XM Radio Info Questions - GL1800Riders
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 09:37 AM Thread Starter
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XM Radio Info Questions

Didn't want to piggyback earlier posts; so ..... First off; although I've never lived in a cave, I don't know a thing about XM radio stuff. My ridin' bud finally convinced me to go the XM route (Amazon unit on sale for $35). Ordered a unit,and then read the postings about subscription service specials (and hassles). What is streaming? All I want is good music while I ride (and drive). XM current special (6 mos for $30) expires 04/25/17 (my unit should arrive 04/22/17). Need help as to what I need to subscribe to. Many thanks (from an XM dummy)!!!!!!!

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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 10:28 AM
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Here's the "official" definitions... Basically what it means is a continuous "stream" of data in this case music, being downloaded to your device...

stream·ing
ˈstrēmiNG/
Computing
noun
noun: streaming; plural noun: streamings
  1. 1.
    a method of transmitting or receiving data (especially video and audio material) over a computer network as a steady, continuous flow, allowing playback to proceed while subsequent data is being received.



You can stream music in a number of different ways... If you use your smart phone, you can stream from Pandora and the like, but of course you'll need access to a cell tower and it will chew up your data plan with the constant stream of music data throughout your ride...


You can stream music via a satellite service like Sirius XM which probably offers better overall coverage especially in remote areas... While this is probably a cheaper way to go, dealing with Sirius can be problematic with their automatic renewal program and lack of fluent English speaking service reps...



As far as what you need to subscribe to, that choice is up to you in terms of how much variety you want to listen to and ancillary services they offer like XM Nav Weather and XM Nav Traffic... If your device is capable of receiving and displaying these services, it may be something you want to have in addition to your music choices... Consult the Sirius XM web site to see the various plans... http://www.siriusxm.com/ourmostpopul...riptionOptions


Once you determine what you want to subscribe to, call them and give them your radio identification number (usually found in the radio system folder on the device) and they will set you up and start sending a stream to your device...


I would suggest if you subscribe that you pay via check rather than give them a credit card number... Easier to cancel this way and I personally do not like auto renewal programs of any type on my credit card... They do have a tendency to abuse your Credit Card if they have the number...



Just as an FYI, I do subscribe to the XM select plan (140 channels ) plus XM Nav Weather and XM Nav Traffic and I use my Garmin Zumo 665 for the device... Note that if you use a Garmin unit, your GSM antenna will be required in your auto if you want to listen there as well so make it easily removable if doing so...


Good Luck and enjoy!!



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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 10:37 AM
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People either love or hate XM. It seems to be not the stations so much, but the customer service.

I love satellite radio and have several active units (cars, house, motorcycle). I have been a subscriber for over 10 years. I get a multi-unit discount at a fair (to me) price. It helps that two of my units have lifetime subscriptions (no longer offered).

The XM Weather is a real plus on the Wing.

My subscriptions renew automatically, so I only talk with customer service if I need to add or remove a vehicle.

YMMV.

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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 10:50 AM
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I'm no expert either, the wife has XM-Sirrus in the car, I piggyback( I'll explain later) on her subscription with my GW.
a) "Steaming" is a generic term IMO, most often "streaming" refers to receiving music via your data plan on your smart phone, there are "services" (like radio stations) that "stream" music via the internet using the "data" portion of the cell phone (like when you "google" something on your phone, you are using your data plan)... a popular provider of music is "pandora"...it has both "free" ( with commercials) as well as pay for music ( a subscription) without commercials ( and NO your new unit from amazon will not work with pandora). Streaming with XM radio ( satellite provided) just means that you have a connection with the sky and it sends the signal to earth ...you will lose a signal when going under a bridge, in a tunnel, and sometimes when the satellite is "on the horizon" and the angle to your receiver is too "flat" ( 180 degs).
b) Since you are buying a "unit" I assume that the XM receiver is not built in to your bike. you'll have to figure out a way to power it (12VDC) and how to get the audio signal to the speakers/intercom ( AUX port)...the "head" units have many buttons and a display , think of it as a typical car radio with presets and volume controls, read the instructions and explore all the different types of music/dialog you can listen to. (I'm a gear head, and one of my favorites while on a long rides is to find "car talk" which is on the NPR channel via XM ...the two mechanics ( Click and Clack) are a crack up (1 of the original mechanics, Tom passed away in 2014)...I laugh so hard sometimes that I start crying.
c) I have a gold wing with XM capabilities and navigation, and you can "buy" weather and traffic reports from the XM provider ...the weather reports will cut into the audio and announce "rain has been detected in your area" ( duh, I can see the clouds), and it will cause the map display on navigation to change colors on which roads are jammed (red)and which roads are clear (blue), it also announces "traffic ahead". I "piggy back" those services on my wife's account located in the car. ( you may want those services (weather and traffic) when you "sign up" and pay for your service.
d) billing can be a hassle as they take your credit card and too often automatically bill you each year (with an increase?) ...there are many other posts dealing with billing..you can research those on this site.
Hope this helps

