Slacker Radio upgraded: Expands station caching and adds Palm webOS - Orbitcast

Slacker Radio upgraded: Expands station caching and adds Palm webOS

| 25 Comments
Slacker on Palm Pre
Slacker Radio has removed the exclusivity of caching stations only on the BlackBerry and opened up the caching capabilities to the rest of its mobile platforms (like the iPhone/iTouch and Android). In addition, they've also made Slacker Radio available on the Palm webOS platform so that Palm Pre and Palm Pixi users can also enjoy Slacker's personal radio.

In other words: in the span of just one-year, Slacker has opened up its platform to essentially all major smartphones.
If you're not familiar with what "station caching" is, think of it as a way to listen to Slacker Radio without needing a network connection. It uses the internal storage or SD memory Card to store the music directly on the device itself - so you can listen while on a subway, on a plane or wherever you want, without interruption.

The caching capability will be available "in the coming weeks," said Jonathan Sasse, SVP of marketing at Slacker, when I met with him at CES 2010.

I also learned that it's functionality that mobile providers are in full support of - because station caching will help reduce the load on mobile networks since you no longer need to be constantly streaming over their networks. If you can connect to Slacker overnight (while the data loads are lower), you can cache the station and maintain a completely seamless experience.

And, of course, Palm Pre users will be happy to have a music alternative available to them. Slacker 2.0 also completely changes the experience of iPod Touch users, who no longer need to be connected via WiFi to enjoy the service.

With a music library that is four to five times larger than Pandora's mind-numbing "music genome" playlist, I think this is a killer iterative upgrade. Slacker had a one-year exclusive agreement with RIM for station caching on the BlackBerry, but that contract is expired and the functionality can be provided to everyone else. Simple, but useful, functionality like non-connected listening is a game changer.

See below for some photos of the new Slacker 2.0 software on the iPhone and Android mobile platforms.

Slacker on iPhone with station caching
iPhone Slacker
Slacker on Android

25 Comments

Could this mean that my Slacker G2 will be retired? This is a great move!

Wow.

Game changer is right. More like Game Over for satrad.

I just downloaded and installed Slacker on my iPhone and iPod Touch.

Holy Shit! This is the satellite radio killer.

Reviews on the app in iTunes store already are complaining about the lousy music programming and talkative jocks and how they are canceling their service in favor of Slacker.

You can even play this in your car with a 3G connection.

I wholeheartedly recommend everyone download and check out this program. You may cancel your online subscription with Sirius as well.

Welcome to the Slacker ranks NJRonbo! This is what I have been saying all a long. If you love music and don't care about Howard Stern then Slacker Radio is the way to go. End of story. And now with ABC news coming on board to Slacker with live news updates and caching stations coming out for all other mobile platforms(I have the iPod Touch) it is the end of satrad for me! I was all ready using Slacker most of the time using wifi but did not have the connection in my car but with caching stations I don't need it.

Content is king right? That's why we suffer through sub-CD sound quality and contantly increasing prices and decreasing service.

Unfortunately for Satrad, Slacker is the single biggest rival they have for music lovers. It is now able to go more places than satellite radio can and doesn't require another device, or even to a subscription. It has channels from the beginning as good as what was on XM, and can be completely customized. Now with caching on more than Blackberries, they will really begin to bleed SiriXM for users. Just wish they would get an app to run on a WinMo phone.

Of course, after I asked Slacker about channel cacheing, learned about the limits, and then just bought a G2. That's OK the kicker is the fee for a 3G service.

The reality is, most people in their cars need the convenience of radio. Just turn the key and press a button. The more you have to choose an app on your phone, the less likely they will do it. Sat radio will be around for awhile because of the convenience factor. I still have XM in the car, and switch among XM, Slacker (iPhone) and iPod (iPhone). Depends on the mood...

Ryan - How in the world did you develop a Sirius-hate audience? Look at these comments! Amazing LOL

Where have you been? Before the merger, XMfan.com was overflowing with Sirius hate writing. And the worst happened, Sirius killed XM's music.

Oh it's left over from the old XM (I hate Sirius) audience. I get it now. Thanks. I figured you guys would be long over it by now. The merger happened over a year ago. Oh Well, I never understood the hate to begin with. Hilarious to read though. :)

Muscle, some of us who didn't give a shit about Howard or the other inflated egos on the radio were listening to XM for the MUSIC. We liked the choice that came from listening and discovering new artists, deeper playlists, and things not even available on FM. Now thanks to the merger and the importation of the Sirius shallow playlists, college interns talking between songs, and we basically have commercial free paid FM on SiriusXM. Gone is the great music that was available on XM.

Many of us were also the same people that bought into XM when it first started and were also some of the first to abandon when it started going south. Early adopters can be a fickle lot, and very vocal in their displeasure. Hence why you have so many here who saw and loved the XM experience and suffered through substandard sound quality because the content was so good and there was no better alternative aside from your own MP3 player or iPod. Now with caching, I can load it on my smartphone and not worry about the half of my commute where I get almost no cellphone coverage. Won't matter, because I have it cached.

