NiceMac the makers of the first unofficial iPhone application for satellite radio recently announced on their website StarPlayr.com that they plan to release an open source product line of satellite radio internet radio products. In our recent article, "Perhaps NiceMac was too early with its iPhone app for Sirius XM Radio?", we made an explicit point that based on FCC merger concession Sirius XM Radio must provide "Open Device Access" to device manufacturers within one year of the merger between Sirius and XM (SIRI). Whether the FCC "Open Device Access" mandate applies to the satellite radio company’s internet stream is debatable but it looks like NiceMac plans to take the issue to task.
On the StarPlayr.com website NiceMac says, "Our redesigned satellite radio desktop and web applications will be open source. Our company plans to challenge proprietary radio systems and lead the forefront for Open Access by creating building blocks under the GPL. Our StarPlayr software will still require a Sirius or XM Radio subscription, but will give customers choice in how they access these services."
Quite honestly, Sirius XM Radio should provide an Open API for its internet stream as it’s the fastest way to grow its internet radio business and spur innovation. Back in December we posted a video to our Rad Sat Daily website called "Streaming Sirius to Blackberry Bold"; this video has been the most popular video ever posted to Rad Sat Daily with 1231 views to date.
Even though Sirius XM Radio will launch an official iPhone application before the end of Q2 2009 the satellite radio company still needs to develop applications for Blackberry, Windows CE, and Macintosh to be truely ubiquitous. Sirius XM Radio should let others do the heavy lifting and focus on continuing to provide its subscribers and future subscribers with great programming.