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Media (Apple) Media Wireless Networking Hardware

Sirius Confirms iPod Satellite Talks 381

An anonymous reader writes "Remember those iPod Satellite rumors last December? Mel Karmazin, the CEO of Sirius Satellite Radio, announced at the 2005 Media Summit that he had discussions with Steve Jobs about the possibility of putting Sirius' technology in future iPods. Steve's response? Not interested."
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Sirius Confirms iPod Satellite Talks

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  • iTunes Says Moo (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fembots ( 753724 ) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @10:42PM (#11637789) Homepage
    Songs in iPod will grow old and users will eventually buy new ones to replace the olds, and iTunes the cash cow is waiting.

    Being a satellite radio will allow users to use iPod without purchasing anything thing more from Apple.
    • Re:iTunes Says Moo (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Moofie ( 22272 )
      Being an MP3 player will also allow users to use iPod without purchasing anything more than Apple. What's your point?
    • Re:iTunes Says Moo (Score:5, Informative)

      by jm92956n ( 758515 ) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @10:55PM (#11637891) Journal
      Except iTunes isn't the cash cow: the iPod is. Apple has made no secret of the fact that their profit margin on each song sold is extremely low, and the primary objective of the iTunes music store is to sell more iPods, where quite a bit of profit is made off of each unit sold.

      For reference, check out this article: Apple profit surges on iPod sales []

      • Re:iTunes Says Moo (Score:3, Insightful)

        by nigham ( 792777 )
        I think Apple has a lot banking on the iTunes store as well. If not, why go to the trouble of opposing RealNetworks sales of music to iPod owners?
      • by Infonaut ( 96956 ) <> on Thursday February 10, 2005 @11:52PM (#11638252) Homepage Journal
        While it is true that the iPod is the cash cow at this stage of the game, I'm not sure that it will always remain so. I think a lot of people are stuck on the whole "Apple makes money on the blades, not the razor" notion we've all learned from Gillette.

        But there's no reason Apple couldn't make money off of both hardware and a music service. If I were Steve Jobs, I'd be downlplaying the long-term profitability of the iTMS every chance I could get, for the sole purpose of scaring competitors away. Look at Real, for example. With no hardware to sell, they're still trying to compete with the iTMS, and so far with limited success.

        If Apple can outlast competitors in the online music store arena, it could start making a healthy profit at it. From there, migration into an online video download service seems like a natural progression (when the labels and consumers are ready for it).

        Apple seems to be moving into the place Sony would like to be - the nexus of the consumer digital lifestyle. If that's the case, the old, "Repeat after me: Apple is a hardware company" mantra may not hold up for long.

      • Interesting.. so their business model is basically exactly the opposite of Microsoft with their X-Box.
        • Interesting.. so their business model is basically exactly the opposite of Microsoft with their X-Box.

          Entirely different markets. Console game makers have done this since the 80's. They get $50+ for games.

          For comparison, compare the IPod to all of the other portable music players that use either memory or hard drive. Before the IPod, they all relied Exclusivily on the hardware sales. Apple has the hardware Plus the song sales(however small their margin may be on those)

      • Re:iTunes Says Moo (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Assuming the technical problems of cramming a sat-radio into an ipod w/o destroying its appealing formfactor can be surmounted (big assumption) I think there's two things that would need to happen:

        1. The sat network (be it XM or Sirius) would have to consent to a profit-sharing scheme with Apple - Apple would want some of the recurring fees coming in from the programming

        2. A "buy this track" button -- I beleive the sat networks already stream per-song data (artist/name/etc) If they could also send an "iT
    • Re:iTunes Says Moo (Score:2, Informative)

      by Justin205 ( 662116 )
      And *everyone* puts ITMS music on their iPod...

