Garmin intros customizable voice app, more
Garmin last week introduced a number of new products or services, including a unique way to customize their Garmin GPS devices. The free-to-download Voice Studio app can be used by Windows or Mac PC users and allows them to record any voice, including their own, to hear back during navigating. The phrases can be edited, but cannot be applied to text-to-speech prompts such as street names. It is compatible with all Nuvi devices apart from the 300 and 600 series.
Sirius XM Stratus 6 onyX
At the same event that launched the XM SkyDock, satellite radio provider Sirius XM today updated its hardware for the fall with three of new radios, a boombox and a tuner. The Sirius-oriented Stratus 6 as well as XM's onyX and Xpress RCi both add a new feature known as PowerConnect that simplifies reception by using the FM radio's antenna, rather than separate wiring, to get a good signal. All three can store 10 presets, while the Stratus 6 and onyX get traffic and weather updates for up to 20 cities and have connectors to use them outside of the car.
Sirius XM SkyDock and More
Sirius XM this afternoon held an event to launch its fall lineup of satellite radio gear and headed it up with the first-ever satellite radio peripheral for the iPhone. Confirming rumors, the XM SkyDock (shown at top) will let subscribers to the XM half of the company's service tune into the actual satellite feed through an iPhone or iPod touch. It has both the true receiver as well as the antenna and so won't require an active Internet connection like the existing Sirius XM Internet radio app for Apple's devices.
Sonos Bundle 250 Review
Sonos was founded with the dream of building a reasonably affordable whole home audio solution in an era where many systems did (and often still do) cost several thousand dollars or more. Now on its second generation of hardware and with much more mature software, it's possible the company's music system may have reached its zenith. We want determine just how true that is in our larger review.
SIRIUS XM iPhone App
The SIRIUS XM iPhone application has been downloaded by more than 1 million users since its release on June 18th. The title quickly became the top free app in the music category during its brief two-week stint on the App Store. The free app delivers sports, comedy, commercial-free music, and talk radio channels to an iPhone or iPod touch.
Sirius XM iPhone App Live
Sirius XM early today launched its promised Sirius XM Premium Online app for the iPhone and iPod touch. The free software gives either of Apple's devices access to almost all of Sirius' and XM's stations as long as they have an active Internet-enabled subscription to one of the two. Songs can be tagged to buy through iTunes; channels can also be tagged as favorites or browsed while still listening to a single feed.
Sirius XM iPhone app ready
The long-awaited Sirius XM app for the iPhone and iPod touch is finally ready to go, according to The Motley Fool. The company allegedly has sent e-mail notifications that the app will be available tomorrow, although the service will only be available to premium subscribers paying $12.95 per month for Internet-only access or standard subscribers that pay an extra $2.99 per month for the additional web playback.
Sirius takeover talks
Sirius XM CEO Mel Karmazin has reportedly established talks with DirecTV Group and Liberty Media, in what is viewed as a last ditch effort to avoid bankruptcy or a loss of control, according to Reuters. The satellite-radio provider has held preliminary talks with Liberty Media, while another report suggests the executives asked DirecTV to purchase the company. Liberty Entertainment, a division of Liberty Media, holds a controlling interest in DirecTV Group.
Sirius XM iPhone app
NiceMac is preparing to submit the uSirius StarPlayr for the iPhone to Apple for approval, unnamed sources have told Orbitcast. Although the approval process can take hours or months, the process allegedly will begin on January 31st. Customers thus far have been able to stream Sirius XM radio content online for free, but that is about to change very soon. The company on Tuesday confirmed the rumored price changes, justifying the move by explaining that the audio quality will be enhanced by March 11th.
Sirius XM Price Hike
Sirius XM today confirmed rumored price increases with notices for subscribers to the individual Sirius and XM networks. Either satellite radio station will no longer offer its Internet streaming component for free and will instead charge $3 per month extra for individuals listening to the stations. Sirius XM justifies the move by noting that the audio quality will go up by March 11th and is giving existing users a chance to "lock in" free listening before that date.
