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Howard Stern Coming To the Net 334

Posted by kdawson
from the shock-and-aww dept.
theodp writes, "To promote an Internet radio service Sirius is launching this week, Howard Stern's 4+ hour program will be made available live online for free on October 25 and 26. The new Sirius service will offer 75+ channels of CD-quality programming for $12.95/month with no need to buy a Sirius satellite receiver."
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Howard Stern Coming To the Net

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  • Yawn... (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 16, 2006 @07:05AM (#16450843)
    Let me give that reaction a little more thought...

    Nope. Yawn sums it up.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    But not CD quality audio. I think the net stream is 32kbps.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by saberyo (38463)
      The new "Premium" stream is 129K bits/sec.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by CastrTroy (595695)
        129? WTF is that. Why not just use 128? Does extra 1000 bits really make that much of a difference. And besides, we all know 128 isn't really CD quality. They used to pretend it was back in 1998 when Napster was cool, but we know that you get a lot better sound out of 192 Kbps encoding, and probably a lot closer to actual CD quality.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by achacha (139424)
      I listen to Sirius radio on the web daily (because I work in a valley between 2 mountains and no reception is possible). Honestly, the quality is great, better than FM radio. I also have a Sirius unit that unfortunately broadcasts via FM (since my car doesn't have a direct input and I am too lazy to rewire it) and the internet stream sounds better than FM I get in my car.

      As far as Howard, his show is quite amusing for the guests he has and the non-standard questions he asks them. Even though on satellite
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by a_nonamiss (743253)
        I was on the bandwagon and all reared up ready to get Sirius at the beginning of the year for the sole purpose of listening to Stern. Sadly, Sirius (and probably Howard in particular) was unwilling at the time to embrace Internet broadcasts. Rumor has it, Stern was paranoid that people would steal his show and rebroadcast it so that he wouldn't get as much money. My commute into work is 7 minutes long, and I wasn't willing to pay for a subscription to listen to 7 minutes a day. Sure, I could've probably pur
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Babbster (107076)

          Rumor has it, Stern was paranoid that people would steal his show and rebroadcast it so that he wouldn't get as much money.

          Wow. Talk about bullshit. No, Stern wasn't "paranoid" about internet broadcasts (as long as they're paid for - this is a subscription-based business). He was talking about how they needed an Internet stream from virtually the day he arrived on the air.

          Stern and Sirius are no more "paranoid" that people will steal their shit than anyone else who has a service they're trying to tell

  • by Reverend99 (1009807) on Monday October 16, 2006 @07:12AM (#16450883)
    ... to listen to Howard Stern's talk about midget lesbians. That's so awesome because like there isn't any other access to midget lesbians and other assorted pervsions anywhere else on the Internet.
    • Re:$13 a month... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Iphtashu Fitz (263795) on Monday October 16, 2006 @08:22AM (#16451283)
      Actually if you bothered to RTFA, it's $13 a month to access all of Sirius' music channels as well as select talk channels like Howard Stern. You get a lot more than just Howard, over 75 channels of stuff.

      Frankly I'm surprised that Sirius isn't offering this subscription for less. $13/month is about what a regular radio subscription costs, and that includes access to the internet feeds. Since you can get Sirius radios for as low as $60 it'd make more sense to buy a radio and monthly subscription to get both radio & internet access instead of $13/month for just internet access.
      • by elrous0 (869638) *
        The internet access is just a gimmick to get you to buy the radio. Like Apple with the iPod, Sirius knows that if there's a Sirus radio in every car, then they will become the SERVICE of choice (driving out XM once and for all).

        -Eric

  • CD quality? (Score:5, Funny)

