Apple iPod combined with Sirius Satellite Radio would be a music revolution

“The iPod is the best player for digital music. And satellite radio kicks butt in terms of content. Put the two together and what do you get? A music revolution,” Hadley Stern writes for Apple Matters. “Imagine satellite radio as this fantastic faucet of sound that you can listen in on. But if you want to pause it, you can’t. And if you want to easily time shift it, a la Tivo, you can’t.”

Stern writes, “The iPod can solve all that. With the iPod satellite radio has a beautiful UI, and a ton of hard drive space that it can tap into. With a little bit of software and hardware magic we could have a TivoPod. It would tune into satellite radio and let you time shift recordings… A satellite iPod could [allow you to] hit a button while listening to your iPod that says buy this song and the song would download, via the satellite connection directly to your iPod. Or, at the very least, you could have the song show up in your iTunes the next time you launch it.”

Stern explores other ideas such as the “possibility is that satellite becomes the medium by which the iTunes Music store could be streamed as a subscription service” in his full article here.

Related MacDailyNews articles:
Sirius Satellite Radio CEO Karmazin discusses Sirius-enabled Apple iPod – May 25, 2005
Sirius CEO Karmazin looks to add satellite radio to Apple iPod; no deal – yet – February 10, 2005
Sirius has approached Apple on adding service to iPod – February 09, 2005
Analyst throws cold water on Apple iPod – Sirius Satellite radio deal – December 16, 2004
Analysts: Apple iPod + Sirius Satellite Radio ‘technologically unfeasible right now’ – December 15, 2004
RUMOR: Apple to add SIRIUS Satellite Radio (and Howard Stern) to iPod in mid-2005 – December 10, 2004
Non-Apple news: Howard Stern signs deal with SIRIUS satellite radio – October 06, 2004


  1. This is the product I’ve been waiting for. I love my iTunes library, but I still like to listen to the radio sometimes and there is no way to have all of the songs I like without illegal downloads and I don’t want to do that. Plus, I like to catch new music every now and then and not be stuck with just the same thousand or so songs. I’ve heard them for years, it would be a great opportunity to hear new music.

    You can’t get up-to-date news on an iPod right now, and where I live we get severe thunderstorms and tornadoes pretty regularly in the late spring and summer and being able to get access to a news channel would be great. Not to mention live talk shows, sports broadcasts, and it’s nice sometimes when working alone for several hours or driving alone to hear another human voice like a DJ or talk show host.

    Just my opinion though, it’ll be my first iPod and it will be the one I want.

  2. imagine it, listening to your XM on your iPod, a song comes up that you do not know, but like, click a save name option, when you sync next time it will take you to those songs in iTunes and you can preview and decide if you want to purchase them

    awesome (for those with crappy memories for names of songs this would absoloutly ROCK)

  3. “Stern writes,’With the iPod, satellite radio has a beautiful UI and a ton of hard drive space that it can tap into. With a little bit of software and hardware magic we could have a TivoPod.'”

    And it would only have the size & weight of a small brick!

    I would rather have a satellite radio ‘tuner’ (a la Griffin’s RadioShark), record the shows I want on my Mac, and then load them into my iPod for later listening. Easy. Plus, I wouldn’t have to lug around another, probably larger, device.

  4. I am not a huge music collector, especially compared to a few of my friends. According to iTunes, I have a very modest 30 DAYS worth of non-stop, commercial free, music on my Mac (8208 tracks, 40 Gb); my entire CD collection.

    I can get a very nice 60Gb iPod photo for $449, store ALL of my music on it, already organized in the playlists the exact same way they are on my iTunes, and still have 20Gb left for photos and transferring files to/from my friends’ computers. All without adding ANOTHER bill to my monthly collection; each one being an ever-tightening leash on the scrotum.

    Just like cable TV that started out as “200 commercial-free channels because YOU pay for it, not advertisers” and has decayed into being just 6 channels that you really like and all of those have 60% content and 40% commercials, satellite radio will very quickly decay the same way. Starting as “commercial-free”, they will soon pack it with the same level of commercials as existing broadcast radio, but claim you are paying for the “convenience” of listening to your all-rap-music station in the surrounding farms of Puckerbush, Idaho.

    OR… you can load your 20Gb iPod with your 5,000 most favorite, commercial free, rap tunes for $299 and never have to worry about a huge corporation holding your music hostage for a monthly ransom.

