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Difference between Sirius and XM before the merger.

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radioandtventhusiast
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Difference between Sirius and XM before the merger.

Post by radioandtventhusiast » Thu Jan 09, 2020 9:53 pm

I've only been into radio for about 10 years, but I've always wondered, what was the difference between Sirius, and XM prior to the merger? I've heard that XM'S playlists were very deep, and there was great sound quality. Sirius's playlists were similar to FM and had more options for non-music programming. What else do you remember about Sirius and XM prior to the merger?



Realist
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Re: Difference between Sirius and XM before the merger.

Post by Realist » Fri Jan 10, 2020 12:39 pm

You pretty much described it perfectly. I had XM and was part of the first 1 million subscribers. Very deep playlist and a “wow” factor all the time on most channels, as they were playing songs you hadn’t heard in years. Had a rental car once that has Sirius in it and found it was pretty much corporate radio – not much variety and the same songs over and over.

When the merger first happened, it seemed to still be that narrow playlist. Playlists have opened up a little bit but not as much as when it was XM. Regardless, there’s no way in hell I would go without satellite radio in my vehicle as broadcast radio drives me crazy with their limited playlist and repetition



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WOHO
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Re: Difference between Sirius and XM before the merger.

Post by WOHO » Tue Feb 04, 2020 2:12 pm

XM was the music Cadillac programmed by people who loved music and deep playlists, like talent, and an "Oh wow" song once a week. Audio was about 48kB - CD quality too. Nice audio processing. Niche channels without 47 rock channels. About 6-8 one of a kind stations that are missed.
Live on air talent you could talk to and take requests, plus "IT"- the complete pop music library from Billboard. Audio encoding far superior to what Sirius was using and their Delphi radios hade FM modulators that worked through your whole house (until Sirius petitioned the FCC to neuter the FM mods- asses). Had many many more listeners than the jr Sirius, and a world-class studio set-up outside of Washington DC. Also, Clear Channel had access, and started adding channels, like WLW-AM700 before they quit. Also, had an excellent set of ground (TERRestrial) repeaters so you could set your home antenna and forget it and had coverage in big cities where there were lots of buildings downtown.

Sirius was commercial free FM, and that was it. The junior of the two services. Small playlist, so if you wanted to hear only the hits over and over again, Sirius was your bag. Weird 3 orbiting satellites made car reception pretty easy, but home varied. Only 3 or 4 niche channels, which they dumped (Easy Movin') after the merger, but they also used to simulcast WSM Nashville, their only advantage over XM until they added Stern and couldn't afford him, so Mel K (evil CBS gnome) decided that the junior satrad would buy/merge the larger satrad. Mel also made many promises to the FCC would were never kept, like a group of FREE channels for non-subscribers.

Biggest problem, FCC said they had to duplicate programming, so the bandwidth that would have provided for twice the audio quality never happened as to this day, they still have two of almost every channel, don't know when they'll ever fix it.
Anyhow, losing the original XM was heartbreaking, lost "IT", lost "Fine Tuning", lost "Special X", lost "Music Lab", "Cinemagic", even the original "Escape" which was called 'Sunny' was programmed by Bonneville Beautiful Music expert Marlin Taylor and was fantastic with a 4000 song library.
AT40 shows on XM were not chopped-up to all hell, deleting historical songs, like the Sirius boys did when they were bored. All the decades channels took a big hit with the merger and only 60's on 6 is close to its original glory.
XM was da bomb, Sirius not. Merger was a bad thing and the single-artist channels (Payola) hogged-up niche channels from the XM band.
Take me back to 2004 please.



radioandtventhusiast
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Re: Difference between Sirius and XM before the merger.

Post by radioandtventhusiast » Tue Feb 04, 2020 3:48 pm

WOHO wrote:
Tue Feb 04, 2020 2:12 pm
XM was the music Cadillac programmed by people who loved music and deep playlists, like talent, and an "Oh wow" song once a week. Audio was about 48kB - CD quality too. Nice audio processing. Niche channels without 47 rock channels. About 6-8 one of a kind stations that are missed.
Live on air talent you could talk to and take requests, plus "IT"- the complete pop music library from Billboard. Audio encoding far superior to what Sirius was using and their Delphi radios hade FM modulators that worked through your whole house (until Sirius petitioned the FCC to neuter the FM mods- asses). Had many many more listeners than the jr Sirius, and a world-class studio set-up outside of Washington DC. Also, Clear Channel had access, and started adding channels, like WLW-AM700 before they quit. Also, had an excellent set of ground (TERRestrial) repeaters so you could set your home antenna and forget it and had coverage in big cities where there were lots of buildings downtown.

Sirius was commercial free FM, and that was it. The junior of the two services. Small playlist, so if you wanted to hear only the hits over and over again, Sirius was your bag. Weird 3 orbiting satellites made car reception pretty easy, but home varied. Only 3 or 4 niche channels, which they dumped (Easy Movin') after the merger, but they also used to simulcast WSM Nashville, their only advantage over XM until they added Stern and couldn't afford him, so Mel K (evil CBS gnome) decided that the junior satrad would buy/merge the larger satrad. Mel also made many promises to the FCC would were never kept, like a group of FREE channels for non-subscribers.