    by LordSnooty (853791) on Monday October 16, 2006 @07:15AM (#16450895)
    What, are they streaming WAV files?
    • Re:CD quality? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by timeOday (582209) on Monday October 16, 2006 @08:08AM (#16451191)
      CDDA is a very inefficient encoding. You could easily exceed CD quality with one quarter the bitrate using lossy compression if you started with a better-than-CD source. Is that what Howard Stern is planning to do? Almost certainly not. Does it even matter for his show? Absolutely not.
  • I guess they wont be playing much music on all those channels.
  • 13 bucks a month? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by saboola (655522) on Monday October 16, 2006 @07:22AM (#16450931)
    For a glorified podcast? This is a bit expensive considering their regular real sat service is about the same price, and has the glorious side benefit of being able to be listened to in the car, where most people listen to music. Maybe if the cost was half this, but at 13 bucks I dont see this moving anywhere.
  • Mobile Clients? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Erwos (553607) on Monday October 16, 2006 @07:29AM (#16450961)
    While I could honestly care less about Howard Stern, I am interested in this Internet streaming service of theirs. Does it have support for mobile clients, like PalmOS 5 and Windows Mobile 5?
    • by Bloke down the pub (861787) on Monday October 16, 2006 @07:32AM (#16450981)
      While I could honestly care less about Howard Stern
      You could? I couldn't. Really.
      • Mod parent informative/insightful. Or +1 grammer nazi, if it's available.
        • by Erwos (553607)
          You assume that I meant "I hate Howard Stern". I meant what I said: I _could_ care less about him. I'm more or less neutral as to his presence on the service. Thanks for playing!
          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by John Nowak (872479)
            *watches Erwos on his unicycle, flipping the bird, whilst backpedalling into a tree*
          • I meant what I said: I _could_ care less about him. I'm more or less neutral as to his presence on the service. Thanks for playing!

            I'll play the role of grammar nazi here. I seriously doubt anyone who is "more or less neutral" on a given subject would use either of the expressions "I could care less" or alternatively,"I couldn't care less." Both those expressions are meant to imply complete disinterest. One is correct and meaningful; the other, if not nonsensical, is awkward at best.

            What I find funny (an
      • by Stalyn (662) on Monday October 16, 2006 @09:31AM (#16451783) Homepage Journal
        Saying "I could care less" means "there is no limit on how less I care but rather a limit on the effort I put into not caring". For us Americans we don't challenge each other on the limit of not caring (which is a bottomless pit) but on how much effort is put into not caring (because we are so lazy, effort is more valuable).

        You couldn't care less? Well I surely could but it's not worth the effort.
  • by StateOfTheUnion (762194) on Monday October 16, 2006 @07:30AM (#16450967) Homepage
    So many places say "CD-quality programming" and offer compressed audio . . . like CD-Quality MP3's etc. Typically this kind of audio isn't CD quality by definition of lossy compression and streaming rate. In fact last I checked the compression algorthim and bitstream rate for satellite talk radio is different from that of the same service's music stations (the talk radio stream has a lower bitrate and more compression) . . . because the audio frequency band and dynamic range are typically narrower in talk radio.

    CD-quality should imply a real and quantifiable level of quality . . . not "it sounds like a CD to the casual listener (that doesn't know that analog FM radio music is typically compressed in dynamic range and frequency and that radio broadcasts are already equalized for cheap car stereos and boomboxes)."

    • by Enry (630) <`enry' `at' `wayga.net'> on Monday October 16, 2006 @08:21AM (#16451277) Journal
      CD quality is generally 128kbps, regardless of the codec. That's what's used by just about all MP3 hardware vendors when they tell you how many songs you can put on their device, so that statement has been around for a while.

      Stern's broadcasts on Sirius as received by the hardware satellite receivers isn't at talk quality (~32kbps), but at the same quality as their music channels (~128kbps).

      The Internet service you get with Sirius that's standard is ~32kbps for all channels, which makes it sounds a little off. Doesn't matter to me all that much, but some people notice the difference. The new service that is being offered gives the channels at the higher quality bitrate.

      For those of you that think that now Stern is just 4-hours of 4-letter words, it's not. They're in there, and the discussions get a bit more frank than before, but it's like the terrestrial broadcast without the bleeps for the most part. At one point early on, Stern yelled at someone (Ronnie?) and told him to quit swearing all the time because it wasn't funny.

      Don't like Stern? That's fine. My dad hates him with a passion. A few months ago he asked me about my Sirius and a few weeks later he had his own radio in the car. He loves it. It's like cable TV - listen to what you want, there's a lot of variety. An unexpected gem is radio classics, playing radio shows from way back when. Jack Benny's humor still stands the test of time.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Mike Hicks (244) *
        I have XM rather than Sirius, but a lot of people have said that both services definitely don't reach the level of 128k MP3 quality. XM is 96kbps at best, which puts it more on par with FM, though I personally find the digital artifacts to be more annoying than FM static. Well, maybe Sirius is better -- I haven't had a chance to listen to it with a proper speaker setup (as in, something other than being piped in through the overhead speakers at a store).

        Oh, and that cable TV analogy doesn't work for me.
    • by suv4x4 (956391) on Monday October 16, 2006 @08:29AM (#16451337)

      CD-quality should imply a real and quantifiable level of quality . . . not "it sounds like a CD to the casual listener (that doesn't know that analog FM radio music is typically compressed in dynamic range and frequency and that radio broadcasts are already equalized for cheap car stereos and boomboxes)."


