You have to wonder why they didn’t even issue a press release (that I can see) but it seems that DIRECTV has moved away from Sonic Tap as a provider of music channels to the more popular Music Choice. Interestingly, I only found out about it because I’m one of the people who reads the messages posted on my DVR.
This isn’t the first time DIRECTV has made a change. Back several years ago, they actually had XM as a music partner. Real, serious (and “Sirius”) XM radio the same as you get in virtually every car radio for the first six months until they ask you to pay for it. At some point that became too expensive and they switched to Sonic Tap. People were pretty incensed at the time, and by people I mean the people who go to enthusiast forums. But, over time people came to embrace Sonic Tap and now that the change to Music Choice has happened, people are complaining it’s not as good as Sonic Tap.
The music channels are still in the 800s by the way, and they’ve tried to align the new channels to be in the same slots as the old channels, where they can. Here I think they could have done a little better job, but it’s ok. It’s easy enough to find the channels you’re looking for.
One thing you don’t get, at least for now, is the awful stretch-o-vision blocky graphic interface found on Music Choice on most cable boxes. It’s hideous to look at, I’m sure you’d agree. You get more or less the same thing you got before with Sonic Tap, which is a simple display of Title, Artist and Album.
Personally, I’ve listened to Music Choice enough times at friends’ houses to know that it’s not all that different. I find on the channels I listened to that the song selection was a little more eclectic than on Sonic Tap, and sometimes that’s good. Sometimes you discover a little-known gem. On the other hand if you’re looking for comfort-food listening you might not get as many favorites as you used to.
But then again, you can always go to Pandora which is built into every DIRECTV DVR. If you’re in business you probably aren’t too picky about your channels as long as they’re unobjectionable, so the move isn’t likely to make you too upset.
When you have a few minutes, check out Music Choice on DIRECTV. I’d love to hear your comments here.