I got Sirius for a surprise Xmas present from my brother who has XM and loves XM. I got into and only listened to Jam On until the Grateful Dead Channel came out. Now I switch between them but find I am listening to The Grateful Dead channel more.
I really liked Jam On at first cause I got exposed to a whole bunch of new bands, at least new to me. WSP, moe., Disco Biscuits, Umphrey's, on and on. The Gone Phishing show has helped me gain some understanding of Phish.
But I am finding that the Jam On DJs get stuck in ruts just like on commercial radio. Playing the same cuts by the same bands over and over. Not sure if that is due to band promoters paying to have the songs played or what but I got sick of one jam bands new song very quickly. The Grateful Dead channel is different in that respect, i.e. they can play numerous versions of the same song and most Deadheads won't tire of the song.
I still check in w/ Jam On from time to time. I suspect they play less Dead there now w/ the advent of the Grateful Dead channel which is bad because of the relevance of the Grateful Dead to the entire jam band concept. So if any of the Jam On DJs are perusing the forum, it's only my opinion, but mix it up more. Keep it interesting. Play Dead!
Re: the merger, cars, etc. I just bought cars and they came w/ XM integrated in the car radios. I personally am hoping for the merger and I could get Jam On and The Grateful Dead channel on the built in radios.
Also, I think the information about the tune that is being played is probably imbedded in the data stream that is sent to the receiving Sirius radio. I have a Sportster and as has been noted, sometimes it displays info and sometimes not. I am guessing but imagine that the transmission from the satellite is a digital stream, likely MP3 format or very similar, and MP3 format has space in the digital data header for information about the song, author, song length, album, etc. I believe that if the particular song file playing has the info, it is displayed. For album songs, if the song is just "ripped" from the album and the data is not filled in, then nothing is there to be transmitted in the digital satellite stream. Course, I am probably off base but thought I would blat anyway.
The river keeps a talkin'