Sirius-ly need some chill music for this birth!
March 18, 2010 1:56 PM   Subscribe

Help this mefite listen to the XM/Sirius "Chill" station (35) for as little money as possible. Frugal advice for equipment/subscription plans?

My wife and I are having a child in early May and she's requested to have "Chill" music playing at the birth. We've always been a fan of the XM/Sirius Chill channel, but we've never actually subscribed (just listened at family/friend's houses).

She also likes Pandora's trip-hop station, but we feel they repeat songs too often and agree that it would start to drive her nuts during labor.

My preliminary metafilter search pulled up this very recent thread which taught me that you can listen to it online. Although the hospital DOES have free wifi, I don't want to rely on it and my computer's stability to provide the necessary ambiance for the birth.

So now I'm thinking it's best if we actually get some equipment (used?) but I'm overwhelmed with choices.

Can you recommend a frugal plan-of-attack for equipment purchases and subscription plans?

We really only need the subscription for the birth, but my wife would also consider keeping it for a while longer to listen to while she's nursing.

Thanks for any/all advice!
posted by siclik to Shopping (15 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
The most reliable method I can think of would involve you recording 24-48 hours worth of it at one of your friends houses prior to the birth. Nothing she has listened to. That way you have it on CD or on an MP3 player. No Network anything.
posted by lakerk at 2:10 PM on March 18, 2010

Sirius offers something called a l carte, where you can pick and choose which channels you like. It's $7/month and you can select 50 from the list they offer, Chill being one of them.

The only problem would be getting reception, you can pick up a receiver for pretty cheap but you'd also want to get the antenna for it and put it by a window, as it relies on a satellite signal to work. I recommend getting the Stiletto 2, which is a portable receiver and MP3 player, and the "home dock" for it.

Once the pregnancy is over, if you choose to keep it, you can just have the dock at your house and listen here, and you can buy a car dock for cheap. If not, you've still at least got a pretty nice MP3 player, which is upgradeable using micro SD cards.
posted by overthrow at 2:12 PM on March 18, 2010

It's not exactly frugal, but if you have an iPhone, you can get the sirius app for free and sign up every week for the free Sirius trial. (You need to use a different email address each time, however -- use of those temporary email providers). You could also do this with an iPod Touch and the flakey wifi, as well.
posted by cgg at 2:15 PM on March 18, 2010

Used equipment probably is your best bet, but most of the older devices are...unwieldy. I have an old XM Delphi, still going strong, but it lives permanently in the obscene giant white boombox I bought for it, in my kitchen window, because it's the only convenient south-facing window (which it has to have for satellite line of sight) and the old devices had no battery or speakers. Modern devices might not have the LOS issue, but if they do you're going to have reception problems inside a hospital. (My Delphi also has a car antenna, which is a little square thing on a 30' wire so it can be mounted in the upward-most-facing window for LOS.)

I have the online subscription which gets me the iPhone app access, but the Chill channel isn't one of the channels in that limited package. If you had an iPhone, you'd need the SkyDock, I guess, to get all channels, and I think that thing is $150.

I think hospital wifi and a laptop are probably your easiest option if you really want live reception. Otherwise maybe you track down some playlists and hit Amazon mp3 or iTunes or whatever for enough songs to make a lengthy playlist.
posted by Lyn Never at 2:17 PM on March 18, 2010

Oh, they also have a blackberry app now, as well.
posted by cgg at 2:18 PM on March 18, 2010

Groove Salad on SomaFM might work & it's free. Also, be prepared for her to not actually want to do this when the moment comes :)
posted by ejoey at 2:36 PM on March 18, 2010 [2 favorites]

Buy a copy of the Chilled Euphoria 2-CD set (now out of print). Yes, it's only about three hours of music, but it's awesome chillout stuff you can listen to again and again and again. Seriously the best CD I've ever purchased...
posted by jdroth at 2:39 PM on March 18, 2010

@Lyn Never - You're saying that if I were to use the iPhone app, I wouldn't have access to the Chill station? (that's weird because it IS available to listen to online).

Would I be able to listen to the Chill station on an 8GB iPod touch? (can the app be installed on it?)
posted by siclik at 2:39 PM on March 18, 2010

posted by mdonley at 2:40 PM on March 18, 2010

I've got 'Sirius XM Chill' as the first station under 'Dance & Electronic' on my iPhone Sirius App. I'm assuming this is the same one being referred to; I can't check with my actual radio right now (and never listen to it myself, unfortunately).
posted by cgg at 2:47 PM on March 18, 2010

I wouldn't rely on the hospitals wifi or your cell 3G service for this. Assuming you only need the music during birth and not after, I'd sign up for a trial now, listen online, and record 6 or 7 hours of Chill on your computer (an app like Totalrecorder might work) and then dump it onto your ipod/iphone as an mp3.
posted by sharkfu at 3:42 PM on March 18, 2010

Ditto the Groove Salad recommendation made by ejoey above. I listened to that station all the time before I dropped SiriusXM last year, and Groove Salad is a very good replacement. Better yet, record it ahead of time using streamripper, and you won't need to rely on wonky hospital wifi or 3G.
posted by deadmessenger at 6:01 PM on March 18, 2010 [1 favorite]

I have an XM subscription. How much would you like, and in what format? MeMail me if you like.
posted by fireoyster at 7:40 PM on March 18, 2010

You don't need sirius.

Groove Salad on
Chill, Psychill, and Chillout Dreams on
the Chillout feed on
Start a Pandora Station with Ulrich Schnauss as the main seed band.

There. That oughtta keep you busy for a while.
posted by Afroblanco at 10:37 PM on March 18, 2010

Wow! Thanks for all of the suggestions. You guys brought up a great point - I can't rely on the wifi OR the satellites so it sounds like it is in my best interest to either record some music ahead of time or download some "chill" albums for playback during the birth.

I sincerely appreciate all of your recommendations - you've been a great help!
posted by siclik at 8:30 AM on March 19, 2010

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