Sirius XM is at it again. The company that has faced numerous financial issues over the past few years has finally released its much-anticipated app for the iPhone and iPod Touch. There's just one problem: it leaves out much of the good stuff.
The new app allows users to access some of the service's sports, talk, comedy, and music channels. The available channels include, Oprah Radio, MLB Home Plate, NFL Radio, NHL Home Ice, Mad Dog Radio, The Foxxhole comedy channel, and NPR.
Users will also have access to a variety of Sirius XM music channels, including E Street Radio, The Grateful Dead Channel, Eminem's Shade 45, Radio Margaritaville, Siriusly Sinatra, and others. All told, users will be able to listen to 120 channels. Any music track can be purchased in iTunes while listening to it in the Sirius XM app.
But it's the omissions that will undoubtedly sway public opinion. According to Sirius XM, "some select programming, including MLB Play-by-Play, NFL Play-by-Play, Nascar Radio, and Howard Stern, will not be available on the iPhone and iPod Touch."
In its press release, Sirius XM didn't provide any reason why some of its most popular channels aren't included. But after some digging, I found that those omissions may be due to "mobile-performance rights."
"Sirius and XM offer all of the channels for which we have mobile-performance rights," the company wrote on its iPhone app's FAQ page. "For that reason, certain channels which may be available on your satellite radio or online radio service may not be available on a mobile device like the iPhone."
Sirius XM is giving users a free seven-day trial with the app. After that, it's charging a fee to access the content. I called a Sirius XM customer service representative to see how much it would cost to get that service. He told me that as a current Sirius XM subscriber, I would need to pay an additional $2.99 per month after the seven-day trial. Those who currently do not subscribe to the service will be forced to pay $12.95 per month for access.… Read more