SiriusXM is best know for their in-car satellite receiver head units but the latest Lynx unit combines satellite with Internet radio and an mp3 player. John finds out more with Sirius sales manager, Paul Truman.
The Lynx SiriusXM receiver combines the traditional head unit with features more usually found on a personal media player. Large touchscreen – check, mp3 playback – check, Internet radio – check, wifi and Bluetooth – check, rechargeable battery – check.
But one really clever feature most media players don’t have is the ability to go back in time. Not literally, but your favourite stations are constantly being recorded so that if you tune in and discover you missed the start of the programme, you can simply rewind the stream to the start of the show.
To cap it off, the unit is about the size of a paperback. Sweet.
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I’m a long time XM Radio customer, starting over five years ago with a $9.95/month plan. Since the merger with Sirius, I’ve seen my plan increase to $12.95/month. A few days ago I received an “Important Information About Your XM” email from XM Radio saying that my monthly rate will increase by $1.98/month for a “U.S. Music Royalty Fee.” (I guess they didn’t make it $2.00 because they thought I would notice the increase.) So, now it will cost almost $15/month for a service that has increased 50% over the past five years. This is after the merger with Sirius that was going to make the service more affordable for everyone.
After the iPhone 3.0 launch, I found a free Sirius/XM application for the iPhone that allows you to stream Sirius/XM channels. I though this would be a great thing until I found out that this free application requires you to be a Sirius/XM subscriber and to play an additional $2.99 for a “Premium” upgrade. This would push up my monthly cost to $18!
So where does the Zune come into all this? I purchased a Zune when they first came out and used it for a while but it was replaced by an iPod Nano and iPod Touch. The Zune desktop software (Windows only) is now up to version 3 and Zune software has much improved. The Zune Pass is a monthly subscription service that gives you unlimited access to music in the Zune Marketplace for $14.99/month. In addition, you can download 10 DRM-free songs each month.
I mainly use my XM Radio to listen to music in car and I’m thinking I can save some money and get 10 free songs a month by switching out my XM service for a Zune Pass. By bringing back my Zune and signing up for a monthly Zune Pass, I can download lots of music on my Zune for trips in my car and build up my DRM-free music collection (for use on my iPod). As an added bonus I can download and play songs on multiple (Windows) computers. I generally use my Mac for day-to-day use, but I also have a couple of Window machines nearby, so this is not a problem.
I think Satellite Radio is a great thing and would love to keep the service but I feel it’s pricing itself out of business. Before you had a choice between two satellite radio services but now we are down to one, and a costly one at that.
Now, if I can just figure out where I put my old Zune player and hope that it still works.