      You know, I'm getting deadly tired of people bragging about they mp3 compression kung-fu knowledge.

      YES, WE REALIZE IT'S COMPRESSED.

      Geez.. and yea, it's CD quality to the casual listener and in fact just THAT is what it's supposed to mean. If you wanna see how much people care about marginal improvements in quality, see where DVD-Audio went, and you can witness where HD DVD and Blue Ray will go (hint: nowhere... I know, I know).

      People whining about professionally encoded (encoder matters a lot) mp3 streams of 128kbps and more having terrible quality really amaze me. It'd a damn radio after all. It's not like you recover critical encrypted messages hidden in the audio and you need 1:1 correspondence of each sample, or your kidnapped wife is dead in 24 hours.

      In a nutshell, you can take your mp3 l33t skills and your 64-bit audio 256kHz 15+1 surround system and shove it up your audio output socket.
      • Actually I think that really depends on the music that you listen to. I like a lot of older jazz and classical music and personally, I haven't found many so called "CD quality" 128 kbps recordings of these genres of music that IMHO sound very good.

        In fact I find the sound quality downright annoying compared with listening to a real CD and would rather listen to silence, because at least silence doesn't grate on my nerves as complex chords and countermelodies from a orchestra overwhelm the compression algo

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by NEW22 (137070)
        The point is, why call it CD quality when its not? Why not call it FM quality, which would at least be somewhat closer to accurate, and somewhat farther from a lie? Also, a lot of people like you seem to dismiss people who actually care about the quality of the sound coming out of their XM/Sirius radios as marginal and somehow being jerks about all of this. Well, whatever you may think about their desire to have an actual quality signal, the fact is that advertising hype such as "CD Quality" exactly amou
    • The devil's in the details - it's craftily worded. "CD-quality programming" doesn't say anything about audio quality. Programming means what kinds of shows they put on the air, in what order, and by which DJs. It's an apples to oranges comparison. "CD-quality programming" is like saying "bowl-quality soup".
  • by edwardpickman (965122) on Monday October 16, 2006 @07:31AM (#16450975)
    I'll happily pay more if they have a service without Howard. I'm getting ready to pick up a system and Howard Stern being on Sirius was the deciding factor not to go with them. It's personal tastes but I graduated high school a lot of years ago and hearing him takes me back to high school in all the bad ways. I can listen to obnoxious jerks for free, why would I pay for the priveledge. Yes I know I don't have to listen but I don't care to patronize a service that promotes that kind of programming. I was thrilled when he left the airwaves why would I want to chase the guy to satelite? Too many people these days are thrilled to tell you what to think. I grew up back at a time when the general belief was we should think for ourselves. Now we are all but taught that's dangerous. I guess it's easier for a lot of people to let the government, religous leaders or Howard Stern tell them what to think. If I want an opinion I'd rather go to one of the great minds of our time and Howard just isn't one of them. I don't need him to tell me who's cool or "in". I really don't care. It's childish and pointless.
    • by El Torico (732160)
      Howard Stern was amusing when he was the only "Village Idiot" in the Media. Unfortunately, the Media now has a plethora of Village Idiots, so he is just another inane babbling voice. I agree that we should think for ourselves, but I don't agree that we are being told that thinking for ourselves is dangerous; rather I think that we are finding it increasingly difficult to find (relatively) unbiased information or have the time to listen to multiple biased sources and form our own synthesis of contradictory
    • by Lummoxx (736834) on Monday October 16, 2006 @08:17AM (#16451251) Homepage

      Yes I know I don't have to listen but I don't care to patronize a service that promotes that kind of programming. I was thrilled when he left the airwaves why would I want to chase the guy to satelite? Too many people these days are thrilled to tell you what to think.

      I was with you at first, but the quoted bit above is where you lost me. You don't like him, you don't want to listen, you were glad when he left regular radio...man, that's cool.

      The whole "they tell you what to think" rap...eh, not so much. I've listened to Howard for years, and point blank, it's entertainment. Nothing more, nothing less. Actually, Howard and the crew are really smart people. Sure, you tend to get a liberal slant on the occassions they delve into truly important topics, but at the same time, they tend to call things what they are.