      Seriously. I don't have a single track from ITMS (although I do have a $30 gift certificate waiting for there to be something I want in the ITMS...). I have mainly Bittorrented albums, along with a few ripped CDs.
  • by suso ( 153703 ) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @10:43PM (#11637795) Homepage Journal
    Steve Jobs, the Prince Charles of the tabloid computer industry.
  • by chris09876 ( 643289 ) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @10:44PM (#11637803)
    Adding satellite radio to iPods could create an awesome portable media player. I don't own an ipod, but adding this functionality might convince me to buy one. The capability to listen to satellite radio, and my own downloaded songs on a single device is a very attractive combination. I think jobs screwed up here... I think they'd sell tons of those units.
    • This would make them have to creat another line of satilite iPods, and while diversity can be good, too much can be a bad thing. I would count out a Sirius add-on though.
    • by Frogbert ( 589961 ) <{frogbert} {at} {}> on Thursday February 10, 2005 @11:10PM (#11637980)
      Wouldn't there be some sort of technical limitations on how small a sat radio could get? And what about power requirements. It seems to me that to recieve sat signals you would need a pretty good reciever and it would probably suck the battery life.

      Also sat radio is, as far as I know, only really popular in north America.

      Such a device would be useless abroad.
      • by bsharitt ( 580506 ) * < minus language> on Thursday February 10, 2005 @11:17PM (#11638030) Homepage Journal
        Also sat radio is, as far as I know, only really popular in north America.

        And not really that popular here.
      • Also sat radio is, as far as I know, only really popular in north America. Such a device would be useless abroad.

        What is this "abroad" you speak of?

        Seriously though, I uh.. can't speak at all to the technology. I can say that US radio is a broken mass media. I am a musician and a music fanatic and all I listen to is C-Span Radio. This is definitely a problem looking for a solution, and in North America, satellite radio is a very promising solution.

        An iPod by itself isn't enough to convince me to buy

      • Wouldn't there be some sort of technical limitations on how small a sat radio could get?

        The radio itself can be pretty tiny. The tough part is finding room for the dish.
    • No way would I buy an iPod, too expensive, too cute, too proprietary. There are plenty of good MP3 players out there, at least one of them will add a sirius radio. At this point I would much prefer an Mp3 player that is small, lightweight and takes a compactflash card to an ipod. I have a secure digital MP3 player, works great, plenty of room for music. Add the sirius capability into that and give it the ability to rebroadcast its signal on an FM radio band short distance so I can use it in the car. Or be
    • Perhaps there's a reason, then, that this story is hosted on "" :)
  • Huh? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by mrseigen ( 518390 ) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @10:45PM (#11637805) Homepage Journal
    I'm not up on the tech, but aren't satellite radios fairly big, and requiring a high-power aerial? We don't have them in Canada, but I saw a couple of XM units when I visited the States and they didn't look iPod-sized.
    • Re:Huh? (Score:4, Informative)

      by WhatAmIDoingHere ( 742870 ) * <> on Thursday February 10, 2005 @10:55PM (#11637889) Homepage
      Google [] it and you'll find this [].
      • Oh cool. Thanks, I guess XM must be doing "submarine advertising" of their products nowadays, because I totally missed that. They'd probably get a leg up on Sirius if they could bribe the CRTC to let it in.
    • Re:Huh? (Score:4, Informative)

      by MBCook ( 132727 ) <> on Thursday February 10, 2005 @11:18PM (#11638036) Homepage
      They radios can actually be made quite small. There is an XM handheld that is about the size of a tapeplayer or so. The antenna is integrated on that unit (I think) and the antenna for my father's car XM unit is only about 1" square (because of the high frequencies used, they are very small).

      That said, I think they would definatly have to increase the size of the iPod (maybe double as thick what the lowest capacity iPod is) to make it work. It wouldn't be a tiny addition (like an FM radio might be). See my other post in this topic for my other thoughts.

    • MyFi? [] I personally like the "More Buying Choices" bar to the right, what a deception.
  • by VermifugeRT ( 461717 ) * on Thursday February 10, 2005 @10:45PM (#11637806) Homepage
    I don't claim to be an expert on the subject, but I think he made the right choice.

    Satellite radio has limited appeal. I don't know many people that are excited about the idea of radio you have to pay for, commercials or not. Digital Radio (Digital FM & AM) will offer CD quality broadcasts in the near future effectively killing the satellite Radio market.

    I discovered MP3s nearly 10 years the time I spend listening to the radio has decreased. Even before that CD players often omitted a radio tuner further effecting how I listen to music. The iPod and other MP3 players have eliminated my need for radio.

    The impeding failure of satellite radio aside, I don't see how it would even fit into Apple's bigger plan for the iPod. The iPod allows us to create out own personalized 'radio station' without commercials.

