no, it's not you.
since i spend so much time at my computer, i thought i'd try out xm's online radio free trial rather than going out and buying an actual receiver.. glad i did the trial rather than paying for it outright; the quality is HORRIBLE.
But does their online service actually deliver the AAC stream they transmit over the satellite, or is it an mp3/real stream?
IIRC it's 64kbps AAC with SBR, so it's not just you.
SBR== the decoder making up a bunch of high frequency sounds to replace the ones we threw away in our shitty encoding process.
I agree with you. I've got XM, but I don't listen to it as much as I'd like just because it sounds so terrible. I've gotten used to it somewhat, and I can ignore it when it's on in the background, but you're right: it's far from CD quality audio.
I noticed it in your car, too. Maybe it's just your receivers? I imagine it'd be easier to get a good solid lock on the signal when not moving.
I've heard a lot of people who are really happy with it. I've also heard that Sirius is better, but who knows?
We listen to the Sirius online broadcasts at work: I don't know about the non-online stuff, a coworker is the subscriber. The quality of the online stuff is clear to me definitely doesn't sound tinny or anything, but we don't listen to the most complex stations either: usually 80's music, which osunds crappy no matter what ;)
To my ear the music isn't that bad, but the speech is terrible. It's like they optimized the compression for one but not the other. That, or I just can't hear it during the music. In southern NH they have terrible coverage, too, with tons of drop-outs in medium-dense forested areas and when going under some bridges. Yet a little further south in Boston or Providence I could get clear signal while in an underground parking garage where I couldn't get any AM or FM stations. Learn how to buffer, guys!
They do -- one satellite broadcasts about five seconds behind the other. In cities they have ground-based repeaters that compensate for not being able to have a consistent view of the satellites, which you likely won't have out in a forested area.
I've actually had no issues with XM. I'm not an audiophile, though, so it sounds just fine to me.
I don't think AM/FM is any better, and I sure as hell can't deal with the 20 minutes of commercial per hour.
I listen to it for O&A, and the music is just used for ambiance.
2005-02-18 01:38 am (UTC)
Sirius sounds CD quality to me, of course i play it loud.. No complaints here.
My family has the Sirius music channels via Dish Network and they sound fine to me, though I listen mostly to Hard Attack and I have pretty low standards for audio compression transparency anyway And I don't know if Dish gets a seperate feed of Sirius that they compress themselves or if they get the same feed that Sirius broadcasts.
Nope, pretty sure that FM beats XM hands-down. FM doesn't suffer from terrible compression artifacts.
2005-02-18 05:50 am (UTC)
Yeah, FM sounds great in my car.
Are you talking about the XM quality through the web radio interface, or the actual signal as received from the satellite?
You can actually stream it on the Net?
I've been listening to a lot of DVD-Audio lately which is better than CD so I'm a little spoiled.
The satellite signal. IIRC, the online stream is even worse.
I've heard it was supposed to be aacplus (TM I'm sure). That sounds pretty good streamed on the web at crappy bitrates, like on MPR