Wednesday, December 28, 2005

One of the Most Memorable Christmas Ever and Traveling with XM Radio

This Christmas has been a very peaceful one within our household even though we have traveled away from our home in Atlanta to Latta, SC on Christmas Day.
Seeing family has been great and the food has been terrific as well.
I personally have not done much driving other than the trip to SC and I have one observation about automobile manufacturers from our new experience with XM Radio.
I wonder when will the various car makers start putting a line in jack into the automobile's stereo system?  XM Radio uses both a wireless FM signal as well as a cassette adapter.  Other companies that make entertainment hardware also make available the cassette adapters and I personally hate them.
The cassette kept popping out during our trip to SC as if it was being rejected like a body or tissue transplant.  I know that the line in jack would not be difficult at all other than if there was some resistance by a lobbying power or organized group like the RIAA.
But having a line in jack would make using portable devices not originally made within the car much easier to use.
In using the XM Radio, it seems that either the car has to be up and running for some time in order for the cassette adapter to be readily accepted for playing the signal.
I originally did not read the manual and had most of the antenna line inside the car on the ride Christmas Day until we reached a rest area in SC.  After using the magnetic tip of the antenna line outside of our car, the signal was picked up more consistently.  Before then, whenever the road's terrain had us going down into a valley or lower elevation, the signal would fade to zero strength.
Hopefully, our trip back to Atlanta tomorrow will be a much more pleasurable one with XM Radio.  Otherwise, I am strongly considering ending the service after the 6 month commitment ends.
But when it does work on the open road, it is much easier to listen to terrestial radio stations and we do not have to channel surf as hard.  Having preset buttons that work no matter where you are located is very cool too.
So there is a silver lining within using satellite radio no matter what the short term difficulties may be.

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