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CLASSICAL  March 2005

CLASSICAL March 2005

Subject:

Re: Satellite Radio and Classical Music?

From:

Ravi Narasimhan <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Fri, 25 Mar 2005 13:02:49 -0500

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Mike D'Auben <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

>As sort of a follow up to the recent discussion on NPR and Classical
>Music, I was wondering if anyone could comment on the quality of Classical
>Music programming on either of the satellite radio services?  ...

I have the XM Radio service through a receiver built in to a car I
bought in 2004.  There are three classical music stations at present: One
primarily for vocal music, one pops, and the other mostly instrumental
with periodic large-scale choral works.  You can find playlists on XM's
website and determine whether the programming meets your needs.

I listen mostly to the instrumental non-pops channel.  I've heard pieces
by composers such as d'Indy with whom I am not all that familiar.  It
offers Berlin Philharmonic recorded broadcasts, Bill McGlaughlin, and
such as well.  The audio quality is quite good and I've been able to go
on very long drives with continuous coverage and almost no dropouts along
the way.

I think the service offers very good choices for the average to
above-average classical music fan.  The members of this list, however,
are generally a couple of cuts above that on a logarithmic scale.  Checking
the playlists carefully will be the first, second, and third steps to
determining whether the noe $12.95/month subscription is worth it.

As of this writing, XM's _music_ programming is free of commercials.
This is the stuff they themselves provide.  A very large and growing
number of their channels are commercial radio (ESPN, NASCAR, etc.) or
syndicated services (Old Time radio shows, etc.) These have a maddening
number of ads.  XM flogs its services and products on these stations ad
nauseam along with assorted other junk.  There is no alternative but to
have presets and handy access to the tuner's control panel.  I think
that as with cable tv, the commercials will become omnipresent.  Either
XM and Sirius go into debt competing for programming or one of them
"wins" and can then do what it likes.

Ravi Narasimhan
Redondo Beach, CA

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