    Now I'm just dependant on friends to introduce me to new music. I think they have better taste then the DJ's and what the big labels want to shove down my though any way.
    • Maybe the broadcast stations where you live aren't shit like they are here (DC). Satellite radio is only going to get bigger.

      I have two cars, and only one has a satellite radio tuner right now. Since I put that in several months ago, I haven't ONCE listened to FM or AM radio in that car. Sirius is just so much better. When I'm in the other car, I'm frustrated with all the commercials and inane DJ prattle (the DJs on Sirius talk, but nowhere near as much, and they don't have stupid call-in segments or a
    • by uberotto ( 714173 ) on Friday February 11, 2005 @12:02AM (#11638299)
      Satellite Radio is much like a TiVo. Those who don't have it, don't really miss it. Those that do, can't imagine life without it.

      A year ago, my wife bought me a TiVo for my birthday and I got her a Sirius Sattelite radio. It seemed like a good deal at the time, I rarely listened to the radio and she didn't watch much T.V. A year later, she spends all of her time watching TiVo and I spend all my time listening to sattelite radio.

      Since getting sattelite radio, I have pretty much stopped downloading mp3's (don't need them, too much good music on Sirius). A couple of months ago, I bought my first CD in THIRTEEN YEARS. I'm not joking, the last album I paid money for music before this past December was Tesla's Edison's Medicine in 1991.

      Sure, you can download several hundred songs for your iPod and create your own commercial free radio, but describing Sattelite Radio as commercial free is like describing Open Source software a software you don't have to pay for. Commercial free is just scratching the surface.

    • Satellite radio has limited appeal. I don't know many people that are excited about the idea of radio you have to pay for, commercials or not. Digital Radio (Digital FM & AM) will offer CD quality broadcasts in the near future effectively killing the satellite Radio market.

      Now I'm just dependant on friends to introduce me to new music. I think they have better taste then the DJ's and what the big labels want to shove down my though any way.

      The point of satellite radio is not it's quality. At leas
    • I don't know many people that are excited about the idea of radio you have to pay for, commercials or not.

      I remember when people said the exact same thing about a little something called "cable TV".

  • Why bother? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by sploo22 ( 748838 ) <[moc.liamg] [ta] [relhawd]> on Thursday February 10, 2005 @10:45PM (#11637808)
    Why should I bother with satellite radio anyway? I can just subscribe to a few podcasts, maybe download a few extra tracks from the artists' sites once in a while and I have plenty of music to keep me busy, given how much I use my iPod. Plus I get that warm fuzzy feeling of being RIAA-free.
    • Re:Why bother? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by agentkhaki ( 92172 )
      You probably shouldn't. Nor should anyone else with a nice, fast internet connection. Between the iTunes/Napster/Walmart music stores, and the absolutely wonderful Internet Archive [], you should be all set.

      Now, for those of us who don't have high-speed internet access (due to availability reasons, at least on my part), having what really amounts to an unlimited amount of music/talk/sports/etc. available at the touch of a button is well worth the $10 or less per month XM costs me.
  • They probably don't want to make a whole new line of satilite iPods, thus diluting the product lines.
  • by Dancin_Santa ( 265275 ) <> on Thursday February 10, 2005 @10:45PM (#11637811) Journal
    If you consider that any song that is ripped from original media instead of being downloaded from the iTunes store is a potential loss of revenue for Apple, then you can see how Steve would be against the idea.

    With Apple at the forefront of online music stores, it makes sense that we support them by buying our portable music at iTunes rather than listening to radio (whether free or otherwise). Not only can we, the listeners, decide what we want to hear at any given time, it benefits Apple in a way that mere words cannot.

    Steve Jobs has again seen the correct path. While it may hurt Sirius XM in the short term, in the long term I think it will be a boon to everyone to have a strong Apple Computer company.
    • Well, not sure I'd go quite as far as to say I'd be promoting downloading everything possible off iTunes to "build a stronger Apple computer, for everyone's long term benefit" -- but I do think an iPod might reach the "saturation point" of too much ongoing expense to use it if monthly satellite radio subscription fees are added on top of everything else.

