Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Devices Converge

I just saw an interesting article about potential talks between Sirius satellite radio and Apple to create a device that combines the iPod and satellite radio.

I've had my Delphi MyFi XM radio for a couple of months now, and I've had an iPod for over a year. The iPod is great when I get an urge to hear an artist or song (in fact, I'm getting a Rush fix right now).

The XM radio is great when I want to hear radio not otherwise available on my dial. This includes national talk shows that are not on in KC or uninterrupted music channels. When baseball season starts, I'll be listening to XM quite a bit since MLB has an exclusive contract with XM.

But do I need both devices together? Good question. If I could get the full capabilities of both devices together, then yes. The MyFi is great when I'm outside or can have my antenna in a south-facing window. The MyFi also lets me record up to 5 hours of programming to listen to when I can't get a signal. If I could also have the option of listening to my 5,000 song music library in addition, that might be a winner for me.

When I'm working, I love to have something in my ears. Either music or some kind of talk radio works great to keep my mind functioning while I'm writing .NET code. Some days when I have my iPod handy, I'll get an itch to hear some XM content and the vice is also versa. To be able to do either with just one device would be very convenient.

But could anybody afford it? The MyFi runs $350 and the 20GB iPod (the one I have) runs $300. The 40GB iPod comes in at $400. Combine the two and you easily have a $500 device. Much too expensive for most consumers.

It will be interesting to see how these devices evolve over the next couple of years. I know I've got the first generation of portable satellite radio, so I'm confident that better, more capable, cheaper devices will come along.

Put a camera, a phone, an iPod and satellite radio into one small, light device, and I'll be really happy!

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