Slacker announces Caching for the iPhone

Jon

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LAS VEGAS— When we reviewed the brand-new Slacker Radio for iPhone last January, our only major gripe was that the app didn't cache music, so you had to have a cell or WiFi signal to listen to customized Slacker stations. In fact, that was the only reason the iPhone/iPod touch version didn't nab our Editors' Choice for the best music-streaming app. That title went to Slacker for BlackBerry, since it supported caching, even though it was of the wired variety and required connecting your phone to your PC to make it happen.
Fast forward a year: Here at CES, Slacker announces Slacker Radio 2.0 for iPhone, which, in addition to making minor improvements, adds support for over-the-air caching. In fact, the company has made similar updates to its Android and BlackBerry apps, so all versions will now cache your Slacker music. Hitting the Cache Station button saves up that station's music for later so you can listen on a plane, in the subway, or anywhere else you can't get a signal. Slacker claims that cached listening requires little battery power.
There's a slight catch, though: To get the caching functionality, you need to spring for $3.99 a month for a Slacker Radio Plus subscription, which gives you unlimited song skips and also skips the ads. If you have Slacker's free Basic service, you can cache stations for 14 days to try it out.
Slacker 2.0 for iPhone and Android, and Slacker 3.0 for BlackBerry will be available soon at each platform's app store and Slacker.com.


:clap:


Slacker Brings Wireless Channel Caching to its Smartphone Apps - Reviews by PC Magazine
 

Jon

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Oh, I'm sorry...I can't hear you over the deafening chorus of angels singing "Hallelujah!" Yes, it's true: the iPhone and the iPod Touch are one step closer to subscription music and I'm pleased as punch about it. Slacker, which released an app for the devices earlier this year, is about to roll out an update that will allow for caching and over-the-air refreshing of stations.

While the new capability isn't a huge deal for the iPhone, it's a big win for iPod Touch owners because it means you won't need to be connected to Wi-Fi in order to enjoy Slacker Radio. The only time you will need to hop on is when you're ready to refresh content on the stations, which is a blissfully easy process, thanks to Slacker's excellent onscreen interface.

Actually, the news is great all around, as playing from a cached station takes significantly less of a toll on the battery than streaming.

In addition, Slacker will be launching apps for Palm and Android devices, as well as updating the Blackberry app. All the new goodness should be available in the next two or three weeks.

http://ces.cnet.com/8301-31045_1-10429516-269.html?tag=mncol;txt
 

limegrass69

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Oct 12, 2008
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Good job, Slacker!
This sort of functionality is essential if products like this are going to succeed.
It's not practical to have an "always on" connection while on the move. Most people are not gadget freaks, and for something to catch on in the mainstream, it really has to be as easy as a radio to use.
 

DAB

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Hurray for Slacker! This is the absolute best news out of CES thus far! I could not be happier about this and seals the deal with my decision to have an iPhone and iPod Touch!

Good Job Slacker!

You have to admit that in terms of Slacker and Pandora they are on the move vs Sirius which appears to be sitting still. The one area that Jon and I agree on is that Sirius needs to get off their rearend and push for streaming on multiple devices (Windows Mobile, Android, RIM (Blackberry) and I'd even suggest a dock that would provide live service for those that wish to have it.
 

Sirterp

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Looking forward to this as well. I've got an itunes card laying around and was thinking about getting the plus sub with it if I could. But just how are you supposed to do that within the app? TIA.
 

DAB

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Not sure you'd be able to use your iTunes card to get a Slacker sub, unless Apple is allow iTunes cards to be used for 3rd party subscriptions, which I kind of doubt. I think you'd have to go to the Slacker web site and subscribe. iTunes really isn't even necessary as you can download the software via the built in Apps store on the iPhone or iPod Touch.
 

Jon

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I just went to the Slacker website and gave them a credit card number for Slacker Plus. My payment went through, and it immediately converted to the plus subscription. I'll be doing that again - as a graduation present from the folks - as my subscription is up on the 18th.
 