    • by sootman (158191)
      Um... you know you don't *have* to listen to him if you buy the service, right?
  • Who? (Score:2, Insightful)

    I had no idea Howard Stern was still relevant.
  • by Hamster Lover (558288) * on Monday October 16, 2006 @07:39AM (#16451027) Journal
    I have Sirius in my car as well as a home kit for use with my home stereo. I travel fairly often all over Western Canada so having satellite radio is sort of a must as I don't like to take scads of CDs with me. Sirus fits the bill perfectly and I have access to programs that I wouldn't normally on terrestrial radio, like Fox and CNN radio as well as the World Radio Network.

    Now, satellite radio in the car is one thing, but PAYING for the same content strictly for use in the home makes no sense. If you have the Internet you already have access to free, high quality radio stations playing a wide variety of music, never mind that all the cable and satellite companies include commercial free music stations as part of their basic digital service.

    I understand the need for Sirius to broaden their income base as they have yet to make money, but even the most novice Internet user is aware of free alternatives that offer essentially the same or better content.

    • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

      by autophile (640621)
      Sirus fits the bill perfectly and I have access to programs that I wouldn't normally on terrestrial radio, like Fox and CNN radio...

      Thanks for turning me off to Sirius!

      --Rob

    • Some folks will pay for the convenience of it rather than hunting and pecking and surfing along the web finding or not finding the kind of music or talk they want to listen to. And if Sirius can sell that to John Q Public then good for them, everybody wins. Even the fanboys who say you can find music and talk on your own on the web can feel superior for their greater knowledge of surfing the web. Win Win.
  • Who cares? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 16, 2006 @07:43AM (#16451049)
    Maybe if I was still in my adolescence (or stuck in it) I'd really dig Howard Stern.
    • by King_TJ (85913)
      Yeah.... my sentiments too. Still, you can't really knock the guy for his success. The fact that you can mention his name in a place like this and everyone's familiar with him shows he's vastly more successful than most radio talk-show DJs.

      One thing I guess you can count on in America is plenty of immature guys!
  • I'll ignore that this story is spam, but I wonder why it took him so long to put a teaser on the net. I used to listen to him everyday, and Adam Corolla is no replacement. Now I don't, but $12.95/month might be reasonable when I strike it rich.
  • Advertisement (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Infernon (460398) * <[infernon] [at] [gmail.com]> on Monday October 16, 2006 @07:46AM (#16451075)
    How is this pertinent to the geek community at all? It looks like an advertisement to me...
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      Indeed! The slashdot coffers must be full of Karmazin payola! (I lost money on Sirius stock, who didn't? Makes me bitter.)
  • by Lordleppard (913427) on Monday October 16, 2006 @08:02AM (#16451161) Homepage
    People said the same thing about Cable TV. They'd never pay for something they could get for free... Guess what? Most of you nay sayers now pay for cable. In fact I'd wager ALL of you do.

    I never listened to Howard when he was on terrestrial radio but now I do on Sirius. He's funny and there are some interesting interviews. Not all the time mind you but a fair amount of time.

    To the prudes out there that can't stand to hear what he has to say, don't listen. Turn the dial.

    $13 bucks a month is worth having something to listen to on the way to work. There are more then just Howards 2 stations to listen to.

    • by danpsmith (922127)

      People said the same thing about Cable TV. They'd never pay for something they could get for free... Guess what? Most of you nay sayers now pay for cable. In fact I'd wager ALL of you do. I never listened to Howard when he was on terrestrial radio but now I do on Sirius. He's funny and there are some interesting interviews. Not all the time mind you but a fair amount of time.

      Yep, people said the same thing and so cable did the same thing: promised commercial free television except on networks already bro

    • by mac123 (25118)
      >>People said the same thing about Cable TV

      There's a significant difference. Cable TV is an active entertainment device. People sit and watch. They schedule their day around shows, they usually don't do anything while watching.

      Radio is used as a passive entertainment vehicle, usually listened to while doing other tasks. People rarely schedule their day around it.

      I wouldn't pay a monthly fee for radio any more than I would for my toaster or washing machine.
    • by hal2814 (725639)
      "In fact I'd wager ALL of you do."

      I'll take that wager. I don't pay for cable or satellite. I used to have a Dish but I got rid of it two years ago and aside from the occasional football game, haven't really missed it. I do assume that I am in a serious minority judging by the reaction I got when I told the Dish rep that I was dropping service and replacing it with nothing.

      I have caught myself watching more TV shows lately with iTunes, that AOL TV thing, and free streaming offered by some networks but it
    • People said the same thing about Cable TV. They'd never pay for something they could get for free... Guess what? Most of you nay sayers now pay for cable. In fact I'd wager ALL of you do.

