We've been talking about satellite radio over on the Spin Board, specifically what it can do to improve. It occurs to me that what I really want is a "Content Command Center" for my car that gives me access to audio content I already have, plus access to fresh content I might like. I see satellite delivery as a key component of this system. First off, I'd like a massive hard drive that plugs right into my car stereo. The HD would be removable and linkable to my home computer via USB, Firewire or Wi-Fi. I'd like to be able to store every MP3 in my collection on this drive, organize it the way I like (playlists, artist and genre sub-folders, etc.) and have everything at my fingertips when I drive. (Preferably accessible via buttons on my steering wheel.)
I'd also like a website that allows me to identify content preferences. I should be able to tell this website that I'm a slobbering Van Halen fan, that I dig Aerosmith, Guns 'N Roses, AC/DC, Pearl Jam and whatever other bands I like. I should also be able to tell it that from a talk radio perspective, I like liberal politics, gaming, technology and other such things.
My preferred content profile on this website should be linked to a satellite receiver in my car, which prioritizes the channels I'm most likely to dig by shuffling them and putting most preferred channels at the top of the order. I should also have a series of customized content channels organized by genre, such that I can tune in to "My Talk" and receive talk radio programs that appeal to me, based on the preferences I submit to the website. These could be downloaded in the background and time-shifted, or streamed.
At some point, there should be a "buy" button on my steering wheel, such that if I'm listening to a song I don't already own and want to buy it on impulse, I hit the button and the content provider charges 99 cents to a credit card I submitted through the website. The song is downloaded to the hard drive in my car and stays there indefinitely.
Podcasts I identify as interesting to me on the website should be available via streaming in my car. If I want to subscribe to a regular podcast, I should have the option of having as many episodes as will fit either streamed and stored, or downloaded from the Internet to my car's hard drive.
I think all of this can be done with technology that either exists today or isn't too far off in terms of development. Satellite companies already pitch web companies that host bandwidth-intensive events like live webcasts with bandwidth solutions. If a live webcast can be carried via satellite, why can't IP-based content like podcasts and Internet radio?