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iTunes tops 200 million downloads, Partners with Satellite Radio

It seems that Apple is in talks with Sirius Satellite Radio to make their streaming broadcasts available on the iPod. This is something that a lot of online music fans have been looking forward to for some time. Satellite radio customers love the music variety because they can go for days without hearing the same songs on rotation. This is in stark contrast to commercial radio stations, where you can hear the same song every couple of hours and on multiple stations in the same market.

Many think this pairing is just a rumor since iPods are not designed for this type of function and it would probably require a much larger hard drive and a much larger iPod case to be able to carry the streams.

Another functionality that would also require some tweaks is the ability to record satellite stream directly onto the iPods. The whole purpose of the iPod is the storage capacity and the ability to make music portable.

Even if satellite broadcasts were available, if the storage functionality is not included, customers could easily turn away from it and back to streaming radio only.

Since iPods are in short supply right now because so many customers are trying to get one, imagine what the market frenzy would look like if you add radio transmission receivers onto it.

Both XM Satellite Radio and Sirius Satellite Radio with over 4 million subscribers have been looking into ways that they can merge their popular streaming radio functionality with a host of gadgets to give their customers more options and to expand their subscription base.

The iPod seems like a natural fit. Rumors of a partnership between the satellite radio companies and Apple computers have been rampant after several telling signs by executives of both companies at various computer industry shows.

Online tech guides and skeptics are critical, but hopeful, since there is no clear mechanism right now to add the radio transmission function onto an iPod and still maintain the same compact look and feel of the iPod. In addition, it would take some time to develop the product, test it and bring it to market.

Then it would have to attract the attention of both Satellite radio customers and serious iPod fans to prevent each party from losing the market share they are hastily trying to capture.

There is some overlap between iPod customers and Satellite Radio customers especially in the ability to adapt to new technology. What is unclear is if streaming radio fans, and download happy fans are part of some larger online music tribe that anyone can tap with new gadgets.

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Syd Johnson