Beginning today, Slacker.com – the Internet radio service that allows users to create highly customized radio stations – is offering pre-orders on their very long awaited portable “radio” device.
According to PC Magazine:
The device, simply called Slacker Portable Player, offers a completely new approach to the traditional idea of an “MP3 player.” Users can sync content from stations they create online to the player, which will come in 15, 25, and 40 “station capacities” (read: 2, 4, and 8GB, respectively). In addition, Slacker has announced its Premium Radio service, which is not free (it costs $7.50 per month), but offers unlimited skipping (the free version allows only six skips per hour), the ability to play your “favorites” whenever you chose, and has no advertisements. The regular service operates much more like an actual radio station, albeit one designed around your specific tastes.
I interviewed these guys several months ago here.
If you’re a music fan who considers upkeep on an iPod to be too much work, this device is made for you.
Note that the “free” version of the service includes commercials – just like radio. But they’re commercials peppered between content customized BY you and FOR you.
In the long run, will people buy a device to provide this service?
Or will their mobile phones be “Slacker-powered,” thus bringing the technology to the masses rather than the other way around.
I’ll give you one guess. Honestly, I don’t know why Slacker is bothering with their own device as anything other than a proof of concept.
When listeners can easily customize their radio experience and do it with a portable device – especially one that’s ubiquitous, how do you think that will impact their listening to your station, which plays the music most people like most of the time, rather than the music I like right now? And – more importantly – what will it mean for what goes between your records?