Biggest problem, FCC said they had to duplicate programming, so the bandwidth that would have provided for twice the audio quality never happened as to this day, they still have two of almost every channel, don't know when they'll ever fix it.
Anyhow, losing the original XM was heartbreaking, lost "IT", lost "Fine Tuning", lost "Special X", lost "Music Lab", "Cinemagic", even the original "Escape" which was called 'Sunny' was programmed by Bonneville Beautiful Music expert Marlin Taylor and was fantastic with a 4000 song library.
AT40 shows on XM were not chopped-up to all hell, deleting historical songs, like the Sirius boys did when they were bored. All the decades channels took a big hit with the merger and only 60's on 6 is close to its original glory.
XM was da bomb, Sirius not. Merger was a bad thing and the single-artist channels (Payola) hogged-up niche channels from the XM band.
Take me back to 2004 please.
I've heard so many cool things about IT. Some of the old IT playlists are archived on the Internet. I look at them and think to myself, "Why can't radio be like this?". Much larger music libraries than you get on corporate radio. I don't know if there's anything else like IT anymore. I never listened to the radio that much until about 10 years ago, and never had a subscription to XM. Strongly wish I did though.



Realist
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Re: Difference between Sirius and XM before the merger.

Post by Realist » Tue Feb 04, 2020 7:26 pm

WOHO wrote:
Tue Feb 04, 2020 2:12 pm
XM was the music Cadillac programmed by people who loved music and deep playlists, like talent, and an "Oh wow" song once a week. Audio was about 48kB - CD quality too. Nice audio processing. Niche channels without 47 rock channels. About 6-8 one of a kind stations that are missed.
Live on air talent you could talk to and take requests, plus "IT"- the complete pop music library from Billboard. Audio encoding far superior to what Sirius was using and their Delphi radios hade FM modulators that worked through your whole house (until Sirius petitioned the FCC to neuter the FM mods- asses). Had many many more listeners than the jr Sirius, and a world-class studio set-up outside of Washington DC. Also, Clear Channel had access, and started adding channels, like WLW-AM700 before they quit. Also, had an excellent set of ground (TERRestrial) repeaters so you could set your home antenna and forget it and had coverage in big cities where there were lots of buildings downtown.

Sirius was commercial free FM, and that was it. The junior of the two services. Small playlist, so if you wanted to hear only the hits over and over again, Sirius was your bag. Weird 3 orbiting satellites made car reception pretty easy, but home varied. Only 3 or 4 niche channels, which they dumped (Easy Movin') after the merger, but they also used to simulcast WSM Nashville, their only advantage over XM until they added Stern and couldn't afford him, so Mel K (evil CBS gnome) decided that the junior satrad would buy/merge the larger satrad. Mel also made many promises to the FCC would were never kept, like a group of FREE channels for non-subscribers.

Biggest problem, FCC said they had to duplicate programming, so the bandwidth that would have provided for twice the audio quality never happened as to this day, they still have two of almost every channel, don't know when they'll ever fix it.
Anyhow, losing the original XM was heartbreaking, lost "IT", lost "Fine Tuning", lost "Special X", lost "Music Lab", "Cinemagic", even the original "Escape" which was called 'Sunny' was programmed by Bonneville Beautiful Music expert Marlin Taylor and was fantastic with a 4000 song library.
AT40 shows on XM were not chopped-up to all hell, deleting historical songs, like the Sirius boys did when they were bored. All the decades channels took a big hit with the merger and only 60's on 6 is close to its original glory.
XM was da bomb, Sirius not. Merger was a bad thing and the single-artist channels (Payola) hogged-up niche channels from the XM band.
Take me back to 2004 please.
+1

You described the awesomeness of XM in more detail than I ever could.

God, I wish the “merger” had never happened



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MWmetalhead
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Re: Difference between Sirius and XM before the merger.

Post by MWmetalhead » Sat Feb 08, 2020 10:01 am

I became an XM subscriber about 18 months before the merger.

Their audio processing was already junk by that point, the library size on the rock channels was not noticeably different than those found on Sirius (although the individual song selections were certainly different), multiple dayparts on the rock channels were unmanned by air talent, their current hits station had only a 20 song rotation set to repeat, prime channel slots were filled by milquetoast iFart terrestrial radio stations, and many of the individual music channels had STUPID names.

In other words - the writing was on the wall at that point in time. It was clear XM was in trouble. Mel K. made it possible for Sirius to land big name programming and he also turned around the company's previously lethargic marketing.

I remember when Sirius had only the elliptically orbiting satellites and no geostationary satellite. Indoor reception was a pain in the ass! Sirius always had the superior in-the-car reception, though.

Over a decade ago, Sirius finally did launch a geostationary satellite. Once they did that, indoor reception became much easier in this part of the country.


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Turkeytop
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Re: Difference between Sirius and XM before the merger.

Post by Turkeytop » Sat Feb 08, 2020 9:57 pm

I subscribed to Sirius about a year before the merger. I was really disappointed with the programming. After several months I called them to cancel my subscription. The woman I spoke with offered me the next three months free if I would use the time to reconsider. I accepted the offer and during the three months the merger took place. The selection of channels was now more to my liking. I'm still a subscriber.



Deleted User 15265

Re: Difference between Sirius and XM before the merger.

Post by Deleted User 15265 » Thu Feb 20, 2020 6:47 pm

I have a commercial free service similar to Surius XM it's called Dash Radio with over 80 channels free from Decades to Rap and even Contempary
Christiain and Big Band check out the website www.dashradio.com or get the app at your app store.



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Turkeytop
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Re: Difference between Sirius and XM before the merger.

Post by Turkeytop » Fri Feb 21, 2020 7:28 pm

Classichits939 wrote:
Thu Feb 20, 2020 6:47 pm
I have a commercial free service similar to Surius XM it's called Dash Radio with over 80 channels free from Decades to Rap and even Contempary
Christiain and Big Band check out the website www.dashradio.com or get the app at your app store.

Joined:Wed Feb 19, 2020 7:07 pm
Sure looks like SPAM to me.



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