or music on your iPod or MP3 player at a touch. No more trying to adjust the radio or be distracted from watching the traffic.
2. With an iPod or MP3 player along, that much needed exercise, whether its at the gym, jogging or just staying home to exercise, will not seem so boring. Some players allow you to monitor your mileage while you run. The time will go faster when you are listening to your favorite music, sport or watching a video on your iPod or MP3 player. Put a spring in your step while cleaning your home or shopping by listening to your favorite tunes.
3. Your iPod or MP3 player can brighten your day, regardless of your activity.
4. If you play sports, for fun or professionally, you can record your “moves”, then analyze them to see if you are following thru or need to make some adjustments.
What to consider before your purchase an iPod or MP3 player
Ask yourself these questions:
1. Do you want your iPod or MP3 player solely for music or do you want it for video, sports, music and photos?
2. What size iPod or MP3 player do you want? They can be as small as a pack of gum and weigh less than a car key. Depending on the capabilities will increase or decrease the size. IPod or MP3 players are very portable, going anyplace with you.
3. Is price a factor? IPod or MP3 players come in a range or prices – the price range is dependant on what features and capabilities you get. Ipod and MP3 players’ general price ranges vary from up to $100.00 to $300.00 or more.
4. What kind of display for your iPod or MP3 player? Screen size is a personal choice and can be as varied as the players themselves. Screens can be as small as a 4-line graphic LCD to as large as 3.6″ color high-resolution LCD with 320 x 240 pixel resolution.
5. What memory capacity do you want? 512K to 30GB? From 120 songs to 10,000 songs, photos and videos? These are things to think about.
6. Depending on the investment you make in your iPod or MP3 player, is it upgradeable to future formats and features?
7. What about battery life for your iPod or MP3 player? Depending on how you plan to use your player will help you decide how much battery your will need. A 16 to 24-hour playing time is a good length of time before needing to recharge. Most iPod or MP3 player batteries are lithium, rechargeable Li-on or lithium polymer rechargeable. Other use alkaline batteries. Recharging your iPod or MP3 player can also be done in various ways, with either car chargers, wall chargers and/or via USB port on your computer.
8. Additional considerations are: digital audio, micro-photo, FM transmitter, PC compatible and voice recorder. Depending on the iPod or MP3 player you purchase will determine which options are available and work for you.
9. Do you have a favorite color for you iPod or MP3 player? Ipod and MP3 players come in many colors and you can get different color cases for them.
10. When shopping for an iPod or MP3 player consider sound quality, durability, ease of downloading music, cost, benefits and design.
What functions, features and accessories are available?
1. Various iPod or MP3 player system requirements are:
· PC: Microsoft® Windows® 98 SE, ME, 2000 or XP, Intel® Pentium® II 350MHz or AMD K6®-2 450MHz processor
· Macintosh: USB port, Mac OS X 10.2.8 or later (Mac OS X 10.3.4 or later recommended for use with low-power USB ports)
Additional system requirements can be: Windows Media Player, CD-ROM drive (for installation and import or playback from CD), USB 2.0 compatibility and Internet connection, (broadband suggested).
2. Large memory in your iPod or MP3 player enables you to store thousands of songs for music on the go plus thousands of photos and videos. Below is an example of iPod and MP3 players and their song capacity. As you can see, the size of the players is as diverse as what they can hold.
Flash or Hard Drive Based on 4 minutes per song
512MB 120 – 350 songs
1GB 250 – 500 songs
2GB 480 – 500 songs
4GB 1,000 or more songs
5GB Stores 166 hrs of music
6GB 1,500 songs
8GB 4,000 songs
20GB 5,000 – 9,000 songs
30GB 7,500 songs
40GB 10,000 songs
60GB 15,000 songs
3. Some players have available expansion slots. Expansion slots are integrated receptacles for installing additional memory via a removable memory card (Secure Digital, Multimedia Card, Compact Flash, etc.). Installation is simple; the card simply pushes in and clicks into place.
4. Via the USB 2.0 connection from your computer, you can transfer your favorite tunes from a music website to your iPod or MP3 player in as little as a few seconds. IPod or MP3 players have a wide compatibility with many online subscription and pay-per-download music services. Some iPod and MP3 players are “PlaysForSure” compatible. When purchasing your player, look for this logo on the packaging. Any music download service displaying the “PlaysForSure” logo will work.
5. You can press a button and transfer an entire CD to your player in as little as a few minutes using the USB 2.0 connectivity from your PC.
6. “MP3” might be the buzzword, but it’s not the only digital music file format out there. Fortunately, most online stores and digital music players support a full range of digital file formats. Here are the more popular formats in use:
· ATRAC3 which stands for “Adaptive Transform Acoustic Coding 3”, WMA, MP3, ACC (used only used by the Apple® iPod™), and WAV/AIFF
· There are many additional file formats used by the MP3 and iPod industry, not all of which are listed here:
· MP3, WMA, WAV and DRM are audio formats.
