Has anyone noticed that XM satellite radio is lower fidelity than FM?

At least in my car, XM radio seems to be lacking in dynamic range and stereo separation compared to an FM station with a good signal. I’m sure part of it is that they compress the living $#!^ out of it to transmit it. I was wondering if anyone else had noticed this, or if my receiver is at fault.

My Sirius radio also sounds highly compressed at times.

That’s normal. As you say, they need to do major compression. It’s gotten somewhat worse over the years as channels have been added.

I’m a serious music listener but not an audiophile. I’d like the quality to be better, of course, but I can tolerate the current quality.

My only experience with it is on Airtran airlines. Sounds like it is being broadcast from Jupiter. (The planet, not Florida.)

Well, I have it in an '09 Caravan and I have no complaint with it. ( that’s the radio I mean).

I don’t mind the sound. The stations on XM are so much better than the stuff on air around here. It’s a trade I gladly make.

I like the variety of XM stations, and that they are (mostly) commercial free. Taken as a whole, they play some pretty good stuff. Taken individually, I wonder who comes up with their playlists… The 80s channel for example seems to have a Duran Duran fixation.

I like my ipod. I was surprised how much music I had on CD’s that I have accumulated over the years. I transfered about 8-900 songs over and I just let it play randomly, never know what’s coming up.

I started with about 200 songs but I found that they just repeated too often. I even went and converted a couple of songs from old vinyl albums that are not available on CD. I haven’t yet used the Apple store but I did set up an account with them.

I did put an ipod adaptable radio in my car.

This year, I am seeing a lot of radios with a USB port. I am wondering if I can get one for my wife’s car, put music from itunes stored on my computer onto one of these memory sticks and just plug it into the radio, avoiding the cost of a new ipod.

That’s what I do. My stereo plays CDs (either audio or full of MP3 files) as well as AM/FM, but almost everything I listen to (including the Car Talk podcast) is on a thumb drive.

On my iPod I started with four thousand songs and I’ve added more to it in bunches (the entire Beatles, Monkees and ELO catalogs, first dozen or so albums each from Dylan, Elton and Chicago, likewise a few Chinese singers I like). Plug it in and set it on shuffle and it beats the likes of Pandora all hollow.

The part I don’t know about is that all the stuff I have in itunes was from CD’s that I inserted into my mac’s drive and told it to import. The format is an Apple proprietary format, not mp3. I’m thinking that if I can plug an ipod into that usb port and it plays, then a usb stick should also work, right?

So is MP3.

Lest we forget about audio books. Download some from itunes, or wherever, and put them on your ipod and listen to it while you drive. Any satellite station offer that?

The stereo in my 2006 offers AM/FM, XM Satellite, and a 6-disc CD changer with MP3 playback, though I wish it had a USB slot like the aftermarket radio in my old car. I load up the player with 6 discs full of MP3s. If I can’t find something listenable in all that, then I should probably go and get medicine for ADD.

Oh, and I believe there is an XM station that broadcasts audiobooks.

" Any satellite station offer that?"

Yes, but only at odd hours. XMPR has Selected Shorts from 11PM to midnight on Saturdays. Guests read short fictional stories.

keith, a mac will also import CDs and save them as mp3 files. Just go into the import settings.