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Showing posts with the label Sirius XM

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

Streaming Spotify from a Mac via AirPlay - for free

Spotify is pretty great. But, if you're like me, you probably prefer to stream your music to somewhere other than your computer - such as a stereo, or a whole home intercom. Spotify has built-in AirPlay compatibility - IF you have a premium subscription. I don't. I DO, however, stream every other kind of music from my iMac or iPad using AirPlay - Sirius XM works great in that regard, and obviously iTunes was built for it. But not Spotify.... Until I learned this simple trick. Hold down the Mac option key, and click the volume control icon at the top of your Mac's screen. Now, you can see a list of output devices, and can see your AirPlay speakers. Click on one of them. Then just fire up Spotify, and AirPlay your music wherever you choose! NOTE: You'll be streaming EVERY sound that your Mac makes, so close the rest of your programs - if your kid has some Nick Jr. Flash game running in Safari, you'll hear that alongside your music, too. 

Getting Started with Insteon Home Control

Who says we can't multitask? On to Project 3!  We made a return trip to Best Buy, and learned the prices had essentially doubled on most of their SmartHome Insteon products. ( I must have happened across a huge sale last time - and I have before/after photos of the pricing to prove I wasn't imagining things !) Anyway, I'm sure we'll be picking up most of this stuff at BBY, but in the meantime, it's off to eBay, where I picked up a 2414 SmartLinc central controller (retail $99) for $22. This will allow us to control all connected Insteon switches with an iOS device - which was the entire point of this enterprise from the start. The dimmer switches will be a bit more expensive, at $40-50 each, retail - and our home theater room alone is going to require 4. And a couple of LampLincs to make sure our table lamps get with the program. Back to eBay! We're also going to need (want) a KeyPadLinc in order to control "scenes" - i.e., "all