Sirius unveils iPhone App: reviews not so good (updated)
Sirius XM Radio has launched its long-awaited App for the iPhone to mixed reviews. That’s not surprising, really, since the legion of Sirius subscribers has never been sheepish about the pay radio service.
Many users like it, so they can get unique programming in a slick iPhone App. Now they can take Martha Stewart Radio, Road Dog Trucking and the Praise Channel with them anywhere. But you can’t listen to exclusive stuff like Howard Stern’s programming, or Major League Baseball games or the Nascar channel. Ouch.
It’s true that only a handful of channels are excluded (for rights reasons) versus the 120 channels one can listen to. But many Sirius XM subscribers are drawn to the service primarily for Stern, Baseball and the NFL, and they are not pleased. Of 421 user reviews on the iTunes App Store, 261 rate it 1 (out-of-5) stars, and its average is 2 stars. By contrast, online radio app Pandora scores an average 3.5 stars (from a much larger survey sample).
For every Sirius App comment that sounds like this from “Garfinkel”:
The app itself works pretty well. It’s been streaming without a glitch…” (3 Stars)
…there are three that read this way from “MXIKN”:
App shows great promise. Glad I didn’t renew my subscription cause there is no HOWARD. What are they thinking? I’m willing to renew if I can get Howard Stern. Many others will agree with me. Give us what we want. (1 Star)
Still others balked because the “free” App requires a Sirius subscription PLUS, in some cases, an additional $3 monthly fee for its online package.
Business insider’s Dan Frommer said the App may find an audience, but…
…we have a hard time seeing the app driving significant new subscribership to Sirius, as there’s simply too many other ways to listen to music on the iPhone already. (Which don’t cost $13/month.)
I would tell you how I feel about it, but the Sirius XM Radio App for the iPhone and iPod Touch does not run on 1st generation Touches — like the one I own.
UPDATE: I went back to the App store hours later and it downloaded easily on my first gen Touch. (earlier there was an error message that stopped the download.) Can’t give a full review yet, but as first impressions go, “Top Billin'” by Audio Two on the “Backspin” station is golden.