Review: A Year with SiriusXM for iPad

Okay, I'll grant that it probably hasn't been a full year. We're reviewing the latest version of the SiriusXM app for iPad, which is excellent, and should be a mandatory purchase for all SiriusXM subscribers. 

For most of us, satellite radio is strictly for the car. Getting their signal in your house was a ridiculously difficult process - you needed to purchase equipment, and use an antenna near a window. I wasn't interested. 

I also wasn't particularly interested in their browser-based internet radio (even though I had it on a free trial.) It was more or less tied to the computer, and my speakers weren't great. 

Then, SiriusXM released a mobile app, (and worked out their contract issues with Howard Stern, making his broadcasts available on the app), and Apple introduced AirPlay, making every bit of iPad audio stream-able to any AirPlay device. Suddenly, this was a seriously compelling product. I could listen to any SiriusXM content, over my home stereo system? Wirelessly? No antennas?

To sweeten the deal a bit further, SiriusXM recently simplified their billing and announced the "All Access" subscription tier, which makes everything SiriusXM offers (all channels, plus internet radio) available for $199/year, or $19.99/month. 

For me, it was a no-brainer. It meant that I could continue getting all of the services I was already receiving (car, internet radio, navigation), for about $3 cheaper/month than I was already happily paying. The last piece of the puzzle was the iPad app interface. 

I'm happy to report that the app gets the job done, and more. The interface is clean, responsive, and simple to understand. With the iPad app, you can browse channels and see what's currently playing - that's functionality my car doesn't even provide. Even better, certain shows from prior days are available on-demand - so if you're interested in a particular Stern interview (for instance), you can dial it up and fast-forward to the moment you'd heard about. 

In short - if you're a SiriusXM subscriber and an AirPlay fan, you should sign up for internet radio and park the SiriusXM app in the hallowed "bottom row" of apps on your iPad - right next to the DirecTV app. 

(Just make sure, if you're listening to Stern, that any outdoor speakers are off. Especially if the neighbor kids are outside.)


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