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Monday, February 20, 2012

Inactivity Messages on Internet Radio

Hello Everyone!

Everyday, when I am working on various project (mostly my Dissertation), I listen to Sirius Satellite or Pandora Internet Radio. After about an hour of listening, the music (or talk radio) just stops... silence.

Pandora Radio will stop because the company wants to reduce exceeding bandwidth and the cost of royalties for played music. I am not sure as to why Sirius does this but I assume it's for the same reasons. An interesting thing about Pandora is that this same limitation does not occur with their smartphone application. Nevertheless, the user has to interrupt what they are doing and click "I'm Still Listening" to continue. The apparent reason for this - I assume - is to prevent the user from leaving the room and leaving the content streaming.

For Sirius Radio, the system is even worse. The user has to log back in as their inactivity message actually boots the user off the service. I hate the inactivity messages! Slacker Radio is pretty awesome but I have yet to fix up my stations to be as good as my Pandora stations (which took forever to customize using the thumbs up / thumbs down buttons - and Pandora still plays strange selections. For example, my station will be entitled, "Black Sabbath" and Pandora will play Journey every so often). 

How often do you change the radio station when listening to "regular radio". Personally, I have a favorite station and simply listen to the that station for hours on end. My regular radio does't just stop... I guess I may be over-annoyed by a minor problem, but this constant annoyance drives me crazy. 

In order to prevent the message on Pandora you have to like or dislike songs (or change the station). I am not quite sure what you have to do for Sirius Radio (other than change the station). This does not seem like an annoyance, but imagine you are streaming Sirius or Pandora Radio from your computer throughout the house and you hop in the shower without pressing a button to keep it from going inactive and the music just stops! I can't tell you how much that annoys me! I think you have to upgrade to Pandora One and this will stop happening, along with the elimination of commercials.

On a side note, Sirius Radio is the WORST, not just for inactivity, but for random server errors and network drops! I hate my Sirius Radio with a passion! Sometime in the near future I will dedicate a post to why Sirius Radio is terrible (post merger with XM). But needless to say, when a certain radio personality retires, I will be cancelling my service. I hope Sirius is listening to customer like myself because they will not survive in the ling-run given the current landscape of portable audio (at least not without content)!

Anyway, this was just a short venting post about a small but really annoying personal pet peeve.