The Short Form
|$399 / 3.7 x 2.2 x 0.6 IN / 4.5 OZ / pioneerelectronics.com / 800-421-1404|
|•170+ channels and 50 hours of XM in the palm of your hand
•Enjoy XM programming anywhere
•Easily organize XM and your music
|•Pricey for a portable
•Big penalty for partition change
•Mobile reception can be spotty
|•Monthly subscription to XM service required ($12.95)
•1.7-inch full color TFT display
•Lithium ion rechargeable battery; 5 hours for live XM, 15 hours for recorded content
•Built-in wireless FM transmitter
•Napster installation CD
Inno makes great use of its color screen, displaying each channel's logo with background graphics that correspond to its genre (rock, country, classical, and so on). When you browse, four channels are displayed at once, showing station, artist, or song title information.
Recording a song while it's playing is straightforward; just hold the XM button down for a second. To fill my Inno with hours of tunes for the next day, I recorded my favorite channels (Fred on 44, Lucy on 54) overnight. You can also schedule recordings on any channel and for any duration, though Inno does need to be docked during the time scheduled.
The Napster software is a great tool for organizing and adding music to Inno. Using your PC, you can buy songs on Napster for 99 cents apiece and transfer them over. You can also easily create playlists on Inno or your PC that mix XM tunes with your other stored music files.
I loved the TuneSelect feature of the original XM2go, which informs you with a beep and a text alert whenever a selected artist or song is playing on another channel. It's here, too, though it seemed to be a bit less consistent than on previous models.
A huge part of Inno's charm is that it enables you to listen on the go, though mobile reception will vary depending on where you live. XM has installed 800 terrestrial repeaters in urban areas across the country to fill in coverage gaps, but Myrtle Beach, South Carolina isn't one of them, and my mobile listening was spotty when using the Inno's built-in antenna. Down at the beach with the Inno resting beside me, reception was great, but when I walked around my neighborhood or worked in the yard, the signal frequently cut in and out. However, plugging in a pair of XM's optional antenna headphones ($40) completely solved the problem, allowing me to roam freely without missing a second of music.
BOTTOM LINE The Pioneer Inno XM2go portable satellite radio is pricey for a portable, but it's the embodiment of cutting-edge cool in the palm of your hand. If you've been tempted by the sweet fragrance of satellite radio, or already tasted its nectar - digital sound, huge selection, no commercials - then Inno will make your life complete.
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