Riding royally, with sound effects

All three cab companies in town (Austin, formerly Harlem; Roy’s, always Roy’s; and Yellow, formerly American) have some great drivers. There are so many times when a cab is the best transportation alternative. If you have a regular favorite driver and he or she has a cell-phone, you’re often able, by calling directly, to be picked up by that favorite chauffeur. Right now, I’m conducting auditions, because the last incumbent returned to the Valley. This weekend, I neglected to get a card from the wonderful driver who not only had satellite radio (in this case, XM, not Sirius), but also asked the passengers to name their favorite music, to which he promptly tuned. Is this a trend? If so, it’s a great one.

2 Comments so far

  1. ttrentham (unregistered) on October 4th, 2005 @ 9:57 am

    That is cool. Please share if you find that driver again. What company was he with?

  2. Rantor (unregistered) on October 4th, 2005 @ 2:28 pm

    It was Yellow, on the Saturday-night shift ending at 7:00 am. And it *is* neat. I just happened to notice this small device in a cradle up front and realized that it was flashing the name of the song playing, so asked if we were seeing/hearing satellite radio. Friends/family members don’t run to the gizmoid type, so I wasn’t sure for certain without asking. So I told him anything’s just fine so long as it’s not Neil Diamond (tho’ he deserves those composer royalties) or California pseudo-jazz. It sounded as though plenty of drivers are trying this out. This guy uses it in his personal vehicle and in various rooms in his apartment. The ride was too short to ask as much as I wanted. I asked whether his device was wireless and understood that it was not, requiring physical connection to speakers, but could have misunderstood. Certainly wireless versions exist, one would think. I believe there’s also an antenna or aerial inolved at home, and that it broadcasts through the speakers in the vehicle via an unused part of the fm-radio band. At any rate, this is truly a boon for mobile listeners at those times when broadcast radio just isn’t sending out what a person wants to hear. This guy preferred XM to Sirius but I didn’t get a chance to find out why (best guess would be program preferences).

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