The Slacker BlackBerry App has reached over 1 million downloads

KTMCDO

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We're pretty accustomed to see announcements about iPhone App downloads, but this little bit of news is related to the BlackBerry, showing the maturing of the BlackBerry Applications ecosystem.

The Slacker BlackBerry App has reached over 1 million downloads since it launched in the beginning of this year. Not too shabby.

Additionally, we hear that the CNET Editors' Choice award will be given to Slacker for the BlackBerry app.

Slacker's library has grown to well over 2 million tracks (that's four-times what Pandora has). Thanks to its caching ability, the Slacker Blackberry app will play even when not connected to a signal (on a plane, subway.. etc).

So what does this mean for satellite radio?

First off, it shows the importance on distributed platforms. Yes, the iPhone is important, but consumers in general are looking at their phone differently now - they're not just phones, their lifestyle devices. And so BlackBerry can't be ignored.

But establishing new distribution channels doesn't mean charging a premium either (such as with the XM for BlackBerry app). Which is why I was happy to hear that the Sirius XM iPhone app would be free. Hopefully they'll be following suit with other smartphones.

Speaking of which... where is that Sirius XM iPhone app anyway?
 

sodomite

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Congrats to Slacker. I wonder how many people actually use it between the web player,g1,g2 and apps for mobile phones.
 

DAB

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My issue with Pandora are repeats, repeats, repeats, no matter how large you made the seeding list! I have much more control over that with Slacker!
 

digital100

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Hey Dab, I agree on the repeats with Pandora, but for the amount of time I listen on my Blackberry, Pandora is just easier. My home streaming system is Sonos, and it gets Pandora but not Slacker. I listen to music on the BB sometimes at a little league game or at the pool. I was nice to suddenly get music from the BB which is already in my pocket.
 

SRM59

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Oct 13, 2008
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I guess I am one of that 1 million. I added Slacker to my Blackberry and was really impressed. I love the caching feature and it sounds great.

I just need to find a headset adapter that provides the microphone and allows me to connect my own headset. The headsets that came with the Bold are nice but my ears are strange and the ear buds fall out after a short while.

But congrats to Slacker and to Blackberry! I hope this brings more attention to the Blackberry and encourages more developers to create more apps.
 

DAB

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Hey Dab, I agree on the repeats with Pandora, but for the amount of time I listen on my Blackberry, Pandora is just easier. My home streaming system is Sonos, and it gets Pandora but not Slacker. I listen to music on the BB sometimes at a little league game or at the pool. I was nice to suddenly get music from the BB which is already in my pocket.

Easier? I don't get that!
 

Jon

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I'm liking this. Slacker is a great service, I hope they do very well. As far as numbers, between 1 million blackberry downloads, probably the same amount on iPhone, and web listeners, I'm sure it's somewhere in the millions. I've heard 6 million but that can't be confirmed.
 

digital100

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Easier? I don't get that!

It is easier because I don't have to refresh the cached stations before leaving the house, and I can use all the same live channels that I created at home on my Sonos. Slacker only gives me a few track skips. I get a lot of track skips on Pandora. I am not sure if there is a limit.

If the BB Pandora app had not come along, I would definitely use Slacker on BB.
 

DAB

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It is easier because I don't have to refresh the cached stations before leaving the house, and I can use all the same live channels that I created at home on my Sonos. Slacker only gives me a few track skips. I get a lot of track skips on Pandora. I am not sure if there is a limit.

If the BB Pandora app had not come along, I would definitely use Slacker on BB.

Ahh that makes perfect sense!
 

snakester

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I got a couple of quick questions about the BlackBerry app, I've got unlimited data on Sprint and kind of thinking of picking up a BB on ebay on the cheap because of how Slacker's dropped the ball with the G2 and the whole missing artists thing... I've got good coverage around here so I can deal with streaming to my car stereo. I've been living off of Sprint radio recently because of this, which is why I haven't been around.

1. I'm assuming that you can stream live with it, and that the music library when done this way is the same as when you stream using the web player. Is this correct?

2. Does the caching feature suffer from the same retarded limited artists problem as the G2?

And one more, a little off topic, sorry:

3. When I log in to my sprint, it says their Pandora app isn't available for "RIM phones". i'm just assuming this is because RIM makes their own Pandora app?
 

Jon

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I got a couple of quick questions about the BlackBerry app, I've got unlimited data on Sprint and kind of thinking of picking up a BB on ebay on the cheap because of how Slacker's dropped the ball with the G2 and the whole missing artists thing... I've got good coverage around here so I can deal with streaming to my car stereo. I've been living off of Sprint radio recently because of this, which is why I haven't been around.

Okay, for the record, they didn't 'drop the ball.' A court decision was handed down that said they didn't have the rights to the artists' music because it was storage and not streaming. Metallica and artists like that are still available on the streaming server and the iPhone app (I heard 'Unforgiven III' on one of my custom stations just today.) This is not a permanent or blanket prohibition, what it is, is a renegotiation of rights with the possibility (in fact the probability) of these artists returning in the future. They still have the rights to stream these artists through the online streaming and the iPhone app.

