Lion of the Blogosphere

Satellite radio vs. Spotify

Avon Lon writes:

A friend recently tweeted that anyone who drives a car without satellite radio is “poor.”

Augustus responds:

Satellite radio sucks. Using spotify unlimited through your phone is much much better.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

May 22, 2015 at 7:15 PM

Posted in Technology

75 Responses

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  1. I have a free trial of satellite radio with my new car. There are perhaps 4 – 5 of the several hundred channels that I enjoy. All the sports, talk, spanish language and most of the music genres just plain don’t interest me.

    However streaming over the wireless 3G or 4G networks doesn’t work very well outside of the metro area. Driving to the countryside or traveling requires traversing areas with weak or nonexistent coverage.

    I remember a few years ago when the iPods first came out, there were some enterprising folks who loaded and assembled playlists for those too busy, lazy or dim to do it themselves. This kind of custom playlists might make more sense than either streaming music or satellite radio.

    Thin-Skinned Masta-Beta

    May 22, 2015 at 7:31 PM

    • Or better yet, search Spotify for playlists.A good number are regularly updated. Your phone can download them over the air when you have good reception or Wifi, then play them wherever you are.


      May 30, 2015 at 5:22 PM

  2. Currently we have SiriusXM in the cars to listen to rock and pop, and a Pandora subscription that gets used at home mainly for jazz but sometimes rock and pop. We don’t really buy any other music but will occasionally purchase audiobooks for long drives. We might get rid of satellite radio because it’s expensive but streaming over cellular data isn’t the greatest while driving.

    Is there a better and less expensive way to listen to music?


    May 22, 2015 at 7:37 PM

    • Use a “PAC head unit adapter” to make your car stereo see your mp3 player as an auxiliary cd changer.


      May 22, 2015 at 10:34 PM

  3. I thought it sat radio was pretty nice when I had it. Streaming cell phone radio quality is poor and requires a good connection.

    I never paid for Sirius but when my free trial ran out, I continued to get a random assortment of free no commercial stations, a lot from canada, plus one that is just stand up comedy.

    Really what is prole is a long car commute that requires a lot of thought on such issues. Every big center of good jobs has a nice family neighborhood nearby in my experience.


    May 22, 2015 at 7:38 PM

  4. dear GOD!

    a car with a radio or cd player of any kind is despicable compared to one without.

    unless you’re listening to books on tape or learning a language you’re a prole.

    all music is prole from heavy metal to the 9th symphony.

    gregorian chant without instruments is cool though, and of course von Karajan’s studio recordings of Wagner and Thelonius Sphere Monk’s Trio album are interesting.

    mass media = fast food.


    May 22, 2015 at 8:23 PM

  5. Tomorrow is the first anniversary of Elliot Rodger’s Day of Retribution. Elliot Rodger, alayhi as-salām.


    May 22, 2015 at 8:45 PM

  6. FM Radio is superior to both when it comes to driving. Sorry, it’s true.


    May 22, 2015 at 9:19 PM

    • Not if you’re out of range of any FM stations, and there are a lot of places (non-prole even!) where that is or effectively is the case. Satellite works just about everywhere and doesn’t have commercials. FM is capable of better sound quality if you’re close to the transmitter


      May 23, 2015 at 10:17 AM

    • Assuming you have good stations…

      The Undiscovered Jew

      May 23, 2015 at 12:36 PM

  7. Pretty much all I ever listen to in the car is the news station, CBS880.



    May 22, 2015 at 9:39 PM

    • 880 is prole.

      1010 WINS is for the bobos.


      May 24, 2015 at 8:15 PM

      • Very sarcastic 🙂

      • i’ve never heard of either thank God.

        there’s npr with the bbc late night. it’s 99% crap, 1% worth listening to.

        the rest of radio is 110% crap.

        off topic ranting guy

        May 26, 2015 at 9:06 PM

      • I know that “bobo” stands for bourgeois bohemian. But really to me “bobo” sounds like it would be the nickname of a character on “The Jersey Shore.” Next episode: Snooki and Bobo go to Atlantic City.


