Categories
Music Satellite

Sirius Purge

I have had enough of Sirius XM, and I started the purge today, by shutting off the first of my radios, and will continue to drop the other 3 as they approach renewal, with the last being the one in my truck which expires 2/1/2011.

I am thoroughly convinced these guys running Sirius have no clue on what is going around them. I don’t think they understand how much they industry has changed in the past few years, or how much it will change in the coming years. They need to get away for the hardware, something they do badly, and concentrate on the content. All the cross promotion needs to go away, I could care less what’s on the elvis channel, and I could care even less about what Richard Blade did last night or what pathetic mundane problem is ruining Madison’s life today, shut up and play music.

I bought Sirius for one thing and one thing only, Howard Stern… I was perfectly happy with what XM was playing in my  truck on the way to and from work, and when I got to work I wanted to listen to Howard, but even Howard is starting to bore me, it almost seems formulaic, all the spontaneity seems going,  and I am even more pissed when it appears that Howard killed  the availability of 100 and 101 from the iPhone app, he claims to be a company guy, yeah right… I feel that Howard will continue broadcasting, but not on Sirius, but some other method of delivery, and thats where I’ll probably end up…

The other thing is where are all the cost savings, the converged content, the improved capabilities that were promised from the merger, look at all the new hardware, it all appears to be XM branded, only working on XM, and you have to add the Best of sirius…

Going forward I am going to start taking the money I would have spent on Sirius, and continue to grow my iTunes Library, so that in a year I’ll have what I want to listen to when I want to listen to it without being annoyed by silly top 40 radio tactics…

Categories
Music Satellite

Satellite Radio On My Bike

I have been thinking about riding my bike to work, more to get in shape then gas prices, I use 1 gallon of gas to get to and from work, and my commute driving is ~10 minutes each way, riding my bike would make it about 35 minutes each way, and since I make more then $4 an hour, pure economics says it is not cost effective to commute by bike for me to save money. 

My big concern is what do I do without my Satellite radio, when I ride… I have thought about the stiletto, but to much money, to little bang, and to exploit it you have to have a PC, and I am 95% Macintosh at home, so that is a deal killer (Why does Sirius hate Macs so much). I have a broadband card for my MacBook Pro and I have used it as a player on the road using a player as I talked about here in the past. Maybe that and some wireless bluetooth headphones. Another option is that since I am about ready to beat my blackberry with a hammer, is to bite the bullet and bailout on Verizon and Blackberry, and jump to one of the new 3G iPhones. Since it appears that there will be several options for players on the iPhone including StarPlayr. I guess I’ll have to see how well the new iPhone integrates with Exchange (Weird reasons for that, I’ll explain later), and the enterprise.

I guess the other options are to break out the iPod and run on a 1 day delay, or drag my butt out of bed and get in before 6…

Categories
apple Music

Starplayr 2.0.8

A couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to download Starplayr2, even though it was an alpha version it was rock solid, some minor issues that were addressed quickly by the author Goodtime.

It was my schedule over the past week that kept me out of the loop this past week, and apparently a lot of activity on the starplayr front. I was running 2.0.2 while I was on a business trip to Philadelphia, and due to crappy connectivity at the hotel, I was using a wireless broadband which was also kind of sketchy, so I had some experience with low bandwidth situations, that I normally don’t experience.

There was some funkyness, that may have been addressed in the 6 subsequent updates to Starplayr2 that I missed through the week. The most annoying one was upon the wireless broadband reestablishing a dropped connection, Starplayr would restart the stream from a point several minutes to the connection being lost. The wrap-around thing with the buffer that I wrote about earlier is still there, but I understand that processing a live stream, is a bit of a challenge, and the fast forward seek 3 minutes is a great way to get back to the live part of the stream, and that only seems to happen if you double click on of the fast forward buttons. Maybe a beginning of buffer end of buffer thing, like command click the 3 Min forward/reverse button, just s suggestion…

Liking the smaller screen footprint, not liking the 20 presets I use 8, and I don’t know many people that use more then that actually most use less, a setting in preferences might be a good idea, to reclaim even more screen real estate. I am running 4 Macs currently, all with different screen sizes, from an black MacBook to a 30″ cinema display, and on all of them I covet my screen real estate.

Ok a suggestion, the windows zoom could be zoomier…
All of the buttons below the volume/pause bar should go away when using the small window


What it looks like now…


To something like this


Maybe even…

Dang, I am whining an awful lot about what is essentially a totally awesome FREE program, that completely blows away any of the alternatives, including the windows player. I have a windows machine on my desk at work, that I use very rarely under duress with a gun to my head. I was going to put it to good use as a Sirius Player, but it was a nightmare dealing with it, so it sits there usually doing something stupid.

I have not had a chance to mess with the StarCast features much in 2.x yet, but I am in town most of the week, I think, so I’ll try replacing the scripts that I have running StarPlayr 1 this week, and see how it goes.