· Display formats are JPEG, BMP, TIFF, GIF, and PNG.
· Image formats and AVI, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, MPG, MPE, VOB, DAT, ADF, QuickTime MOV and WMV video formats
7. Docking cradles, power supply, AC adapters and cables, belt clips, personal speakers, headphones/ear buds, cases, car FM stereo transmitters, lanyards, sync adapters and management software are some of the accessories available with iPod or MP3 players.
8. Removable, rechargeable batteries are used in iPod or MP3 players, some use lithium, rechargeable Lithium-ion or lithium polymer rechargeable type batteries, while others use alkaline batteries.
9. Some players have vertical touch pads to make navigation easier than ever. These are micro-sized and curved to fit your hand, allowing for enjoyable pure ergonomic comfort and bliss.
10. If you get tired of your stored music, tune in to your favorite radio station with the built-in FM radio. As many as 32 preset stations are available on some iPod or MP3 players. Some players have games already loaded, while others allow you to download games for playing, as well.
11. Use the recording feature for multi-function convenience or record music from the FM tuner. With the built-in recorder in your iPod or MP3 player, you can record your baby’s first words, the interview at the office, or anything else that is important to you. Record messages to yourself and play them back later, never again forget that anniversary gift! !
12. Personal organizers including daily tasks list, contact list and calendar; which easily syncs with Microsoft Outlook, are available on Ipod and MP3 players with hard drives instead of flash drives.
13. Make your ears happy!!! Enjoy skip-free playback, with custom equalizer and pre-set EQ settings, this lets you get your music just the way you like it – there are settings for acoustic, classical, disco, house, jazz, new age, pop, rock and vocal at the touch of a finger.
14. Ipod and MP3 players fit on your arm, in your pocket, on your belt, just about anywhere. Some iPod and MP3 players weight as little as 0.8 oz. The lightweight of the players makes them as portable as your lifestyle demands.
Who is the one who had never downloaded a song from the Internet? Although companies try to prohibit or simply prevent people from downloading, MP3 download is a reality: MP3 is there, at anyone’s disposal. All that people need is a computer and a connection.
All this concern about this type of download has to do – of course – of how much money the music industries are not earning. Besides, there is risk of piracy. Studies suggest that piracy – the practice of building CDs or DVDs with no permission of the owner’s – has increased a lot in the past few years. Music companies and artists blame the possibility to download their songs or videos from Internet.
The possibility of downloading the most different types of music from the farthest parts of the world is not like a one-way street. Although some companies have fought to forbid the MP3 free download – alleging that this type of procedure reduces their profits – there is the other hand of the process. If those free downloads reduce music industries’ profits, it also makes heir songs famous. It puts songs that are not played by the regular radio stations in the media. And they cannot complain at that.
There are already some laws that protect the copyrights of the composer’s or music band’s. These laws usually keep their eyes on websites and software that guarantee free MP3 download. For the specialists, these websites and software are the most probable to be breaking the law.
However, it is not that websites that charge people a fee in order to download their songs are not breaking the law. They also may be breaking the law. Nevertheless, they are less probable to be doing so.
The laws and the companies of the music business requires that a website or software must have a previous authorization from the company in order to put MP3 music formats available for download.
Magazines and websites – the reliable ones – in general places the top 10, 25, 50 or 100 download of the week or of the month, depending on how up-to-dated is the website. And you can take a look ate the top 10 list of two reliable websites sites.
Within this article on copywriting lyrics, we will look at this particular field a little more closely.
Copywriting takes on a similar form no matter what niche you are writing for. This is exactly true when copywriting lyrics. When you are working at copywriting lyrics, you are writing a message to a certain audience. To do this, you must understand the way that your audience thinks and acts and what sort of message is going to appeal to them. Many people write songs every year but these are not played on the radio because it is not something meets with the audience’s thoughts and feelings. People who are good at copywriting lyrics know what their audience wants and gives it to them.
You will be working to get a message across but you also are working to provide instant recognition of a song. A good example of this would be Beyonce’s new song, “Irreplaceable.” In this song, one of the main lyrics within there is “To the left, to the left.” If you are to hear this on the radio without knowing what the song sounds like, this provides instant recognition of the song. This helps build the knowledge and awareness of the particular singer of the song.
Copywriting lyrics does not necessarily have to be just about the sales. The ability to put words together in a manner that move people is a talent that very few people have. Words have the ability to carry you to different places or to bring you down and this is what music can do every day. When you are copywriting lyrics, you are sending a message to people if they are truly listened to the entire song. Often we cannot remember the entire words to the song so that is where the hook or the chorus can come in.