Pulsar sat radio client
Rogue Amoeba has unveiled Pulsar, a desktop client for listening to XM Radio Online and SIRIUS Internet Radio. Subscribers to the satellite radio services can use the program to access both corresponding web-based versions, without using extra hardware or a browser. Listings are continuously updated with station and current song information, while users can also save any favorite stations. The client can work with Audio Hijack Pro and Airfoil for recording streams or distributing the audio via AirPort Express.
LG Incite at ATT
AT&T today added a second full touchscreen phone in as many weeks through the LG Incite. Unlike the earlier Samsung Eternity, the Incite is a full Windows Mobile 6.1 smartphone and comes with an LG-customized front end that both encourages more use of finger input over a stylus and takes advantage of an accelerometer to provide a landscape keyboard when tilting the phone on its side.
LG Swift now at Alltel
Alltel announced on Thursday that the LG Swift handset is now available for purchase at the wireless provider. The handset is the first from LG's line-up to use a next-generation keypad with what the company calls Fastap Press-to-Experience keys. Comprised of six raised one-touch access Quick Keys that act as shortcuts for Alltel Navigation, Alltel Shop, Email, Alarm Clock and Image Library features, the keys sit atop a traditional numeric keypad.
HTC Fuze at ATT
After repeated leaks, AT&T today finally but quietly launched the HTC Fuze. The carrier's adaptation of the Touch Pro brings a customized version of HTC's TouchFLO interface with an AT&T icon as well as support for several of AT&T's services over its tri-band HSPA Internet access, including HBO Mobile video as well as Napster Mobile and XM Radio for music purchases and Internet radio streams.
Directed quits sat radio
Directed Electronics announced earlier this week that it will leave the satellite radio market, ending its agreement to act as Sirius satellite radio's exclusive retail distributor as of January 31st, 2009. The company says this is due to the softening market for the subscription-based service and, along with Sirius XM's more than $1 billion in debt, is calling the agreement an unfavorable "risk-reward tradeoff."
Pioneer today officially took the wraps from the XMp3, the company's first portable satellite radio since the long out-of-sale Inno. The new handheld is unique in its ability to record five separate XM stations at once, guaranteeing that listeners can preserve more than one show at the same time. It also takes a cue from Slacker in an automatic buffering mode that holds as much as 30 hours of programming at any given time to keep radio going when a subway tunnel or other interference cuts out the satellite signal.
Sirius XM A La Carte
Sirius XM drew a quick close to speculation today by announcing the availability of the A La Carte and Best Of radio features promised with the merger of the two satellite radio stations. The former service debuts with the equally new Starmate 5 radio and lets users custom-pick their stations in blocks rather than having to accept Sirius XM's default options.
Sirius XM channels shared
As promised when the merger between Sirius and XM satellite radio was finalized at the end of July, Tuesday’s reports have some Sirius satellite radio subscribers beginning to see XM programming on their existing radios, with at least one report of an XM subscriber already receiving Best of Sirius programming on his XM radio. Others, while seeing XM headings on their Sirius receivers, cannot yet listen to content.
Pioneer XMp3 Best Buy Leak
XM's XMp3 handheld satellite radio has surfaced today in a Best Buy listing that confirms much more about the device. The device is now known to have been made by Pioneer, which made the preceding Inno, and will work as a traditional MP3 player as well as a tuner. A microSDHC slot should hold at least 8GB of MP3 or WMA tracks, including those recorded from XM itself.
XM XMp3 Player Leaked
XM's in-development XMp3 portable radio has been confirmed along with one of its key features, courtesy of a new Popular Science issue that has inadvertently revealed the device in advance. Apart from its reduced size versus the Pioneer Inno and earlier handheld satellite radios, the XMp3 will have the unique option of capturing five separate channels and downloading a song from each of them at the same time versus the one of past devices. The feature would let the owner listen to a live event without missing favorite broadcasts on other stations.
DealNn iPhone skins
DealNN deals for today include an array of products ranging from iPhone covers to MacBooks. Get a five pack of AV Lab iPhone skin covers for $15 from Buy.com. Parallels desktop 3.0 is available for $59.99 right now at Newegg.com. The Apple store is currently offering the refurbished 2.4GHz MacBook in white for $1,099. MacConnection has the 2.4GHz, 17-inch MacBook Pro for $1,699 after mail in rebate with free VMware and Mobile Edge carry case. Get a FREE Delphi SkyFi3 mobile XM Satellite radio receiver with car kit from Crutchfield.com after mail in rebate.
