If you’re like me, whether you want to admit it or not, and you listen to the radio on a fairly regular basis, you’ve probably noticed that the amount of commercials and other irksome interruptions seems to exceed the amount of music being played. This disease seems to have spread to nearly every music station under the sun, and though some have tried to repent by occasionally playing commercial free blocks ranging in length from twelve songs to one hour (or so they claim; it’s usually more like 50 minutes), the fact remains that the listeners are getting the shaft in favor of the almighty dollar.
But I have some good news, children. No, I didn’t save a bunch of money on car insurance by switching to that company with the metrosexual reptile for a mascot, but I did jump on the satellite radio bandwagon, and boy is it one sweet ride.
For a measly 50 bucks (plus tax and activation fee), I purchased the slick Delphi Roady 2 receiver and became a member of the XM nation. The receiver came packaged with a complete car kit, so I can listen to XM in my car or any other one. But the best thing about XM, as well as its competitor, Sirius, is that access to their equally commercial free web-radio service is included with the $12.95 monthly fee. And both have their own dizzying arrays of sports, talk, news, comedy and traffic and weather, in addition to the commercial free tunes, as well as a much higher tolerance of foul language, much to the chagrin of those nuns at the FCC.
So both companies offer great service and programming, but it was the high quality and bargain price of the Roady 2 that sold me on XM way back in early July. My choice was made even smarter looking later that month when XM and Napster announced they’d be teaming up to provide me and XM’s 4.4 million other subscribers with a heaping casserole dish full of digital music bliss. I can barely wait till “XM + Napster” becomes operational.
The only real qualms I have are a) the temporary lack of reception whenever the antenna is unsighted by mountains or other obstructions and b) the need to unplug and unhook the whole apparatus when I park my car for the day because, as you may or may not know, extreme heat is not particularly kind to sensitive electronics. These, however, are pretty minor as far as complaints go.
I know this all sounds like some thinly disguised sales pitch, but it’s really more of a public service announcement. Think about it: How many times have you perused the presets on you car stereo, only to find they’re all playing commercials at the exact same time? And of those times, how many have resulted in you plowing into another car as a result of the distraction your anguish has brought? And how many of those times have resulted in you being thrown in a jail cell with a 6’4”, 350-pound bison of a man who answers to the name Butterscotch and whose favorite phrase is, “You dropped the soap”?
In other words, satellite radio can not only keep you sane, but it can keep you safe, too. Best of all, you can try out both Sirius and XM via the Web free for three days.
If that’s still not incentive enough to check this wonderful invention out for yourself, then have fun hearing about home refinancing and the next box office bomb six times every hour. Suckers.
Tom Anderson, a junior journalism major, is news editor of the Campus Times. He can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.