      Satellite radio just doesn't appeal much to me at all, because I feel like it's really just a response to people's disgust with regular FM radio. Ever sin
    • I think you've gone beyond Apple Zealot to become a MaCommunist. Look at the ideological tone of your statements!

      Steve Jobs has again seen the correct path

      in the long term I think it will be a boon to everyone to have a strong Apple Computer company

      it makes sense that we support them by buying our portable music at iTunes rather than listening to radio. . . it benefits Apple in a way that mere words cannot

      I hang my head in abject shame. I thought I was a great zealot, but you are orders of magni
  • by weighn ( 578357 )
    they're NOT doing anything. Why is that newsworthy?

    M$ buys an anti-virus firm and decides NOT to integrate AV technology into Longhorn.

    Now that would be news.

  • Sirius sucks (Score:2, Interesting)

    by supabeast! ( 84658 )
    Somehow I get the feeling that Steve would have been more positive about this if XM had been knocking on his door and not Sirius. The biggest problem with Sirius is that is has a terrible signal -- on my last two vacations we rented cars with Sirius systems, and were regularly frustrated by not getting a signal when driving in forests, under light cloud cover, fog around the San Francisco bay, or clear skys in Napa Valley. XM radio on the other hand, has an excellent signal - I have used it inside of brick
    • Speak for yourself. Here in Wisconsin XM radio (my dad has it in his car) dies anytime there is any sort of obstruction above, and even sometimes on the sides of the car. I have no experience so I can't say anything about Sirius.
      • Signal angle. Driving back through North Dakota on I-94 (WA to VA), I'd lose XM reception when I'd pass a truck. :-)

        When you're not so far north, it's not bad at all.
    • Re:Sirius sucks (Score:3, Informative)

      by LostCluster ( 625375 ) *
      I don't think so. In fact, I know it's not so.

      XM's Hugh Panero has already spoken to Steve Jobs [] and nothing has come from that either.

      The satellite providers would love to get involved with the iPod, but why would Apple want to break its strangle-hold on locking out any competitors to the iTunes Music Store?
  • Uh oh. (Score:2, Funny)

    by JessLeah ( 625838 )
    Is Steve gonna sue Sirius now? ;) (Hint: What happened to the last person who revealed Apple's short-term plans? OK, so this is more of a lack of one specific plan, but...)
  • One Word (Score:2, Funny)

    by Pwned ( 799180 )
  • Steve is not that serious about sirius.
  • by garagekubrick ( 121058 ) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @11:03PM (#11637939) Homepage
    Make my iPod like TiVo... There's a radio show I like in L.A. called Morning Comes Eclectic on KCRW. I'd pay a small fee to every morning sync my iPod on the way out the door to download the entire program from the morning and have it last for say, five days before expiring. People can get commercial free the radio programs they want directly in the genre they wish without fiddling.

    Apple would do well to look at PodCasting and figure out how to bring large name radio broadcasts such as this (or say NPR's This American Life) to the iPod.

  • by kilonad ( 157396 ) * on Thursday February 10, 2005 @11:05PM (#11637951)
    As a Sirius subscriber, what I REALLY want is a Sirius unit for my car that also plays MP3s. Think satellite radio unit with built-in iPod, not the other way around. That way, when there's nothing good on (which happens from time to time) or I want to listen to something specific, I could have thousands (or at least hundreds) of MP3s at my disposal. Of course, I'd also like a receiver that's much closer in size to the iPod, and isn't hot enough to fry an egg. Sirius, are you listening?
    • hmmmm.

      Mine isn't a specific solution, but here goes.

      I recently bought a mid-line Clarion mp3-cd player. If you buy a sirius unit to attach to it, it hooks right into the stereo via a unique cable (+ rca's?) so that you can use the Clarion head unit to view and control the satellite receiver.

      Not the most simple solution, but definitely a decent one that doesn't require something hanging off of your dash to use the satellite radio.
    • Umm, I have a Blaupunkt SR04 America connected to the Aux-In on my empeg^WRio car.

      The only real issue with this is that I have two displays instead of one. Has anyone reverse engineered the interface on one of the trunk-mount Sirius tuners? (The ones that interface with otherwise normal head units?)

  • MyFi complaints (Score:5, Informative)

    by UserChrisCanter4 ( 464072 ) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @11:06PM (#11637959)
    Perhaps Steve's just seen what some people ran into with the MyFi.

