Originally Posted by barbie845
Now Slacker is reminding me of those early days of XM. Today I heard Me and Bobby MaGee on my G2. It sounded so much different and better then when I'd hear it on XM.
I was thinking about this today-- when I first got XM in 2003, it was *fun* to listen to. Yeah, it was a shiny new toy, but they were playing an amazing variety of different music, on tons of different channels, all sounding VERY good.. I discovered a lot of new music and heard a lot of favorites. Pretty much my main source of music from 2003-2005 was on XM. I too have a few (unfortunately not many) recordings from back in the day and it is AMAZING how much better XM sounded... anyone who claims they really had XM back before the bitrate massacre of March 1, 2006 (the day I thought my Roady was broken because the SQ took such a massive dive), and says it sounds as good as it did then needs to get their ears checked.
Now, between the sound quality dropping consistently, and the merger destroying the XM music stations, XM isn't particularly "fun" for me to listen to. There is a part of me that feels guilty since it was a birthday present from my parents back in the day. But hey, it was a good run.
Slacker does have that early days feeling again-- I don't think the hardware is quite where it needs to be (my G1 portable definitely has some weird flakiness I am willing to live with)-- but the service and SQ is fun to listen to. I wish their bitrate was a little higher, but in general it is totally acceptable (with a few weird encodes here and there) and as long as it doesn't get any worse I am fine with it.
I don't know how much I long for the "glory days" of XM because it was just new, or because it really isn't the same thing. I suspect it's a little of both. That said, I don't see much XM would be able to do to keep me a subscriber once my 5 year subscription runs out, assuming they are still around as a company! It seems like every time they've made a decision they have turned the service away from why I originally listened so much. (dropping SQ to add a bunch of non-music channels, and/or very shallow channels)