- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 5, 2006

Pardon the echo of a famous 1975 headline from the New York Daily News (“Ford to City: Drop Dead”), but it seems appropriate when it comes to District-based XM Radio, one of the satellite radio services looking for customers. Customers, that is, who don’t use an Apple Macintosh as their main computer. If you’re in the Mac camp, forget about logging on to XM’s customer service site and doing anything with your account. Get to a Windows PC, or forget about it: even though XM’s not-at-all-helpful Web site says it’ll support Microsoft Internet Explorer - Version 5.01 and higher; Netscape Navigator - Version 4.x and higher; and even AOL - Version 7 and higher.

I tried all three, without success: the old and feeble Internet Explorer wouldn’t start on my Mac, and neither Netscape nor AOL could crack the XM barrier.

With millions of users on Macs — many of whom are the kind of music-addicted folks who would likely enjoy commercial free programming on XM — you’d think that the XM folks might get a clue and let Mac users in. Safari, the Mac’s most popular browser, is Netscape/Mozilla compliant, after all. (And one shudders to think what XM might or might not do to a Linux user!)

There is a satellite radio provider that does let Mac users progress along their online customer service site. It’s Sirius Satellite Radio, home to (heaven help us!) Howard Stern and others. Maybe all Mac users who are XM customers should contemplate a switch and support the satellite radio provide that chooses to support them.


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