When the artists are available once again, Slacker will let it's users know. As far as your concern goes, I would probably try a combo of Pandora and Slacker while these issues get resolved if it is an issue for you.
 

TheScionicMan

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Oct 11, 2008
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It's a pretty cool app. I had an 8820 bberry with WiFi leftover from work. I set it up to just work on WiFi and installed the apps for Slacker and Pandora. Now its like a portable internet radio.
 

snakester

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Okay, for the record, they didn't 'drop the ball.' A court decision was handed down that said they didn't have the rights to the artists' music because it was storage and not streaming. Metallica and artists like that are still available on the streaming server and the iPhone app (I heard 'Unforgiven III' on one of my custom stations just today.) This is not a permanent or blanket prohibition, what it is, is a renegotiation of rights with the possibility (in fact the probability) of these artists returning in the future. They still have the rights to stream these artists through the online streaming and the iPhone app.

When the artists are available once again, Slacker will let it's users know. As far as your concern goes, I would probably try a combo of Pandora and Slacker while these issues get resolved if it is an issue for you.


"Drop the ball" as in the fact that they seemed to have this idea that they could just drop tons of music from the portable, not mention it or give a reasonable explanation until customers went apeshit, and then act like it's not a huge deal. I understand licensing issues, but they could have been a little bit more forward with their customers beforehand, something that they've been known to do almost every other situation.

Anyways, they seem to be working on fixing it, so I want to take back my previous statement. Kudos to Slacker:bigthumbup:
 

Jon

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"Drop the ball" as in the fact that they seemed to have this idea that they could just drop tons of music from the portable, not mention it or give a reasonable explanation until customers went apeshit, and then act like it's not a huge deal. I understand licensing issues, but they could have been a little bit more forward with their customers beforehand, something that they've been known to do almost every other situation.

Anyways, they seem to be working on fixing it, so I want to take back my previous statement. Kudos to Slacker:bigthumbup:

Well, I certainly don't place a majority of the blame on Slacker in this situation. But if the problem is being fixed, that's even better. I listen exclusively online and through the iPhone app so the problem hasn't materialized in either of those formats due to the streaming license being different. I like to see new technology succeed, especially when it comes to giving terrestrial radio the finger. :D
 

DAB

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Well I don't see Slacker as having "Dropped the Ball". The fact of the matter is that the majority probably have never noticed the issue of this music that is missing. Also no one knows really what efforts Slacker has made, but clearly there are some artist out there that are assholes and either want too much money or they just don't want to give access because they are paranoid because they clearly don't understand the technology. The music industry as whole has done nothing but drag its feet and have had to be pushed into the digital age kicking and screaming.

Like Jon I've gotten to were I listen via my iPod Touch and soon to be iPhone G3s. I am sure that Slacker will continue to push to get licensing issues resolved, but there are somethings that are simply beyond their control. Some of have said why not list all the artist that are missing, why not tell us which ones aren't playing fair. But you know Slacker doesn't want to highlight those because it simply isn't in their best interest long term. If you are negotiating with me, but giving out information that causes subscribers to send me nasty email and such, that isn't going to make me give you permission that is just going to piss me off and I won't grant you a license period.
 

snakester

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Got my blackberry in a few days ago and installed the Slacker app along with Pandora, iheartradio and FlyCast.

First of all, I don't want to go too far off topic, but I was impressed when I noticed that my Pandora account had been converted to a Pandora One account. I'm guessing its a benefit they give Blackberry users and I'm definitely gonna be using Pandora more than I used to because of it.

Back on topic I've enjoyed the slacker app for the past couple of weeks and other than a few small problems here and there I've been completely happy. Being able to listen to any of my stations anywhere I have coverage is so liberating compared to the G2 especially seeing as I have yet to go to a place that I don't either have sprint or partner coverage, and unlike most of the other radio apps I mentioned Slacker works perfectly fine without EV-DO coverage. Skipping can take a little bit longer in 1X areas but I still get an extremely listenable experience. In EV-DO (3G on CDMA networks) I have zero problems with buffering and skipping.

Now for the couple of problems I mentioned earlier. Sometimes the app will just skip right over the last four or five seconds of a song. Usually you don't even notice because most songs don't have much going on at the end but when it cuts off the last few words of a song that ends rather abruptly it can be annoying. Slacker seems to know its a problem though so I'm hoping a fix comes soon. The way caching works however is retarded. I pay for unlimited data and I should be able to use it to cache stations. However the app seems to have no capability to cache over the cell network which is very disappointing. the convoluted process of plugging into usb and running a program to cache is not exactly very user friendly.

Overall though very impressed and I definitely see no reason for XM anymore with the apps I have, and the sound quality of them kicks the pants off of XM.
 

AZDude

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Unlimited or not, the cell companies do not wan't anyone downloading "massive" amounts of data over their network. And I say it was smart of Slacker to not allow caching over the cell network. Besides it would bog down the network if there are several people downloading all at the same time on the same tower. Although they SHOULD allow caching over Blackberrys that have wifi capability.