Wednesday, November 16, 2005


Radio from space

On Tuesday, DirecTV replaced their Music Choice audio-only channels with a selection of channels from XM Radio. They're carrying many of XM's music channels, but only two talk channels -- so no Bob Edwards, no BBC World Service, and no old-time radio (although I'm sure Chuck Schaden does a better job than XM).

However, one of the XM talk channels that is on DirecTV is MLB Home Plate -- just in time for it to not be baseball season! When I tuned in briefly this morning to research this post, what I heard was a woman talking via phone about putting up sun shades for elementary school playgrounds because it's 115 degrees during the day in Arizona. Guess they can only talk so much about steroids and/or Ned Colletti. Helpfully, DirecTV's on-screen display said, "You are listening to Sports talk." (The other talk channel available on DirecTV features some people apparently named "Opie & Anthony" and "Ron & Fez" -- just thinking about it makes my ears hurt.)

On the other hand, listening to the XM '60s channel is surprisingly similar to listening to my iPod, except that there's probably no chance of a They Might Be Giants song popping up, and all the jingles are for XM -- well, and there's a DJ who actually does things like talking during the part of the jingle where a DJ is supposed to talk, which I have not managed to duplicate on my iPod. (Also, while I'm sure DirecTV's numbering system for the XM channels makes sense to someone, it seems a little strange to have "The '60s on 6" on Channel 803 instead of, say, 806 -- and "Highway 16" on 814, and "Top 20 on 20" on 816.)

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I have to amend the "all the jingles are for XM" comment -- this morning, they played a couple of jingles from WPOP in Hartford, Connecticut as a promo for something or other. So it's more like my iPod than I had first thought! (That's the kind of thing satellite radio can get away with because the FCC isn't looking over their shoulder -- when Levi and I appeared with Maura on WPRB, we played plenty of baseball songs, but no baseball-related jingles.)
And no cigarette ads, either!
Jim, when listening to jingles on your iPod, I should hope that, during the part of the jingle where a DJ is supposed to talk, *you* talk. I mean, are you, or are you not, a classically trained announcer?
Levi: The lack of cigarette ads is due to Federal Trade Commission regulations, nothing to do with the FCC.

Bob: People who talk to themselves on the bus are generally thought to be insane, and not without reason.
That reason being that they're riding a bus in Los Angeles. Might as well get some announcing in anyway.
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