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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 11:00 AM
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I have the service on multiple vehicles as well, really enjoy the weather and traffic on my motorcycle. As others have said, the service itself is pretty good (within the design limits of the specific vehicle with the Gold Wing being the worst of the three vehicles I have this on) but the customer service is awful and if your the kind of person that is going to re-negotiate pricing at each billing cycle like I am it can be frustrating.

Several things I have learned that may be helpful. Insist on paying by check so they cannot simply hit your credit card again with higher fees. If I threaten to quit they always cut me a deal. I have reached the point that I tell them that if they will match the previous years deal I will stay with them. They have never said no.

The other thing is sometimes you get someone on the line that just doesn't get it due to the language or cultural barriers between the US and India. When that happens stop the person from talking and simply say you want to speak with a US calling center. After about a 2 minute hold you will be talking with someone that you can understand and deal with easier. Their "US Calling Center" is actually in Nova Scotia but I always find them to be helpful and courteous. The direct number to that service center is 866-635-2349.

Hope this helps.

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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 11:45 AM
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I been a subcriber sincearound 2007 ish. I was able to buy a lifetime subscription at that time and it has been fantastic since. I'm not sure if they are still available or not but if you keep asking to talk a supervisor at some point you might just be able to wrangle a lifetime subscription out of them. Can't hurt to try? I believe I paid around $450 for the lifetime membership.
Good luck!
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 03:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Mayor Hal View Post
I been a subcriber sincearound 2007 ish. I was able to buy a lifetime subscription at that time and it has been fantastic since. I'm not sure if they are still available or not but if you keep asking to talk a supervisor at some point you might just be able to wrangle a lifetime subscription out of them. Can't hurt to try? I believe I paid around $450 for the lifetime membership.
Good luck!
I did the same for a RoadyXT that I use in a Boombox at home and it goes into the Combine and tractors. Best investment I ever made. I wonder how many people bought the lifetime for their cars/trucks not knowing that they would lose it when you trade/sell.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 03:14 PM
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Originally Posted by rickathome View Post
Didn't want to piggyback earlier posts; so ..... First off; although I've never lived in a cave, I don't know a thing about XM radio stuff. My ridin' bud finally convinced me to go the XM route (Amazon unit on sale for $35). Ordered a unit,and then read the postings about subscription service specials (and hassles). What is streaming? All I want is good music while I ride (and drive). XM current special (6 mos for $30) expires 04/25/17 (my unit should arrive 04/22/17). Need help as to what I need to subscribe to. Many thanks (from an XM dummy)!!!!!!!
When you call to get the subscription, tell them you want them to send you the bill and you will pay by check. If you pay with a credit card you will get stuck with auto renewal at the full price. They charge $2.00 to mail the bill to you.

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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-21-2017, 12:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Racer57 View Post
I did the same for a RoadyXT that I use in a Boombox at home and it goes into the Combine and tractors. Best investment I ever made. I wonder how many people bought the lifetime for their cars/trucks not knowing that they would lose it when you trade/sell.

My boombox unit is a SkyFi 2. I have used this unit on several Goldwings, cars, in the house and in the workshop. The unit is over 10 years old and still is kicking. This unit plays the sweetest music....because it has a lifetime subscription!!

Bargain safely.


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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-21-2017, 01:26 AM
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Another long time XM user. I have mine on tracks and move to bike when needed. Like the others state, it can be worth it's weight in gold or an albatross, depends on your mindset. Good things is,you can cancel if not pleased. I listen to various channels such as sports, rock stations, weather, comedy etc. makes longer out of state rides more relaxing to me.
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