    Right before I graduated from college, I was working at a large consumer electronics store to pay the bills. As frequently happened, we were given the opportunity to purchase XM equipment directly from a manufacturer at ludicrously low prices. This sort of thing is common in certain sections of electronics retailers; car audio and home audio traditionally have a huge markup, and manufacturers offer direct purchase plans that end up being better than the normal employee discount, all in the hope that an employee will fall in love with the product and recommend it to customers.

    This time, we were offered the XM MyFi for 6 months of service. That was it. We paid shipping on the player and prepaid six months of service. That meant $60 for a player that was retailing in the mid to high- $300s. Several guys jumped on it.


    These things were wretched. I'm not sure if we got a crappy batch (although some personal online reviews at the time were similar to our experiences), but these things couldn't hold onto a signal if the fate of the earth depended on it.

    One guy actually walked outside with his MyFi while it was hooked to a small set of portable speakers for purpose of demonstrating the new utter crappiness to the rest of us. He held it out from his body. The unit played fine. He held a small stack of about 15 papers above it. The signal died completely.

    Most of us simply sold them on eBay. The profit was reasonable, but given the amount of problems, I was just glad I never purchased one.

    Indirectly, it confirms what I'd already seen with my father's car satellite radio system. Terrestrial rebroadcast is great in some areas. In others, pulling into a gas station cuts out audio entirely.

    iPods work damned well. The iTunes sync system is great, the interface is nearly as simple as it gets, and unless you have a peculiar niche desire for your player, it does everything most people want. Now imagine the same player randomly cutting out when you walk under trees by the sidewalk, or when you walk into the gym because rebroadcast isn't reaching the area you're in, or when you stick it in your pocket (if it behaves like some of our MyFi's). If and when Sirius or XM can demonstrate a 99% effective coverage system for a player that can't guarantee free view of the sky, then we'll talk.

    Until then, Steve, don't pollute an otherwise great player.
    • the pollution has already started

      the iPod mini is priced too close to the next level up (249 vs 299) but with specs much closer to the next level down (1GB flash vs. 4GB hdd).

      spending $50 extra bucks (299 vs. 349) just to get a black case/red wheel U2 edition

      or spending upwards to 599 for a top model ipod photo

      when flash becomes cheaper, a 2GB shuffle at $199 will seriously erode into mini's market share.

      what apple needs to do to de-pollute :

      clarify it's future strategic positioning of how the mini wi
      • Re:MyFi complaints (Score:5, Interesting)

        by UserChrisCanter4 ( 464072 ) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @11:27PM (#11638094)
        Eh, I wasn't hinting at pollution here. I think a satellite-enhanced iPod would be great, provided it worked. Thing is, that's a big "if."

        I disagree with your statements, though.

        The Mini was the fastest-selling product in Apple's history. While you (and I) may disagree with the price/capacity point, it's obvious that a lot of consumers did not. I learned long ago that in most cases, Apple knows what people want far better than I.

        The U2 edition is a limited edition. The $50 does get you a different case, but it also gets you a credit toward the U2 uber-Box set on iTunes. I've never even seen one in a store (although I guess Apple stores probably have one). It seems more like the kind of thing that a U2 fan would actively seek out. It's there, it's $50 more, you're welcome to buy it if you want.

        The iPod photo is an asinine product, IMHO, but see above. Apple usually knows people better than I do. I could see buying the $599 model to get the 60GB drive, though.

        Apple probably won't do a $199 shuffle. What they will do is the same thing they've been doing with the iPod since day one: Same price, bigger capacity. The $99 price point would get you 1GB, the $149, 2GB. Oh, yeah, and the iPod mini would probably bump to 6 or 8GB as hard drive capacity marches right along. We won't even get into the fact that the mini has many things consumers want (screen, colors, etc.) Again, see above: Apple knows what people want better than I do.
    • Antenna problems.

      The antenna for a car XM unit is about 1" square, but that is because it sticks to a large metal car body that acts as a ground plane. The home antennas for XM units are squares that are 2" to 3" per side. They get pretty good signals too.

