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XM & Sirus: Please merge now

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Feb. 28th, 2008 | 08:13 pm
location: Warner Robins, Georgia
music: FM static

My local public radio station has been off the air for a week, while they've been upgrading the antenna to digital. They promised to do it without disrupting listeners, so I can only assume they believe we weren't listening, anyway. If there was another choice, I wouldn't. Since Mercer University took over operation of the station, it sounds like it's being run by monkeys. Not even trained ones, just wild monkeys. In the middle of one live broadcast of A Prairie Home Companion (the most popular show ever on public radio), the station cut over to some prerecorded jazz show. No explanation, just changed. During the news on more than one occasion, I've heard people chatting or operating hand tools, apparently because the local studio left it's microphone open and live. At times, they've played one prerecorded show over another for 30 minutes or more.

The obvious solution is satellite radio. The commercial radio stations around here are a barren wasteland, anyway. I've set the FM tuner to scan through the stations, and gone down the dial twice without finding anything I wanted to hear. Sirius satellite radio broadcasts A Prairie Home Companion in perfect fidelity every week for just $13/month. Unfortunately, NPR news is on XM radio for another $13/month. It would be way too much trouble to install two different satellite radio systems in the car or in the house, even if I could justify the expense for both subscriptions. What I need is a satellite radio merger.

And indeed, XM and Sirius have been in merger talks, held up only by the FCC for a year. 374 days ago, the two companies announced their merger plans, and FCC regulators have been hedging about whether to let them do it ever since. Meanwhile, both companies have pleaded with their stockholders to have patience. Now, I'm getting impatient, too. I can't get my NPR news or A Praire Home Companion from my local crappy public radio station, and I can't get satellite radio service that offers both of them, either. Is there any good reason for the holdup? Has the FCC just forgotten about satellite radio?

UPDATE: The local public radio station, hearing my plea perhaps, resumed broadcasting this morning. For one and a half hours. Then, dead again. FCC, please hurry up.

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Comments {11}

hellion_veritas

(no subject)

from: hellion_veritas
date: Feb. 29th, 2008 01:58 am (UTC)
Link

http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=215352157

Is this the show you mean? 'Cause if it is, they've got a free podcast of it on the iTunes store. NPR's pretty good that way, I think.

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Scarr119

(no subject)

from: scarr119
date: Feb. 29th, 2008 02:22 am (UTC)
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also try npr.org links galore at least that solve in house driving mp3 conected to car radio....be strong public radio will come back to your life....

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Clayfoot

(no subject)

from: clayfoot
date: Feb. 29th, 2008 03:22 am (UTC)
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I suppose, but will that help me with the morning and afternoon news? They don't allow streaming audio or video at work.

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Clayfoot

(no subject)

from: clayfoot
date: Feb. 29th, 2008 03:21 am (UTC)
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It says something about downloading iTunes.

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hellion_veritas

(no subject)

from: hellion_veritas
date: Feb. 29th, 2008 03:26 am (UTC)
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Ah, that's the link to the podcast on the iTunes Music Store; obviously if you don't have iTunes, it won't open. I'm sure there are other places where you can subscribe to the same podcast. Try NPR.org, like scarr says.

Of course, you'll need an mp3 player, and some way to get the audio from the mp3 player into your car stereo... but you should be able to find a cheap mp3 player and a cassette adapter for $50 or less these days.

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Clayfoot

(no subject)

from: clayfoot
date: Feb. 29th, 2008 03:46 am (UTC)
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The MP3 player and adapter to pipe into the car, I have. Will it cost me anything to get the podcast from iTunes, and must I have an iPod player to make it work?

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hellion_veritas

(no subject)

from: hellion_veritas
date: Feb. 29th, 2008 04:24 am (UTC)
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You shouldn't... it might be easier to do with iTunes, but I'm sure there's a way to get it to work with your mp3 player. What kind of player is it? How do you put music onto it?

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Clayfoot

(no subject)

from: clayfoot
date: Feb. 29th, 2008 11:57 am (UTC)
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It's my Palm LifeDrive. I copy MP3 files to it, and it plays them. No special software required. I have a Rio MP3 player that works much the same way, but holds far less. However, as I understand it, iTunes only provides an iPod-specific file format. Would I need to convert the podcast to MP3?

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hellion_veritas

(no subject)

from: hellion_veritas
date: Feb. 29th, 2008 05:04 am (UTC)
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And also no, the podcast is completely free.

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hellion_veritas

(no subject)

from: hellion_veritas
date: Mar. 1st, 2008 04:46 am (UTC)
Link

http://blog.sagar.org/blog.sagar.org/images/2006/04/iPod_Podcasts_with_Palm_LifeDrive_doc.pdf

This guide seems to explain how to use iTunes to download podcasts and sync them to your LifeDrive using the LifeDrive Manager.

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Clayfoot

(no subject)

from: clayfoot
date: Mar. 1st, 2008 01:13 pm (UTC)
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Thanks! I shall try it today!

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