        May 26, 2015 at 9:30 PM

  8. I listen to local radio.


    May 22, 2015 at 9:44 PM

  9. More accurate to say if your car has a satellite radio and you don’t subscribe, you’re poor. Either that or needlessly frugal. I have the satellite radio subscription, it’s pretty good. I think the sound quality is better than streaming OTA.

    You know what’s poor? People complaining that HBO Now costs $15/month instead of $8/month like Netflix. Those two numbers are the same if you have sufficient means.


    May 22, 2015 at 9:59 PM

    • Needlessly frugal is the correct answer to the implicit question about what a radio signifies.

      I’ve known at least one very rich person who lived like an ascetic. In a small apartment with few clothes living off of inexpensive food and with only a radio and books for entertainment. And this guy had a trust fund from a very large steel plant his grandfather owned. He was obsessed, obsessed, obsessed with making even more money off of interest gained from expense avoidance.

      And then there was this guy.


      May 25, 2015 at 10:57 AM

  10. driving a car is prole. You either walk, get driven or uber/taxi/black car to work.


    May 22, 2015 at 10:15 PM

    • Driving a car is not prole.

      • Friend probably would have used the word “prole” instead of “poor” in the tweet if that was part of his vocabulary.

        Ava Lon

        May 23, 2015 at 12:09 AM

      • Perhaps the distinction would be the reason one drives.

        If one lives in a Good Area that lacks public transportation, then one could drive without it being prole. Practicality is important.

        If one lives in an area where there is public transportation, but one does not use it out of an unconscious fear of being seen as of a lower class status, then one is presumably Lower Middle Class. It would be due to one’s status anxiety. So, not prole but not elite either. (Possibly Upper Middle Class as well to a lesser extent.)

        If one is overly excited by one’s car, Fussell classified them as prole.

        Which is not to say that the elites (TOOS) don’t drive. The elites might even enjoy driving and have some sentimental attachment to their private automobile. The TOOS would be the most able to use uber/taxis when they are appropriate due to their funds being somewhat unlimited. Whether they drive or not is an example of revealed preference as to whether they want to drive or not. Thus, we could observe from their rate of driving in urban areas the extent to which driving is or is not prole.

        Anonymous Bro

        May 23, 2015 at 2:06 PM

    • Yes, don’t forget traveling on buses is prole.The same when taking a train, because you need to go out of town. Subway is semi-prole. I need to get a personal chauffeur like most elites.


      May 23, 2015 at 3:41 PM

      • Taking the bus or train in a metropolitan setting is not necessarilly prole. In fact, an educated and successful person who does so displays a lack of regard for the status opinions of others. Not caring what others think is inherently “upper”. Being afraid to travel by bus or train for fear of ridicule would be a very middle class thing to do.


        May 26, 2015 at 4:51 PM

      • Riding a plane with other proles (hint: the average American at the airport) is prole.


        May 26, 2015 at 6:10 PM

      • Given the fact that America is a now culturally stagnant nation, embarking in most activities that the mainstream populace engages, is prole, and prole and prole.


        May 26, 2015 at 6:13 PM

      • It goes to show you that the true, old money, upper class, distance themselves from the prolish nouveau riche, upper middle and lower classes, most of the time, perhaps with the exception of their self actualization, philanthropic events.


        May 26, 2015 at 7:26 PM

    • Personally, this is the only way I travel. I will consider walking short distances, though.


      May 25, 2015 at 9:20 AM

  11. You can continue to get Sirius XM for like $25 for 6 months, indefinitely. Just wait for them to send you the offer; they will when your free trial is about to expire. They make you give them your credit card info and agree to auto-renewal at the full price once the 6 months is up. But, just before it’s over, you call them and tell them you want to cancel. They’ll offer you another 6 months for $25.


    May 22, 2015 at 10:29 PM

  12. Amusing story:
    Muhammad Ali has two teenage grandsons who are looking as if they’ll be star athletes. Biaggio Ali-Walsh is one of the top high school football running backs in the country, with many colleges recruiting him, while his younger brother Nico wants to follow in Grandpa’s footsteps and is a promising amateur boxer. Their mother is Ali’s daughter Rasheeda.
    Why is this amusing? Google the boys. A video on Bleacher Report is especially useful. You will be extremely surprised.



