Comcast Music Choice vs. XM Radio Web Sites


When traveling, I often like to listen to music. Unfortunately my choice of music tends to be classical. Classical music listeners are a minority, and most places have at best one classical station and that will be filled with commercials. One of the reasons I love XM Radio in my car is I get two good classical stations (a station that plays "popular" classical (e.g. movements of symphonies) and one that plays full-length pieces that may be more complex). At home I have Comcast’s Music Choice that has two similar stations. Because I have accounts with both, I get access to their web sites.

Now that I’m out of the office (and have headphones) I’ve spent a lot of time listening to both. I’ve come to the conclusion that, content-wise, Comcast and XM are about the same. The pops channels play the same assortment of Brandenburg concertos and movements from Tchaikovsky dances and the full classical channels play everything from Shostakovich string quartets to Ives to composers I’ve never heard of. Both music streams are of similar audio quality, at least on the $10 earphones I’m wearing (my Sennheiser headphones might show more difference but they’re bulky to pack).

But I’m listening more to XM. Why? User interface. XM feels lighter-weight and puts my favorite channels at the fore. With Music Choice, it’s many more mouse clicks to get to the UI where I tell it to switch to one of the two stations I want to listen to.

In any event, both Music Choice and XM are incomparably better than the local classical stations, sadly, especially since they have no commercials.

Comments (3)

  1. Oren Novotny says:

    Have you tried listening to WQXR?  They simulcast their broadcast onto  the internet at their website.  I’ve found QXR to have a great variety of pieces and full works and their online broadcast has little-to-no commercials.

    Just thought you might want to give it a shot.

    As a bonus, their playlist is online too so you can see both what you heard and what’s coming up.

  2. johnmont says:

    @onovotny I’ll give it a try. Thanks!

  3. David says:

    If you like to listen to classical music, I suggest buying one of the now several wifi internet radios, which you can get via Amazon, C Crane and otherwise.  These radios, all of which use the Reciva system, are more popular in the UK and other parts of Europe.  C Crane is making its own made-in-US model that allows 99 presets and has a remote.  If you connect to your home audio system, you can listen to all the US and foreign classical music stations — WCPE, WETA, WGBH, WQXR, Radio Classique and so on.  

    But none of them have the superb music sensibility of the great Martin Goldsmith on XM-110.  Let’s hope that channel and he survive the merger with Serius.