Downloadin’ Fool


I love my Pioneer Inno XM radio/MP3 player. I take it everywhere I go: train, work, car, etc. It just works the way it should.

Part of the reason I love it is because I can record stuff from live broadcasts and with the variety of music played, especially on Bob Dylan’s Theme Time Radio Hour, I can listen to my new favorites whenever I like (limited to storage capacity, of course). There are, however, a few problems with that.

First, storage capacity. You can either partition the 1GB non-expandable storage to either 100% XM recording or 50/50 XM recordings/MP3 files. You have to give up one for the other.

Second, the XM is partnered with Napster. In a perfect world, you connect your Inno to your PC, open up Napster, find the song you recorded and purchase the MP3. So what’s the problem?

Napster’s selection sucks. Unless you’re in need of Britney Spears’ or Black Eyed Peas’ latest release, you’re pretty much out of luck. I think I’ve used Napster to buy two songs and neither were the aforementioned “artists.”

As such, if you’re storage space is dwindling down and you want to keep your recordings you can’t copy them from the unit to PC (that I know of). You have to either a) transfer them real-time to a PC or MP3 recorder or b) buy the songs elsewhere because, and I don’t know if I mentioned this yet, Napster’s selection sucks.

And that’s when you take into account what your time is really worth, or what I like to call the Free Gas Syndrome. (The Free Gas Syndrome dictates that anybody who makes more than $8/hr. and sits in line for hours for a “free gas” promotion is an idiot because they exchanged work hours for the sake of “free gas,” when they would have been better off going to work and earning money that would have gotten them more than one tank of gas.)

I tried to record some of them and realized that task was going to be tedious and time-consuming: recording, transferring, editing, etc. Not only that, some songs had drop-outs because of bad reception. So rather than waste my time I decided to start purchasing the songs–and not through Napster.

I’ve been using Amazon Music because I like that they offer DRM-free stuff. Should the day come when I buy a non-iPod player, I’ll have a collection of songs ready to go. I got most of them from here but what I couldn’t find I had to buy via iTunes.

Interested to see the list? Read on.

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