Slacker brings internet radio into your car

It's like Pandora for your car! Slacker, a new web-based radio website has just launched this week. The channel selection is very similar to what's available on XM or Sirius, and we liken it to Pandora because the number of songs you can skip is limited, but the selection is large and the experience is flexible and customizeable. The website alone is a nice little diversion anywhere you've got a browser and bandwidth, but the exciting news is that there will soon be an iPod-like device so you can take your Slacker with you. That means never having to listen to the angry guy talk channel while stuck in a traffic jam again. It's also better than the four-song playlists each FM genre now spins, too. The portable device will store songs, and later this year Slacker will be unveiling a car dock that will be able to receive music from satellite signals.
Pulling down music from the birds is the same trick that Sirius and XM manage, but they cost money. Slacker is free once you purchase the hardware. How is that possible? Why, the very same way broadcast television and radio are free: advertising. If you're willing to sit through some ads, you get free music. In fact, the music is merely there to keep you interested enough that you'll continue to listen through the spots – of course, many of us are obsessive channel flippers (or worse yet, NPR junkies). You can have your Slacking and no commercials, too. For about half the price of Sirius, your $7.50 per month will keep the music rolling in and offer you unlimited skips and no ads. The price is so much lower because Slacker doesn't have big loans for satellites to pay off. The quality is in the MP3 realm, and sounds decent, which is encouraging. Some of us with finely tuned ears have a hard time listening to SatRad because of the digital compression artifacts. We'll see what happens if Slacker is able to popularize it's offerings, and deliver on the promise they're dangling tantalizingly in front of our noses.

[Source: Kicking Tires]

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