In 2005, DIRECTV began carrying 72 XM music channels, starting at DIRECTV channel 801. In 2010, DIRECTV switched to DMX's Sonic Tap music channels. In July 2015, AT&T completed its $48.5 billion purchase of DIRECTV so it is not surprising that on February 6, 2018, when the agreement with Sonic Tap expired, DIRECTV began carrying the Music Choice channels that are part of AT&T's U-verse television service.

So how do the Music Choice channels compare with those of Sonic Tap? I'm glad I asked. To start with, Music Choice has fewer channels. The 1960s and 1970s channels don't play as many low-charting songs as Sonic Tap's '60s-70s channels. Sonic Tap's Malt Shop Oldies channel plays the usual 1954-to-1964 hits along with a lot of low-charting and non-charting songs and a few hits from 1966-67. Malt Shop Favorites, the Music Choice equivalent, is perhaps the only channel that is as good as its Sonic Tap counterpart. They play 1954 to 1969, a lot of low-charting songs and even some album tracks. Here is what was just played:

Come Rain Or Come Shine - Ray Charles (83/1960)
Dizzy - Tommy Roe (1/1969)
Feel So Fine - Johnny Preston (14/1960)
Get Out Of My Life Woman - Lee Dorsey (44/1966)
I Need Your Loving - Don Gardner/Dee Dee Ford (20/1962)
Long Live Our Love - Shangri-Las (33/1966)
See You Later Alligator - Bill Haley/Comets (6/1956)
Sexy Ways - Hank Ballard/Midnighters (--/1954)
Someone I Believe In - Brook Benton (LP/1960)
That's Why - Jackie Wilson (13/1959
The Lion Sleeps Tonight - Tokens (1/1961)
Tom Dooley - Kingston Trio (1/1958)
Walking Along - Diamonds (29/1958)
With This Ring - Platters (14/1967)
Ya Ya - Lee Dorsey (7/1961)
You've Been A Good Old Wagon - Dinah Washington (LP/1963)

Sonic Tap's Traditional Country channel plays country hits of the 1950s through the '80s, mostly top-ten songs. Music Choice's Classic Country channel emphasizes the biggest hits of the late 1970s and the 1980s. In other words, don't expect to hear much by Johnny Cash, Hank Snow, Jim Reeves, Eddy Arnold, Buck Owens, Bill Anderson, Sonny James, Don Gibson, Loretta Lynn, Freddie Hart, Ray Price or Porter Wagoner. Here is a nine-song sample -- and seven of these were number-one hits. Wooo!

A Country Boy Can Survive - Hank Williams Jr (2/1982)
Does Fort Worth Ever Cross Your Mind - George Strait (1/1984)
Elvira - Oak Ridge Boys (1/1981)
I Wanna Dance With You - Eddie Rabbitt (1/1988)
I Was Country When Country Wasn't Cool - Mandrell/Jones (1/1981)
I've Got A Winner In You - Don Williams (7/1978)
Modern Day Romance - Nitty Gritty Dirt Band (1/1985)
Straight Tequila Night - John Anderson (1/1991)
What I'd Say - Earl Thomas Conley (1/1988)

Music Choice has no adult standards channel like Sonic Tap's Rat Pack channel. Instead, they have Swing & Singers, which plays swing and big-band hits of the 1930s-40s-50s along with swing-style music by more recent bands. The dance channels aren't bad. Music Choice also has an Americana channel and a channel called Toddler Tunes. (Don't ask.)

So.....I would love to hear what other people think of Music Choice compared with Sonic Tap -- or compared with SiriusXM.