Any time you are copywriting, you are working to persuade an audience in one form or another. Copywriting lyrics is very similar to writing articles in a newspaper because you’re putting across a certain message. When you’re writing lyrics, you are speaking from the perspective of a particular person and trying to get a certain message across to an audience. This audience will be moved hopefully in that they will like the song as well as think about purchasing the album. These are two critical steps that go in tandem with each other.
Hopefully this article on copywriting lyrics has given you some insight into the subject. Copywriting lyrics is meant to achieve the same purpose as any other form of copywriting: build an awareness of a particular singer. It is hard for someone to remember the words to an entire song but most people can remember a short phrase or statement from a song. This can be a great way to help an artist’s sales. Remember that copywriting can have several different focuses with the writing. This is not something that is normally focused on but a message can be used in different manners.
The origin of music as of late has not yet been dated as it is said to have been existent long before recorded history. Historians say it may hav originated from naturally occuring sounds like the sound of thunder, or the rhythm of a flowing stream. Human music may have started from primitive men trying to mimic these sounds using patterns, repetition, and tonality. Even at present, certain cultures utilize music that imitate naturally occuring sounds. Apart from the usual bird song and animals tapping on hollowed logs to mark their territory, man’s voice is said to be the first musical instrument.
Music, in the olden days, was said to have been used mainly for shamanistic practices and beliefs,. Apart from religious practices, it was also used for entertainment and/or practical functions. Music is present during times of feasts and festivities, it is used as a form of praise and worship. Men and women also used it to while away idle time. Hunters used music to lure animals right into their traps. Music has served a lot of function in primitive society.
Due to music’s functionality to sharmanism, it was believed that music’s main use was to be a means of communication to the spirit world. Primitive people believed that spirits of different beings: nature, animal, or men, play vital roles in human lives. People also used to believe that their physical well-being is connected to the spirit, that illnesses and diseases were related to an imbalance in the harmony of the body and soul. Shamans, or what we call witch doctors in present times, were the healers, gurus and magicians of their tribe. They are responsible for getting rid of illnesses by uttering chants, singing, dancing, meditating and drumming.
At present times, music is still being used as a form of therapy to provide stress relief and treat people with anxiety disorders among other mental conditions. It is more popularly known as music therapy. The form of therapy is at least as old as the writings of Aristotle. It was first administered during World War 1 and 2 where community musicians would visit hospitals to play for physically and emotionally traumatized soldiers. Simply put, music therapy is the use of music by a trained professional to achieve therapeutic goals. These therapeutic goals may include: promoting wellness, managing stress, alleviating pain, expressing feelings, enhancing memory, improving communication and promoting physical rehabilitation.
Recent studies have shown that listening to music during an anxiety attack can help calm the person down. This proves most efficient for patients experiencing anxiety prior to undergoing surgery. It is the most easily administered, inexpensive, non-invasive, non-threatening tool to calm preoperative anxiety.
Music is an incredibly powerful form of expression. It combines words and melodies to get messages across. Some songs may trigger different happy or sad memories in your mind. This is the strongest proof that music affects human emotions. Giving people with anxiety disorders a creative outlet such as music may be a good way for sufferers to, little by little, let out the source of their anxieties and alleviate patients’ moods.
Healthy individuals may use music therapy as a form of stress relief through active music making. The exercise includes drumming and using the guitar to make sounds. The passive approach requires listening for relaxation. Music can also be used as accompaniment during exercise like calisthenics, yoga, or tai chi.
Music has also been proven helpful to improve memory and motor skills for children in special classes. This also helps strengthen children’s non-musical functions such as their communication skills and physical coordination skills required for daily life.
Music has been very helpful for everyday living. From the primitive caveman to the modern scientists, everybody would agree in saying music is indeed the food for the soul, and in this therapy, for the mind and body as well.
?Sirius Satellite Radio vs XM Satellite Radio – Which Streams Should You Choose?
Just as many TV viewers have come to consider cable TV a life necessity, so too is satellite radio becoming a mainstream replacement for traditional AM/FM listening. Yes you have to pay for it, but just as with cable, you get way more channels and edgier, more innovative programming. Plus, you don’t lose your favorite station as you travel across the state or country. And satellite players show the artist and name of the song, which is definitely a plus for those who like to know what they’re listening to. In the U.S. there are just two main players in the satellite radio industry, Sirius and XM. WorldSpace, which has been broadcasting the longest and covers the most area, currently does not offer coverage in the United States. So with just two providers to pick from, one would think that the choice would be easy, but each has its own pluses and drawbacks and the decision usually comes down to budget and personal preferences.