Sirius XM on New Radios
Some of the channel technology promised in the wake of the completed Sirius XM merger will require new hardware and in some cases will be years away, company chief Mel Karmazin said today while discussing the combined satellite radio provider's quarterly results during a conference call. The executive notes that the ability to subscribe to individual channels rather than full packages, also known as a la carte, will require a new radio for either the Sirius or XM network. Those devices will be available in the fall, he says.
Sirius XM Radio Merge
Sirius and XM today formalized their FCC-approved merger, ending an approximately 16-month wait since the union was first proposed early last year. The combined entity will now be called Sirius XM Radio and has about 18.5 million total subscribers, turning it into the second-largest radio outlet in the US. The company says it will quickly live up to its promises announced at the start of the merger and will let subscribers to either Sirius or XM service subscribe a la carte, hand-picking channels rather than requiring a set block of stations.
FCC Approves Sirius XM
The US Federal Communications Commission in an evening decision has approved the merger between satellite radio providers Sirius and XM, ending a 16-month delayed process. The decision quickly follows an agreement by the FCC to issue a $20 million combined fine against the two companies for violating interference regulations as a condition for persuading the lone official still undecided on the deal, FCC Commissioner Deborah Tate. The Department of Justice had already approved the deal from an antitrust perspective in March.
FCC Fines Sirius and XM
The Federal Communications Commission today fined satellite radio providers Sirius and XM in a step already recognized as a precursor to approving their long-anticipated merger. The ruling requires Sirius and XM to pay $2.2 million and $17.5 million respectively for allegedly violating FCC rules by continuing to run receivers and land-based repeaters that could potentially create interference while the FCC has decided on whether it will approve the union of the two companies.
FCC Tate Edges to Merger
The lone Federal Communications Commissioner that has yet to publicly decide on the merger between Sirius and XM is likely to vote in favor of the deal, claims a source of Reuters. The news agency says that Republican Deborah Tate is allegedly close to an agreement which would have her approve the union of the two satellite radio providers and give the supporting camp the necessary three of five Commissioner votes it needs to greenlight the merger.
Sirius XM Down to One Vote
A final approval or rejection of the proposed merger between satellite radio providers Sirius and XM now hinges on a single vote at the Federal Communications Commission, one official tells the Wall Street Journal. With the decision by Commissioner Michael Copps to vote against the merger and fellow official Jonathan Adelstein still ambivalent and demanding certain conditions, just Commissioner Deborah Tate remains undecided. Her approval would be enough to guarantee a merger but could potentialy shoot down the merger as-is if Adelstein isn't swayed in favor of the deal.
FCC Leans To Sirius XM
A crucial voter in the long-delayed Sirius/XM merger vote is leaning in favor of approving the deal, says the AP. FCC Commissioner and Democrat Party member Jonathan Adelstein says he would vote in favor of the deal as long as the unified satellite radio entity would agree to a six-year cap on subscription rates as well as devoting a full 25 percent of all channels to public or minority-focused stations.
FCC Clearing for Sirius XM
The FCC is telling XM Satellite Radio to clear its schedule for what could be a potential deal, says a report from Orbitcast. XM's legal counsel has allegedly been told by the US government agency to have all hands available for the rest of July and thus hints that the FCC is under pressure to decide quickly on the proposed merger between Sirius and XM within the next two weeks.
XM details XMP3 player
Details of XM Radio's upcoming media player -- codenamed Phoenix -- have been made public, FCC filings appear to show. Documents at the organization refer to an "XMP3 Car Kit," scheduled to ship later this year. While manuals, photos and illustrations are currently being held confidential, the filing suggests that the name of the player is in fact XMP3, as it matches a trademark application from June under "digital audio radio hardware and accessories" and "satellite radio hardware and accessories."
XM Phoenix Leak
XM Satellite Radio is gearing up to launch a handheld radio and media player combo that would finally take over from the phased out Pioneer Inno (pictured) and Delphi's Sky-Fi radio, according to a leak floated by Orbitcast. Codenamed Phoenix, he portable would be smaller than the Inno but put in a jogwheel for navigating stations and tracks much like the iPod as well as Delphi's Sky-Fi 2.
