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After I got my new car (don't mean to brag but it's a Charger- RT- mango!)- I started listening to Sirius XM that came for free (at first). I wondered how they decide what music to put on there- I love Brecker and only hear him on there like once a month but other players a lot more often. Good stuff for sure, but I was just wondering about their programming choices.
 

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I bailed on Sirius a few years ago; too expensive and too limited in jazz offerings. Maybe it's better now...don't know. Switched to Pandora (no ad version) and never looked back. Much cheaper, and the ability to create your own stations around artists and then customize whichever stations you've made into a shuffle mix...just awesome.
 

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It is good stuff, but probably much like you, they don't play a lot of my favorites. I have heard some stuff that I had never heard and I always like making new discoveries. I also like the Christian McBride programming where he talks and plays with a guest artist. I probably wouldn't have subscribed myself, but my daughter gave it to me for Christmas. I'll have to decide whether or not to keep it.
 

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The husband has it in his semi. I wish I knew how the jazz programming was.
The only things I get to listen to are the Garth Brooks channel or FOX news. BUT... I'm usually concentrating on my knitting and not paying much attention until it gets too dark to see.
Maybe someday he'll let me choose what we listen to. ☺
 

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I really like the programming. Tune selection is varied, and I'm often introduced to new music that I later purchase. I only listen in my car, so most of my listening isn't longer than 15-30 minutes. I'm not usually in the car for the fusion show, which is fine. And for some reason when the Dick Golden show is on (Saturday morning IIRC), my radio doesn't list the track names, just the show name. Minor annoyance.

My only serious complaint is, and I realize that I'm something of an outlier when it comes to my listening preferences, but I wish they'd play a little more "out" stuff. Occasionally you'll get some tamer Pharoah Sanders, maybe some Ornette or Eric Dolphy, but I'd like maybe some Art Ensemble, Steve Lacy, Archie Shepp. They did play tracks from Coltrane's "Both Directions At Once" album last year, but that's still fairly tame relatively speaking. I guess you have to appeal to the broadest audience.
 

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I can't stand Sirius digitized audio (bad) quality. Had two cars in a row with the initial 3-months free service but I couldn't stand to listen to it.
 

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They've got some pretty good stuff on the station called "Real Jazz". I got their introductory package on my Subaru, but I let it lapse because that was really the only station I liked, and its programming overlaps significantly with WBGO, which is our local jazz station.
 

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Not enough jazz variety for me. The smooth jazz station is everything that people hate about that genre and Real Jazz is frankly kind of boring.
 

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It varies. The live programming from Lincoln Center and the special hours with McBride, DeFrancesco, and Golden appeal most to me.
 

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I like it for sports; keeping track of your teams while on the road. Rarely if ever listen to any music channels. Here's a tip for you though. When it comes time to renew, cancel. Then they'll cut the price in half for you to stay.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I agree with the price being pretty outrageous, and I'll definitely try the canceling thing to cut the rate. Their programming is kind of all over the place (the Realjazz channel that is). I guess that's good in a way, quite a bit of variety. I like the different channels- I find I switch from Symphony to Realjazz, 70's (although I've heard enough Eagles to last a lifetime at this point), 80's and 90's, and yes I must admit Yacht Rock when I'm in that mood. The channels they devote to one artist is kind of funny- like the Elvis channel, but the Sinatra channel isn't just Frank, they have Sinatra-esque tunes. The music is really diverse- my younger daughter is into Korean pop- there's even a channel for that!
 

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Real Jazz, Deep Tracks, 40's Junction......that's mostly what I listen to. Outlaw Country is kind of funny with Mojo Nixon's show if he's not getting too "colorful". For me it's worth the bucks. The local college stations no longer play jazz and every FM "Rock" station is now corporate rock with absolutely nothing new. Led Zeppelin, Eagles, Rolling Stones from the 80's........ enough of that.
 

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The Real Jazz channel plays too much 50s-60s hard bop. Not that I don't like this, I really love it, but there was a ton of incredible music recorded in the 70s-the present. And they should play more mixed styles and include more electric jazz and fusion from Mahavishnu to the Brecker Bros, Billy Cobham, Eddie Harris, Allan Holdsworth, Yellowjackets etc. And they need to include more adventurous stuff like World Saxophone Quartet and the Art Ensemble of Chicago, Archie Shepp, etc.

I agree with the comments above that the shows hosted by Marcus Miller, Joey D'Francesco and Christian McBride are the best part of the channel, and the LCJO broadcasts can sometimes be incredible.


Also current releases by what I consider more annoying cookie-cutter saxophone shredders who shall remain unnamed, with a ton of technique and zero original voice. I would rather hear Donny McCaslin, Dave Binney and other more original voices.

Here's a tip. Call them up on the phone and tell them how much you LOVE Serius-XM, but tell them money is super tight and that you simply can't afford the subscription at that price and that perhaps with a discount, you could swing it. They want your money! I did this for many years and got the service for about 1/2 price. But be very complementary and sweet on the phone and sound a little needy. Give it a shot.
 

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It’s terrible. And what’s worse is they just launched 100s of online channels and basically ignored expanding jazz channels to do a better job
 

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Sirius had only one actual jazz channel, Real Jazz (at least for my account--not sure if there are different access tiers), and its programming was very repetitive. I canceled it, then they bugged me by mail, email and phone for several months to re-activate. Not going back.

I use iTunes now in the house and car--it has a much bigger library, and will play what I want to hear.
 

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Bealtes channel, real jazz and smooth jazz are fun channels. the decades pop channels are fun... 60s on 6, 70s on 7 etc. I also listen to cable news on Serius-XM, FoxNews, Bloomberg, BBC News, CNN and MSNBC are all on there. Its a tiny fraction of the cost of having a rip-off cable TV subscription.

There is TONS of sports channels if that's your thing. Its certainly not mine.
 

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I have a CD player in my car that can handle 6 CDs, either one at a time or you can put it on a random mix. This way I can choose the recordings I want and change them from time to time. Also there is also a pretty good FM jazz station (KCSM--not quite as good as the now defunct KJAZZ was, but still very good) in the Bay Area that I often listen to in the car. I've never tried Sirius or any of that...
 
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