This really irks me. Sirius has forced the guys at NiceMac to shut down their services and pull their applications from the web. I think I'm more irate by this announcement than when I head that they were getting rid of their free basic streaming service for members. In my opinion, they should offer some form of streaming to all customers. There are still too many situations where you can't get an antenna in place in order to listen to your radio. My office is in the basement and the streaming option is really the only decent solution. Every attempt to get an antenna working well in my house has been futile—I just end up with very flaky audio.
However, for the past 4 years or so (or whenever their streaming went online,) I've been very happily listening to their streaming service via the Internet. My only complaint was their native interface. Since I really only listen to talk radio, the 32Kbps stream is more than fine for me. I don't need a high quality stream—I just want an interface that doesn't make me keep clicking buttons to keep the stream open.
This is where 3rd party applications come in. For the longest time I was very happy with Tanner's original Sirius Yahoo! widget. As a matter of fact up until two weeks ago, I was still using the widget. However, when I was forced to move to Vista, I decided not to load the Yahoo! widgets engine (since I really only used it for the Sirius tuner) and instead installed StarPlayr. While not perfect (and many ways I prefer the simplistic interface of the Yahoo! widget) it makes online listen a breeze. Just start the app and listen away. No annoying pop-up windows, no having to re-login in every morning and most importantly no need to keep clicking a button to keep the stream alive.
Well, this morning when I loaded the application, I was sadden to see the following:
So, it looks like as of tomorrow the stream may stop. I'm hoping the application will continue to work. I hate to spend time hacking together a solution that works. I may also try loading up the Yahoo! widget in a VM to see if it's still working when Sirius goes online with their new service.
If anyone knows of any good Windows alternatives, let me know. If I find one, I'll try to share. I prefer something that works outside of the browser—since frequently restarts of my browsers are often required as a web developer. I want an application I can run in the background and keep enjoying programming like Howard Stern and the NFL Radio.
If Sirius continues to make it difficult to listen to their service, then I really won't have a need to continue using their services. I know there are plenty of other people who feel the same way. I've already seen a lot of people who are shutting down their service because Sirius is no longer offering the free stream. I know Sirius' finances are hurting and losing customers is the last thing they want to do.
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