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Satellite and FM radio happily co-exist in my car

A graduate of the University of Arkansas, Deb took her degree in Political Science and Journalism. She enjoyed a successful 13-year career as a radio DJ. Deb joined Crutchfield in 1996 as a Sales Advisor, and is now part of the Marketing Team. Deb spends her free time following sports, running, and trying not to fall off her bike.

More from Deb Gilbert

When XM satellite radio became available in our little corner of the world, I was a happy girl. Living in a small radio market, the choices were pretty limited. Many of the on-air personalities had been around for years at the different stations and the formats were getting stale.  Full disclosure - I used to be one of those on-air personalities. When you work in one format for as long as I did, you get burned out on the same old stuff.

The appeal of XM for me was the variety. I could listen to just about anything. I set my presets to a variety of stations; the 70's, alternative rock, classic rock, BBC, ESPN, and of course SEC sports. It was wonderful and refreshing. Whatever my mood, XM had me covered. I didn't look back. I almost forgot I had FM in the car. I had a new love.

I still listened to FM a little in the morning to hear the weather and what-not, but the affair was over. Life was good for a couple of years. But then something happened. A new FM station came on the air. I was curious and decided to give it a chance. At first, I just switched the morning alarm on my clock radio to the new station. The music was good and the air staff was fun.

I was still strictly satellite in car. Well, with the exception of the CDs that I still carried around. One day, I was stuck in traffic with no idea how long I was going to be there. I had an epiphany - local radio would know. I switched the source button on my trusty Pioneer to FM and tuned in to one of the locals. Of course they knew what was going on. And then they played a good song or two or three.

When I got in the car the next morning, the radio was still on FM. I left it there and re-discovered local news. I couldn't believe my ears. I was getting entertained and informed by a local radio station. It almost brought a tear to my eye. Well, no, it didn't, but it was refreshing. I found myself switching back and forth between XM and FM whenever the mood struck.

These days, I find myself happily pushing buttons between the two. I've come to appreciate all that both formats have to offer. My radio always fits my mood. I can get news, music and sports with a local flavor. Or I can get it all from a nationwide satellite network source. Variety is the spice of life with both XM and FM.

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