      I never understood how they could put a decent antenna inside that little unit. Sounds like I was right. The problem would only be worse if the unit was smaller (like an iPod). It's easy to pick up that 100,000 watt FM station that's 20 miles away with

      • The MyFi fiasco occurred in San Marcos, TX. It's about 25 miles south of Austin and about 35 miles north of San Antonio. With the exception of college radio, all FM stations are picked up from one of those two cities, so we are talking a bit of a distance.

        My dad's car system, that cuts out at gas stations, is in Houston, TX. As in the 4th largest city in the US. As in a city with almost no hills to speak of. And these cuts aren't just in downtown, where skyscrapers can be blamed for problems. They're
        • Hmm. Odd that there are cutouts then. My only guess would be that older units are just better at recieving the signal when it's weaker, is your unit that old?

          As for the Alpine unit, that's true. But to get that you have to have a $600+ Alpine head unit or so, don't you? Then you add the $100 interface and the $200 iPod and you're up near $1000. If Apple could do it for $500 that would be great. And just having it all in one package from start (instead of having to get all that stuff and assemble it yoursel

          • His receiver is a 1 year-old Pioneer unit. Not terribly old, but good quality.

            Alpine's compatible head units run anywhere from $220 to over $1,000. Assuming you're not itching to hook up screens, five amps, and a kitchen sink, you can go with the CDA-9827, which runs just over $200. Add the $100 interface, an ~$200 sat system (including install here), and an iPod. Of course, the iPod is multi-purpose here; grab and go if you want to take it to the gym or whatever.

            You're right, I don't anticipate Apple
  • by ky11x ( 668132 ) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @11:08PM (#11637969)

    There is a very simple explanation for this. Satellite radio is not yes sufficiently fault-free to be put into a mass market portable device yet. This article [] from the NY Times looks at one of the first such portable devices and explains why it doesn't work. The radios require line-of-sight to the satellite (so you can forget about all the subway commuters, the primary city iPod audience), and need a good antenna to get a really clear signal. There's also too much "geek factor" involved in all the various attachments necessary to get it to work properly in different conditions (a separate antenna for each type of listening location).

    Apple is not interested in the iPod becoming (just) a geek toy. Most users, I suspect, would want satellite radio to work normally if they are underground, lying around in their apartment, or walking through the streets -- just like their iPods do now. Until Apple can figure out a way to get the technology to work as simply as most people expect, they'd rather not add it to a mass-product device.

    I suspect Apple will eventually be the first company to offer a really usable satellite radio device though. Jobs likes to say no until the technology is ready.

  • They oughta really integrate this thing... "buy this song", or at least "add a stub of this song to my playlist so I can easily find it once I'm connected to the Internet through iTunes". You can't beat the listening to good, commercial-free radio with the option to easily buy songs you like.

  • by iluvcapra ( 782887 ) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @11:11PM (#11637986)

    This is just a conjecture on my part, but it seems that one of Jobs' insights, or pecadilloes, or whatevers about selling is that he thinks people hate supscriptions. He could have made iTMS a subscription service, but didn't, and he prospered. He shows little interest in Sirius because you only really rent Sirius or XM, and perhaps he takes a given that this makes people think twice before buying -- subscriptions are the anathema of gee-whiz, they reek of responsibility and if you are being sold a subscription, you're going to put a lot more thought into it before you do it. It also perhaps worth remarking, if only in passing, that the most successful internet/IT ventures of the last decade have been either free to the consumer (Yahoo, Google) or paid on instance of use (eBay, Amazon).

    Contrast this with everyone's M$ conspiracy theory, where .NET is a big trap to suck everyone into paying monthly to use Word. I don't think this would work; imagine all those home users seeing "MICROSOFT.COM THANKS YOU-0231" on their Amex statement every month, and then wondering if there was another way. Even if monthly subscriptions are cheaper than buying a new package every 5 years, the psychological impact of paying monthly for something that only seems to get more features every year or two would insurmountable (and, after all, how many features could they possibly add to Word to justify the constant payment, the days the net is slow, etc.)

    So, I guess I agree with Jobs on this, and I have doubts about subscriptions for pure information services.

    Although, I do have .mac.... Hmm. I'm a hippocrite.

