SIRIUS unveils portable satellite radio that captures, stores up to 50 hours of content (with image)

SIRIUS Satellite Radio today announced the debut of its first wearable satellite radio, the SIRIUS S50, which allows users to capture and store up to 50 hours of SIRIUS content, or a mix of SIRIUS programming and MP3/WMA files, enabling listening on the go. The SIRIUS S50 is scheduled to be available at retail this October.

The SIRIUS S50 measures just 1.9 by 3.9 inches and 0.7 inches thick, and includes a full color display, sleek black exterior and voice-assisted channel navigation. When attached to a home dock, car dock or executive docking station, the SIRIUS S50 provides easy access to live content, and captures and stores both scheduled and unscheduled SIRIUS programming. This feature allows users to listen to SIRIUS’ unique programming anywhere.

The SIRIUS S50 stores content in a variety of formats for listening on the go, including “My SIRIUS Channels,” “My SIRIUS Songs,” “Scheduled Record,” and “My Playlists.”

• The “My SIRIUS Channels” feature automatically gathers and refreshes sets of programming from the user’s three most-listened-to channels.
• The “My SIRIUS Songs” feature allows the user to save favorite songs or talk shows with the press of a button.
• The “Scheduled Record” feature allows the user to set the radio to capture favorite shows on a one time or recurring basis.
• The “My Playlists” feature allows users to supplement SIRIUS content with their own MP3/WMA library when attached through the home dock to a PC. The PC application also allows users to synch channel and image updates automatically through SIRIUS’ website.

The car and home kits utilize a rotary “SIRIUS Media Dial,” which provides quick and easy access to content. Listeners can turn the knob to find their favorite SIRIUS channel, tilt to pause, rewind, fast-forward or save a favorite song or show. In addition, voice-assisted navigation tells the user what channel they’ve selected, eliminating the need for the user to take their eyes off the road while driving. The radio also includes 30 channel presets; a jump button for one-touch tuning to traffic and weather reports or to a favorite SIRIUS channel; a sports ticker that flashes personalized sports scores; and a “Game Alert” feature which prompts when the user’s favorite NFL, NHL, NBA, or other sports teams are playing on SIRIUS.

“The wearable SIRIUS S50 provides subscribers with extensive versatility when it comes to when, where and how they receive their favorite SIRIUS programming,” said Jim Meyer, President of Operations and Sales for SIRIUS. “This small satellite radio is full of exciting, easy to navigate features for everyone from the least to the most tech savvy consumer.”

The SIRIUS S50 will be available for a suggested retail price of $359.99, and includes wearable accessories (6-hour rechargeable battery, ear buds, belt clip, armband, USB cable and AC adapter) and a car dock, which includes an adhesive mount, custom cigarette lighter power adapter, a remote control, ultra-low profile antenna, DC input and line output. A home dock, which includes audio mixing for PC sound pass-through, and connects to speakers and PCs, a remote control, home antenna, USB cable, audio cable and power supply will be available for MSRP $99.99. A desk or wall mountable executive system, including high fidelity speakers, will also be available. Replaceable batteries will be sold separately.

Additional information about the SIRIUS S50 will be available on the SIRIUS website in mid-September.

SIRIUS delivers more than 120 channels of commercial-free music, compelling talk shows, news and information, and sports programming to listeners across the country in digital quality sound. SIRIUS offers 65 channels of 100% commercial-free music, and features over 55 channels of sports, news, talk, entertainment, traffic and weather for a monthly subscription fee of only $12.95. SIRIUS also broadcasts live play-by-play games of the NFL and NBA, and is the Official Satellite Radio partner of the NFL.

SIRIUS radios for the car, truck, home, RV and boat are manufactured by Alpine, Audiovox, Blaupunkt, Clarion, Delphi, Jensen, JVC, Kenwood, Pioneer, Sanyo and XACT Communications. Available in more than 25,000 retail locations, SIRIUS radios can be purchased at major retailers including Best Buy, Circuit City, Crutchfield, Costco, Office Depot, Sears, Target, Wal-Mart and RadioShack. SIRIUS is also available at heavy truck dealers and truck stops nationwide.

SIRIUS radios are currently offered in vehicles from Audi, BMW, Chrysler, Dodge, Ford, Infiniti, Jaguar, Jeep®, Land Rover, Lexus, Lincoln-Mercury, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, MINI, Nissan, Scion, Toyota, Porsche, Volkswagen and Volvo. Hertz currently offers SIRIUS at major locations around the country.

Click on http://www.sirius.com to listen to SIRIUS live, or to find a SIRIUS retailer or car dealer in your area.

Sirius’ Howard Stern countdown here.

[UPDATE 10:47am: added image.]

Related articles:
Apple iPod combined with Sirius Satellite Radio would be a music revolution – May 27, 2005
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

26 Comments

  1. If anyone doesn’t think this could take a chunk out of ipod sales needs to rethink. Better yet, apple needs to rethink how to get on this quick.

