Life After XM Radio

After almost six years of listening to satellite radio, I gave it up and returned to regular old terrestrial radio earlier this year. If you want to know the reasons, read Why I Am Not Renewing My Sirius XM Radio Subscription. How am I holding up?

Here were the channels I most listened to on XM Radio and my new substitute.

XM Radio ChannelSeattle Solution
XMU 43 - Indie Rock90.3 FM
BPM 8189.5 FM
Real Jazz 7088.5 FM (when NPR isn't on)
Soul Town 60MP3s
1970s Pop104.5 FM (partially) and MP3s
Opie & Anthony, Ron & FezPodcasts

For the most part, I am pleased with the substitutes. KEXP 90.3 FM is a great station and as a result I listen to more indie rock these days. My biggest shock turned out not to be programming, but sound quality. I miss the higher quality sound of satellite radio. I am strongly considering getting HD Radio. Going from XM to FM is like going from FM to AM.

Note that this post is not an endorsement of XM Radio. They are a bunch of criminals. Read the 40+ comments on Filing Fraud Charges Against XM Radio before you sign up and hand them your credit card number.


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  1. Just as long as you realize that HD radio isn’t necessarily higher quality. 🙂 Yes, it’s digital, but the ways in which it is generally use result in a sound quality roughly equal to regular FM radio.

  2. I reviewed the WIKI. If I read it correctly, the HD technology allows for higher quality, but it is up to the station to determine that level.

    “Stations may eventually go all-digital, thus allowing as many as three full-power channels and four low-power channels (seven total). As defined by iBiquity these channels could be sub-divided into CD-quality (100 kbit/s), FM-quality (25-50 kbit/s), AM-quality (12 kbit/s), or Talk-quality (5 kbit/s) channels. Alternatively, they could broadcast one single channel at 300 kbit/s.”

    Most of my current FM problems are less to do with fidelity, but more about signal dropping. Micro-second fades to static. Worse than San Diego.

    I’m probably just better off with MP3s, which I believe was your position 6 years ago. 😉

  3. My vote is for records. 🙂 Also you should consider working 91.3 into your rotation; community radio is awesome!

  4. I tried records, but the needle kept jumping when I drove up Queen Anne Ave. 😉 I’ll give 91.3 a listen.

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