If you happen to be one of the lucky few like, @tssmattb over at our sponsor tss-radio, you already know that SiriusXM has begun to roll out their new and improved web player to a select set of beta users. At 8 hours of listening per day, I would call myself a pretty heavy online user myself but alas, I was not selected.
What I can tell you, based on what I can see, is that the new web player finally has the much anticipated “satellite radio 2.0” timeshifting feature, iPhone app users have been using and loving since December.
This may seem like a minor upgrade to some but, I think this is game changing feature that allows users to listen to programming as it was intended, from start to finish. Listeners will no longer be required to live by schedules of their favorite programming. Whether they work late, have a meeting, or live on the west coast, their shows will be right there waiting for them.
I should probably mention that the ability to rewind and skip over tracks on your favorite music stations doesn't hurt either. This ability might be a little limited compared to the infinite skipping ability of other online music services like Slacker but, with the added value that Sirius XM provides, this new feature finally tips the scales.
What should also be noticed is a major user interface upgrade, with improved usability that allows for much simpler channel changing and discovery... something that was severely lacking in the previous version. You no longer need a magnifying glass and pinpoint mouse accuracy to click the tiny little highlighted favorite channel tick marks, as they have stepped aside for big, clearly displayed, easy to click favorites list.
It's been a long time coming but, it finally seems as though the web player we have all be asking for from the start is finally here. Fingers crossed that it is cross browser compatible and doesn't sign us out every 5 minutes!
No word yet when the new interface will be released to everyone but, I will update this article when we know more.