    The ability to stream content wirelessly is way more important than the possibility of video display.

  2. I think Apple should partner with XM over Sirius. IMHO they deliver better programming. you get 60 commercial free channels of music, and they have a decent collection of news and talk channels as well. also, if you do not like the sirius homosexual channel or Howard Stern, that is another reason to go with xm.

  3. Its clear that most of you don’t know a thing about satellite radio.

    Not only is it commercial free music; it also includes sports, news, concerts and a slew of special programs that you cannot get anywhere else. Additionally, from reading the description of the product, it appears that you can store programs (aka music) on the device.

    I originally subscribed to XM because my car had an XM satellite radio in it. At first I felt like many of the posters here do: “I would never pay for radio”; now I can’t even listen to terrestrial radio.

    This product may not be an iPod killer…but it is closer to one than anything else I’ve seen out there.

  4. Let me see if I understand this right…

    “When attached to a home dock, car dock or executive docking station, the SIRIUS S50 provides easy access to live content…”

    If it rquires another part to get its content, this is not a radio, it’s an MP3 player with optimized software for Sirius.

    “SIRIUS Satellite Radio today announced the debut of its first wearable satellite radio, the SIRIUS S50, which allows users to capture and store up to 50 hours of SIRIUS content, or a mix of SIRIUS programming and MP3/WMA files…”

    Again, I don’t think this meets the definition of radio (even satellite radio) and some quick and dirty math (4min song, 1000 songs=4000 minutes of sound on my iPod mini) shows that for $199, I can get an iPod mini that holds over 66 hours of music. Any iPod can play satellite content the way the S50 does (ie. record it for later playback) if you hook your Mac to Sirius and capture the data.

    “The car and home kits utilize a rotary “SIRIUS Media Dial,” which provides quick and easy access to content. Listeners can turn the knob to find their favorite SIRIUS channel, tilt to pause, rewind, fast-forward…”

    Hmm, spin to navigate, and tilt to select a function… Why does that seem so familiar? If only they had a wheel that didn’t need to be spun, only lightly touched…

    “The SIRIUS S50 will be available for a suggested retail price of $359.99, and includes wearable accessories (6-hour rechargeable battery…”

    Even my 1st Gen iPod mini has better battery life.

    I guess if you absolutely have to have a player optimized for Sirius, this would be the way to go. I think this does show how hard it will be to de-throne iPod, though.

    I don’t listen to satellite radio, although my Dish Network feed contains it. Can anyone shed light on how this will work, in case I misunderstood the release?

    ~M

  5. Satellite radio is worth it if, and only if, you don’t like commercials, you are in areas with crappy radio stations (All Christian all the Time), or you truly enjoy some parts of the content. For example, MLB is on XM, and being a big baseball fan, I like hearing my team(s) live on radio.

    As for the music on XM or Sirius. Meh. I’ve got an AUX IN in my cars, and I plug in my iPod if I want music. I can choose what I want and when I want it.

    Combining iPod and satellite radio makes no sense to me. The satellite signal is weak, so you can’t get a signal unless you’re in just the right type of building on the south side.

    In addition, Satellite radio transmits about 80kbps signals (much less on talk radio). The music quality is atrocious, with high ends and bass just sounding like a cheap walkman. I like my iPod filled with LOSSLESS programming, which sounds very nice in my car.

    I’m a big fan of XM radio, especially Air America, NPR, MLB, ESPN, and any other liberal leaning stuff they transmit. LOL.

  6. Sounds great! For somebody else. I pay for cable tv. It has lots of ads for itself; a true pain in the ass and with the usual kick up in volume. Instead of adjusting the volume I switch to a channel without a synchronized ad — quite a feat nowadays. The programs also repeat so often that there’s no need to record anything. The fine programming for children makes sure I have to spend thousands to give my kids catch up education lost due to mindless programming and dumbed-down school curricula. (Intelligent design? Bwa-ha-ha-ha-sob….)

    I also pay for bandwidth that I cannot consume in full. So I grab stuff that I have no time to enjoy because “it’s free” … kinda paid for already if you know what I mean. Now what I really need is to walk around with 50 hours of backlogged media … probably the one station or program worth listening to among the hundreds of others. What a lovely world. Which reminds me, I paid for dot-Mac but gave up when I couldn’t connect in the first three days. I’ve also paid Adobe (what was I thinking?).

  7. Whether it’s worth the subscription price is subjective, but satellite radio is loads better that fm… Local radio station are far too annoying to listen to, not only because of the crappy playlists that seem to repeat about avery 20 or so songs, but the ads are too much. FM is mostly for kids who want to hear that same new pop song several times during the day.

    The problem with satellite radio, as I see it, is the same problem as cable TV – you pay for stations that you don’t ever listen to… I wish there was a good alternative that would let you pick your internet radio stations and receive them on a portable device…

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