    May 22, 2015 at 10:55 PM

  13. Since when do New Yorkers have cars?


    May 22, 2015 at 11:15 PM

  14. Living in an area without good radio stations is prole.


    May 22, 2015 at 11:53 PM

    • “Good radio stations” is too subjective a standard to have any meaning.


      May 23, 2015 at 10:13 AM

    • New York City doesn’t have any good radio stations.


      May 23, 2015 at 10:56 AM

      • You can listen to Michael Savage, or the Weiner on WABC. What’s up with a right leaning New Yorker ecking out in San Francisco? That’s one liberal elitist town to another liberal freak town. So one may ask, why is a conservative homophobe licking on a San Fran Gaysicle. It’s like a misogynist who attends social functions full of women.

        One thing I hate about the Savage Nation is the annoying hard rock/ metal melodies that defines in his show (never mind his annoying Neel Yaawk accent). Talkin about a radio show that comes off as prole, something Mr. Savage or Weiner would say!


        May 23, 2015 at 11:03 PM

  15. Anything streaming leaves me worrying about data plan bills. I always thought that we were going to get satellite radio at some point, but MP3’s and storage make it kind of a moot point, as far as I’m concerned.

    Does listening to MP3’s make me prole? Or does it just make me old? I think it makes me old.


    May 23, 2015 at 12:11 AM

    • I listen to mp3s and podcasts as well. Probably because I am old. Odd though, because to me satellite radio seems like just old fashioned radio with more choice. Why does anyone want music or talk shows broadcast to them when you can use your iPad or iPhone as a storage device to play what you want to hear when you want it? Not to mention the fact that the intellectual level of podcasting is much higher than what you find on satellite radio. Again, maybe my age, but I know plenty of affluent educated people and very few of them bother with satellite radio. Seems like a way to sucker status seeking young men out of their cash.

      Peter Akuleyev

      May 23, 2015 at 5:58 PM

      • I like the serendipity of hearing a song I have never heard, or haven’t heard in a long time and don’t own. I couldn’t possibly own all the songs I like, and I still pick up new stuff once in awhile. I really wouldn’t want to have to manipulate all that to make my own playlists anyway.

        Mrs Stitch

        May 23, 2015 at 9:57 PM

  16. One has to be careful in too fast equating something new and techy with not being prole, lest you end up claiming that people who converse on phone via bluetooth headset are making everyone else look poor. Rather than simply making them like non-buttheads.


    May 23, 2015 at 1:22 AM

  17. being prole is prole

    james n.s.w

    May 23, 2015 at 2:20 AM

    • Born Prole, living prole with prole kids in N.S.W. See ya at the pub, James.

      MT Isa Miner

      May 31, 2015 at 12:38 AM

  18. Passive entertainment aimed at the bored masses is prole.


    May 23, 2015 at 3:00 AM

    • Everything in America is either prole or prolier.


      May 23, 2015 at 6:41 PM

      • Actually, I think breathing is kind of prole. I mean it’s the same thing all the time – air in, air out – with no variety. If proles woiuld try to improve themselves they could create a more vibrant culture where all that oxygen could be put to better use.


        May 26, 2015 at 9:27 PM

      • The suburbs with its boring prole air would be just that, compared to the city life with its fumes, odors and stenches. I could smell the different food carts in Manhattan while I’m walking by, as a nice whip of fecal gas emits from the drainage system on the ground, only in NYC as they say. Garbage in and garbage out from mouth to rectum. They don’t call it the world’s greatest cesspool for no reason!


        May 26, 2015 at 11:11 PM

  19. I had a satellite radio trial and it’s been in various rental cars. It’s ok, but I find the stupid station naming conventions annoying and useless. Ok, when a station is called “50s on 5” that’s useless, but what the hell does “The Blend” mean, or “The Spectrum” or “The Loft” (I had to look all those up just now). It’s precious and irritating.