      I don't. That's because finally we have a choice other than subscription for a larger variety of TV - download (legal or otherwise). Why would I pay any monthy fee, much less the $60+ cable companies want, to watch just a few shows?

      No, if consumers are offered a choice many people prefer to pay as they go - and the rise o
    • by anothy (83176)

      Most of you nay sayers now pay for cable. In fact I'd wager ALL of you do.

      sigh. why do you people do that? you have a reasonably sound argument: people will pay for more than they think they'll pay for, things become viewed as indispensable once they're familiar, and so on. but then you go and blow it by associating the argument with obviously false, trivially disprovable over-generalization. even though disproving the "ALL" doesn't impact the rest of your argument logically, it totally wrecks your credibil

  • XM has been offering this for years now for $7.95.
  • Stern == Boring (Score:2, Insightful)

    by JuT333 (828001)
    Bought Sirius for Stern and the music channels just to find out that Stern takes off every Friday and the regular music channels is flooded with DJ's who talk to just hear themselves talk. I fixed this problem by buying XMradio
  • I can ignore him there too!
    Seriously, he was broadcasting in Montreal for a while and he couldn't cut it there because no one found him interesting.
    There are plenty of places where his humour just doesn't cut it and he comes across as rather boring and unimaginative.
    I imagine alot of people also find him shocking, but I just find him lame.
  • Again, look at how many people are angry. If you don't want to listen, just dont! It's not like you HAVE to listen to satellite radio. I enjoy the program, so please dont go bitching to the FCC now just because you happened to: log on, click the link, and enjoy it until it got to something that offended you.

    Thanks,
    the 5+ million Sirius subscribers
    • I don't like Howard Stern, nor do I like to listen to or watch his programs. However, I realize the power of the dial or channel/changer is enough. I merely change the station, and don't go into a hissy fit because someone somewhere likes Howard Stern, and I don't try to get legislatures and government bodies to force my personal listening preferences on others.
  • by dpbsmith (263124) on Monday October 16, 2006 @08:40AM (#16451419) Homepage
    I listen to Howard Stern all the time, commuting on route 128. All I do is tune my FM radio to 87.9.

    Apparently many Sirius satellite radio receivers must be add-on units that work through FM modulators with the car's FM radio. And 87.9 is apparently the default FM conversion setting.

    Based on my unscientific poll, during drive time something like 2/3 of Boston-area Sirius subscribers are tuned to Stern.

    OK, to tell the truth, no, I don't get continuous, uninterrupted Stern that way, but, yes, I do keep one of my presets at 87.9 and I do check from time to time to see if anything is on there... and I get enough Stern to feel like I'm still "in touch" with him and his gang.

    So, the question I have is, which is it? are jackbooted Sirius thugs going to sue me for theft of services? Or are jackbooted FCC thugs going to toss the converter operators in jail for operating pirate radio stations?
  • Surprise (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Leave it to a bunch of douchebags to trash talk Howard Stern in a geek forum. No talent hack? glorified podcast? I suppose the industry just hands half a billion dollars over to people who fit that profile.

    More relevant to the topic, I hope they don't take away net access to the people who already have subscriptions, or make them pay extra for it.
  • I am trying the free trial and there is no Howard Stern.

    Their web app sucks. It is streaming at 32K, far from "CD quality" and has little to no content. If they are only letting me have it for two days, give me more than 5% of what you have to offer. Or at least let me choose what I want to check out.

    You don't have to install their plugin to use it. Firefox doesn't recognize their plugin anyway...

    After picking through their site, Stern is supposed to fall under the "entertainment" category. All that is
  • It appears that the offer is for US citizens only and with no apparent way of us outside the US getting access. Oh well back to bittorent
  • Free Stern? (Score:3, Funny)

    by catdevnull (531283) on Monday October 16, 2006 @09:52AM (#16451989)
    You mean I can get 4+ hours of infantile poopy jokes and lesbian fetish fantasies for free?

    I already get that with Slashdot and Fark!
  • by jpellino (202698)
    I can do this for no additional charge on my XM. And the XM radio cost $24 net last xmas.

    Howard stopped being funny when he stoped shocking New Yorkers in a novel way and just started amusing himself.

"And do you think (fop that I am) that I could be the Scarlet Pumpernickel?" -- Looney Tunes, The Scarlet Pumpernickel (1950, Chuck Jones)

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