Welcome to “This vs. That,” a new series where I compare and contrast two similar products or services, and declare my eventual winner. You may feel free to disagree! Leave your thoughts in the comments.
I am a Sirius subscriber, and have been for several years. I used to use a portable device in my old car, and then when I got my xB, I upgraded to the integrated Sirius tuner. I like Sirius a lot – though I originally subscribed so I could keep listening to Howard Stern, as time goes on, I listen to him less and less and instead find myself listening to the music and the NPR stations. The only drawbacks to regular Sirius satellite radio service are the fact that you lose the signal when you go under bridges, tunnels, etc.; and the fact that it keeps getting more and more expensive every year. Case in point: the Internet streaming service. It used to be included with subscription plans for the satellite service, but now if I want to listen to Sirius on my computer, I have to add it to my subscription, for $2.99 a month.
Now, I might have seriously considered doing that and not looking back, but I already sprung for a Pandora One subscription for $36 annually. Pandora does have a free service, which I recommend very strongly if you’re looking for a way to listen to high-quality music online for free. Pandora One offers some enhancements and actually I’m on my second year of it, and I do like it quite a bit. Still, I went ahead and used a free seven-day trial of the Sirius Internet Radio service, in order to contrast and compare. Was I making the right choice with Pandora, or should I switch to Sirius?
After trying out the Sirius service and analyzing both products, I came up with this little list of pros and cons:
|Sirius Internet Radio||Pandora One|
|$2.99 a month||$36 annually|
|Requires IE for full featured player||Any browser, or standalone app|
|Available on iPhone||Available on iPhone|
|Many Sirius channels||Infinite channels|
|No fast-forwarding||Fast-forwarding (6 skips/hour/channel)|
|Live stream only – no pause||Pause|
|Howard Stern, NPR, etc.||Music only|
|One hour time-out||Five hour time-out|
|No advertising on music channels||No advertising|
|No real influence on what’s played||Vote songs up/down, ban from channel, etc.|
So, in case you can’t tell from my table, I’ve decided after listening to both, that I’m happy with Pandora One, and I won’t be adding Internet radio to my Sirius subscription. In fact, as far as Sirius goes, I do love it but…dang, it is getting SO expensive. Next Spring, when my subscription comes up for renewal again, I may just bite the bullet and cancel. I’m starting to think I can manage to live without it. But Pandora, well, I love it. Totally worth $36 a year.
And that’s this vs. that!