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Howard Stern Coming To the Net 334

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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  • 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 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.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 16, 2006 @07:42AM (#16451045)
    Sirius needs to work on a pod-casting model with Howard Stern in the line up. Just about every podcast i've listened too is absolutely horrible. "Escape Pod" and "Ask a Ninja" set themselves apart from the likes of "TWiT", "Buzz Out Lood", etc ...

    I'd be more than willing to pay for quality shows put into a pod-casting format that I can use on my iPod. New, original, fiction that is produced with the quality of the old-time radio shows is what i'm really after, but talking heads that actually keep me entertained would be a nice switch as well.

  • Re:13 bucks a month? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by frazell ( 990151 ) on Monday October 16, 2006 @07:48AM (#16451089) Homepage
    I think they are launching this with Stern, because the intent is to draw in as many of his fans as possible. Not really the average listener. Else they would make the whole service available as a trial no?

    It would also seem logical to me that they could expand their web service by making it a cheap add on for their current subscribers. Otherwise, as you said, who is going to pay almost twice as much as XM or Yahoo!'s Launcast for the same type of service (although Yahoo!'s service offers personalization). Not to mention it would turn current subscribers off since they will be paying the same fee twice just to get the right to blast it on their computers.

    Mobile Device support would also be another area they could offer to really expand their coverage (if they aren't already offering this). As with more and more multimedia phones and higher speed wireless (cell-phone wireless) connections it can be seen as a way to offer their service without the hardware investment.

    If those two things are not really met I don't seeing the service going too far. I haven't looked at XM's offering in a long time, but when i trialled it about a year ago those were the reasons it wasn't useful to me.
  • 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.
  • 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.


    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.
  • 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?
  • by jamesoutlaw ( 87295 ) on Monday October 16, 2006 @09:23AM (#16451715) Homepage
    I agree. After thinking about it for several months, I picked up a Sirius receiver on sale at Target. I have not listened to terrestrial radio since that day. There were three stations that I used to listen to here in memphis and over the years, they all seemed to converge on the exact same playlist. I could switch from one station to the other and within 15 minutes hear the same song the previos station played. Also, I got really tired of listenting to the local DJs as well as the 15 minute commercial blocks every half hour (as it seemed).

    I chose Sirius over XM because Sirius has a better overall selection of programming. Also, I did not want to support XM's choice of political talk programming offerings. It seems now that Sirius is the better choice. Since Howard Stern started with them their list of subscribers had increased dramatically. Their growth rate was neary 2x XMs rate last quarter. I do like Howard Stern, and have for years, but he was not my primary reason for switching.

    Some people may think it's insane to "Pay" for radio, but I think it's insane to stick with terrestrial radio and having to listen to Kelly Clarkson every hour followed by that horrendous remake/cover/whatever of "Tainted Love" by whats-her-name. I'll gladly pay $13 a month for satellite radio, it's worth every penny. Just like pay television, satellite radio provides an alternative to people who do not want to put up with the limitations of "mass market" programming and the constant foolishness of the FCC.

  • by NEW22 ( 137070 ) on Monday October 16, 2006 @09:33AM (#16451807)
    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 amounts to deception to this segment of the market. It is easy to see that someone might expect better quality out of a new technology, and saying "CD Quality" adds to this faulty impression.

    I'm not some Monster Cable, tube amp, super tech-literate wacked out picky audiophile, but very often I can tell a 128kbps encoded mp3 vs a CD or something of higher quality. Move encoding up to 160 kbps I am not sure that I could tell one way or another. All I am doing is actively listening to the music, which I realize is different from people who have it on as background noise, or as part of a social activity, but I'd like to think that its not so rare to actually actively listen to music for people, at least now and then, with some group or song they care about. If I had a choice between audio services, given how I occasionally like to listen to music, I would choose one with higher quality. If a service claimed to be CD quality, and actually was, that would be all I could ask for. If a service claimed to be CD quality, and I believed them, then I might (justifiably I think) be a little upset that I was lied to and that I can notice a lesser quality.

    That all seems pretty simple to me.
  • by green menace ( 806773 ) on Monday October 16, 2006 @10:48AM (#16452645) Homepage
    How is Howard different from any political or social talkshow? Expressing your opinion is not the same as telling people what to think. You might as well crawl into a hole and don't forget your earplugs. I wouldn't want your beliefs polluted with someone elses opinion. And why are you on Slashdot?? Almost every post is someone trying to tell you what to think or believe, including this one as well as your own. It is called discussion.

    If you want to be mad at someone over people blindly listening to celebrities/religious leaders/politicians, blame the sheep that actually follow blindly without thinking.

    As for Howard, personal preference. I really like it, and not just for the naughty bits. I enjoy their conversations with each other. It is like listening to a dysfunctional, opinionated family who thinks they are the bee's knees. I have to laugh at how full of themselves they can be, but I enjoy the show. Either way, every service that provides entertainment is gonna have some crap that is childish, annoying and offensive - Sirius, XM, cable tv, you name it.
  • by Iphtashu Fitz ( 263795 ) on Monday October 16, 2006 @05:48PM (#16459613)
    Howard is WAY past his prime, anyway. He's an interesting guy, and is even capable of the occasional intelligent insight. But the daily grind of listening to him go on...and on...and on...and on...and on about strippers/lesbians/his dick/porn stars/etc. tends to get VERY old, very fast.

    Keep in mind that for the past 5 years or so on terrestrial radio he was really holding back because of more draconian FCC regulations as well as his own bosses being afraid of lawsuits, loss of their FCC licenses, etc. Since he's been freed on Sirius of all that he's back to his old self again.

    Another thing that many people don't seem to realize is that Stern also has the rights to all the tapes of all his old shows. That's 20+ years worth of some of the most entertaining radio content out there, and all uncensored. They've already started playing some of it, and apparently they may even set up an entire channel devoted to all this old material. If you liked him in the old days then you can listen to it all over again, and this time without the bleeps and the cuts from the dreaded "dump button".

Research is what I'm doing when I don't know what I'm doing. -- Wernher von Braun