How It Works
In 1992, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) allocated a spectrum in the “S” band (2.3 GHz) for nationwide broadcasting of satellite-based Digital Audio Radio Service (DARS). Of the four companies that applied for licenses, only two were granted rights to broadcast; Sirius (formerly CD Radio) and XM (formerly American Mobile Radio). Each company has satellites in orbit above the earth to transmit their programming. Programs are beamed to one of the satellites, which then transmits the signal to the ground, where your radio receiver picks up one of the channels within the signal. Signals are also be beamed to ground repeaters for listeners in urban areas where the satellite signal can be interrupted.
In many ways, Sirius has set the tone for the industry, being the first to offer commercial free programming on all its music channels and has larger selection of receivers, adapters and other products. XM has a cheaper subscription fee, at least for its basic plan, which offers much the same fare as its competitor.
Both providers have partnered with automobile manufacturers to offer satellite radio in new car models. And each has systems that will search the channels for your favorite music and alert you when and where the songs are playing. Choosing between the two companies can be difficult since each has its advantages. Here is some information that may help listeners choose between the two.
XM Satellite Radio
XM satellite radio offers 68 commercial-free music channels, 33 news, sports, and talk & entertainment channels and 21 dedicated traffic and weather channels. XM is the exclusive satellite radio provider of FOX Sports Radio, Sporting News Radio and the world’s only 24-hour NASCAR Radio channel. It does not offer NFL programming.
XM has several choices in equipment. For just under $120, you can get the Delphi XM Roady receiver. This complete package comes with a micro-antenna, cassette adaptor, 12V power adaptor, and a universal mounting bracket. For another $10, you can upgrade to the Roady2, proclaimed as the smallest satellite receiver available. In addition to the typical satellite radio features, it allows you to scroll up to 20 stock symbols and has 30 channel presets.
The Delphi XM SKYFi is a receiver with a more advanced display. It gives you more information about each song and the five-line display lets you see what’s playing on other XM channels before you switch. The SKYFi2, which costs $30 more, gives pause and play functions. It must be combined with an adaptor kit for home, vehicle or audio system. These adapters range from $70-$100 in price.
Coming in November of 2004, the Delphi XM MyFi, touted as the world’s first XM2go receiver, becomes available from XM. It comes with car kit, home kit, rechargeable battery, headphones, antennas and more for $349.99.
Sirius Satellite Radio
Sirius satellite radio offers 65 channels of commercial free music, plus more than 50 channels of great sports, news and entertainment programming. They are the only one of the two competitors to offer NFL coverage, including play-by-play action and pre-game gab.
Siruis offers a host of equipment options. Customers can choose from over 15 plug and play options. Average receivers sell for $99.95 and can be combined with a car or home adapter, or a choice of different boomboxes. For the same $99.95, the Sirius Sportster adds special features for the sports enthusiast such as Game Alert, which prompts you when your favorite NFL or other sports teams are playing and Game Zone, which lists all of the play-by-play games and scores on Sirius by league.
Or for $149.99 you can cover all your listening needs with the Sanyo CRSR-10 Plug & Play System. It includes home and car kits for use at home, office, truck, RV, boat or car and antennas for home and car. It has 20 presets and a built-in wireless FM transmitter for use on all 100 FM frequencies. If a boombox is not your style, you can go with a home system that integrates with you existing audio equipment. Prices range from $250 up to $2000.
You can put a headunit in your car, throw in a tuner and antenna and you’re wired for satellite in your vehicle without the portable receiver and adapter. Sirius has over 15 headunits to choose from in prices ranging from under $200 to over $1000. Some of the more reasonably priced units come with CD players and removable fronts.
So in the world of XM vs Sirius, it’s a tough call and depends on your budget and listening preferences. The following satellite radio comparison summary consists of information taken directly from the websites of the two satellite radio companies.
Sirius Satellite Radio
$12.99/month – with annual & lifetime options available. Extra receivers for an additional fee.
$15 by phone, $10 online
All 65 music channels are commercial free
Listen online for free. On any computer. With no extra fee.
Live play-by-play coverage of every NFL game and the only 24/7-radio channel dedicated to all-things-NFL, all year long.
Available in new cars
Exclusive car partners of Daimler Chrysler, BMW and Ford.
24 hour Customer Care by toll free phone number and email.
XM Satellite Radio
$9.99 basic package – premium programming, such as Playboy and XM’s own High Voltage are available for an additional monthly fee, as are extra receivers.
$14.99 by phone, $9.99 online
All 68 music channels are commercial free
Costs an extra $3.99 a month.
No play-by-play. No local NFL coverage. No original NFL programming.
Available in new cars
Exclusive car partner of GM.
Customer Care is open 18 hours a day.
Satellite radio appears to be here to stay. The offerings keep getting better and the decision between the two keeps getting tougher. Equipment is available at store locations and websites of retailers like Wal-Mart and Best Buy and through the providers’ websites. For static free, commercial free radio listening and your favorite stations wherever you go, satellite radio is the choice of millions. Installation and activation are easy. In fact the toughest decision may be deciding which provider to choose.