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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I suppose the CD technology is getting a bit old. Mazda located it in the most awkward position, behind the driver (note the obstructive cup holder). What were they thinking?

I'm using Sirius XM and I'm growing to like Pandora even better. Pandora is significantly less expensive but I'm finding it to be a bit glitchy (delays in loading and some stations going offline). If I get it worked out I'll probably cancel XM after the free one-year trial and use Pandora exclusively. XM has a repetitive and boring playlist, as I discovered in the last 5 years of driving my last car. What about you?

 

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Discussion Starter #3
So does Pandora.
Well yeah, I've heard Paul McCartney sing "Baby I'm Amazed" a bit too much (maybe to the point of wanting to shoot him), but at least I can customize Pandora according to artists.
 

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I alternate between various streaming apps to keep it interesting. Xm sound quality isn't good at all so won't be renewing. I like pandora app but the controls are are still good on other streaming services but no album art.
 

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I agree about inferior XM sound quality and I think you can tailor your listening preferences better with Pandora. Where I live, the Pandora stream is superior to XM radio. XM is frequently interrupted down roads with fir trees along the edge. I have found no fault with Pandora reception, and I'm actually surprised to find that my data use hasn't changed markedly since I've been off WiFi for music streaming. I have found Pandora lists to be repetitive, but like Jim said, you can change stations at your whim (as long as you stop the car).
 

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I alternate between various streaming apps to keep it interesting. Xm sound quality isn't good at all so won't be renewing. I like pandora app but the controls are are still good on other streaming services but no album art.
Any other streaming apps, besides Pandora, you would recommend?
 

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I've got A-ha as well, but use Pandora the most. You get variety by having lots of channels on Pandora and putting it on shuffle. Only problem with that is that I get Sinatra singing Summer Wind followed by the Sex Pistols singing God save the Queen.
 
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Quality of the sound of XM or any streaming is pure crap. Yesterday we had quality vinyl lp or 45 and crappy players or speakers. Today we have very good quality players and we play crapy mp3, xm and so on.

I have around 6 hrs of downloaded music on a usb stick and when tired of radio I listen to my chosen music, and believe me a bear listen to XM cause quality of sound is crappy.
 

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So does Pandora.
customize your channel on Pandora and it gets better.

Instead of just creating a Plain White T channel, go into that channel and add a few other artist who might be slightly different and it will expand out what gets played.

I have one channel that started with Justin Timberlake added to it James Bunt, Michael Buble', Simply Red, Gavin DeGraw and Nick Jonas. Now it runs in blocks of styles from pop to easy listening and at times towards hip-hop(not sure how to make it stop that). But the point is the more artist you add the more variety you can get. I have other channels for other moods like one that is classic rock mixed with lite rock, that has Pink Floyd and Chicago among others.
 

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Any other streaming apps, besides Pandora, you would recommend?
I'm using Amazon Prime music, which is free if you have Prime Membership, and also spotify. I pay for spotify but it's a family plan so pretty cheap ($2.50/month). I've also used Rhapsody/Napster which is free with my t-mobile account, but the app tends to crash more than the others which is hard to deal with driving. I've found the amazon prime streaming music to be the most stable app of all so far, but like the music choices slightly better with Spotify.
 

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Quality of the sound of XM or any streaming is pure crap. Yesterday we had quality vinyl lp or 45 and crappy players or speakers. Today we have very good quality players and we play crapy mp3, xm and so on.

I have around 6 hrs of downloaded music on a usb stick and when tired of radio I listen to my chosen music, and believe me a bear listen to XM cause quality of sound is crappy.
I did the same simply putting it all on a memory stick. These things are cheap now and if you used both ports you could put 128 gig of music at your fingertips. I have also organize my music into folders (quiet favorites, rock favorites, old country favorites, mix favorites, road trip favorites, etc) which allows me to repeat whatever folders I choose.
 

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The slam-dunk moment for me when deciding between the Classica and Abarth was finding out that the Classica's base radio still does Bluetooth streaming *and* still has the headrest speakers. T-mobile doesn't count most streaming audio services against your data usage, so my $7 Google Music subscription has quickly become my go-to mobile audio source... being able to pull up just about any album ever recorded on the fly (as well as most podcasts) is pretty hard to beat... (plus it gets rid of ads on YouTube!)

The Bluetooth streaming audio artifacts exist, sure, but it's negligible especially with the top down, and it's still far better than XM, whose audio quality and range of programming has really gone downhill in the last 10 years, unfortunately.
 
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