A couple years ago, I bitched here when XM removed its Music Lab channel — the only one that played my hippie music with any regularity — from its on-air lineup, banishing it to online-only status.
And although I haven’t posted about it, I’ve been wondering more recently how the XM-Sirius merger would manifest itself on my radio. XM has been pushing a “Best of Sirius” package recently — for a few extra bucks a month, XM subscribers could get NFL games, Martha Stewart and all the Howard Stern we could handle — but there has been little discussion about how the satellite networks would actually combine their programming.
It would be cool to have the NFL broadcasts, but I didn’t want Martha Stewart. I really didn’t want Howard Stern. I wanted Sirius’ Grateful Dead channel. I wanted its Jam On channel. And I had no idea whether I’d ever get them.
I noticed this morning that some of my presets were showing up on different channels, but as I was still distracted by the Ellington show, I didn’t really think anything about it. Until I saw a thing on Plurk about someone searching for Ethel — an alt-rock station on XM — and not being able to find it.
And then it clicked in my tiny little brain. I went to the XM web site and found:
I have the Grateful Dead channel.
I have Jam On.
I also have a new full-time NPR channel.
And I still have the indy music stations, including The Verge, which features Canadian artists and is waaaaaay better than XMU.
I made an excuse at work — said I was going to get some dinner — and rushed out to the car to re-program all the presets. And then I drove around for an hour, listening to GD straight out of the vault.
I wish XM and Sirius had done a better job of keeping its subscribers informed about what was going to happen.
But as I mentioned before, I’m happy that my questions were answered today.