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Tiny Portable Satellite Radios

by John B. Carnett

Think of these pretty portable players as the lovechildren of TiVo, satellite radio and the iPod. They allow you to record your favorite crystal-clear satellite programming TiVo-style and then listen to it later on, wherever you are. Although these wearable units are not themselves satellite receivers-they have to be docked to receive and record content-the XM Samsung neXus and Sirius S50 have two key advantages over their antenna-outfitted relatives: They´re half the size, and you can upload your MP3 and WMA files and mix them into your satellite-radio playlists. Pick your device based on programming (Sirius has about 120 channels, including the NFL; XM has about 150, including Major League Baseball), or weigh the tech specs below.

Samsung Nexus for XM

Covet it because Press a button on the handset to “tag” a song you like. When you connect the neXus to your computer, you´ll be prompted to purchase the song through the new XM + Napster music service.

Buzzkill Old-school black-and-white screen

Size 3.4 x 1.9 x 0.7 inches

Capacity 512 MB (25 hours of content) and 1 GB (50 hours of content)

Battery life 15 hours

Channel presets 10

Accepted formats MP3, WMA

Price Not set (player available late 2005)

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Sirius S50

Covet it because It tracks your three favorite stations based on percentage of listening time and, when docked, automatically creates playlists tailored to your preferences. Sort through songs-by genre, title or artist-on its stunning 260,000-color screen.

Buzzkill The Home Dock, including the antenna needed to listen to and record live Sirius radio, is sold separately for $100.

Size 3.9 x 1.9 x 0.7 inches

Capacity 512 MB (25 hours of content) and 1 GB (50 hours of content)

Battery life 6 hours

Channel presets 30

Accepted formats MP3, WMA

Price $360

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