    Give me a car radio that has a slot for sliding my iPod into a built-in dock, and I’d be very happy.

  5. I agree with Fandango. There are several options people need/want with the portable music players, as illustrated by Tusk for this option. However, I don’t believe there can be a consensus on this and I would rather not have an iPod with 5 different things I don’t need or want to pay for. Attachments make a lot of sense because it keeps the costs of the iPod itself down.

  6. First off….this part:

    …while listening to your iPod that says buy this song and the song would download, via the satellite connection directly to your iPod. Or, at the very least, you could have the song show up in your iTunes the next time you launch it.

    Will not happen. Songs cannot go back to the computer as this moment. Unless you have a hack plugin. There is a DRM reason for this. It could change. Who knows.

  7. I just don’t see satellite radio ever being very popular unless it is free. Very few people, who aren’t road warriors, are willing to pony up money for radio. I don’t care how good the content is. If they could make there money from sales perhaps, like maybe you could hit a button and purchase a song you are listening to, then maybe this works. Or, comersial news and weather that can be time shifted but you can’t skip the comercials. Subscriber funded media just doesn’t and hasn’t worked in this country. would you rather have satellite radio for $ or look for a podcast for free?

  8. There is another problem with the portable satelite radios. They don’t get a signal unless your inline of sight of the satelite. So only if you like standing by a window are you going to recieve the signal. There have been many reviews that have proven this to be true. Until they can get a signal from anywhere it’s not practical and would be frustrating for the users. I know users of the portable satelite radios are frustrated. It doesn’t work as advertised in those Elton John commercials that’s for sure. I think the better idea is to have one that is integrated into iTunes that you can load the songs into your iPod and then take the music or whatever you happen to want to listen to with you. But I don’t think you need the radio combined into the iPod. I still don’t find FM radio idea anything I want to attach to my iPod. The reason I got my iPod was to rid myself of the radio.

  9. I agree that adding a satellite receiver to the iPod would just bulk it up, drain the battery, and boost the cost. No thanks. I’d greatly prefer to use the forthcoming podcast function in iTunes to access Sirius content. That way, whether or not you have a Sirius tuner you’d still have access to the content. This would be the perfect way to compete with Napster, Real and Yahoo’s subscription service. Don’t just offer content — offer context. I’d much rather download a four-hour block of well done Sirius programming than muddle through one million songs myself in the “all you can eat” method of the other plans. Plus, it would boost demand for high-end iPods with high-capacity hard drives.

    giofoto, couldn’t you use something similar to the “on the go” playlist function to flag songs you want to consider purchasing? Next time you dock your iPod, iTunes reads the file, opens iTMS, and asks if you want to buy the songs.

  10. giofoto –
    This is a software limitation, not a technology limitation, and could be easily changed to allow you to send satilite downloaded music back to the computer that syncs to that particular ipod (the way play count and last played date sync back to your computer now.) No problem and not a blocker to deploying this cool tech.

    John –
    Satalite radio uses RADIO WAVES. They are broadcasted from orbit instead of a tower a few miles away. Walls, metal, hills, people, etc… interfere with radio waves, but with a biggeer antenna you have no problems recieving satalite radio inside. Current handheld satalite radios have an antenna jack that can connect to an external antenna that comes with the device or to a built in antenna that comes with the car install kit.

    No problems recieving sat radio indoors.

  11. you can do a LOT of this already with the Radio Shark from Griffin Technology

    just so you know.. i have all my Michael Savage and John and Ken shows on my iPod right now – i didn’t need anyone else to help me with it.

    did i say Michael Savage.. i meant NPR… sorry… NPR.

  12. I’ll have to agree that maybe an add-on to the iPod might be the best solution. But, to have the ability to listen to a live broadcast is an important feature I think. Like I said earlier weather forcasts, news and sporting events don’t have the same appeal or impact as going to your computer, downloading a podcast and then listening to it after the fact. Sure, some talk shows might still be ok, but your still missing the ability to interact with the broadcast. I’ve never felt compelled to call a radio station or talk show, but I enjoy listening to other peoples comments and opinions on the shows they call into. Who knows, someday something might interest me enough to be vocal about it and call in. Can’t do that with a podcast though.

  13. This would be awesome….absolutely great…..i love satellite, and then to have my own songs on ipod….it doesn’t get any better than that……..for me at least….

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