This week, Sirius Satellite Radio’s much awaited portable music player and recorder, The Stiletto 100, is finally available to the masses. As Sirius heats up the already flaming competition among MP3 players, iPods and XM’s portable satellite devices, the fate of traditional radio is in question now more than ever before.
Most critics say that portable satellite radios pose an increasing threat to terrestrial radio because of their ability to record and store copies of songs from a live audio stream. The Stiletto comes equipped with a “love” button that can store up to 10 hours of music. When listeners hear something they “love,” they can record it to the Stiletto’s 2-gigabyte memory at the touch of a button. The Stiletto also allows users to schedule the automatic recording of 100 hours of audio content in up to 6-hour blocks, so no one has to worry about missing their favorite acoustic tunes on “Coffeehouse” overnight.
The introduction of the Stiletto marks Sirius’ first iPod-sized radio receiver, and is even smaller and more streamlined than XM’s “Inno” and “Helix” portable devices. Another feature that sets the Stiletto apart is its Wi-Fi capability. If a listener happens to enter a building where the Sirius signal is blocked, the Stiletto’s Wi-Fi capabilities link to Sirius Internet Radio to ensure a relatively uninterrupted audio experience. The device also comes equipped with the ability to pause, rewind and replay up to 44 minutes of audio, a 2.2 inch full-color display, and a “GameAlert” feature, which notifies listeners when the score changes at their favorite games. Retail price is about $350.
So it seems that the Stiletto has thought of everything –- users can even store their own MP3s and “bookmark” songs to purchase later via the Yahoo Music Jukebox. Many say new portable satellite radio devices like this one will draw in a much younger market. Six years ago when satellite radio launched, the 18-24 year old demographic didn’t bite. Some argued it was the monthly subscription cost that kept the younger market at bay, but it soon became clear that the younger demographic prized one thing above all else when it came to music: mobility.
What do you think? Now that satellite radio has wheels will terrestrial radio suffer? Or will iPods and regular AM/FM radio continue to prevail?