Sirius/XM satellite radio first announced their iPhone application in the first quarter of this year during their earnings call. Since then we've gotten nothing but static. After multiple contacts with the Sirius/XM PR department all we could get from them was that yes, an app was under development, but no we can't tell you more. Well, look what popped into the App Store tonight.
The channel line up includes mainly music stations, but also includes some sports stations, comedy stations, and various news and talk stations. For a full list of channels, see the online channel lineup. There is tiny, light colored text, at the bottom of one of the pages that notes:
Some select programming, including MLB® Play-by-Play, NFL Play-by-Play, SIRIUS NASCAR® Radio, and Howard Stern, will not be available on the iPhone and iPod touch. Listeners will continue to be able to access that programming through the platforms they are currently offered on.
Why in the world they would offer that on the streaming on the desktop but not on the phone is beyond reason. Possibly contractual reasons, but still, silly.
Works over 3G
Interestingly, the Sirius XM app works over 3G. We've seen multiple instances of AT&T or Apple blocking apps the stream audio or video from doing so over the 3G network and restricting them to using Wifi only. This app was approved, perhaps because it's a subscription model and is expected to have fewer users than other streaming apps. You can never tell what's in the minds of the people that approve or reject apps.
Why Sirius/XM Over Free Apps
You might wonder why you would use this over Pandora (App Info) or Slacker (App Info)?. I have been a Sirius subscriber for a few years now, and I actually prefer radio stations with DJs. Even though I'm sure it's all pre-recorded, it still makes it a little more interesting. I also like to think that maybe there are actual people picking the next song and it's not just some computer picking the next song it thinks I might like. It's a preference.
If you are a Sirius or XM subscriber, I'd say pick it up. Never know when you might want to listen on the go. If you aren't a subscriber, you can always grab a free 7-day trial to see if you like it.
The Sirius XM Premium Online is available in the App Store now. [iTunes Link]
Hit the jump for more screen shots of the Sirius XM app.