Slacker vs pandora

KTMCDO

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Oct 15, 2008
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SOUCE Lefsetz Letter


Pandora SUCKS!

I’m not sure computer-compiled radio is the future, but the fact that bozos listen to Pandora illustrates to me that you can sell crap to the public, because people are too dumb to know any better.

Try fine-tuning your Pandora station. I know someone who’s invested 200 hours in creating ONE Pandora station! Removing all the crap so the results are ear-pleasing. As for developing another?

That’s how it works on Pandora… You insert an artist, and then say yay or nay, and hope that you don’t bump up against the skip limit. As for building another station… You mean you want me to start ALL OVER??

No fucking way.

I laugh when people e-mail me about Pandora. I tried and rejected it. Was flummoxed when a Jackson Browne station I created delivered a Journey song. Huh? If Browne fans weren’t so mellow, they’d kill Journey fans, at least pooh-pooh them. Jackson is music for the mind, Journey is music for the MINDLESS!

But Slacker? That’s a whole ‘nother thing. BECAUSE YOU CAN FINE TUNE YOUR STATIONS!

Let me make this clear. Slacker streams tracks to you too. But rather than going on a bizarre adventure, creating a lame station that frustrates you, you can PICK A STATION ON SLACKER! They’ve got sixteen rock outlets. And nine country stations. There are almost twenty categories. With supposedly fringe genres featuring a plethora of choices. There are eleven electronic/dance channels! Thirteen alternative! All programmed by experts!

In other words, Slacker is free satellite radio. Yes, FREE! Go to: Slacker Personal Radio - Listen to Free Internet Radio Stations and try it out!

But know that you can only fast-forward a limited number of times per hour, unless you pay for premium service… And then you can click through AD INFINITUM!

This is similar to Pandora. But only the legal construct is the same, the limited number of skips. The two services are truly as different as kindergarten and college.

It’s not only the preordained channels on Slacker. You can create your own, just like with Pandora. Only you get to FINE TUNE YOUR STATION!

First, with the Popularity category… Do you want "Auto", "Fringe", "Deeper", "Familiar" or "Hits".

You can tell your station what year you want the music to be from… "Auto", "Classic", "Older", Recent" or "Current".

And then, there’s the favorites tab… Which you can set on "Auto", "Minimum", "More" and "Maximum".

In other words, if your station is only playing music you already know, and you want to go deeper, you’ve got that option! You can discover or go on autopilot listening to the familiar.

And you can fine tune the PREEXISTING STATIONS!

So, after going to Slacker.com, click on "Stations" on the left-hand side. After choosing a genre and a specific station, you’ll ultimately hear music. The key is to click that link with the little heart on it, that says "Customize", to the right of the album cover, to fine tune…

So why is Pandora ruling and Slacker almost completely unknown?

Tim Westergren. The guy who runs Pandora. He says he’s on your side, he wants you to e-mail your Congressman, keep your beloved Pandora alive! I don’t know what the fuck for. Like I said, the service is unusable. Tim Westergren isn’t about music, he’s about MONEY! And he’s done a great job of promoting his site. Pandora’s projected to be profitable next year! Take that major labels!

But Slacker had a million downloads of its app on the BlackBerry. Which is kind of like saying you had a million downloads on the Palm Treo. BlackBerries are great e-mail devices, lousy web-surfers. But the iPhone/iPod Touch is great at surfing! Turns out you can download a Slacker Radio app for the Apple platform!

Still, buzz is limited.

Because Slacker employed the wrong strategy. Kind of like satellite radio. Satellite radio’s formula was to give you no choice. It was supposed to be the only alternative in the car. And to a great degree, it is. But now, with 3G, people are streaming via their plugged-in iPhones. So, Sirius/XM has to be about programming. But too many of their stations are turn-offs, with playlists too tight and deejays too jive. But they can’t see this, since the programming department is run by the same people who ruined terrestrial radio! In order to succeed, Sirius/XM needs to focus on the programming. That’s where it’s at today, WHO’S GOT THE BEST SERVICE!

Slacker made an equal mistake. They created their own device! That’s like creating your own computer operating system. Now it’s about apps on the iPhone! Thank god, Slacker adjusted (and now Sirius/XM has too, they’ve got an iPhone app ready to go!) But they just haven’t gotten the word out.

But I’m doing it for them. To combat the incredibly lame service known as Pandora. Like I said, I don’t know if computer-suggested playlists are the future. I think not. That’s where I believe Sirius/XM has an advantage, all the human overhead they’ve got. But if you LIKE Pandora, PLEASE check out Slacker. Using Pandora is like computing on a PC when the Mac exists. WHY WOULD YOU WANT TO DO THAT?
 

flap_jackson

Well-Known Member
Nov 10, 2008
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Great article, can't say I disagree, except for the fact that's he hitting Sat Rad a little too hard...
 

