updated 08:45 pm EST, Mon December 12, 2011
Users can go back in time up to five hours
The SiriusXM app for iOS devices has been updated to version 2.0, which now features the long-promised ability to listen from the beginning of a show even if the user joins the show at any point. In fact, users can now go back in time up to five hour previous to the point at which they joined the stream in order to hear previous programming. Music channels now automatically start at the beginning of the song during which the user tuned in.
The new app also lets users pause the live stream and pick up where they left off, and users can fast-forward or rewind through prior programming. The v2 app also offers a new Show Finder to locate and set alerts for a show a user doesn't want to miss. The ability to start a show or song from the beginning is optional, but gives SiriusXM listeners time-shifting abilities that rival those of some its online competitors, such as Slacker Radio.
SiriusXM radio works primarily with satellite-enabled car radios, independent satellite-radio devices and 3G-enabled smartphones and tablets as well as Wi-Fi connected computers. In theory, US listeners are able to stay tuned to the same station anywhere within US borders and even up to 200 miles offshore.
Subscriptions run a minimum of $13 per month (even if one only wants to use the service with an iOS or Android device), and internet listening generally adds $3 per month to the bill. The company offers a $199 "all access" yearly price as well, which with internet listening added would run $240. The company plans to raise rates in January, making basic subscriptions $14.50 per month.
The SiriusXM service offers up to 140 channels of music, talk and other radio programming, including 71 commercial-free channels of music and other speciality channels including a dedicated Howard Stern channel. Almost all of them -- 130 stations, including Stern -- are available on the new iOS apps. The Android equivalents will be getting a similar upgrade at some point in the future.