I joined the high-flying cognoscenti yesterday when I purchased a satellite radio receiver. With car and home docking kits for my portable unit, I can now listen to commercial-free music in my car, at home, or in the park. But ultimately, it's not music that got me to take the plunge -- it's Howard Stern.

As the Fool's Alyce Lomax noted -- and as anyone who's turned on a terrestrial radio these days might agree -- standard corporate radio fare is somewhat stale, if not downright barren. Since my day job requires me to do a lot of driving, I often find myself constantly scrolling through the dial looking for a station, any station, that offers listenable music. It's not an easy task.

I like country music, though these days when I can find a station that plays it -- there are apparently none in the New York City area -- it's as insipid as any other pop music. But my tastes aren't confined to honky-tonk ballads; they range from Pearl Jam and Nirvana to classical music.

In addition, I hate commercials. Nothing gets me to flip a dial faster than an ad. Satellite radio offers me my country music without all the commercial interruptions.

With a choice between XM Satellite Radio (NASDAQ:XMSR), which is a recommendation of Motley Fool Rule Breakers, and Sirius (NASDAQ:SIRI), why did I choose the latter? Both satellite radio companies provide similar services, similar sports packages, and comparable music and talk stations (if you like that sort of thing). When Rick Munarriz recommended XM to Rule Breakers subscribers, he noted that it leads in subscribers by about 3 to 1, has more deals with automakers lined up, boasts higher revenues, and carries lower debt.

But this was a personal listening decision, not an investment, and Howard Stern's impending move to Sirius in early 2006 tipped the balance. I'm not so devoted that I could qualify for membership in his Wack Pack (though others might disagree), but I do listen. His absence from terrestrial radio only makes it all the more desolate.

So the choice of satellite providers was easy for me. Now, audiophiles might not make that same one -- reviewers have said that XM offers better sound -- but football tailgaters might want to choose Sirius for its NFL coverage, just as bleacher bums might want XM's major league baseball broadcasts. I don't view the satellite radio market as an either-or proposition, at least from a user's standpoint. There's enough demand for two services.

As an investor, I'd be willing to back Rick's opinion of XM as the better place for my dollars. But as a listener, I'm happy following Stern to Sirius.

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Fool contributor Rich Duprey does not own any of the stocks mentioned in this article, but does subscribe to Sirius' service. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.