Now I’m feeling all guilty, and stuff, don’t hate me GoodTime, I really do love StarPlayr. I guess I should kick down another $20…

Categories
apple Music

StarPlayr2 (Mindy Returns)

I have been busy, the past couple weeks, and kind of missed the initial news on StarPlayr2, but busy is a good problem to have.

I did eek out the time to download and install Starplayr2 Alpha 4, and the only thing I can say is that if you liked Starplayr1, you will love StarPlayr2…

I fully understand that it is still in Alpha, and all that Alpha implies, and I have read Goodtime’s to do list, but here goes…

The problems that I have have, are not that bad, and probably more of an annoyance, then a problem except for one.

  • Locks up in the presence of other audio programs, including StarPlayr1, this one I have confirmed, because I still have my StarCast scripts running on StarPlayr1, and when it kicks in and Starplayr2 is running it is all stop for both, I have resolved that issue, and put an old MacMini into service to as a StarCast Machine (I had planned to do that for a while). I have not been able to replicate or prove that same issue with Sound Studio, nor am I able to point the problem specifically to Sound Studio or StarPlayr, as I have had different things going on when I had the crash.
  • Instant Replay, goes to the beginning of the stream, when fast forwarding, I have not totally isolated what the case is when this happens, but it seems after I pause a bit, you know when work gets in the way of Howard, I attempt to seek forward through the commercials, and all of a sudden I am at the beginning of the buffer. I am pretty sure it only happens once per run, and I think it only happen the first time I try to seek forward, but not the first time I click the seek button, it almost seems like if I seek past the end of the buffer, it will wrap around to the beginning.
  • The other issue that I have observed, is another Instant Replay issue, and I have only noticed it after I have paused, it seems that the buffer slowly builds up, to a point where the StarPlayr stream is several minutes behind the stream on a physical radio. I noticed the other day, when I had paused StarPlayr for a couple of seconds, and resumed, a little later I left the house, and I walked by my radio which was on the same station, and the song was in pretty much the same place, and I got in my truck, same station, same song. I returned a few hours later (4+), and the truck and the radio were on the same song, but the stream on StarPlayr was a little over a full song behind. I am going to try some stuff to verify this further…
  • Seek and Super Seek, Seek I think should be an 8 10 or 15 second thing (Maybe user defined), and Super Seek should be to the next/previous song, and if a slider is included in a later version, there should be a marker on the slider where each break is.
  • Buttons on the bottom, I think they should be on the options screen, at a minimum the bitrate, presets and tracker buttons on the lower left side.
  • Madison, there has got to be a way to detect when this annoying woman is speaking, and insert white noise or something. I know it is not a StarPlayr problem, but I can dream… 🙂

I guess I’m being a bit of a whiner, but if you don’t whine in Alpha, you won’t see it in Beta, and if none of these were to change I’d still love it, except for the Madison part, she needs to be a causality of the merge…

I love the lyrics page, even though they are not alway there, not a StarPlayr issue, but it is cool. The other nice thing is the “Remove StarMP3” capability (Currently having issues), but I would like to recommend a minor mod here, maybe a delete after X days, I have had the issue, where iTunes has had an pending update, and was in the agree to license terms screen, and the MP3 was not copied over, could have been a bigger issue if I had the Remove StarMP3 option on.

So far so good, a mostly solid application, and actually even though it is currently Alpha, I have seen production applications less stable of other (Windows) applications less stable then this release.

Categories
Music

Sirius Players for Mac…

Been messing around with both STARPLAYR, and SIRIUSMAC for a while now…

The basic issue is that I am in an office that faces East South East, about the worst place to be to pick up any satellite broadcast set for the continental United States. I think if I wanted to work for it and go back to XM (Not going to happen) I could probably get a marginal signal. My old office pretty much faced West, no problem for either XM or Sirius receiver, I know I had both while there. The solution to the dilemma was an online player, and being an Mac guy meant doing some funky tricks to make it work, or go virtual win and use a native player there.

My initial salvation was SiriusMac, Great player made to look like the stiletto, but the issue I had/have with it is the lack of feedback when a button is pressed, and with the latency to get the stream going, it was kind of a pain in the butt. Continued freakyness left me not real happy…

One day while looking for something completely unrelated on apple’s download site, I came across StarPlayr, while the interface is not quite as polished, it has three nice big buttons, Play, Stop and Record… and when you press them, there is an immediate visual feedback, that says hey I’m a button and I was pressed, and a spinning I’m working on your request spinner appears. The other thing that is cool, is the ability pause like the Sportsters and Starmates, and Stilettos, so you don’t miss any Howard when the phone rings, this is not a 100% proposition, but it works most of the time. I have also been playing with Starcasting aka recording, and the ability to schedule recordings and automatically import them to iTunes so that you can listen later on you schedule ala Sitletto. I have not had a 100% success with the conversion part, but the scheduling via iCal works great, so I at a minimum have an ASF file that can be played with VLC Media player, so all is not lost.

So being the function over form guy that I am, I’ll be sticking with StarPlayr for a while