Wednesday, June 23, 2010


Here's an open letter from me to XM Radio:

Dear XM Radio,

I never in a million years thought that I would want to pay for radio service. After all, I've been getting it for free my whole life, and I've been perfectly happy.

But then I bought a new car with a free three-month trial subscription to XM Radio. I printed out a list of the stations and began to explore. I loved the idea that I could listen to any decade from the 1940s to the 2000s. I loved all the different genres that are available. I liked the comedy stations and the children's music.

I was ready to spend some money!

Unfortunately, the factory radio is really stripped down regarding XM functionality.

It will only display the first 16 characters of a song title or an artist's name. That's usually not enough. It could have been designed to scroll across, or even display successive 16 character chunks.

In addition, the radio will not pause or rewind the music - there's no live buffer.

If I'm going to pay for radio service, I expect more than a bare-bones radio receiver to go with it. There are plenty of fancy XM Radio receivers available for less than two hundred dollars; they have those feature above, plus many others. Since the car's radio is built in, with a safety video system for driving in reverse, I can't even replace it.

So, XM Radio people, when you license out your technology, you need to have better standards in place. You just lost a potential customer.



Wow, that sounded really whiny and complaining, but I just don't understand how a so-called "premium" car audio system could turn out to be so bad. It actually took a great radio service and made it unappealing!

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