I was a subscriber to the original XM Radio back in the day, and while it was certainly worlds away from terrestrial radio service, I was still bugged by gaps in playback when going under bridges or in parking garages and by the lack of a CD-style rewind button. 4G connections have taken care of the former issue, and a new app update seems to have addressed the latter. The latest update to the SiriusXM Internet Radio app adds an incredible 5-hour music or talk buffer for most of the channels that the service offers.
This means that unlike "digital DJ" services like Slacker or Pandora, you'll be able to rewind to pretty much any point that you've heard in the recent past. Other updated features include automatically skipping to the beginning of a song when you change the station, pausing live programming, forward and rewind functions on "many channels", and customized alerts to let you know when radio shows are beginning. There are also the standard bugfixes and improvements to album art and artist bios.
SiriusXM is still a little less accessible than free services since it's dependent upon a subscription fee, starting at around $15. But it's well-placed to take on Spotify, which also requires a subscription. It's great to see so many solid updates to music services, which seems to finally be realizing that a good mobile app is a must-have for modern customers. How about you, Pandora - that Android app is looking really long in the tooth.