XM and Samsung to Build First MP3 Satellite Player

By Richard Menta 7/26/05

Shortly before Christmas last year there were rumors going around that Apple and Sirius Satellite radio were planning to build an iPod Satellite, an iPod that could receive and record Sirius radio broadcasts. It turns out the rumors had some validity as the two companies discussed such a device, but in the end Apple passed.

The rumor generated a lot of press excitement and it is clear that Sirius stockholders like the idea as they continue to badger company head Mel Karmazin about it. In the end it looks like it will be Sirius' bigger competitor who will build the first MP3/satellite radio portable.

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Today XM Satellite Radio and Samsung Electronics announced that they will collaborate on the first MP3-SAT. The player, which will ship in time for the Christmas holiday, will be available in two capacities able to store 25 hours and 50 hours of XM programming respectively.

The player itself will not be able to capture live XM broadcasts directly from the device. Instead the unit will come with a docking station that can receive the transmissions and record them directly onto the player. Essentially it will be Tivo for XM. The docking station (or stations) will allow recording from both the home and the car.

This configuration is most likely a reflection of the XM chipset, which in its present form would add too much weight and size to an MP3 portable. XM already has a satellite broadcast-only portable in the MyFi, a unit that is larger and heavier than an iPod.

Samsung and XM released no pricing on the unit, but said more information will come this fall. There is no word yet if Sirius is close to developing its own player, though the company has said it is pursuing such a device with other manufacturers. This includes Apple who have said they are open to revisiting the idea in the future.


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