DAB

Mod Emeritus
Oct 9, 2008
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Louisiana
I think the article is right on both counts! Pandora is hard to customize and it is a much harder job to do that is for sure. Though there is music on Pandora that isn't on Slacker and that is really all I use it for. Slacker is king for me hands down in terms of music! He pegged sat radio to a T in my book.
 

mrpacs

Well-Known Member
Oct 11, 2008
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"And you can fine tune the PREEXISTING STATIONS!"

I thought you cannot edit or request songs for pre existing Slacker Stations?
 

Jon

Well-Known Member
Dec 16, 2008
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"And you can fine tune the PREEXISTING STATIONS!"

I thought you cannot edit or request songs for pre existing Slacker Stations?

You most certainly can. You can turn the Classic Rock station into 'Deep Tracks' if you want. And you can favor/ban any song you like on any station.
 

mrpacs

Well-Known Member
Oct 11, 2008
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You most certainly can. You can turn the Classic Rock station into 'Deep Tracks' if you want. And you can favor/ban any song you like on any station.

OK, let me rephrase; can you request a song or artist on a pre-existing station? I was told that we cannot from Slacker Tech Support.
 

mrpacs

Well-Known Member
Oct 11, 2008
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I've always been able to.

I can't ...it's not possible. There's no search bar. I'm very curious to hear how you are doing this DAB.


This "Custom" station has the search bar available.




This Station built by Slacker does not have a search bar available to search for a specific artist or song.

 

Jon

Well-Known Member
Dec 16, 2008
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Okay, I get what you're saying now, and I don't think you can do it that way. What you CAN do is when a favorite artist or song comes up, you can press the heart button to play it.

I think that prevents people from requesting an artist that doesn't necessarily fit the format. One way you can request an artist to be played is bring it up with the Admins on the Slacker forums. They're usually pretty good about that sort of thing.
 

mrpacs

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Oct 11, 2008
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Okay, I get what you're saying now, and I don't think you can do it that way. What you CAN do is when a favorite artist or song comes up, you can press the heart button to play it.

I think that prevents people from requesting an artist that doesn't necessarily fit the format. One way you can request an artist to be played is bring it up with the Admins on the Slacker forums. They're usually pretty good about that sort of thing.

Correct. I had hoped to be able to request an artist or song to a pre-existing station but alas, you can't! No biggie. :)
 

phillyphan

Member
Oct 11, 2008
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I just created a Slacker account. I see a lot of you have them. I don't have a lot of time to listen online. I guess this is something that you eventually need to buy a portable unit. What does everyone recommend for home and car use (aux in)?
 

mrpacs

Well-Known Member
Oct 11, 2008
2,993
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I just created a Slacker account. I see a lot of you have them. I don't have a lot of time to listen online. I guess this is something that you eventually need to buy a portable unit. What does everyone recommend for home and car use (aux in)?

I use Slacker on my iPhone. I think you can also listen on Blackberry's.
 

DAB

Mod Emeritus
Oct 9, 2008
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I own neither device.

There are 4 options listen only only via the web based player, or via a iPhone/iPod Touch/Blackberry portable. This just leaves the G1 or G2. I do not recommend the G1 and the G2 can be purchased for $139 on some online sites. If you aren't willing to do that then you are out of options for portable playback!
 

phillyphan

Member
Oct 11, 2008
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Philly area
There are 4 options listen only only via the web based player, or via a iPhone/iPod Touch/Blackberry portable. This just leaves the G1 or G2. I do not recommend the G1 and the G2 can be purchased for $139 on some online sites. If you aren't willing to do that then you are out of options for portable playback!

G2 sounds like the only option to consider then. Thanks DAB!
 

Jon

Well-Known Member
Dec 16, 2008
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I also had another thought with the differences between the two. It seems like it would be harder to make a station that is customizable through different genres, like my One-Hit Wonders station on slacker which features many different styles of music. With Pandora you can pick an artist or two and give it a certain genre feel to it, but you can't do a random station, especially with the limited skips and ratings. At least on the free version. I have yet to try Pandora one, and probably won't until the money is right.

But between $48 a year for Slacker Plus, and $36 a year for Pandora One, that's still cheaper on a yearly basis than SiriusXM, unless you threaten to cancel. :rolleyes:
 

TimTimSalabim

Active Member
Oct 17, 2008
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I prefer Pandora, although I haven't tried to do a lot of customizing on either one, just the thumbs up/thumbs down mostly. But Pandora seems like it gives me what I want more often than Slacker.