Monday, December 12, 2005

XM Radio Discovery

For an hour earlier today, I was listening to XM Radio while trying to do some work online.  While checking out what others have blogged about XM, I discovered a link to a website entitled and it is probably one of the best resources for getting a visual interpretation to what you are listening to especially if you are a DirecTV subscriber most of all.

My logic for this statement is that if you are already a full-fledged XM subscriber, then you can log into the company's website and locate information that is not yet made available to XM's listeners (like myself) through other online and offline venues.

What I really like about is that they have a direct feed from a website (that you cannot visit directly for some reason) of the entire lineup of songs currently being played across the spectrum of XM Radio .  This is nothing less than awesome!!!

I have opened up a separate window for this information and it has been 100% accurate.

The capability of this new information has made me realize one advantage of digital and satellite versus traditional radio (or at least one benefit that traditional radio has not actively or aggressively promoted prior to getting some serious competition):  the ability to know what songs are being played as well as songs have been recently played without telephone calling the radio station.

The human element has not been totally removed from the equation either since someone still has to create and submit the various playlists, but the elimination of telephone calls (which are at times considered a nuisance by even well-meaning DJs) is a huge plus for recording artists, labels, and music lovers alike.

The ability to track songs offers digital and satellite radio to do what network broadcasting did for television and allow listeners to change channels intentionally to a specific channel. 

In addition to the time-shifting that occurs with iPods and other digital music players, digital and satellite radio is beginning to fully remove the handcuffs to having to be near the radio in real-time.

Clearly this is an advantage that traditional radio does not and will not ever have the stomach to do for the rest of its natural existence.

But if the recording industry (specifically the RIAA) continues to wager its war against new technologies in a futile to control when and where music is listened to, they will lose a more significant, golden opportunity that is possible via XM Radio and Apple's iPods as well as other digital music players.

Another note to fully capitalize on this discovery.  I downloaded and printed out a channel guide from XM Radio and was able to switch to the specific channel at will.  I did not have a DirecTV channel guide that has been updated since DirecTV added the various XM Radio channels, but I was able to quickly find the desired channel.


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