XM Radio Irritations

Regular readers will know I’ve been a big fan of XM Radio for a few years now, keeps me in music for my long weekly commute in the areas where all I can pick up is Mariachi music from Mexico. But there’s two problems right now, one I can fix, one I cannot.

  1. My antenna is wired to the CD changer in the boot and, because I didn’t know how to wire it through the panel, the wire comes through the back of the car, between the two front seats and the antenna sits on the dashboard. Nothing metallic there so for the longest time it has been sitting on a mat designed for things not to move. And it has worked great for almost three years but all of a sudden it has no grip at all. The pad moves across the dash in tight corners, which it never did, and the antenna doesn’t grip the pad like it used to. So now it’s flying off into the corner or the floor at all times.
  2. Despite there being oodles of channels, 95% of my listening is to UPop, a channel dedicated to “world pop music” but is largely UK and US pop music. I love it for the UK content. But this week I tuned in and heard 3 Coldplay tunes in a row which made me wonder what was going on. Next I heard a jingle that said it was “30 days of Coldplay” – 30 days of Coldplay?? Even Chris Martin himself once said he was boring to listen after too long, who on earth wants 30 days of it? And the few times I’ve tuned in, I think I’ve only heard about 6 different songs, though of course with Coldplay who can tell the difference between them anyway? So now I need a new channel for a month. So far I have switched to Fred which is a “history of alternative music”. They have good spells – of new wave/80s pop – and bad spells – punk and obscure US bands from the 80s I’ve never heard of. I just hope UPop comes back after this, as I miss my UK pop fix.

4 thoughts on “XM Radio Irritations”

  1. Sirius also likes to annoy us by artist-branding its stations from time to time….though I might consider replacing satellite with internet streaming from the iphone, programs such as pandora work great.
    An easy way to run wires to the back is to tuck them under the rubber door gasket along the floor, then tucked under inside the windows etc. It’s not as tough as it first seems to hide wires in the mini.
    It’s always worth it to get custom mounts for gadgets instead of sucking them onto the windshield or using friction mounts (no the way I drive!!). A good place to start is proclipusa.com

  2. “Fred” was the one channel I regularly listened to when trying XM – but like you, it was too mixed up to stick with for long periods. That “music instability” across the board for me on XM was why I chose Sirius, even though XM reception is way better.

    On Sirius they replaced The Bridge with non-stop Bruce Springsteen, then Super Shuffle with non-stop Rolling Stones (they quickly brought Super Shuffle back, but then replaced it with The Bridge!)
    I see they now have a horrendously compressed non-stop Abba channel so I guess something else got replaced.

    The trouble with satellite radio is they don’t know who’s listening to what – your only voice is to cancel the subscription (which admittedly, if iPhone Pandora works, might be an option).

    I hope you emailed and complained … if enough people do, maybe they’ll revert back earlier!

  3. Yes, I did email and complain. The odd thing is that all the channels are advertising “Coldplay Radio” on channel 51 but it is also on UPop as well. I don’t know what 51 was before, but why have they taken out two channels?

    So this morning I switched to 20 on 20, their current hits show, and the very first tune I heard was a Coldplay one. Just no getting rid of them it seems!

    Josh – thanks for the tip, I will check out easy it is to get the wire under the rubber door.

  4. Gad a solid hour of ColdPlay would be enough to send anyone, even CM, to therapy! I do like CP though but in small doses only. I love some Euro music, Stones, Verve Pipe, Fleetwood Mac, Pink Floyd, James Blunt and others but most of it sucks, meaning euro tech stuff.

    My wife has Sirius and likes it. I personally will just stick to my iPod Mini. Unless, Pandora actually begins to really work and if I could get Paradise Radio or Technicolor Web of Sound, a hippie music station, that would be ducky!

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