Sirius XM on FCC Slate
The Federal Communications Commission has quietly put the proposed merger between Sirius and XM on its Items on Circulation list. The move indicates that at least a draft proposal for the satellite radio union will be discussed by the FCC and that a final decision on the merger could be made shortly after FCC commissioners discuss the draft. The government agency recently hinted at increased progress earlier this week when it proposed approval of the deal as long as conditions are honored for a-la-carte pricing and channels dedicated to certain public interest groups.
FCC Staff Say Sirius XM OK
The Federal Communications Commission's staff today tentatively proposed that the US government agency approve the long-delayed merger between satellite radio providers Sirius and XM. The move potentially leads to a completed approval in as soon as three weeks and has received the early blessing of FCC chair Kevin Martin, who states that the union would be "in the public interest" as long as the unified company continues to voluntarily abide by certain conditions.
FCC Acts Soon on Sirius XM
Federal Communications Commission chief Kevin Martin on Thursday told CNBC that his agency is nearing approval of the long-delayed Sirius and XM merger. While declining to give a timetable for any decision, Martin says the FCC hopes to make its choice "soon" and that the two satellite radio providers have agreed to make changes to their price structure to clear legal hurdles, including an option for subscribers to order individual channels rather than complete bundles and to specifically exclude channels with objectionable content.
FCC on Sirius XM in June
The Federal Communications Commission's chairman Kevin Martin today said he still considers it possible to approve the proposed Sirius/XM merger by the end of the spring, according to Orbitcast. The agency chief hints at progress and says that a report has been completed that outlines likely fairness limits on the merger between the two satellite radio providers. The other FCC commissioners will need to view the the report before a deal can move further, Martin says.
XM Sees Sirius Merger Soon
XM expects its proposed merger with Sirius to be approved by the summer, the satellite radio provider said today during a conference call discussing its latest quarterly results. President and chief executive Nate Davis now claims that the winter 2008 quarter is XM's last "as a standalone company" and goes so far as to drop its financial guidance for the upcoming quarter, saying the prediction won't apply to a unified company. Recent government steps to greenlight the deal are signs approval is close, according to Davis.
Sirius, XM await FCC OK
Both Sirius and XM satellite radio providers decided to postpone their respective shareholder meetings as they await the FCC's approval of their merger. XM had a shareholder meeting scheduled for May 23, with Sirius execs assembling on May 20, suggesting the two don’t expect the matter to be resolved at least until the end of next month. The FCC is reviewing concerns that analysts believe include "public interest" issues such as pricing of the service, which would effectively have no competition on the satellite radio market.
Sirius XM Merger Agree
Sirius and XM today said they would continue their merger agreement indefinitely. The two satellite radio operators say they will continue to extend their agreement on a recurring two-week basis until the US government completes its decision on the proposed merger or else one of the companies decides to back out of the deal. Neither company can back out until the May 15th date set with an earlier agreement struck in February.
Sirius Starmate 5 Leaked
Sirius sent a prototype Starmate 5 satellite radio receiver to the FCC for testing, revealing some images as well as specs. Other than the color difference of an otherwise identical body, it's not clear how the Starmate 5 differs from the current Starmate 4. One hint as to a unique feature is mention of either an XM or Sirius radio signal used in testing in a memo between a member of the testing firm and FCC authorization staff.
Pioneer AVIC F900 and F700
Pioneer has started the week today with introductions for three high-end AVIC navigators. The DVD-equipped F900BT and Premier F90BT, as well as the CD-only F700BT, all offer in-dash mapping on a 5.8-inch wide touchscreen and support comparatively advanced GPS features such as Traffic Message Channel and support, an advanced voice command system, and text-to-speech to read out street names. Each, however, is built just as much for media playback: any can read discs with DivX, and MPEG-4 video as well as AAC, MP3, and WMA audio, while 2GB of built-in memory as well as slots for both SD cards and USB that provide both audio and video support from flash storage. Both connect to most iPods and support not just playback but also direct control of the Apple players.
Sirius-XM merger near?
