Is Sirius XM as bad as it sounded these past two days?

I had to rent a car and it came with Sirius. I thought, sat radio, cool. I can check this out, see how it is.

It had, like, a hundred channels. Here’s what they played:

  1. Metallica.
  2. Def Leppard.

Seriously, one channel had Metallica on it 24/7, every single song (and since all Metallica songs are identical, it might as well have been the same track.) Despite having a Metallica channel, they felt obligated to play Metallica in heavy rotation on the other channels as well, especially a song called “Cyanide.”

The other band that filled the 2400 hours of programming offered by Sirius in the course of the day was Def Leppard. I was spinning the dial like a pinwheel looking for something else, but what I got was Def Leppard. I haven’t heard that much Def Leppard since high school. I just nine hours of driving I heard “Photograph” twice, “Hysteria,” “Animal,” “Pour Some Sugar On Me” three times, “Foolin’,” "“Rock of Ages,” “Armageddon It,” “Love Bites,” possibly twice, and maybe more.

Now, that’s a bit of an exaggeration; one entire channel was non-stop Shitty Elvis (they didn’t play any good Elvis songs, just shit like “In The Ghetto”) Oh, and they played a lot of Billy Joel.

I heard not a single U2 track, one REM, one Beatles, one Stones, one CCR, and like 13 Def Leppard.

Boy, did that suck.

I really enjoy Sirius (we got it in my wife’s new car a year ago, and I listen to it online), but I’d agree that certain artists seem to get played a lot. My guess would be that they have contracts with certain labels, which winds up narrowing their playlists.

One of the stations I like is “Classic Rewind”, which is “2nd generation classic rock” (roughly 1975-1990). They play a LOT of Van Halen. As in, probably once an hour; it’s become a running joke for my wife and me.

When they merged Sirius and XM a few months ago, I noticed, at least on the channels I listen to, the variety of music actually increased.

Classic Vinyl and Willy’s Place aren’t bad.

It is pretty bad now. I had XM for years but after the merger with Sirius it got way too repetitive. I finally gave up on the service and canceled last month. It’s a shame, it was so good for a long time but it just didn’t work out.

Yep, and I’ve had XM for years and after the merger the variety that I was used to actually decreased significantly. We’re seriously thinking of canceling now also. It’s way too often now that I can flip through all the channels and not find anything remotely interesting. I’ve had instances where four separate stations are playing the exact same song at the same damn time. That’s just sad.

The Metallica channel is only temporary. It was launched in honor of the release of Guitar Hero Metallica. I think it will go back to the Liquid Metal channel in a couple of weeks.

Yet another XM customer, an early one, who’s been pretty dissatisfied with things since the merger. There seems to be less thought put into the rotation post-merger than before and less distinctive personality on the channels.

It was actually launched to celebrate Metallica’s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, which will be on April 4. The “Mandatory Metallica” channel will revert to Liquid Metal on April 13.

Sorry you don’t like satellite radio, RickJay. It still beats the snot out of commercial radio. And did you see if you were able to find any redeeming value in the non-music offerings? I didn’t buy Sirius for the talk and comedy, but I quickly learned to appreciate them.

I’ve been a subscriber since 2005. There is no doubt that the service has gone downhill, but it sill far better than regular radio.

I keep it for the MLB coverage. They broadcast every MLB game and baseball is easy to follow on the radio.

The dance channels have gone downhill, but there is NO dance music on FM in most of the United States.

The classical and jazz stations are still top notch. I like both of those genres, but I don’t have a library of a lot of classical or jazz music. Sure, both genres can usually be found on NPR stations, but XM doesn’t have the endless pledge drives and traffic and weather updates.

There are several other stations that I also like. I’m not sure I’d keep a subscription if I just wanted to listen to classic rock. Still, at least the stations don’t have the stupid morning zoo programs and Saturday broadcasts from some car dealerships.

I do detest the single artist payloa channels. Thankfully, they usually don’t preempt my favorite stations.

I had the same experience as the OP. I had said that the next car I got, I would get sat. radio, but then I rented a car with sat. radio. The next car I get will have a jack for my ipod.

I find the music programming is poorly done, or done differently than it was when it was XM that we subscribed to. Well, technically we still subscribe to XM Canada, but the programming is now from SiriusXM.

Our stations of choice were Fred, Ethel and Lucy. Those got canned and the Sirius channels 1st Wave, Lithium and Alt Nation are broadcast in their place. We’ve lamented the crap playlists that are in rotation and the annoying, useless DJs on the channels.

