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Slacker's WiFi Net radio player sets bar, says Wired

Posted on: 02/04/2008

From Wired’s Listening Post blog: We love interactive streaming radio sites like Pandora that let us create artist-based stations and shape them to our oh-so-refined musical taste by rating songs while listening…

The problem? There’s no way to carry them around on an iPod. Enter the Slacker Portable, an MP3 player with a 4-inch screen that dishes the customized internet radio experience even when there’s no WiFi around, by caching stations on flash memory alongside music from your own computer.

Create and shape stations on slacker.com from a catalog of over 2 million songs; buy the portable, and Slacker ships it to you with up to 10 of your stations preloaded. Each station ranges from one hundred to hundreds of songs, depending on how deep the category is… or how often you listen to the station. Heart, Ban, and Skip buttons let you refine your musical preferences on the run.

The best part? Channels refresh whenever you hop onto Wi-Fi.

WIRED: Antidote to music collection boredom. Solid construction. Clean sound (AAC Pro v2). Displays artwork and substantial band bios. Remembers Wi-Fi passwords. Free service option, or $10/month gets you unlimited skipping, no ads, and the ability to save songs. Refreshes via WiFi while charging. Car adapter will eventually refresh channels via Ku-band satellite…

TIRED: Quirky touch strip (disable it and use the jog dial). Can only skip 6 songs per hour per station and must listen to ads in free mode. Cached stations don’t leave much room for your own music (500MB, 1.5GB, or 4GB, depending on the model). No touchscreen. Can’t transfer personal content from Macs. 10-hour battery life.

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