Sirius's Stiletto radio

I've been an XM satellite radio fan for awhile--and any satellite service that lets me listen to Red Sox games in California is, most likely, the one I'll shell out bucks for. But Sirius's US$349 Stiletto 100, rumored for months but officially unveiled here at DEMO, looks awfully neat.

This is the first Sirius radio that lets you listen while walking around--XM models that do that have been shipping since early 2005--and it's reasonably pocketable, with a large color screen, a slick interface, and 100 hours of capacity for recorded content or your own MP3s. And since satellite reception can be dicey indoors, it also has built-in Wi-Fi that lets you listen to some (though not all) Sirius stations wherever you can get on a wireless network.

All in all, it makes my XM MyFi, which I've owned for less than two years (and still use and like nearly every day), look a little like a bloated and clunky 1950s car by comparison. (Although I'm still grateful that the MyFi came with everything I needed to use it at home and in the car--as with more recent XM portables, the Stiletto unbundles those docking stations and cables into optional kits, which run $70 apiece.)

The Stiletto's software and some of its back-end infrastructure were designed by a company called Zing. Here at DEMO, it's been letting attendees sneak a peek at a little Wi-Fi-only radio/player that looks slick, too. It's a reference design which the company says will become a commercial product, sold by a yet-to-be-announced manufacturer, next year.

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Harry McCracken

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