Now standing on a side table in our dining room is a small, iPod-like device that you might not notice except is has a soft, glowing screen. If you look close it says “Frank’s Place.” At the same time, every radio in the house is now tuned to FM 88.0 playing commercial-free jazz, including Frank Sinatra songs. Our Tivoli Audio radios do an exceptional job at picking up the signal and producing very rich, static-free sound.
The little device is a MyFi and if you look close you can follow a little black wire that goes behind a curtain. On the windowsill behind the curtain is a little black thing a bit larger that a matchbook. It is watching the southern sky and receiving 150+ stations from XM-Radio’s satellite.
A thumbwheel on the little device lets me quickly navigate through the channels. Earlier I was accidentally listening to country music because I had chosen “Hank’s Place” thinking it was “Frank’s Place.”
I can press a “2Go” button and the MyFi will record up to 5 hours of music tracks. If I take the MyFi for a walk, ride, or into a basement without a southern exposure, I can replay the last 5 hours of recorded tracks off any of the channels. The rechargeable battery also lasts 5 hours.
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I’ve always liked the idea renting all of the music vs. buying some of the music. That’s one reason I’ve never gotten an iPod because it depended on me managing my own limited collection of music. I prefer to let someone else manage the collection because it leads to more surprises and greater diversity. I’d also rather listen to speakers than headphones, although the MyFi comes with ear buds. The FM broadcasting feature works amazingly well in the house or car.
This purchase was preceded by several people at work thoroughly enjoying XM-Radio. More recently a few have picked up the MyFi (sort of an iPod fed by satellite.) For several weekends I tried out the 3-day trial service to listen to the 150+ stations over the internet. I really liked the Jazz, Bluegrass, Deep Tracks, and Frank’s Place (Sinatra) stations.
When someone at work signed up this week for a buy-one-get-one-free / family plan offer at Best Buy, I looked at it and decided I would sign up, too. Kelly and I picked one up last night on the way to Mom and Dad’s. I got home pretty late, but had the thing hooked up and working in about an hour. Signing up for the service took longer than setting up the MyFi, and that was mainly because I took time figuring out a way to avoid the $9.95 registration fee. I ended up doing even better.
Tip 1: Avoid registration fees and get the first three months free by finding a promo code through Google. Search on “XM-Radio promo code.” I was able to find one and waive the $9.95 activation fee as well as the first three months of $12.95 fees.
Tip 2: You’ll need southern sky exposure for the satellite antenna. The device is quite small and comes with about 20 feet of wire, so you could have the antenna in one room and the MyFi in another.
Tip 3: Buy Tivoli Audio radios. The experience of using multiple radios on multiple floors with the FM broadcast mode (vs hard wiring to a single stereo) would not have been as pleasurable without the Tivoli fine-tuning technology.
While I bought the MyFi to help relieve my long commutes to work, I think I’ll end up using the “free” Roady2 XM Radio in the car so that the family can use the MyFi by day. I sent off for the rebate Roady2 in the mail today. Stay tuned…. (ha ha.)