    In any case, as I’ve gotten older my musical tastes, while very eclectic (ya’ll should see my playlist), are less tolerant. I don’t like to listen to what I don’t like to listen to. I much prefer to use Spotify, where my main playlist is over 145 hours of entirely music that I like. (A random three song sequence: “Jaded” by Aerosmith, “Frenchette” by David Johansen and “I’m Gonna Love You Too” by Buddy Holly — you aren’t going to find any radio station that will have that combo.)

    Actual music radio is unbearable. Though sometimes in the car I’ll listen to sports radio (I don’t care much about sports, but having some sports awareness and talking points is useful in work social settings) or Michael Savage who is invariably interesting, even if I don’t always agree with him. At least he’s not an unlistenable dummy like Sean Hannity. And I miss Bob Grant.


    May 23, 2015 at 11:05 AM

  20. the car is for listening to podcasts only (science, history, & marc maron)
    music died about 1981:) it will only disappoint you.


    May 23, 2015 at 12:19 PM

  21. I have lurked here for a while and I like the blog. But reading all this nonsense about radio I say that most of you deserve your favorite word, “prole.” Talking about mp3, satellite radio and Sirius is prole because it shows that the person doesn’t know anything about high fidelity in audio. You think you’re getting all the sound and the music but you aren’t and you don’t know it, therefore don’t act like the expert you are not. That’s as prole as it comes, according to your own definition. I’ll make an exception of FM because, as some here have said, FM is great provided you are close to the station *and* the station doesn’t compress its sound output. Now for the killer: anything outside of classical and some old jazz standards is really prole. Just ask any 18th century nobleman, one of those who really had their proles down.

    Vladimir Dorta

    May 23, 2015 at 4:41 PM

    • Blogging on LoftB is never a happy event, that is if you’re still living the US and crapping on the problems responsible for its demise.

      If you’re optimist as some astrologers predict, then America is on its way to a renaissance, and we’re at the crossroads of something wonderful ahead.

      Everything in America has a price, including chasing that prestigious value transference job. You ask, is it worth it at the end.


      May 23, 2015 at 6:38 PM

      • “Blogging on LoftB is never a happy event”



        May 23, 2015 at 7:49 PM

      • JS are you still in these dreadful United States?

        Have you found your promised land?

        Thin-Skinned Masta-Beta

        May 23, 2015 at 8:47 PM

      • This site,, does a good job comparing Canada with America, especially when it comes to this:

        Ethnic Groups:


        White: 83.5%

        Asian: 10.5%

        Native: 3.7%

        Black: 2.3% (2006 est.)4

        United States

        White: 81.2%

        Black: 13.1%

        Asian: 4.7%

        Native: 1.0% (2008)5

        Canada has 2.3% more Whites, 2.2 times more Asians, and 3.7 times more Natives. USA has 5.7 times more Blacks.


        May 23, 2015 at 11:25 PM

      • You want to hear something dreadful. Today, someone told me that Park Slope is the most “European” of all the NYC nabes, hence the very pricey real estate. If this is true among SWPLs and Yuppies, then this confirms that Merica is a dreadful place.


        May 24, 2015 at 8:31 PM

      • Park Slope has very nice brownstones.

        Why don’t they build new townhouses that look just like that? Because it’s considered kitsch to build them new, we are only allowed to appreciate the old townhouses that were build in that style of architecture before the elites knew how kitsch it is.

      • The reason is because they are status markers (aka positional goods). I have a idea, let’s have the liberal phonies move their beloved NAMs away from public housing, especially those in Manhattan, so the developers can tear them down and erect luxury housing. In return, these undesirables could live in some outskirt and take residence in newly built brownstones. Baltimore comes to mind.


        May 24, 2015 at 9:01 PM

      • If you ever heard of this guy, Neil Steinberg, he is a Chicagoan Liberal Media Pundit, who comes across as someone who wishes he was part of the Manhattan or SWPL Brooklyn Elite, like David Brooks or Paul Krugman.

        His book, You were never in Chicago, was really written for New Yorkers in spite of. Chicago is Chicago, the 2nd city. It will always play the 2nd fiddle….


