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The Shrinking Satellite Radio

Boot Camp feature for Friday, May 5, 2006

A pocket sized XM radio and recorder. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. The first portable satellite radio receivers weren't exactly pocket sized. But that's changing. Samsung's new Helix can fit in a shirt pocket….and includes a color screen and a gigabyte of memory…for MP3 files…and recorded XM content. The company also is shipping Nexus XM player/recorders designed to be docked into home or car cradles. Samsung's director of audio marketing Bill Hadam…

"Our primary goal is to give people like myself, for instance, the ability to bring a lot of new and different music into your device without having to go seek it out online or taking the time to do downloads or ripping. You can fill a device in a number of different ways. We think the difference between these two products…they'll be certain people that'll have a willingness to pay a premium for the true XM2go. They may be more outdoorsy, they may be runners, joggers, bike riders, that truly like the live XM experience."

That premium amounts to about 400 dollars….nearly double the price of the low end Nexus player. Both systems include the XM plus Napster service. While you can record XM songs you like with the press of a button for free, if you want to create CDs…or store the music on a PC…you have to link to Napster…to purchase the song. XM, in the meantime, now has over six and a half million subscribers. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.