Due to piracy concerns, XM Satellite Radio has reportedly discontinued its XM PCR radio receiver. The PCR was a hardware device that gave XM subscribers satellite radio reception, but when used with third-party software called TimeTrax, the PCR let listeners download songs to their personal computers. CNet reported that XM declined to comment on discontinuing the product, but a source close to the company confirmed it.
However, regardless of its plans for the PCR, XM is working to stop TimeTrax. "We continue to pursue appropriate options related to TimeTrax, including any legal or other options," said a company spokesman.
Meanwhile, the PCR device is now a hot commodity on eBay. It used to retail for about $50, but it's earning bids in the range of $350 in online auctions.
In other XM news, the satcaster is debuting two new stations this week: Public Radio Channel and NASCAR Radio 2. The Public Radio Channel, debuting on September 1, will feature well-known public radio programs like This American Life, Michael Feldman'sWhad'Ya Know? and Garrison Keillor'sThe Writer's Almanac. Also, former Morning Edition host Bob Edwards will have an exclusive morning interview show on XM called The Bob Edwards Show, set to begin October 4.
XM's second NASCAR channel will debut on September 4, and will bring fans behind the wheel with in-car audio from FanScan as a complement to full race broadcast coverage from MRN and PRN on NASCAR Radio, Channel 144. NASCAR Radio 2 (XM Channel 145) will cover events in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series, NASCAR Busch Series, and NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series.