The XM versions had extensive playlists, specialty shows and a low repeat factor. Well, lower repeat factor. I had some issue with the playlist that XM had, but I couldn’t believe how small the playlist is now and the high repeat factor. We prefer to listen to ‘alternative’ music, which Fred interpretted as Punk, New Wave, Goth, Electronic, grunge, college rock, etc. 1st Wave interprets it as Depeche Mode, Elvis Costello and The Cure. It’s frustrating as there are 15 years of music to choose from, and they can’t even come up with a playlist that would cover a John Hughes movie.

Never to appear on 1st Wave - Magazine, Buzzcocks, Husker Du, Cramps (they never did aknowledge the passing of Lux Interior), Butthole Surfers, anything from 4ADetc.
We are currently investigating other options including Slacker, rebuilding our own music library and podcasts.
Kids Place Live (from XMKids) is one thing that may hold us to it, but not for $15/month

I’ve had Sirius for about three years now. My one complaint would be that the playlists are shallow as a wading pool. Fortunately I’ve got eclectic taste in music so when I’ve heard all the songs one channel has over the course of 2-3hrs, I just find another channel I like.
Then again, my subscription is a gift. I’m not sure I’d continue it if it wasn’t, but I really like having Sirius around, having completely abandoned terrestrial commercial radio years ago.

1st Wave, Lithium, Alt Nation and Spectrum all play U2 and REM quite frequently. I think you were just listening to the wrong stations.

I almost never listen to music on my Sirius. I listen to ESPN, Raw Dog, BBC World, CNN, NPR.

I listen almost exclusively to Howard Stern, but try Raw Dog Comedy, the news channels, and then the music channels if Howard is on repeat. The music is a last resort. The one time I decided to start listening to a channel on a regular basis I quickly realized they only had about 30 songs in their catalogue.

I had several months of XM free with the car I bought in July, and liked it just enough to renew it when it expired, mainly because of XM Comedy, and Fungus, the punk station. Right after I renewed, XM got rid of Fungus in favor of AC/DC radio, at which point I almost cancelled.

Then they relaunched there lineup as Sirius XM, and one day I get in my car and turn on what I think is XM Comedy. But what do I hear? Some Mountain Dew, monster-truck rally voice-over reject guy exclaiming in guttural, reverb-drenched tones that I’m listening to “Raw Dog Comedy”.

What the motherfk? I don’t want a fking energy drink, I want to hear Bill Hicks go off on non-smokers and Jim Gaffigan do the Hot Pockets bit - but I found after several days of listening to Raw Dog Comedy, they played a lot of George Lopez (whose entire routine is “when I was a hijo, I was abused in humorous ways and insulted in Spanish by my parents”) and Dane Cook (about which I shall say no more).

One day my sat radio lost it’s signal, and was told by support I had to reprogram it - you call XM, or go online, and type in your radio ID, and leave your car radio on for 15 minutes to reaquire the signal.

When I let it slide for several weeks without trying this, I realized “I’m so ambivalent about XM/Sirius I can’t even be bothered to spend 15 minutes to get it to work” so I called up and cancelled, and now I listen to NPR, or plug in my MP3 player for the commute.

I hear Gaffigan and Hicks all the time on Raw Dog. I can’t rmemebr evey hearing Dane Cook, but they do play George Lopez, although I haven’t noticed more than others.

I gave them about two weeks of listening (about an hour a day during drive times) before the new branding and playlist got on my last raw nerve. In that time, I heard the same Dane Cook bit three freaking times (the one about the girlfriend fighting about nothing), George Lopez a few times, and a few other fair-to-middling comics - they actually played Andrew Dice Clay, and a Joe Rogan bit :eek:. Oh, and get this - they played Jeff Dunham. I think he can be funny, but he’s a ventriloquist! How does that work on the radio? I never heard Dunham on XM Comedy. But at the same time, they didn’t play any Hicks, Gaffigan, later Carlin, or any of the stuff I really liked from XM Comedy.

So maybe I didn’t give it long enough, but once they played that stupid, insipid “nothing fight” crap for the second time, they lost me. If they no longer play Dane Cook, great, but it’s already too late for me.

I agree about Dane Cook, but not liking George Lopez and Joe Rogan and liking Jim Gaffigan gets your credibility card pulled.

Is there no love here for Underground Garage? I alternate among that, Outlaw Country, and Deep Tracks, with occasional forays into 60s and 50s (hoping to catch the obscurities they sometimes play in between the hits).

I guess your level of satisfaction depends on how high your expectations are. I don’t always like what’s being played on those channels, but I don’t expect radio to be my own personal Pandora… my frame of reference is Philadephia-area FM radio, which I find bizarrely barren, at least for a commuter who lives well outside of the downtown area… there are some good tiny stations in town, but as far as powerful ones you can pick up anywhere in the area – you got one college station, one NPR, one jazz/classical… and not much else beyond the usual commercial stuff. Compared to that, satellite radio is like being over the rainbow.