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Old 11-20-2006, 09:41 AM   #1
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Default The epitome of the repetition issue...so frustrating...

I am a devoted Sirius listener, with Disorder being my favorite stream, along with Spectrum, Blues, Underground Garage, First Wave, Left of Center, Coffee House, Outlaw Country and Boombox. In other words, I have pretty varied tastes, and I find that by switching among these streams I can pretty much overcome the repetition problem with Sirius, (although I obviously wish this weren't an issue at all).

I recently started to check out Standard Time, and even for a Sirius veteran I am amazed at the lack of variety. I know that the repetition problems have been covered on these boards forever. And I know that standards aren't what the majority of Sirius' listeners care about, but why even have this station if it's going to repeat the same artists and songs ad nauseum?

I know, I know...XM offers less repetition, but I am one of those people who, despite my eclectic tastes, doesn't like XM. I prefer Sirius because when I listen I feel like I'm listening to RADIO, not someone else's iPod. (When I want to listen to an iPod I'd rather listen to my own.)

But with Standard Time, it's as if someone picked out a limited, famous bunch of artists at the stream's inception, picked out a bunch of their songs, and then put the whole thing on "auto pilot". How much of an effort would it take to make this stream even just a little better? Why don't they even try?
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Old 11-20-2006, 10:34 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trachshack
But with Standard Time, it's as if someone picked out a limited, famous bunch of artists at the stream's inception, picked out a bunch of their songs, and then put the whole thing on "auto pilot". How much of an effort would it take to make this stream even just a little better? Why don't they even try?
Repetition unfortunatley is a tried and true money making programing format that dates back to the 'Top 40 chart' days of the 60's. I guess it's somtheing Sirius doesn't want to venture too far from. Of course if you have varied tastes and listen to lots of channels, then it really isn't that much of an issue. I've been subscribed for 2 1//2 years and have learned to move around when one channel starts repeating too much

But you're right.. Standard Time NEEDS work. The 'Rat Pack' does get a lot of play, but they are the essence of the genre.. I'd like to see a bit more variety. There is PLENTY of music to choose from. Frank Sinatra alone has 80 albums dating back to the 1940's

I wish they'd stick to the old artists. Michael Buble is good, but I'd prefer to hear the songs by the original artists..

Finally.. When they killed Swing Street it was supposed to have merged with Standard Time. It seems that less than 5% of the music they play is swing. The only bright spot for swing fans is 'Swinger's delight' which is on Saturday nights.... I don't know about you, but I rarely sit around Saturday nights listening to the radio... I'm out doing things
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Old 11-21-2006, 04:20 PM   #3
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I don't think you could be more wrong about XM being unrepetitive....I have to listen to XM at work all day (cant get a good Sirius signal) and they repeat songs like CrAzY!!! If I have to hear "Big Black Horse and a Cherry Tree" one more time I'm going to go out and shoot that horse and chop down the friggin cherry tree!!
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Old 11-21-2006, 04:25 PM   #4
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Interesting. I've only listened to XM occasionally via my Direct TV, but I just assumed they repeat less than Sirius because of what people say on these boards. I haven't really heard it for a while. In any case, I found it to have much less "personality" than Sirius.
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Old 02-23-2007, 11:58 PM   #5
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I think in the 3 years I've been with Sirius, I've never seen a song get played twice on the same channel within an hour....until tonight

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Old 02-24-2007, 11:56 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by digital View Post
I don't think you could be more wrong about XM being unrepetitive....I have to listen to XM at work all day (cant get a good Sirius signal) and they repeat songs like CrAzY!!! If I have to hear "Big Black Horse and a Cherry Tree" one more time I'm going to go out and shoot that horse and chop down the friggin cherry tree!!
Were you listening to Top 20 on 20, perhaps?
You do know that they repeat the "Top 20" songs all day right? Hence the name.
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Old 02-24-2007, 03:12 PM   #7
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XM does repeat lots of songs too. Don't get it twisted, there are only so many songs in either's catalog. XM does play some songs that you would never expect to hear on any radio anywhere, but they do have artists that are like "go to" artists that get plenty of repetition.

Remember, both services have an extra 20 minutes or so of time each hour to have to program, versus terrestrial radio. That doesn't help matters.

