It’s been no secret of late that the imminent launch of the uSirius StarPlayr application has been teetering on the edge of an App Store debut. uSirius is the wildly anticipated app created by an ingenious gang of iPhone fanatics to deliver Sirius/XM Satellite Radio directly to iPhone via 3G, Wi-Fi and Edge.
I spoke to NiceMac co-founder Todd Bruss, about making his January 31st deadline for submitting uSirius to Apple. Bruss was unable to contain his excitement over the phone when confirming that his epic StarPlayr app is finally in Apple’s hands for review.
“We had it ready by 9:00 PM EST Saturday night but then we started hammering out some bugs,” Bruss said, “This morning at about 1:00 AM Cupertino time we submitted uSirius to Apple. You can tell everyone we submitted it to Apple at 12:00 midnight Hawaii time.”
Bruss confirmed that uSirius pricing will be set at a one time fee of $12.99 in the App Store for Version 1.0. Point updates will be free but any major upgrades will cost extra. You must have a Sirius or XM subscription for this iPhone app. Sirius Internet-only subscriptions are available for $12.95 per month, and do not require a radio. All Internet subscriptions will feature a 128k “premium” feed starting on March 11th.
“3G is gonna work great. I tried it here in Charlotte, and I had no drop outs. We set a larger buffer on Wi-Fi increasing the buffer for 128k feeds.” Bruss said, “Auto-play works now too, when you re-launch the application it remembers what station you were on when you exited. You can also rearrange channel presets.”
Usirius_settings I asked Todd Bruss about iPhone battery life while running uSirius via iPhone. While he admitted that the NiceMac team have yet to run final testing, Bruss was confident that recent code optimization in the new build has bested previous battery life results.
“With this brand new build we simplified the code so battery life now should be better than the previous version,” said Bruss, “We were getting 6 hours at 32k using Wi-Fi and about 4.75 hours with 3G. That was with the screen turned off 80-percent of the time. We think we can do better than six hours now but we have to run tests having our phones fully charged.”
NiceMac’s uSirius StarPlayr app will also be functional for iPod touch users and capable of being sold internationally pending Apple’s approval. If Apple approves this app will sold worldwide as long as Sirius provides a convenient way for international users to subscribe for their online-only service.
The application is currently available for Windows Mobile users with similar functionality created for iPhone. StarPlayer.com is selling the Windows Mobile version for $9.99. As long as you have a premium Sirius account there’s no limitations on bit rates for the feed.
“We’ve been going non-stop working until 4:00 in the morning on this all week,” said Bruss, “We have a really great programming team, very innovative and creative. Without any one player we would not be able to do this. That’s why we’re all co-founders, NiceMac is a very flat organization.”
It’s expected that Apple will clear the uSirius app for sale into the App Store in short order. We will let our readers know the moment it goes live. This might be the perfect place to quote the immortal words of Tom Petty; “The waiting is the hardest part”.