The proposed merger of the United States' two major satellite radio networks may finally be nearing completion, FCC filings show. Following an initial meeting with FCC chairman Kevin Martin in late March, records indicate that Sirius and XM Radio representatives have continued to speak regularly with Martin and other Commission officials, seeking some way of accelerating the last step in the merger's approval. The corporations already have authorization from the Department of Justice.
XM, Sirus pressure FCC
XM and Sirius are putting pressure on the Federal Communications Commission for a quick merger approval, legal documents show. A filing submitted to the FCC by an XM lawyer shows that counsel for both XM and Sirius visited the FCC on Wednesday, and discussed matters not only with chairman Kevin Martin, but his chief of staff and senior legal advisor. The filing was required by FCC regulations, and is likely meant to ensure that all lobbying efforts are above-board.
XM-Sirius merger approved
The US Federal Justice Department today approved the highly controversial XM-Sirius merger, with some in the industry claiming that despite over 10 years of rebellious behavior against the FCC, the decision will grant monopoly status to the two companies. Just over a month ago, the two satellite radio content providers had officially announced the desire to merge, which many Sirius shareholders voted to approve.
DOJ Approves Sirius XM
The proposed merger between Sirius and XM took a major step forward today with tentative approval by Department of Justice. The government agency's ruling notes that the threat of a monopoly isn't likely as their satellite radio services compete against many other formats besides themselves, including iPods and HD Radio. A combined entity would have no chance in the market if it tried to raise prices, the Department said. The statement also dismisses claims by HD Radio that a merged Sirius and XM would exclude competing technology from car stereos and other equipment.
XM-Sirius decision nears
The FCC is indeed moving closer to a decision on the merger of Sirius and XM Radio, according to the group's chairman. Kevin Murphy is cited by Reuters as saying that draft documents are being put together, which will outline the choices the FCC can make on particular details of the merger. "I have asked the staff, after we've gotten all the final information that we needed, to be doing drafts, and when there were issues outstanding to do a range of options for us," he states.
Analyst on Sirius XM
The Federal Communications Commission is in the midst of producing the approval for the long-delayed merger between Sirius and XM, says analyst Blair Levin of the financial group Stifel Nicolaus. Levin cites "rumblings" within the FCC which point to the US government body already in the midst of writing an approval for the union of the two satellite radio providers. No clues are given as to the proximity of a deal or whether there will be conditions attached, though Levin warns that a combined company may be required to lease access to other companies to avoid monopoly concerns.
SIRIUS XM Extend Deal
SIRIUS and XM today said they would extend their merger agreement, ensuring that the union of the two satellite radio providers remains on the table. The extension prevents an existing deal from ending in March and bars either company from voluntarily backing out of the proposed merger between the two networks until May 1st. Neither company has revealed whether it will remain committed to the merger if the new agreement expires before official approval from both the Department of Justice and the FCC.
NAB Fight Sirius XM Local
The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) today urged the the Federal Communications Commission to block satellite radio providers Sirius and XM from offering local broadcasting, hoping to claim an edge for terrestrial radio in the event that the proposed merger between Sirius and XM is completed. A recent filing by NAB to the FCC points out that both Sirius and XM have an alleged record of ‘misbehavior’ in adopting the FCC’s rules and should be prevented from taking this abuse to local stations: both Sirius and XM have admitted to unauthorized or misused antennas and repeaters, according to the NAB's claims.
XM Sirius Merger Done Soon
The highly-anticipated Sirius and XM merger may be approved as early as the end of the month, according to an analyst from research group Briefing. The professional quotes an unspecified source who expects government approval of a merger between the two satellite radio providers by the end of January, leaving just six days for the Department of Justice and the Federal Communications Commission to authorize the deal. While unverified, the claim echoes statements by FCC head Kevin Martin, who expects a decision before spring.
Sirius and XM Deal Soon
The FCC should reach a decision as to whether or not it will approve the Sirius and XM merger before the end of March, the organization's chair Kevin Martin says in a new update. Without committing to a set date, the official says the FCC is most likely to reveal its opinion in the first quarter of the year and would end anxieties about the tie-in between the two satellite radio providers, both of whom hoped to finish the deal by the end of 2007. Settling the merger will still need approval from the Department of Justice, but the FCC will not necessarily wait for this to make its decision known, Martin says.