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Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Satellite iPod, here is what Apple needs to do...

There is a rumor that Apple and Sirius satellite radio may be working together on a new iPod with satellite radio functionality. I sure hope this happens, because I am tired of FM radio (I won't even mention the names of the evil conglomerates that own all the radio waves) and want to get a sat. However I already use my iPod in my car and don't want to add another gadget to my dashboard. I am also an investor in Sirius, although I have not bought a receiver yet. I would buy a Sirius iPod in a heartbeat. (Note to Apple - please throw a cell phone in there too, or I am going to run out and spend money on the Treo 650 - which I would rather give to you)

Here is what I could envision with the Sirius iPod :

- Live updating playlists - as you listen the iPod could be recording the sat feed at the same time, much like a Tivo , so you could repeat the last song heard, jump back a few minutes in a talk show interview, etc. You could also see the song's ID tags to know the band, album name, etc.
- Flag a song for immediate download from sat (or if that is not possible, flag it for future download in iTunes). I can't imagine a better way to increase music sales, imagine being able to download that great song you just heard right away. I usually forget what songs I want to download by the time I get home.
- How about a short text description of the band, album, recent news of the artist, etc. Could be embedded in the song.
- iPod could remember what Sirius stations you like, what songs you liked (you could rate them while listening) and recommend songs by those artists or similar ones next time you sync up with iTunes.
- Schedule recordings, and be able to listen to songs stored on iPod's drive while it is recording something else (Tivo functionality again). Here we would need the iPod to wake itself in case you are asleep or away from the unit.

Anyway, I am sure there are many more ideas that I haven't thought about, but this could be a truly revolutionary product, and profits for both companies would be huge!! (hmmm....think Apple might want to buy Sirius? You heard it here first!)

Feel free to chime in with your thoughts, hopefully someone will read this!



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here are some of the flaws with satellite radio...It is only available in the continental US (a big pet peeve for me, I live in Alaska), the line of sight issue is big...the companies had to put up repeaters in LA/Chicago/NY because the buildings got in the way of the signals, I have read reports that the latest handheld portable XM radio loses signal even in the living room of the reviewers house. If you have to use an external antenna then the whole purpose of a portable is defeated. I actually like satellite radio (have used it while visiting family in CA) but until they hammer out some of the most serious issues, namely signal degradation, handheld portable units are not going to be feasible. I hope they can figure it out, because I would like to see some of the ideas you presented implemented.
Walter Foss

3:11 PM

Blogger Will OConnor said...

I agree with you, there certainly are a lot of issues with the current receivers, that's why I haven't run out and bought one yet. But if you put Apple's and Sirius' heads together, you gotta think they could come out with something great. I just hope they are working on something together. Thanks for your input!

6:08 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here is my dilemma. I work in a cube all day. Work blocks all streaming media off the net. I can barely get FM reception inside the building. I have a $40 Radio Shack Radio with a big metal antenna. I can barely get an acceptable signal. Some times I just can’t stand to listen, because the reception will be so annoying.

My big goal is to find variety throughout the day. I want a good mixture of Talk Radio and music I have recorded from my CDs. I don’t want to listen to music all day, because it just gets repetitious…even though I have almost 1000 CDs. I would die for way to record NPR and other shows and then listen to them off an iPod at work. The FM or Satellite wouldn’t do me any good unless it had TIVO functionality, so I could hang the iPod out the window over night to record stuff for the next day. Actually, that would not even work because NPR stops broadcasting around dinner time. I would need something recording at home while I’m at work listening to the iPod and the previous day’s recordings.

I know NPR broadcasts off the web. Is there any way to capture that to the hard drive and then later upload it to an iPod? What about for the Satellite systems? I head that one of them offer “free” web broadcast with a paid subscription.

2:05 PM

Blogger Will OConnor said...

There are several freeware programs available for both Mac & PC that will record internet broadcasts. If you are on a Mac search for Audio Hijack Pro (or something like that). Also there is an FM tuner called a Radio Shark that you can hook up to your Mac/PC. It is only good for local AM/FM programming but it does have software with Tivo-like functionality, so if you can't download the internet NPR broadcast you can surely get the local one. I think you can find the Radio Shark for around $50 online.

8:18 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cool! Thanks for the info. I'll check it out. I'll have to experiment on sending it to work through email or perhaps uploading it to an iPod.

9:58 AM


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