New XM Satellite Radio Portables Offer Recording Capability

Samsung Helix XM receiver/recorder and MP3 player

Last year XM drew oohs and ahs with its MyFi XM2go miniature receiver. This year it followed up with a handful of even smaller, more versatile models. The Pioneer Inno and the Samsung Helix combine XM reception with 50-hour recording capability and built-in MP3 players. They have color displays plus built-in FM transmitters so that you can listen to XM through any FM radio. An agreement with Napster allows not only recording XM but buying songs online for 99 cents each. You can bookmark songs you hear on XM, connect the micro-receiver/player to your PC, and it automatically locates the songs for purchase. The Inno and Helix will be available in the first quarter of this year for $400.

If you just want an ultra-tiny satellite receiver that records XM content, Samsung also offers the Nexus 25 (25 hours storage) at $200 and the Nexus 50 (50 hours storage) at $250, also available in the first quarter. Making this all possible is the new XM Passport tuner module, barely larger than a postage stamp, which will be the foundation of future XM hardware.

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