Since Ahu and I moved to West Dundee, my commute has been about 45 minutes in the morning and around 60 to 75 minutes in the evening. I listen to the radio in the car but I do not listen to the brainless talk radio stations. I usually listen to NPR (WBEZ in Chicago) or news radio WBBM 780. 780 gets old quickly because of the frequent commercials and repeating news stories. I enjoy NPR but between 4 and 6:30 PM, it gets a little repetitive and somewhat boring, depending on the stories. So I subscribed to XM Radio last week and, ever since, my time in the car is an absolute joy!
XM Radio is satellite radio. As you drive around in your car, a special antenna picks up the satellite signal and sends it to an XM Radio tuner. The tuner allows you to select one of over 120 radio stations to listen to. Having 120 stations to to choose from opens up a lot of possibilities. Almost every genre of music is represented and many niche genres are also available. I like jazz and techno and there are over 10 stations of those types to listen to.
Because XM Radio is satellite radio, you can listen to your music anywhere in the continental United States. This means that when I drive from Chicago to Bloomington to visit my family, I can listen to the same radio station the whole way there. No longer will I have to scan the airwaves looking for a new source of music. I’ve driven to Colorado a few times to go snowboarding and this kind of radio would have been a godsend in the middle of Nebraska where the airwaves are mostly empty and those radio stations that do exist play an unfortunate country hick mix.
I will write another station-by-station review of XM Radio soon.