I’ve been a huge fan of satellite radio since its birth, and now, the market is changing.  Sirius now has their Stiletto 100, its first live portable. I’ve tested it and the news is good!

In addition to live programming, Stiletto 100 stores and plays previously stored programming and more, all in a package that retails for $250 but you can find for about $50 less if you shop online.  Of course, most users will also opt for the $50 vehicle and/or home kit to allow easy use in these environments.

Features include:

  • Live portable reception of SIRIUS programming
  • Stores up to 100 hours of content (2GB)
  • Listen to SIRIUS Internet Radio over an accessible WiFi network
  • Download and manage MP3/WMA files with included My SIRIUS Studio™
  • Exclusive Aurora user interface provides easy access to your favorite SIRIUS content with a bright 2.2” full color display
  • Enhanced media dial with six-way navigation control that puts everything at your fingertips
  • SIRIUS Replay™ – Pause, rewind and replay 44 minutes of live radio
  • Listen to personalized sports programming with GameAlert™ & GameZone™
  • Parental Control and Channel Lock

 

So, indoors with a headset or connected to your audio system that has joined a Wi-Fi network, the Stiletto 100 can play the same limited content available to subscribers who listen through their computers.  This means you can take it to a free Wi-Fi hotspot and get service.

Outdoors, users can receive satellite signal with a clear shot skyward and get everything their subscription allows.

The user interface is clean and easy to navigate. It’s funny that everyone tries to do their own thing when it comes to design, so close to the way iPod navigates, but never on the nose.  The Stiletto is, however, easy to navigate and quite intuitive. No complaints here.

I like being able to log onto my home WiFi and listen to those stations available via the Internet to Sirius users.  I walked outside and switched it to satellite radio for the full complement of Sirius programming, all while portable.

The display is plenty bright and sharp.

I loaded the Windows software so I could transfer MP3s to my Stiletto. Works like a charm.  Of course, there is no easy Mac compatibility, a constant thorn in my side.  However, Mac users can connect via USB and drag and drop music. To me, it’s easy, but for those who have no clue, you’ll have to ask and learn.  Then, if will be easy. Just remember it will ONLY play MP3 and WMA music types.

Next, I set Stiletto in its home docking cradle (the one that is a $50 optional accessory) and ran the wire from it to the antenna I placed in the Window with a north east view and I started listening through a connected audio system with an AUX setting.  So far, so good. I decided to record programming for a little while.  Easy. It can record and store six-hour programming blocks so long as memory is not used up for a total of 100 hours!  Go ahead and have a look at all the features at http://buy.sirius.com/products/stiletto/ and you will see that you might need two of these – one for dad or grad and one for you!  At least you get a discount on the programming for additional units.

And please note that subscribers can purchase bookmarked songs with Yahoo! Music Jukebox(TM).

Monthly programming cost is only $12.95.  Sports fans have always loved Sirius – NFL, NBA, NHL, college sports, English soccer, horse racing and, of course, NASCAR, plus sports-related talk radio.

Sirius and this Stiletto 100 rock!

The product “kit” includes:

  • Radio
  • Earbuds
  • Antenna headphone for expanded live signal while outdoors and portable
  • Standard and slim batteries
  • PC cable (USB compatible)
  • AC adapter
  • My SIRIUS Studio™ software

 

This is going to be a very nice gift for dad or grad!

More information is at www.sirius.com or call 1-888-539-SIRIUS (7474).

Find it at Best Buy, Circuit City, Crutchfield, Costco, Target, Wal-Mart, Sam’s Club, Radio Shack and at www.shop.sirius.com.

I would be remiss if I did not address the proposed merger between Sirius and its competitor, XM Satellite Radio.  I see no need for concern, at least at any time in the useful life of this or other Sirius or XM receivers.  Here are some facts and my take on them.

Both systems are exclusive to their hardware.  This or any other XM or Sirius satellite radio receiver will continue to receive programming, even after a merger.  Each system cannot receive the other’s programming because they use different orbiting satellites.  Even though some programs are on both systems, the company will not be able to discontinue one and just leave it on the other system because users who have a receiver that works on just one system will lose out. Until there are plentiful numbers of consumers who purchase future dual system capable satellite radio receivers (none are available as yet), and those with current single-system receivers trade up, your current and future receiver will not become obsolete.

In other words, there is no reason to avoid purchasing any satellite radio receiver today.  It will not become obsolete for quite some time to come, if ever.  Eventually, the companies will, if the merger goes forward, likely join to make a common receiver type which will receive both systems’ programming. When enough of those new dual system receivers outweigh the existence of the old ones, the company can begin to consolidate programming seamlessly for the benefit of all subscribers.

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