August 15, 2011
In recent weeks, we’ve profiled both the Spotify and Rdio music streaming services. Today, we take a look at Slacker Radio, another alternative that works on iDevices. First launched in 2007, Slacker offers music streaming via the Internet and through a free universal app. Currently, there are three packages available for listeners: Slacker Radio Basic, Slacker Radio Plus, and Slacker Premium Radio. Slacker Radio Basic - Free Unlike other music streaming services, Slacker’s most basic package can be enjoyed on the iPhone/iPod touch and iPad. Music is organized by category (Hits, Jazz, Rock, for example) and then subcategories. Imagine a category and Slacker will almost certainly have it covered. In fact, Slacker appears to have more categories than any similar service available today. Of course, as a free service, Slacker Radio Basic comes with some limitations. Most importantly, while you can listen to each station, you don’t actually know what the songs are until they begin playing. In other words, just like an actual radio station. Second, the package is supported by ads that cannot be skipped over. Finally, you’re only allowed to skip over six songs per station. Once these skips are used, you’ll have to listen to every song on the channel or move to another station. Despite these limitations, Slacker Radio Basic works amazingly well via the free iOS app and works via Wi-Fi and 3G.
Slacker Radio Plus - $3.99 For $3.99 per month, Slacker brings the curtain up on some of its most impressive features. Slacker Radio Plus eliminates the ads (both audio and banner) and lets you skip an unlimited number of songs. Most importantly, users can cache stations on the iDevice for offline listening. Finally, Plus membership includes song lyrics and the ability to listen to news content. Slacker Radio Premium Priced at $9.99, Slacker Radio Premium membership lets users listen to single artist stations and playlists. For example, Today’s Hits includes songs from Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, and Rihanna, among others. Click on the artist and you’ll have instant access to each of their albums and songs. You can also replay songs. Summary Slacker Radio, in our opinion, is definitely worth a look. The service offers a basic service that works on iDevices, unlike most of its competitors. Plus, even its $3.99 package offers offline listening, which is another advantage. Spotify, for example, doesn’t offer this feature unless you purchase its $9.99 package. We suggest taking a look at Slacker Radio; we feel you’ll be impressed. The Slacker Radio app is available now in the App Store.