        May 24, 2015 at 9:07 PM

    • Lion is a good writer and blogs about all kinds of topics. The social class issues and proles are sometimes a digression from more important topics.

      Lion’s blog posts about Elliot Rodger were a real tour de force.

      Ava Lon

      May 23, 2015 at 9:16 PM

    • If you are worrying about high fidelity audio in your car you have other issues.

      Peter Akuleyev

      May 24, 2015 at 1:41 AM

  22. Every long post on LOTB is P.R.O.L.E. – pointless rambling or lengthy exposition.


    May 23, 2015 at 9:54 PM

  23. “Proletarian” has an interesting etymology. “Prole” is derived from offspring. Proletarians were people without money or skills whose only contribution to society was producing offspring.

    Is pedantry prole?

    Mark Caplan

    May 23, 2015 at 10:11 PM

  24. lion, OT, the NAMs are at it again.


    May 24, 2015 at 7:44 AM

  25. Lion has to comment on the NAM that killed the rich greek in a tony part of DC.


    May 24, 2015 at 12:19 PM

    • I thought he was black. NAM implies that he might also be Hispanic, when in fact Hispanics don’t generally commit crimes like that unless they are black Hispanics.

  26. Radio in general sucks. The music is terrible. The quality is poor. The are ads are obnoxious.

    Buy some CDs. It makes as much sense to listen to Spotify as it does to create a YouTube playlist although that is much more convenient.


    May 24, 2015 at 2:40 PM

  27. O.T. – I was just watching “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” on cable TV. I’d seen it once many years ago and had half forgotten it. It seemed kind of dated to me. But isn’t it amazing how “Jeff Spicoli” became a code word for a certain kind of shallow teenage male type? Notice also how the two IAs in the film – Spicoli and Damone – are both negative characters (Damone, intelligent but conniving, Spicoli, harmless but shallow.) I think Cameron Crowe, the story’s author is in the same boat as Lion – someone who got burned badly by Italians in his youth and has some bad feelings toward them.


    May 24, 2015 at 10:45 PM

    • What do you think of Tony Danza, especially when he was on Taxi?


      May 25, 2015 at 11:00 AM

      • Honestly, I only saw one episode of “Taxi,” so I barely remember Danza’s character. But he was wonderful on “Who’s the Boss?”


        May 26, 2015 at 9:06 PM

    • Maryk, killing it today!

      mid ea ea

      May 25, 2015 at 11:42 AM

    • Fast Times is supposed to be true, albeit fictionalized. Damone is actually a composite of a couple of characters from the book – which is an excellent read btw.


      May 25, 2015 at 6:32 PM

  28. In LA I’ve got three jazz stations, one classical, all pbs no commercials, two alt rck stations including KROQ, five rock stations, all news am, Dodgers, Angels, Ducks, NFL, USC and UCLA football, plus Notre Dame.

    For free. Works under bridges too. Why would I want sat radio? I pay nothing and reception is great.


    May 25, 2015 at 7:12 PM

  29. If your car doesn’t have Bluetooth to connect to your phone, you’re poor.

    Satellite radio is a transitional technology like MiniDisc, LaserDisc and digital-analogue recording consoles, which makes it all the funnier the government lost its mind when Sirius and XM wanted to merge. Yes, they have now become a satellite radio monopoly, but as everyone now has a phone that can deliver streaming audio via 4G networks, that monopoly does not place any practical restrictions on the vast majority of consumers. Perhaps long-haul truckers who travel outside of decent cell coverage have suffered (this is such an important part of SiriusXM’s customer base there is a channel dedicated to and aimed at truck drivers).

    T-Mobile has brokered agreements with dozens of streaming music providers so that their customers can use those services without that music streaming counting against their data plans. Additionally, nearly every podcast playing app now has a setting where it automatically keeps only the X most recent episodes of your subscribed podcasts on your phone so you always have the latest episodes but podcasts do not consume all the storage on your phone.

    Making things even funnier, SiriusXM has a mobile app and offers online-only subscriptions now. (And It is one of the streaming apps that T-Mobile does not count against its customers’ data usage.)


    May 27, 2015 at 4:45 PM

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