A couple weeks back, someone rudely hit my car as it was parked on the street in front of my house. As a result, I’ve been in rental cars for a couple of weeks now. One of those rental cars was a brand new Cadillac DTS.
That car came with XM Satellite radio, and that gave me about a week to try it out.
Let me tell you, XM Satellite Radio is crap. I’m not even going to say that I think it is crap– I’m going to outright say that it is crap. Let me explain.
First, it just does not work very well here in Downtown Savannah. As I drove through the squares– very common for locals and even more common for tourists– XM cut out every 60 seconds or so, for at least 5-10 seconds at a time.
Now I know that trees block the signal, and I know that we have a lot of trees. But, I also know that local AM and FM radio stations have no signal problems here in Savannah. I also know that XM bills their product as digital radio. Fine, it’s digital. But who cares when it is basically unusable?
Every time the signal dropped, it showed me that XM is really a step backwards.
Another reason: Their music sucks. I basically listened to six or seven stations. Blues, reggae, classic rock, 60s, 70s, CNN, and some talk station.
I heard zero BB King songs on the blues station. I heard zero Buddy Guy songs on the blues station. I heard zero Muddy Waters songs. I heard zero Robert Johnson songs.
I heard many, many “new” blues songs by artists with less soul than the whitest white guy you’ve ever seen. Imagine Larry Bird singing blues. Or maybe Conan O’Brien. I imagine that would sound a lot like the crap XM plays.
Not only did XM play a very crappy selection of blues, but also in a week I heard several songs repeat several times. Blues is a huge genre. Let’s not repeat until we’ve played some of the classics, OK?
Another reason XM sucks: Their DJs suck. I don’t know where they got these guys, but they’re just terrible. They’re annoying, their sound quality is poor, and they fail to provide anything of value to the broadcast.
Here is the main reason XM Radio sucks: XM Radio sucks. OK, to expand: The sound quality sucks.
It really does. If you disagree, that is either because your ear is weak, or you are in denial that you were suckered by a marketing pitch and are paying for less-than-FM quality radio.
I’ve done some research. The research indicates that XM’s average bitrate is 64kbps. Their minimum is 32kbps, and their maximum is 80kbps.
NONE of these equal the quality of FM radio.
This is just like the digital cable myth. Everyone thinks that because it is digital, it must be better. Well, folks, I hate to break it to you but digital cable is actually digitally delivered cable. Basically, it is the cable companies’ way of saying, “Please, pay us more for lower quality.”
Don’t believe me? Fine. Just go ahead and keep watching your crappy digital cable with its poor picture on your overpriced lcd/plasma tv that can’t produce a picture at the same quality of a tube tv.
Ignorance is bliss, and marketing is gospel.