And now….streaming my media to the Android from my WD TV Live!!!

After working for a while to get media streaming from my WD TV Live to the iPad, I was wondering if I could do the same to my Galaxy Tab. I looked forward to the challenge. And sadly I was disappointed…in how little challange it presented. It took me so little time to figure out how to do it and what software to use that it was almost anti-climatic after the wild goose chase that was the iPad streaming app.

The App I used is called BSPlayer Lite. This little freebie by AB Team Ltd is a swiss army knife of video players. I was worried about fnding an android app that would play the MKV format. A simple search turned up BSPlay that plays virtually all formats. Flv, m4v, avi, wmv….all fall before the mighty BSPlayer.

But what it will play from is almost as exciting as what it will play. The player can stream from pc shared folders, lan shared folders, smb shares, usb drives, etc. Basically, if it can be seen or has an ip address, BSPlayer can play from it. Simply put the app in “LAN Mode” and navigate to the source and stream away!

BSPlayer is ad supported, and they say a paid for version is coming. And while the ads are unobtrusive, I am personally looking forward to paying for the full version. Software writing this good needs to be rewarded.

Goodbye, SiriusXM. It was good while it lasted.

About five years ago, a friend introduced me to the marvel of satellite radio.   I always hated going to a new area that didn’t have any radio stations I was familiar with.  There were always CDs or iPod, but I enjoyed live radio with new music I had never heard before with live people doing the disc jockeying.  But the limited broadcast areas and ever increasing amount of commercials were driving me nuts.  Lo and Behold…here was my radio salvation.  And the best part was the amount of stations was incredible.  The choices were astounding.  And I could stream in my office and at home…pure radio bliss!

The only downside was the price…$11.99 per month.  I make a decent salary and so does my wife, but that price seemed a bit steep for something that I estimated at most I would listen to twenty hours a month, and more often about ten.

So for almost a year I hemmed and hawed about it, always trying to justify the cost.  But my fine protestant  upbringing always prevented me from making the leap and getting it.  Finally, almost a year later, my wife asked me what I wanted for Christmas.  There was nothing I could really think of but after a while it occurred to me…I want XM radio.

So she got it for me and we both enjoyed it so much she got hers a few months later.noxm

Over the years there were issues here and there…the merger, the increase in fees…but it was always worth the money.

In September 2011, Sirius XM announced a price increase.  While the increase was minimal, like so many Netflix users responded to the Netflix price increase, for me this was the last straw on a once great product.

There are three main reasons I decided to cancel my subscription:

1)  They pulled their free internet streaming radio and made it a paid add-on.  I understand it was part of the merger, but to pull something that was purchased without compensating the user is just wrong.

2) While they were very quick to pull the XMRO (XM Radio Online) when the merger occurred, they were not so quick to merge their two accounting systems.  So when my wife got a car that only came with Sirius (and not XM like I had) there was no way to have a family plan even though we had two radios in the same family with the same company.  And I was okay with it…the first year.  By the time the third year came around, my patience with this issue was exhausted.

3)  Finally, the price increase.  As I said, its a small amount.  But history has show only a decrease in service, a decrease in programming line up, and an increase in “commercial” radio.  Add that to the economy of scales they gained through the merger and the fat that it’s just a boneheaded idea to increase price on a non-essential service in the middle of this biggest economic downturn in the last 80 years.  Well, it all amounts to the appearance of just being greedy.

On the other hand, Pandora is very cheap and customizable and friendly and goes wherever I do.

SiriusXM needs to wake up…there are lots of choices out there and none of them treat their customers with as much distain as SiriusXM does.

I found it ironic that after I cancelled my account they sent me a survey to ask why I left.  It was a very blunt tools that really did not capture the frustration I have has with SiriusXM.

See ya, SiriusXM.  It’s been fun.