By John Gartner
A handful of new and soon-to-be-released devices enable music
listeners to automatically record tracks from satellite radio
broadcasts onto hard drives or portable music players such as the
iPod. While the recording industry has publicly decried such
activities for terrestrial radio, analysts say it has a financial
reason for remaining silent about satellite radio recording.
Satellite radio broadcasters XM Satellite Radio and Sirius Satellite
Radio each deliver more than 100 channels of music, sports and news
in high-quality digital audio streams to home, portable and
Last June, the Recording Industry Association of America sent a letter
to the Federal Communications Commission describing the ability to
record songs from digital broadcasts as the "perfect storm" facing the
But within weeks, electronics manufacturer Delphi and Time Trax
Technologies released the first products for recording digital tracks
from satellite radio, without a note of discord from the RIAA.
Time Trax will increase the number of radio-recording devices this
month at the Consumer Electronics Show , and CEO Elliot Frutkin
expects the recording industry will turn a deaf ear. "I am not
immediately concerned about the RIAA challenging Time Trax," said
Frutkin said Time Trax will unveil a docking station that enables PC
users to schedule the recording of broadcasts and to save tracks,
including the artist and title information, directly to Apple
Computer's iPod. (A Macintosh version is not currently in
development). The company will also unveil two devices for recording
from Sirius broadcasts that will parallel products the company
delivered for XM listeners late last year, according to Frutkin.
To discourage recorded songs from being posted on peer-to-peer
networks, the company's TimeTrax software application embeds the
serial number of the receiver into the track information, making it
easy to trace the source, Frutkin said. "We are not being cowboys
telling people to do whatever they want to do" with the tracks they
record, Frutkin said.