DAB

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I just went to the Slacker website and gave them a credit card number for Slacker Plus. My payment went through, and it immediately converted to the plus subscription. I'll be doing that again - as a graduation present from the folks - as my subscription is up on the 18th.

I re-signed for a Plus plan after my Premium plan expired back in late August. I am ready to go for caching soon as the Slacker 2.0 app is released.

I wonder if there is a limit as to how many stations you'll be able to cache or if that is just based on the amount of space you have available. I am glad caching will be done via Wifi. Unlike the original Blackberry caching which required a cable to download. Seems they will fix that on the next Blackberry software release too.
 

Jon

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I re-signed for a Plus plan after my Premium plan expired back in late August. I am ready to go for caching soon as the Slacker 2.0 app is released.

I wonder if there is a limit as to how many stations you'll be able to cache or if that is just based on the amount of space you have available. I am glad caching will be done via Wifi. Unlike the original Blackberry caching which required a cable to download. Seems they will fix that on the next Blackberry software release too.

Well, 4Gb on the old G2 was something like 25 stations, right? That's about what I listen to. I imagine the only limits will be how big the storage on your phone is, and what other stuff you have on there. I could see having 4GB in Slacker content and 4Gb of my own music and podcasts, and I'd be very pleased with that. And that's not even including apps.
Posted via Mobile Device
 

DAB

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Well, 4Gb on the old G2 was something like 25 stations, right? That's about what I listen to. I imagine the only limits will be how big the storage on your phone is, and what other stuff you have on there. I could see having 4GB in Slacker content and 4Gb of my own music and podcasts, and I'd be very pleased with that. And that's not even including apps.
Posted via Mobile Device


Yeah 4gb G2 you can cache 25 stations which will be around 100 songs per station. I wonder if you listen to a station a great deal if it will allow it to grow beyond the 100 songs inititally saved like it does on the G2. I have like 15 stations on my G2, but there are a few of them which have HUGE playlist because I listen to them much, much more than the others. Slacker claims you can have up to 500 songs for a given station if you leave space enough for it and you listen to it more than other stations, which is why it continues to grow.

I do think the caching will only be limited by the available memory. Which means I am going to have to delete some content off my iPod Touch as it is full right now. I'll drop it down about 4GB and then use that for Slacker Caching. I use my iPod Touch a great deal in my company vehicle as I use my phone way too much to make use of it. Though I do use it at home for playing content, but then at home I can just stream!
 

xan_user

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So is this going to work on iPod touch too? I assume I have to pay to get the 3.0 OS and put it back in jailed mode...
 

Jon

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100 songs is around 8 hours worth of listening, which isn't bad considering I listen about 4 hours a day off and on.
 

DAB

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Couple of pictures showing the iPhone and Android caching! They are saying this upgrade will be released within the next few weeks. Thanks to Orbitcast for the pictures!





 

AZDude

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That is awesome! It looks like caching will be done over both wifi and 3G. Hope it doesn't cripple the network!
 

DAB

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Looks like you'll also be able to request songs or artist via the iPhone/iPod Touch update.

I don't think this will cripple the network because in the long run you'll have a lot of people playing from cached content rather than streaming.
 

syphix

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I can't WAIT for this. My Slacker Radio Plus sub comes due in March and I was thinking about letting it lapse, but not now!

Question is, which app will I find myself using more: XM SkyDock or Slacker?
 

DAB

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I can't WAIT for this. My Slacker Radio Plus sub comes due in March and I was thinking about letting it lapse, but not now!

Question is, which app will I find myself using more: XM SkyDock or Slacker?


I can already answer that for me! SLACKER! ;) There will be times I listen to XM, but for music.. Slacker all the way!
 

JMII

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Nov 21, 2008
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Excellent news. Since Slacker has stopped developing hardware its good to see they are pushing their software solution to have all the features their old hardware had. Caching songs on the Touch is awesome.

Just wish they offered Chumby support as I ordered one to replace my bedside alarm clock radio. Currently it supports Pandora and a few other 'net music solutions but not Slacker.