Right now I'm vibing to a hip hop dj mix on XM that started out great with promos of artists coming in the mix, then I realize it's a mix I heard about 6 weeks ago. At least Sirius doesn't do that, at least on the rap channels. Neither service is perfect.
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Old 02-24-2007, 04:03 PM   #8
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I agree. I am continually shocked and disappointed at the limited Standard Time playlist--I've heard the same song--often Buddy Greco's Around the World In 80 Days, Sammy Davis's Just Once in a Lifetime, or Bobby Darrin's Artificial Flowers--repeat only hours apart. This is truly incredible considering the vast depth of the American standards songbook from the 1940s through the present. XM does have less repetition, and at least has a separate Big Band channel. Sirius is certainly not trying very hard. Look at any recently-released CDs with Big Band, Verve, Capitol, or even Ultra-Lounge collections, and you'll find multiple standards artists and songs unheard on Sirius. Sirius should also bring back Swing Street, as Big Band is maybe 4% of Standard Time. Wow! I would really like some official response from Sirius why their playlists are so limited--is it licensing, cost savings, intentional, laziness, listener brain-washing, or what? Certainly they employ persons with the knowledge and capacity to locate and present deeper playlists. Do any radio heads out there know why they would intentionally have such limited playlists?
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Old 02-26-2007, 12:11 AM   #9
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Yes, XM has a knack for repeating the hell out of songs that are lesser known, or ones that were just not very popular back in their day. Essentially they are repeating songs that seem to be, IMO, the programmers personal favorites. Sirius' repetitive approach, on the other hand, is much more chart based. Personally, I'd rather have hit songs repeated more often than the mediocre ones. Especially, where rock, top 40, and hot adult contemporary are concerned, XM literally drove me to listen to Sirius full time when they changed their method a few years ago.

Also, XM appears to sound like they play much more music than Sirius. It's because there is a high probability that you'll only passively listen to some of their songs because many of them are simply plain and boring. (there is a reason they didn't chart well) That being said, you likely won't even notice the song when it plays again three or four hours later. But if it were a popular song, you'd be ten times more likely to notice.

Sirius also does something I love that XM doesn't. Sirius programs recurrents. This means that 1 year from the time a song was first aired, it will begin to air again in regular rotation for a somewhat short period of time. This allows the listener to become nostalgic of events, season, and personal situations that were present when you first heard the song aired. Terrestrial radio also uses this methodology (In between the huge commercial loads of course!)

For example, most Area 33 listeners probably have noticed that Area 33 is playing significantly more trance now than they have been for the past 8 months or so. And most of those trance songs airing are ones from this exact time last year. For me it's extremely nostalgic, because about this time last year I took an 8 hour (total) drive to Dallas and back. On my trip I listened to Area 33 almost exclusively. Being relatively new to Texas, I 'zoned' out watching the springtime scenery, because spring in February and March, is completely unheard of being from where I'm from. Sadly, the 'recurrents' have also made me realize that Area 33 has really lost it's trance edge over this past year.

XM does none of this. That's why I can't ever get a warm fuzzy feeling about XM's programming. There literally is no method to their programming. They are literally an IPOD on shuffle that just repeats the songs you really don't want to hear. Also, don't forget those low budget, boring, 2 minute long sweepers in between the songs that XM has. Talk about a snore fest?

Personally, the merger terrifies me because of this. Sirius, PLEASE be selective about who you bring over from XM to program. I have a pulse and I like my music to have one too!
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Old 02-26-2007, 09:34 AM   #10
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Default Standard Time

I really like Standard Time as it is, but I have to say I'm looking forward to the Sinatra channel starting. I hear April 1.
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Old 02-26-2007, 09:53 AM   #11
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I have to agree. I listen to Standard Time quite a bit, and notice the repetition. I would like to see it extended a little bit more.
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Old 02-26-2007, 03:13 PM   #12
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Nhtracker brings up some good points. Sirius' programming has a pulse, and a heart. Not to say XM doesn't, if they were the only game in town I would probably still be a subscriber.

But there's something cold and limp about everything outside the actual music. The talk channels seem lifeless compared to Sirius, the ads between the songs are abysmal, as are most of the DJ's except for the notable ones I suppose, Dylan, Petty, Snoop etc.

XM's shows really feel like their programmed the day before at like 2am. There isn't any listener participation, I guess is what I'm getting at. That's important for this listener. Hopefully that will carry over after any merger.
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Old 02-26-2007, 03:37 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by geosync View Post
Nhtracker brings up some good points. Sirius' programming has a pulse, and a heart. Not to say XM doesn't, if they were the only game in town I would probably still be a subscriber.

But there's something cold and limp about everything outside the actual music. The talk channels seem lifeless compared to Sirius, the ads between the songs are abysmal, as are most of the DJ's except for the notable ones I suppose, Dylan, Petty, Snoop etc.

