Trying Slacker and Pandora

Brad Bishop

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Dec 3, 2008
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I just started to play with Slacker and Pandora.

I had known about them for years but stayed away. The iPhone apps are what pulled me in.

Listening to Slacker: This is what I wish Sirius/XM were: play the music, occasional interruptions for news and someone giving me some background on a band for a song they either just played or were about to play. Just something to break up the music a bit.

The background on the band was informative / useful. What it wasn't was the ridiculous 'The 411' crap that Sirius used to do.

There's no 'Morning Zoo' crap.

Why can't Sirius/XM be like this?

I'm trying Pandora, too. From what I can tell it's just streaming music but I kind of like that, too - nice background music.

The only thing I wish Slacker would add is a dedicated Mac app (like Pandora has). It works, but seems a little silly to have a web browser open to listen to radio.

EDIT:

Also loving the 'hate list'. I can tell Slacker, "For the love of God - don't play these artists (or songs)!"
Justin Beiber, Adam Lambert, Miley Cyrus - welcome to my list.
 
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DAB

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Oct 9, 2008
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Brad, welcome to my world! I totally love Slacker! I have had it now for over 2 years and have created many 23 to be exact customized stations. These babies play just the music I really enjoy. However, if I am feeling a bit wild I can change the setting and actually get a bit different mix.

I do enjoy Parker the DJ on Today's Hits, she just gives good info and shuts up. I hate the morning zoo and so many of the other DJ's that run their heads too much. I am like you, just give me a tad bit of info and shut the heck up. It is all about the music!

I listened to Sirius XM's Christmas Channels for several hours yesterday and of course by the afternoon was already hearing repeats like crazy! This morning I've been listening to Holiday Hits on Slacker and it has been playing for 3 plus hours and I've yet to hear a repeat yet. This is why I love Slacker!

The customization portion of Slacker is a huge plus and some of my hates like George Michael and Wham, along with the few you mentioned above it is great being able to say, NOPE I don't want to hear these clowns.

Pandora is really another animal all together, they really don't have nearly as deep of playlist as Slacker and of course you can only stream. I find customizing to be very limited and it too tends to repeat a great deal once you listen for awhile.

I am really waiting to see what Slacker does with the in-demand add on that is coming.
 

HecticArt

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Oct 19, 2008
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I like Slacker over Pandora. But unfortunately, they don't want us streaming during working hours, and it's not really practical to use my cell phone as my radio at work, so Sirius is still my #1 choice for 10+ hours a day.

I am curious about what's in store for us with Sirius 2.0.
 

Jon

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Dec 16, 2008
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I used to use both about 50/50 but I find I'm moving toward Slacker, so much so that I'm considering deleting Pandora from my phone. It's like a cheaper version of satellite radio without the talkative DJs, Morning Zoo shows and has-been shock jocks. I have all the regular channels, and a few of my custom channels tweaked just the way I want them.
 

DAB

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Oct 9, 2008
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I like Slacker over Pandora. But unfortunately, they don't want us streaming during working hours, and it's not really practical to use my cell phone as my radio at work, so Sirius is still my #1 choice for 10+ hours a day.

I am curious about what's in store for us with Sirius 2.0.

Even with the ability to cache via Slacker on your Droid it isn't feasible?
 

HecticArt

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Even with the ability to cache via Slacker on your Droid it isn't feasible?

It's just that I use my phone for a lot of different things during the day, and I'm in and out of my cube constantly. I don't want to fuss around with starting and stopping the music all the time. I can dock my SL2 and let it run all day. If I go to a meeting in my car, it's one click to turn off my SL2 at my desk and auto on when I dock it in my car.

That, and I'm still kicking the free Slacker, so I can only cache one station on my Droid.

I often switch over to Slacker after 5:00 or so while I'm still at the office. Great way to mix it up.
 

bigdaddyII

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Oct 13, 2008
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I'm still using the free version of Slacker, can't cache on my BB Curve anyway. Use it for background noise when going to bed on my phone and on my computer while at work. I got a wild hair last week and decided to give Pandora another try. I prefer Slacker, listening to different artists music that all sound the same makes life boring so back to Slacker I am.
Posted via Mobile Device
 

DAB

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It's just that I use my phone for a lot of different things during the day, and I'm in and out of my cube constantly. I don't want to fuss around with starting and stopping the music all the time.

That, and I'm still kicking the free Slacker, so I can only cache one station on my Droid.

Yeah well I guess that makes sense. I pretty much feel the same with my iPhone, but then I went crazy and got iPod Touch! I don't recommend the expense, but I probably listen to sat radio less than I do anything these days. So it made sense for me.

All I can say is you tight asses subscribe to Slacker its $4.99 a month or $3.99 a month for a full year! LOL :p
 

Jon

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Yeah well I guess that makes sense. I pretty much feel the same with my iPhone, but then I went crazy and got iPod Touch! I don't recommend the expense, but I probably listen to sat radio less than I do anything these days. So it made sense for me.

