My Caching Experience With Slacker

AZDude

Member
Oct 18, 2008
215
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Mesa, AZ
Last week I spent the weekend in Kingman, AZ. Now whenever I go on a road trip, I look at the coverage maps of my data providers. Verizon for my Blackberry Storm and Sprint for my air card. Along the way there is a gap in coverage (about 60 miles or so). Because of this, I decided to try the caching feature of the Slacker Blackberry app.

Caching was very easy. I chose two stations to cache from the app itself. The two were Trance and House. Connected to my computer and the refreshing began. It took about 30-40 minutes to fullly cache the two stations. About 250MB of data downloaded.

While crusing down highway 93, I listened to my usual Eurodance channel on DI.FM until I entered the "silence" of the dead zone. Once there I fired up the Slacker app and selected cached stations. I noticed a tiny blue "c" on both channels I had cached. I selected the Trance channel. I found it funny that it said "buffering" as apposed to "loading" when starting the first song. Once a song is finished the next one startes immediately unlike when streaming live.

So for the next 60 + miles, I listened to Slacker's Trance channel. Not bad of a station. But you know what? Even though the songs were stored on my media card, it still felt like radio! :cool:

Once back in Sprint's coverage area (Verizon roams on Mohave Wireless in Mohave County and doesn't work well) I switched back to the Eurodance channel on DI.FM this time using my iPod Touch.

Confuesed? :p

So while there in the Kingman area, I streamed my usual DI.FM stations.

On the way back I re-entered the dead zone and switched back to Slacker. This time I chose the House channel. I was surprised to hear quite a bit of Soulful and Funky House on there. Usually I hear mainstream house on there but this was a nice change of pace.

But once I entered Verizon's coverage area, I switched back to live streaming radio (DI.FM).

Conclusion:

Cached Slacker still feels like radio as if you were streaming live. This is great for trips into areas with no cell coverage. You could say it's like the old days of being a dual sub on Sat radio. Listen to XM for a period of time, then listen to Sirius for a bit and vice versa. One thing that really stood out for me was that not once did I hear a commercial on Slacker. Usually I hear a commercial about every 30 minutes while streaming Slacker live. But in the two plus hours I listened to Cached Slacker, I didn't hear one commercial or sweeper! :eek: So my experience was pleasant and will certainly do it again! I didn't listen long enough to notice any "missing music" that others have experienced.
 
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DAB

Mod Emeritus
Oct 9, 2008
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Louisiana
Hey, I've been saying this for a year, where you been?

However, I will say that while Slacker is nice for hours at a time, it isn't like Sat Radio. I still prefer Sat Radio overall. None the less the ability to customize stations to play what I want and not have to hear those artist I do not like is of great value to me. I probably have 20 customize stations and I'd put them up against any programmed sat radio any day. But to keep them fresh and updated sort of defeats the whole SLACKER premise.

None the less it is great having Slacker on my G2 and then streaming on my iPod Touch or iPhone.
 

AZDude

Member
Oct 18, 2008
215
10
18
35
Mesa, AZ
The Sat radio thing I was referring to was more like having two different services rather than Slacker being exactly like SiriusXM. Example, DI.FM and Slacker Radio.
 

snakester

Member
Oct 29, 2008
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Lovely Seacost NH
I still don't follow you!

I think he means more of the premise of having more than one source for your music. With my BlackBerry, it's like the old days, when XM and Sirius were two different companies. Back then, I'd be able to bounce between the two services, finding exactly what I wanted. Now, I can do the same thing, except I've got Slacker, Pandora, IHeartRadio, Nobex, and more to choose from. It gives the feeling of having a choice back.
 

DAB

Mod Emeritus
Oct 9, 2008
9,434
149
63
Louisiana
I think he means more of the premise of having more than one source for your music. With my BlackBerry, it's like the old days, when XM and Sirius were two different companies. Back then, I'd be able to bounce between the two services, finding exactly what I wanted. Now, I can do the same thing, except I've got Slacker, Pandora, IHeartRadio, Nobex, and more to choose from. It gives the feeling of having a choice back.

I am glad you figured it out, cause I read it 3 times and didn't get it. None the less I think all phones now days give you this experience with them having Pandora, Slacker and in the case of the iPhone/iPod Touch Sirius XM. The variety of content now days is staggering and there is no way you can make use of all of it. I was a long time dual subscriber and enjoyed going between both services. I do the same now except with streaming services.