XM's shows really feel like their programmed the day before at like 2am. There isn't any listener participation, I guess is what I'm getting at. That's important for this listener. Hopefully that will carry over after any merger.
I'd like to jump in here and present the other side. I've had Sirius for almost 2 yrs and XM for almost 8mo. XM programs their music to the full day listener. Sirius programs for the 10min listener. There is a philosiphy behind XM music...its hard to put my finger on but I feel like when I'm listening that I am part of a larger picture. I get what they are trying to do music wise at XM. After listening to Sirius for a while now I feek pretty confident when I say they program to this generation....very ADD type stuff. XM isn't really deeper then Sirius they just put more thought into and program for all day listener. If you give it a chance and get into feel you will hear the soundtrack to life. Sounds corny....I don't care its cool! One of the people responsible for XM's music is Lee Abrams and if this merger is gonna bring people from both services together they need to have Lee in charge of music programming IMHO..
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Old 02-26-2007, 10:35 PM   #14
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I'd like to jump in here and present the other side. I've had Sirius for almost 2 yrs and XM for almost 8mo. XM programs their music to the full day listener. Sirius programs for the 10min listener. There is a philosiphy behind XM music...its hard to put my finger on but I feel like when I'm listening that I am part of a larger picture. I get what they are trying to do music wise at XM. After listening to Sirius for a while now I feek pretty confident when I say they program to this generation....very ADD type stuff. XM isn't really deeper then Sirius they just put more thought into and program for all day listener. If you give it a chance and get into feel you will hear the soundtrack to life. Sounds corny....I don't care its cool! One of the people responsible for XM's music is Lee Abrams and if this merger is gonna bring people from both services together they need to have Lee in charge of music programming IMHO..
bravo sir, in the 3 years I've been a sat radio subscriber, (mostly a dual), and active lurker/ and forum user, that is by far the most intelligent and dead on accurate description of the musical programming difference between the two companies I have EVER heard.

On the Lee Abrams tip, for anyone who hasn't, I high suggest reading Lee Abrams blog, which is updated very regularly. This man lives, and breathes music. If a XM channels channel is falling apart, he'll be the first to say "We almost killed Ethel" (Actual quote), if it's failing, he will actually pubically acknowledge it, tell you why, admit guilt, and tell you how it will be fixed.

I'm telling you right now, if you are a XM subcriber, and are unhappy with a channels programming, don't even bother with customer service, contact Lee Abrams, and Eric Logan. Two people at XM that actually listen.
Believe me though, they may listen, but there superiors may not listen to them.

http://leeabrams.blogspot.com/

Recently Lee wrote one of the best two paragraphs ever about relishing in celebrity junk culture. Remember this, cause I believe you will see sat radio change for this reason..
IE: Sirius and there signing anyone B-List celeb or down to contracts

All of this is like a lot of radio stations who are all about their “message” but have NO substance. It’s all the best, the greatest, the most…complete with direct mail with highly unbelievable faces of “pop stars” and “phoners” with Anna Nicole’s Mom. I just hope we at XM can do our part to be an escape from this level of celebrity madness that WILL drive those who become linked to it, down an inevitable path of failure.

…as predicted last year in an earlier blog—Katie Couric is dead last in the Network News ratings. Of course she is. The bozos at CBS News apparently bought into the “celeb doing news” thing—thank God most of America did not. HOW do these people make these decisions? We at XM make some bad decisions sometimes as everyone does, but something THIS obvious? My problem with most celebrity worship is that celebrating these damned souls takes time away from the celebrities with talent that actually contribute something. Junk culture does NOT nourish our future.
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Old 02-26-2007, 11:16 PM   #15
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Well, personally I and many many many other people are a little too busy to listen to XM's wide scheme of things, if that's what they're actually targeting.

I frankly don't want to sift through the crap in the short time span I have to devote to radio every day. If they're gonna fill up their schedules with songs that are dull and boring, I might as well listen to the commercials on terrestrial radio, because it's essentially the same thing (passive versus active listening). Sirius reminds me of the energy that major market radio had while I was in my teens.

XM, regardless of the channel's format, reminds me of a small 'adult contemporary' station in my town that I would tune to on my clock radio (It was the only station it would pick up.) The station's programming was satellite delivered and was completely and positively bland. It is what XM reminds me of. And as I said before, I'm not just talking about the music. XM's production flat out blows. And their song transitions are so loose that they sound like an IPOD.

Of course this is my opinion, and I do see where some people might like the dull IPOD-ish sound. But I, like many others with Sirius, enjoy the fact that Sirius has the ADD factor. That's why it's been great having two sat services. You don't like one, you go to the other. Each has a very distinctive style.

Personally, I would kiss satellite radio goodbye if that idealist Lee Abrams ever came near my Sirius channels. I'm sure he's a genius to some, but he certainly isn't my cup of tea.
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