  • Not Suprised (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MBCook ( 132727 ) <> on Thursday February 10, 2005 @11:14PM (#11638010) Homepage
    I'm not suprised at all. Let's look at the reasons why:
    • Size - The iPod is small. While the Delphi portable XM radio is not big, it's much bigger than an iPod. So you'd have to make the iPod bigger (or at least much thicker) do it it.
    • Demand - People are having hard times finding iPod Shuffles because they are very hard to keep in stock. The "old" iPods are still selling like hotcakes too. Apple doesn't need the help/feature to sell iPods, they are doing fine now.
    • Demand 2 - How many people are actually demanding one of these things? First to use it (or at least the main feature that differentiantes it from a normal iPod) you have to pay a monthly fee. And to record the Sirrius content (assuming they allow that which would be a major reason to get one) you'd either have to keep it running (battery would die fast) or keep it plugged into the wall (so it could only record things when sitting in it's cradle at night for example). You want it to record a program that comes on at 2:00 PM? Better find a cradle you can stick it in (that has an antenna setup) so it can record it.
    • Battery - As already mentioned, having that radio in there would use battery. And to have it record live radio so you can pause it (like the Delphi unit does) you have to run the audio electionics, the satellite radio electronics, and the hard drive. That has GOT to be a battery drain.
    • Complexity - Not only is that a lot of stuff to put into a small box, but the interface would probably suffer too. Navigating radio stations wouldn't be too hard, but how do you make it so you can easily schedule recordings and such? I think it would be hard to make that as clean as the rest of the iPod UI while making it integrate well.
    • Why Sirrius? - If the satellite iPod is such a hot product (I admit it sounds intereting), why should they use Sirrius? Isn't XM doing better? And either way, I'm sure XM would KILL to get that deal too, so why not play them both off of eachother for a while to get better terms? You don't have to accept the first formal offer. Heck, Apple probably has enough clout that they could make BOTH a Sirrius iPod and an XM iPod (none of those "you can't work with out compeditor" contracts) because the idea is supposedly so lucrative.
    • Sirrius and XM to merge - As long as you are talking about rumors, there was that rumor that the two would merge and then where would Apple be? They might want to hold off because of that speculation.
    • New Products - Last is the iPod line. We got the Mini a year ago, 4th gens not too long ago, with the iPod Photo about the same time. We got the iPod Shuffle last month. I'd think they'd want to wait a year before introducing anything more than an evolution (like 2nd gen to 3rd gen).

    I'm not saying it's not a good idea, but I think it is definatly too early. It will be a while before we see such a thing. I don't see how it could happen right now. Just doesn't seem to make sense.

  • Since your called Jobs a "realist," I must call you a "sensationalist." I don't think your going to get Apple whipped into a frenzy with this one, but you tried. This story is bait.
  • Jobs = Smart Man (Score:3, Interesting)

    by buddha42 ( 539539 ) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @11:17PM (#11638031)
    1.) adding a radio (fm or xm) gives a user a reason to not buy more through itunes. I can't remember the last time I loaded new mp3s onto my iRiver, to me its portable NPR + harddrive.

    2.) the size of the unit would be really big to accomidate the extra electronics and most importantly the much larger battery.

    I'm sure Jobs knows, like we all do, that eventually the ipod will have to go there. But for now he can reap the design benefits of the smaller battery and the revenue stream of itunes for a year or two until miniturization runs its course.

  • It has some potential, yes, but in order for it to become the real cash cow, they need to sell billions of songs every year. Consider this. They've sold something like 250M songs since opening iTunes. This is just $250M in revenue, out of which a half (at least) goes to the record company and the artists. $175M is not that much. I'd think that R&D and operations of iTunes are at least $30-40M a year. That's another $60M to cut out of this pie (2 years). What's left? $115M, a measly $57M per year of prof
  • iBrick (Score:2, Insightful)

    by mboverload ( 657893 )
    I don't want an iBrick; I just want a freaking MP3 player. Jesus, will companies get over this "everything in one" idea? If I want a satellite radio, I will buy one.
  • by StikyPad ( 445176 ) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @11:48PM (#11638235) Homepage
    Steve isn't stupid. He knows something the rest of us don't. For example, he may be angling for a better deal from Sirius or XM. Or he may just be a realist who gets that the iPod would have to become the iBrick to accommodate the battery life needed to mix in radio.