Slacker as well as the iPhone truly are Sat Rad killers. I got an iPhone in June and cancelled all of my sat rad subs in July. They are just not necessary with the iPhone - whether it be music through Slacker, Pandora , Yahoo radio etc. or other entertainment through the thousands of podcasts - check out Adam Carolla if you haven't already, I now pay ZERO for my audio entertainment that I think is on par if not SUPERIOR to SiriusXM. I agree about the convenience, but uh oh - did you see the internet enabled cars at CES - SiriusXM needs to figure out some content to distribute - otherwise, they should start selling some of that bandwidth they have - they are already losing subs - they hemorrhaging starts soon.

You can't possibly say that satellite radio will be crushed by something this simple. I, along with many others, don't keep a siruis subscription on my sirius stiletto 2 because I feel it is superior to an mp3 player where the content is mostly static. I keep it because I can't listen to all of my live performances, livesets, weekly broadcasts, and talk shows on my iPod touch.

Are you trying to say that you can catch all of the same live events, live performances, live news, talk shows, weather, and traffic reports that are on Sirius/XM on an iPod touch when you have no wifi access? Not to mention that there are no apps for the ipod touch or iphone that give you access to above listed live content because it is exclusively licensed.

There is still much more life in my sirius subscription than that. If you want to go and listen to your pop music.. that's a great task for an ipod touch. But there is no way you are going to catch any of the livesets, live performances, or exclusively licensed talk shows on one. If there was.. I would only keep my iPod touch; Not a Slacker G2, Sirius Stiletto 2, and an iPod touch

F**k Pandora. Anybody who uses that service should get lost.

Slacker is the greatest thing in digital media, and these announcements at CES only prove such!

Palmphone.com - A source for quality Palm Software Programming with feature rich Palm Pre Apps taking along the advantage of Palm Pre Appstore including Custom, Social, GPS Palm Apps Development, Palm Themes Icons Design, Palm Games Development and much more to cater the up surging demands of Palmphone Development

Slacker is a good streaming music service, but it's just-another streaming music service until it caches on your platform of choice. E.G., iPhone/iPod Touch ... if the app actually allows cacheing (it *doesn't* now), that'd be amazing.

But will Apple allow this? So far the only app that comes close to this functionality is Pocket Tunes, and it records music streams in real time, which isn't the same thing as cacheing, where songs are basically downloaded and available for play.

Regarding music services like Slacker/Pandora etc. being better than Sirius for listening in cars, because they're free ... how much does your data plan cost? I bet it's more than the $12.99/month that a Sirius subscription costs.

HEY EVERYBODY THE BLACKBERRY APP FOR BLACKBERRY SIRIUS/XM IS COMMING OUT THIS MONTH!!OFFICIAL NEWS FROM SIRIUS HEADQUATERS KEEP AN EYE OUT

But you get a helluva lot more with your data package. In addition, many of us get a data package included with our work phones, meaning its no extra out of pocket expense. Thanks and try again.

NJRonbo, after all of your whining and bitching, you JUST NOW found Slacker?

Are you seriously that out of touch?

Am....I....seriously....that....out....of....touch?

Uhm, a little. Perhaps.

But not entirely.

Actually, been listening to Internet Radio lately. Really loving it. The playlists are extremely deep while still featuring the known hits.

Been listening to Slacker for the past day. On the one hand, the sound quality is just amazing. It is very difficult to distinguish it from CD quality. The only downside thus far is that their "fringe" setting which should really dig deep into rarely heard songs isn't as good as the deeper playlists that Internet radio plays.

However, I would imagine the advantage to Slacker is that you have this immense library at your disposal and unlike radio it can be catered to your own personal choices.

This is the future of music delivery. I'm just going to sit here, continue to "whine" and "bitch" and enjoy the downfall of Sirius Radio. They deserve it after the way they have pissed all over their subscribers these past years.


Continuing to listen to Slacker.

Have not even touched my SiriusXM app for days.

For those of you using Slacker....

How big are the playlists on this thing? Does this have the potential of delivering every song ever made for each genre?

I am just amazed at the sound quality and the fact that I can skip songs I don't like.

I have a feeling I will be forking over a subscription to this service. It is simply amazing.

Would love to hear more about the music collection size on this platform.

Ronbo, go to Slacker's forums and they can give you some good answers about their playlists, ideas on customization, etc...

http://forums.slacker.com/

The staff there is helpful. Several XM411 and Sirius Backstage people like DAB are there as well, and many of them created their own channel for long-lost channels on satellite radio.

Glad to see you're enjoying Slacker!

Sound quality is very good on my Slacker G2 radio in my car, however I am disappointed in how difficult it is to select channels on the device while driving.

When is this actually going to happen for the Iphone?

Got rid of our SiriusXM subs last April - never looked back. I loved Yahoo Launchcast Custom radio and have been looking for an alternative. Tried to make Pandora work for months - all I did was skip and always exceeded the 5 per hour.

Tried Last.fm and Fine tune and internet radio but I like to pick my music.

The first time I listened to Slacker - listened for hours and for months I've existed on the free stations. I just did the annual Plus subscription and am making my custom stations like I did on Yahoo. I like many genres and decades and have been able to find a lot of obscure tunes on Slacker for my stations.

This is like XM was before Sirius got ahold of it but better because you can skip and customize your stations and you care about the music.