Hi my name is Wayne and I’m a Howard Stern addict. Been hooked since High School. That doesn’t mean I’m living in a home surrounded by dirty pictures, obscenities, beer funnels and strippers – though that’s the image everyone seems to have whenever I mention Stern. I find his show a funny voice that gets me moving in the morning. With his move to Sirius Satellite Radio I’ve been listening to Sirius Satellite using their web feed and a very cool and free tool called SiriusMac. Here’s why I think it’s so useful – and if you’re a Sirius Satellite radio subscriber and using a Mac you should check it out.
In order to listen to Sirius Satellite Radio via the Internet you first need to subscribe to the Sirius Satellite Radio service.
As an existing subscriber you can access the Internet feeds at no additional cost. To listen to a higher quality feed you must pay an additional $2.95 per month.
There is a free web client that Sirius uses to allow listeners to listen to streaming radio. I’ve found the interface awkward to navigate and time consuming to access.
One of the things I dislike about the native Sirius web interface is the need to repeatedly log into the service. Each time you login via Sirius you must enter one of those pesky CAPTCHA codes to prove that you’re really a human and not an automated system that is trying to connect to Sirius.
Once logged in, the native Sirius interface isn’t terrible. I just find it cumbersome to keep a web browser open and connected. If you don’t change channels, the service has a nasty habit of automatically logging you out every 30 minutes (it’s been a while since I have used the native Sirius web interface so I’m making a guesstimate of how long it goes before logging you out of the service).
The SiriusMac program does not require that you log into Sirius radio every 30 minutes (as the Sirius web client does). I’m not sure how the program bypasses that annoying need to continuously log in. The software does remembers your login and password and has some method of bypassing the more annoying CAPTCHA prompt.
The main interface for SiriusMac is simple. You manipulate the controls by clicking in different locations on the radio.
To call up a list of all Sirius channels – click the middle of the circular control pad.
Create a list of favorite channels by clicking the “heart” button. This list of favorites give you one-click access to the channels you listen to the most.
Click on any of the favorite channel buttons and you’ll change to the selected Sirius Channel.
If you click on the “memo” button, you’ll create an alert so that any time a favorite artist or song plays you’ll receive an alert so that you know to change the channel to catch your favorite song or artist.
Alerts can be maintained (deleted) from the preferences screen.
The SiriusMac software is free (monthly Sirius Satellite Radio subscription is required). You can obtain a copy by visiting: http://www.siriusmac.com. A future version is slated to provide access to both Sirius and XM Satellite radio.
What I Like:
Eliminates the “time out” imposed by the native Sirius web client
Supports higher quality streams
One click access to favorite channels
What Could Be Improved:
Minor bugs can take time to be fixed (channel listings were non-functional on prior release for at least a month)
Speed of changing screens could be better