    This is why people who don't understand technology shouldn't speculate about it. Increased battery drain from an XM/Sirius tuner? A tuner would be 100% solid state, as opposed to the hard drive that currently has to be spun up to read MP3s. And what, exactly, would they need to add?

    LO - Check
    DSP - Check
    Audio Amplifier - Check
    User Interface - Check

    Most of the main parts of a receiver are already existant in the current iPod. All they really need to add is a low noise RF amp, program the digital decoding method, and slap an antenna on that sucker. It takes a minimal amount of power to drive most of the circuitry -- the biggest power drain is the audio amp. If anything, the satellite radio enabled iPod would get better battery life when used as a reciever.
    • Um, no. Sat radio runs at microwave frequencies (2,332.50 through 2,345.00 MHz), from 22,300 miles away. This is a very, very weak signal that needs a lot of amplification. Add to that a QPSK(?) demodulator, decoder, etc, and you have a lot of power consumption.

    • Have you ever had a close look at one of the satellite units? I have. First, they have rather beefy power adaptors, and second, they get really warm under use. Granted, part of the reason is for the backlight, etc, but the main reason is that they have a fairly powerful chip in there to decode the signal, and this chip sucks up a bit of power. I'm pretty sure that the portable satellite unit others have linked to that supposedly gets a mere 5 hours of battery life probably has a considerably larger batt
  • Apple finally realizes the advantages of nurturing opportunities for third-parties. It wasn't always that way.

    Now, Apple creates the basic technology and lets third-party accessorizors create marketing oppportunities. This keeps Apple free to determine the destiny of its own products.

    Partnering with anyone on basic design aspects of the iPod means that Apple throws away the leverage it has worked so hard to build. There is plenty of opportunities for third-party providers with iPod just as it is.
  • With 40GB of storage, there is not much incentive to shell out for music you can not keep. And there are plenty of solutions to record both regular and web radio, including mine []. Maybe Napster will still fall for this kind of thing judging by their superbowl ads
  • by ikekrull ( 59661 ) on Friday February 11, 2005 @12:06AM (#11638314) Homepage
    i'd buy a $10 radio, not drop hundreds on an iPod.

    I certainly wouldn't spend hundreds on a radio, so i could listen to someone elses playlist on someone elses timetable.

    I mean really, a large collection of MP3 music and other audio content (with new content discoverable and downloadable via P2P, Mp3 streaming stations, podcast feeds etc.) has completely removed any reason i might have to listen to the radio.

    If Sirius or XM makes up the bulk of the content you listen to, you don't need an iPod - just a compact Sirius/XM receiver - i'm sure its illegal to actually record Sirius/XM content, so theres a very limited amount of value a hard-drive based receiver brings to the table.

    Why don't they just make an addon like the iTrip?

    I mean - if the capability to play Sirius/XM on the iPod is a feature lots of people are wanting, it should sell like hotcakes, right?

  • Jobs reportedly told Karmazin he might change his tune if more interesting content were made available on satellite radio.

    Sounds to me more like a not now than a no. So I have trouble seeing this as entirely unreasonable on Mr. Jobs' part. I'd say maybe it's too bad but, hey, I don't own an iPod so what do I care. :)
  • Bad, bad move... (Score:2, Interesting)

    I was confronted with this EXACT same situation in my head this Christmas. My folks went out on a limb and, between the iPod and the MyFi, got me the MyFi. Oh, god, how I wish I could download songs onto it... I wished for an iPod after seeing the sparse techno music collection on the XM techno stations (massive amounts of repeated songs), and the mesh of the two would have sold me like no other. Heck, that'd be #1 on my wish list hands down, before car repairs or anything. Why? Because my MyFi has in
  • by aristotle-dude ( 626586 ) on Friday February 11, 2005 @01:08AM (#11638754)
    Why? Because the iPod is an internationally available product. What good with this "feature" do for the rest of us outside of the USA?

    Why don't you stop thinking locally and think globally? The reason why Apple is doing so well is precisely because they are thinking globally. Consider that there is no "Japanese" version or "Chinese" version of OS X but rather OS X supports strong localization support.

    Even if I was living in the US, why would I care about satellite radio when I don't even listen to regular radio?

    Leave it to companies like MSFT and their partners to create different products for different markets.

"We don't care. We don't have to. We're the Phone Company."