"Delivers sound remarkably close to Compact Disc"
That's my problem with the sound. To me, it isn't remarkably close.
Well behaving FM stations sound better.
Well mastered records with clean pressings sound better.
Minidisc sounds better.
Minidisc LP2 sounds better.
CD's sound better.
All the above have defects but, my goodness, XM is full of them.
Granted, the technology is complex. It's amazing that anything intelligible
is received at all. I just think that with all the money and technology behind
this this thing that it's a shame that they risk torpedoing it all by having to
reduce music to such a low bit rate that the music is being severely
damaged, if not destroyed.
Who has listened to XM with headphones and compared familiar songs
with CD versions? I have. To me, the difference is immediate and
obvious -- XM is clearly inferior.
I'm hoping that as the service and technology matures that sonic quality
will improve or XM will realize that, maybe, 100 channels is not necessary
and sacrifice half to double the per channel bit rate.
Despite these grumblings I still intend to keep it. It makes for some
interesting and varied background music. It just could be so much more.
<on soapbox -- off topic>
In thinking about XM a bit could XM be a Trojan Horse? An unintentional
Trojan Horse, maybe? It has been stated that Clear Channel
Communications is a shareholder. As Clear Channel marches onward
assimilating broadcast stations in its path, consolodates DJs, and
standardizes programming in an apparent goal to become a national radio
network, it would seem logical that Clear Channel would be interested in
XM which could either be it's greatest threat or, if XM *really* takes off, its
greatest conquest in a corporate takeover -- a national radio station in one
swoop. Then, all that wonderful programming may just go out the window.
Maybe just I'm being paranoid. It is certainly off topic about the sound