Slacker Takes on Sirius
LAS VEGAS -- The word Slacker is frequently considered a derogatory term. If you check on dictionary.com, it will tell you that slacker has three meanings: -noun 1. a person who evades his or her duty or work; shirker. 2. a person who evades military service. 3. an esp. educated young person who is antimaterialistic, purposeless, apathetic and usually works in a dead-end job. But Slacker is also the name of a company that makes a really cool music app for smartphones. At a preview of the CTIA cellular industry show in Las Vegas, we got a personalized tour of its recently announced software application for Research In Motion's ( RIMM) and Verizon's ( VZ) BlackBerry devices and the touch-screen Storm in particular. Slacker's Mobile application for the BlackBerry smartphone allows users to listen to their favorite Slacker radio stations anywhere they go, whether they are connected to a wireless network or not (a Slacker Mobile feature exclusive to BlackBerry smartphones). There's a version that is optimized for the BlackBerry Storm's unique touch screen and is available as a free download via Slacker.com from your Storm.
The Slacker Mobile application provides U.S. users with a personalized music discovery and listening system, pulling from more than 100 expert-programmed Slacker "radio" stations, more than 10,000 artist stations -- meaning a nearly unlimited number of custom-created stations for the listener. The touch-screen Storm features include vertical as well as horizontal modes, an intuitive interface optimized for touch operation, as well as a "peek ahead," allowing the listener to see a preview of the next artist and album in their stations' rotation.
An exclusive feature for BlackBerry smartphones enables listeners to store favorite stations on a memory card, allowing the Slacker Mobile application to play without a network connection, reducing battery life consumption by up to five times that of streaming playback and enhancing application performance. In addition, BlackBerry smartphone enthusiasts can enjoy Slacker Personal Radio while doing other tasks such as emailing, instant messaging or Web browsing. The Slacker application for the BlackBerry Storm smartphone also includes detailed artist bios and album reviews for each song. It's actually pretty cool. There is also a Slacker version for Apple's iPhone and even a stand-alone Slacker Radio player called the G-2 (not to be confused with the rumored, upcoming second T-Mobile ( DT) and Google ( GOOG)/Android-based G-2 smartphone.