All I can say is you tight asses subscribe to Slacker its $4.99 a month or $3.99 a month for a full year! LOL :p

I wonder if they'll ever offer a lifetime deal. I'd be all over it. :egypt:
 

DAB

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I wonder if they'll ever offer a lifetime deal. I'd be all over it. :egypt:

Well unlike Sirius I don't think they have found themselves in enough money crunch to do this. But like you if they ever did I'd jump on it too.
 

HecticArt

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Yeah well I guess that makes sense. I pretty much feel the same with my iPhone, but then I went crazy and got iPod Touch! I don't recommend the expense, but I probably listen to sat radio less than I do anything these days. So it made sense for me.

All I can say is you tight asses subscribe to Slacker its $4.99 a month or $3.99 a month for a full year! LOL :p

LOL, yeah, it's on my to-do list. One of these days.
 

Brad Bishop

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Dec 3, 2008
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All I can say is you tight asses subscribe to Slacker its $4.99 a month or $3.99 a month for a full year! LOL :p

I actually subscribed to both. I figure I'll give them each a year and then pick the one I use most after that. I don't mind giving them some cash to provide a service that I'm using.
 

IdRatherBeSkiing

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Oct 11, 2008
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I have gotten quite attached to Slacker. I pretty much listen to it portably now almost 100% exclusively (still listen to countdowns on my SL2 if there is one I am interested in).

Can't comment on Pandora since they are not available in Canada.

Hectic, I use the caching on my phone. When you get or make a call, it automatically pauses. It sometimes unpauses coming out of the call (I think there is a bug).

In my case, at work, I have no sat reception but they allow streaming. I usually stream Slacker as the SIR stream tends to crash IE6 (my workplace browser standard -- but don't worry, they have a project underway to upgrade to IE7 within the next year).

But it all depends on your situation. Certainly if I used the phone for a phone a lot (tend to text more than call now that I don't have to do the old tripple type style texts) the pausing may get annoying.
 

DAB

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I actually subscribed to both. I figure I'll give them each a year and then pick the one I use most after that. I don't mind giving them some cash to provide a service that I'm using.

That is exactly what I did. I subscribed to both and then used them until one stood out for me. However, I have to say it didn't take long for me to realize that Slacker was the superior service. None the less Pandora has its pluses too. Smart Move!
 

Brad Bishop

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Dec 3, 2008
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My main beef with Slacker (as I mentioned above) is that I'd really like it if they gave me a little Slacker app for my Mac (I have a mini acting as a general purpose server in my home). I use Airfoil to send the music around to different parts of my home but it just 'feels' silly (and kind of inelegant) to use a browser to get to the music and then use Airfoil to push it around from there.

You could definitely make the argument of: But it still works, right..
- yes it does.

Perhaps better put - Imagine if instead of iTunes (a dedicated app to sync your iPod) you had to use some odd browser interface to do it. It'd just kind of feel wrong. I know some would prefer anything over iTunes - I'm generally pleased with iTunes and would think that most would prefer at least a dedicated app (maybe not locked into iTunes) to do it over using a browser.

I like the browers for what they are but I'm not a fan of: You use a browser to do everything..
 

hyson

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Oct 19, 2008
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Brad, I'm just trying out my G1 in place of my Sportster 4 for the day.

I'm going to see how it compares and see if I can cope without Sirius.

It's looking good so far!!
 

Jon

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My main beef with Slacker (as I mentioned above) is that I'd really like it if they gave me a little Slacker app for my Mac .

With the new Mac App Store coming down the pike in January, maybe you could see something like that. Although Pandora will be first if history holds. :shifty:
 

Brad Bishop

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Dec 3, 2008
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I just used the caching feature (iPhone app) for going on a hike. I was walking for about 2hrs and it was great. Wasn't using my 3G, nice and clear, no drop-outs.

I could definitely see this being my main music source. I like XM in the car for the simplicity of it all in that you get a bunch of stations and it works across the U.S. and doesn't eat your data plan, but for home and out and about I definitely prefer Slacker for the play lists.

I listen to the Hits station and on Slacker it's more what I expect - recent stuff plus a few recent hits going back a few years but not like a decade. With Sirius Hits 1 / 20on20 you're getting this weeks top 20 and that's it. Once in a while they'll toss something else in there. Now, the name implies that on the XM side. If you go over to Pop2K it starts sounding like a recent oldies station - basically going a little too far back.

Maybe I could better describe it as: Sirius Hits 1 is like the top 20 this week. and Pop2K is like the top 20 overall songs for each year of the last 10 years.

Slacker's default Today's Hits channel is like recent stuff (and even recent stuff I don't hear on Sirius at all) along with semi-recent hits. The playlist is just better.

.. and I can add artists/songs to my hate list.
 

DAB

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I would like to see an application for the Mac, but suspect we likely won't anytime soon. In reality their app for windows is nothing, but a glorified browswer window that opens independently.

I agree with you on Today's Hits it is one of the stations I listen too on my daily walks and bike rides. Slacker is a perfect solution with their ability to cache stations. I even use it in my car a great deal on long trips, because with sat radio you often hear repeats. Whereas I can put on a Slacker station and be rolling for 4 to 6 hours straight without a single repeat. I love that!