On Tuesday Slacker introduced a new subscription service called “Slacker Premium Radio.” Slacker Premium allows you to search for artists and play songs, or even full albums, on demand. Similar to Rhapsody, you can also cache songs for offline playback on your phone where a 3G or Wi-Fi signal isn’t available. The streaming radio service said that it offers 6 times the amount of music that Pandora offers, although it remains unclear how its library stacks up against Rhapsody or Microsoft’s Zune service. Slacker Premium Radio is available for the web, Android, iOS, and BlackBerry now for $10 per month. More →
In a blog post today, RIM announced that it will begin seeding a new application, dubbed BlackBerry Radio, to select Beta Zone users in the United States. The goal of BlackBerry Radio is to make streaming internet radio stations, from multiple sources, easier to discover. That application pulls stations from popular online services like Slacker and iheartradio, as well as terrestrial sources like Clear Channel and Corus. Users can organize stations by genre and get links to purchase playing-songs directly from Amazon MP3. The application is free for Beta Zone users to test; interested parties can can sign up for BlackBerry’s Beta Zone here. More →
If you own a BlackBerry and haven’t yet heard of Slacker, you clearly haven’t been paying attention. The spunky Internet radio provider is making headlines again today and VZW-branded Storm owners should take note — Big Red has announced a new deal to get Slacker on your handset whether you like it or not. But why wouldn’t you like it? Slacker streams custom genre or artist-based stations directly to your handset, computer or Slacker portable device and keeps things fresh with a library of over 4 million songs. A free version of the service plays an occasional ad and only allows users to skip up to five songs per hour, while a paid subscription option removes both annoyances and adds a few more features. Over the next few days the app will be pushed out to VZW Storms OTA and unlike prior versions, the app will give users the option to purchase tracks they hear through the V CAST music store. Ahh, it all makes sense now. Congrats to the Slacker folks on a pretty huge coup and congrats to Big Red for adding even more functionality and value to its Storm.
The winners of our recent Slacker Radio Plus giveaway won’t be the only ones excited to learn that Slacker Radio’s mobile app has just received a major upgrade. Version 2, 2.0.2 actually, is now available and it includes a variety of bug fixes and enhancements. Highlights include faster performance / app response and much (MUCH) shorter gaps between songs. Transition gaps were one of the few complaints users had with Slacker but now once the app gets rolling, users can move through that 4 million-track library with almost no interruption. The BlackBerry version is available immediately via direct download (uninstall the current version, reboot and visit http://www.slacker.com from your BlackBerry browser) and it will show up in BlackBerry App World this coming week. Likewise, the updated iPhone app is currently awaiting approval and should hit the App Store this coming week as well.
We knew we had a few slackers in our audience and sure enough, you guys blew us away with some pretty remarkable levels of slackerdom. For those who missed it, Slacker celebrated its recent million-download milestone by throwing some free one-year Slacker Radio Plus subscriptions our way to dole out. We decided to hand them out to a select few who take slacking to a whole new level, and here are the winners:
- Tomnia, who is such a slacker it took him an hour just to build up enough motivation to leave a comment. Even then, he couldn’t be bothered with punctuation or proper sentence structure.
- Definitive, who can’t muster the energy to perform too many tasks in a single day so he decided to enter the contest rather than go to work.
- Nathan, who is so lazy he couldn’t even browse away from BGR and needed us to do his web browsing for him. By the way buddy, you’re looking at rain all week long down in VA Beach.
Congrats to our insanely lazy winners and a big thanks to everyone who entered. Don’t worry, there will be plenty of chances to win more great stuff from your pals here at BGR in the future.
UPDATE: Slacker loved the entries so much, they decided to choose three more lucky commenters to receive a free one-year subscription to Slacker Radio Plus each! Congrats, shika, poor and pjacoby!
There are a few big players out there when it comes to customized Internet radio but lately, Slacker seems to be shining brighter than the rest. This past week, the company announced two major milestones: First, Slacker now has well over 2 million songs in its library. For comparison sake that’s about four times the size of Pandora’s library. Beyond that, in less than four months since the app was released, Slacker’s BlackBerry offering has already hit the 1 million download mark. Wow. It took just over 16 weeks to reach a million downloads and support for station caching and stereo Bluetooth no doubt helped it get there as quickly as it did. So how is Slacker celebrating the occasion? By hooking a few BGR readers up, that’s how. Hit the jump for your chance to win a free 1-year Slacker Radio Plus subscription courtesy of Slacker and your pals here at BGR.
Sure you’ve got Pandora, Last.fm and a whole slew of internet radio apps sitting pretty in the App Store but it’s hard to complain about another custom internet radio option for the iPhone and iPod Touch. At this point, Slacker doesn’t quite have the subscriber count of more popular options such as the aforementioned Pandora and Last.fm, but the company definitely has a viable service and the introduction of an iPhone app will no doubt give the Slacker team a nice little boost. Known for its hardware efforts, solid custom stations and website design that must have been done by the Harley Davidson people, Slacker is basically a combination of Last.fm and Pandora – custom stations can be created based on an artist or genre and the service is completely free to use with limitations while a subscription fee will enhance your experience a bit. Last week Slacker announced two new mobile versions of its app and made BlackBerry version available. Now that the iPhone app has been released as well we’re in wait-and-see mode, curious to learn how it will affect Slacker’s numbers. Got an iPhone or iPod Touch? Check out the app and drop us a line in the comments.
Read (iTunes link)
Slacker created a bit of buzz for their radio application for BlackBerry during CTIA but since then, the relatively popular internet radio provider has been extremely quiet. Now that CES is here however, the company has gone ahead and officially announced the launch of Slacker Radio for BlackBerry. With 100 stations categorized by genre and over 10,000 artist stations, Slacker also allows users to create their own stations which other users can listen to. Album reviews, artist bios and cover art are also tightly integrated into the program. Streaming radio for mobile devices is quickly becoming a crowded field but the major benefit of Slacker is that it allows users to store their favorite stations on a memory card which Slacker claims increases battery performance up to five times (when played back) in comparison to a constant-stream of music. For now BlackBerry users who want to try out Slacker must live in the US (it seems you can bypass this by entering any valid US zip code though) and have a device running OS 4.3 and up. The Storm is currently not supported but will be sometime in the near future when an update is released.