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Another Nail in the Coffin - XM SkyDock turns your iPhone into a satellite radio cont

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  • Another Nail in the Coffin - XM SkyDock turns your iPhone into a satellite radio cont

    XM SkyDock turns your iPhone into a satellite radio control panel

    (Credit: Sirius XM)
    Like satellite radio, but don't want to deal with the kludge-y "dock and play" satellite radios that clutter up your car's dashboard? The XM SkyDock could be for you. It looks little different than your average iPod car charger, but the SkyDock has a satellite tuner built in. Pop in any iPhone or iPod Touch, run the free SkyDock control app, and the Apple handheld is transformed into a touch-screen control for the satellite radio service.
    The app automatically adjusts to landscape (shown) or portrait mode, and the audio stream can be sent either via line-out or the company's "PowerConnect" system, which transmits the audio to most standard car radios via the car's electrical system. Because the SkyDock is plugged into the car's 12-volt power adapter, it also charges the iPhone/iPod Touch while it's in use. We got a brief hands-on demo of the SkyDock earlier today at a Sirius XM event, and it looked to be working smoothly, even with beta software.
    Why invest in the SkyDock rather than just firing up the Sirius XM app on your iPhone? The app, as has been widely observed, omits much of "the good stuff." Rights issues preclude many of the service's keystone channels, including MLB Play-by-Play, NFL Play-by-Play, Nascar Radio, and Howard Stern. By contrast, because it's a full-fledged over-the-air satellite radio, the SkyDock offers the entire Sirius XM catalog, including those stations.
    The SkyDock app also enables iTunes tagging: hear a song you like on one of the music stations, and a touch of the screen will tag it for later download on iTunes. Naturally, the SkyDock will also play music stored on your iPhone/iPod. (Whether that includes audio from other iPhone apps--such as Pandora, Last.fm, and the like--wasn't specified.) (Note: Last.fm is a part of CBS Interactive, which also publishes CNET News.)
    The XM SkyDock will be available this fall for $120. In addition to a compatible iPod Touch or iPhone (any model that runs iPhone OS 3.0 will work), you'll need a valid Sirius XM subscription.

  • #2
    it would make a whole bunch more sense if xm/sirius just let you pay a small monthly fee to stream it directly to your device.
    mp3Car.com Senior Tech Blogger (Want a product reviewed? Contact me.)
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    • #3
      +1 on above comment.....I really don't see satelite radio surviving once 3g/4g becomes prevalent and cheap....I give them 5 more years...
      Sig, smig...

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      • #4
        How annoying. As an XM subscriber, I pay to listen to satellite radio on my hardware device. Now, to listen to it on my iPhone I have to premium service for an additional $2.99 a month. That sucks.

        I don't mind paying for satellite service. I get that XM/Sirius had to build and deploy a constellation of satellites and ground station infrastructure to stream hundreds of channels anywhere in North America that has an open view of the sky. Check.

        But they didn't pay jack for the internet and the user is the one that pays for the data streaming plan and net connection. Hell, I'm even willing to pay them a couple of bucks for the player application. But when you put it up against something like WunderRadio which has free channels plus extra stuff, the value proposition starts to get a little thin.

        Not to mention that I can listen to XM on my browser as part of my subscription. What is the difference between that and listening to it on my iPhone? Oh yeah....it's an iPhone$$$.

        You wanna charge for MLB or NASCAR or NFL or Howard, fine. Those are specific channels of content. But fleecing your subscribers because they want to listen to XM on the net using their mobile device is going a little too far.
        Originally posted by ghettocruzer
        I was gung ho on building a PC [until] just recently. However, between my new phone having internet and GPS and all...and this kit...Im starting to have trouble justfiying it haha.
        Want to:
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        • #5
          I have to say, in a way I dont blame them. I think, as mentioned already, XM/Sirius time is limited, and they are just trying to cash in while they still can.

          That being said, I think this is a screw job. My 3 month trial subscription just ran out today, and Ive been really debating on getting another year of it. I only really like 2 channels, so the cost/value ratio is pretty low. Maybe I should suck it up and buy and iPhone to stream Pandora...

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          • #6
            I've got an iPhone an normally use it to stream Pandora and that works pretty well, but XM is a little better in terms of availability than Pandora. It almost always works and the quality is 'okay'. Pandora = good. XM = also pretty good. But not the way they want to charge for the iPhone.
            Originally posted by ghettocruzer
            I was gung ho on building a PC [until] just recently. However, between my new phone having internet and GPS and all...and this kit...Im starting to have trouble justfiying it haha.
            Want to:
            -Find out about the new iBug iPad install?
            -Find out about carPC's in just 5 minutes? View the Car PC 101 video

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            • #7
              I'm an xm and sirius subscriber, have been for several years, I don't have my car pc done yet but I just got pandora to work with my samsung omnia. Oh did I mention I just cancelled xm/sirius. I just gotta figure out how to send the audio over bluetooth to my car pc. I give xm/sirius two maybe three years.

              TJ

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