XM Radio is a lot more impressive than I expected it to be. There's a free trial to listen to the XM stations online (you don't need a credit card or anything). To start, since you can see song names and artists, it's a lot easier to look through stations and find one you like. Most of them keep up a pretty good mix of songs and the stations have some of the best radio hosts I've ever heard. The quality is a lot better than FM, though it might disappoint some people. XM is encoded at a lossless 64kbp/s, so you can hear most of the smaller details that you couldn't if it wasn't lossless, but at a lower quality. If you can equalize decent enough, it'll sound fine. XM stations actually play all the new singles and usually have a huge selection of music and play a lot of songs from different artists. They even replay songs from XM live replay sessions (they currenty have a live recording of Linkin Park performing in Detroit that you can listen to on their XM Exclusives station and at special times on Ethel). Plus it's 100% commercial-free. I didn't think this would be a huge deal, but it's worth every penny of the $13 a month for that alone. It's really, really nice listening through every station non-stop with no annoying commercial interruptions.
Anyway, I'm getting my dad the XpressRC XM player for Father's Day, he's going to love it, especially since he travels so much. This expands the awesomeness of XM radio even further by alerting you when your favorite song/artist is on, so if you have some stuff you're looking for, you don't have to keep checking every channel. You can also pause and replay live radio, great for when you're listening to a sports broadcast or talk show. Plus, it's really nice-looking and has a color display.
What do you guys think of XM radio? I was surprised how much I'm enjoying the trial, I like these mixes better than my own stuff (mostly). I was never planning to try the trial until I decided to get my dad something that he'll really like for Father's Day and decided on XM radio, then I looked at a list of songs currently playing and was really liking what I saw, so I tried it. Luckily, the online player is free with a subscription ;).