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Slacker Radio 3.0 Goes Live In The USA!

By David Boyd on 23 Feb 2010 11:12 am EST
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Slacker Logo

The time has finally come for all you music lovers in the USA to download the new Slacker 3.0 application. We first told you this was coming earlier this year at CES 2010, and then it launched first in Canada. Now all users in the USA can download the new version, and take full advantage of the benefits of 3.0 such as wireless station caching, new interface, and improved battery life.

Before you get too excited, there is a catch with upgrading to 3.0 that some people may not be happy about -- caching, whether done via wired connection or wirelessly -- will now only be available on a Slacker Plus account, which are available for $4.99/mo, $14.97 for 3 months, or $47.88 for a full year. Don't get upset just yet, for those not wanting to upgrade to Slacker Plus, you can keep your Slacker 2.0 and still have wired caching for free. However, I completely think the upgrade to 3.0 and Slacker Plus is well worth the money. I have been using 3.0 since CES this year and love waking up to find my cached stations have refreshed overnight.

Hit the jump for the full press release and some 3.0 screenshots, or head to slacker.com to download.

SAN DIEGO, Feb. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Slacker, Inc. today announced the availability of Slacker Radio 3.0 for BlackBerry® smartphones from Research In Motion. Music lovers can now cache their favorite Slacker stations wirelessly directly to their BlackBerry smartphones to enjoy personalized radio on-the-go regardless if they are still connected to a wireless network or not. Slacker Radio for BlackBerry 3.0 is available today by visiting Slacker.com from a BlackBerry® Browser and will soon be available on BlackBerry App WorldTM.

With Slacker Radio 3.0 and a Slacker Radio Plus subscription, music enthusiasts using a BlackBerry smartphone can wirelessly cache their favorite stations simply by selecting "Cache Station" from the menu within the application. Listeners can choose to manually cache their favorite stations or use "Auto Refresh," enabling BlackBerry smartphones to automatically wake during overnight charging and refresh station content, providing new music daily with no additional effort.

Cached stations are stored on the memory card of the BlackBerry smartphone and can be played on subways, planes and all destinations in between with no network drop-outs and minimal battery usage. Along with station-storing capabilities, Slacker Radio Plus features ad-free listening, song lyrics, unlimited song skipping, unlimited song requests and more.

Listeners of the free Slacker Basic Radio service will be able to play cached stations for up to 14 days, providing the opportunity to try the full benefits of station caching on their BlackBerry smartphone, risk-free.

"BlackBerry smartphone users can now benefit from the convenience of wirelessly caching their favorite Slacker stations," said Jonathan Sasse, senior vice president of marketing at Slacker. "This addition makes it even easier to store music directly on their smartphones to get the most out of the Slacker Radio experience and truly listen to their music everywhere they go."

The millions who listen to the free Slacker Basic Radio service will continue to enjoy an unparalleled music experience with new enhancements in the 3.0 version, including improved battery life, faster application startup and an updated interface. With access to a song library that is nearly four times the size of the leading competitor, BlackBerry smartphone owners can use Slacker Basic Radio or Slacker Radio Plus to create their own Personal Radio stations or listen to and personalize over 120 expert-programmed genre stations.

Slacker Radio 3.0 for BlackBerry smartphones:

* Updated interface
* Faster application startup time
* Significantly smaller application size
* Improved touch interface for BlackBerry Storm
* Greatly improved battery life
* New settings menu options
* Tabbed info view for lyrics, reviews and biographies
* Context Aware - click a highlighted artist name in a text message or email to enable direct launch of a related Slacker station
* Create custom stations based on artists or songs
* View album art and photos
* Rate songs as favorites
* Ban the songs and artists you don't like


Slacker Radio 3.0 with Slacker Radio Plus:

* Wireless station caching - listen to Slacker Radio without a Wi-Fi or mobile network connection
* Greatly improved battery life on cached station playback
* Auto Station Refresh - effortlessly updates cached stations overnight
* Unlimited song skipping
* Ad-free listening
* Complete song lyrics*
* Unlimited song requests for creating stations


Pricing and Availability

Slacker Radio for BlackBerry 3.0 is available today by visiting Slacker.com from a BlackBerry® Browser and will be available soon on BlackBerry App WorldTM (http://www.blackberry.com/appworld). Slacker Radio Plus is available for as low as $3.99 per month and can be purchased from within the Slacker Radio application or by visiting http://www.Slacker.com/RadioPlus from a desktop web browser. Please visit www.Slacker.com for additional details.

Slacker Radio 3.0 for BlackBerry is compatible with BlackBerry smartphones model 8500 and higher** including all BlackBerry Bold, BlackBerry Tour and BlackBerry Storm series and most newer BlackBerry Curve series smartphones.

About Slacker, Inc.

Slacker is the world's first Personal Radio company offering "Your Radio Everywhere." Slacker allows music lovers to play highly personalized music online at the Slacker web site or on the go with Slacker Personal Radio players and mobile phones. Slacker mobile applications are currently available for Android, BlackBerry smartphones, Palm web OS, and the iPhone. For more information visit http://www.Slacker.com/everywhere.

For regular Slacker updates follow us at www.Twitter.com/SlackerRadio, become a Fan on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/SlackerRadio or visit www.Slacker.com.

* Not all lyrics are available for all songs in library

** The BlackBerry 8830 smartphone is not currently supported with Slacker for BlackBerry 3.0.

Slacker and Slacker.com are registered trademarks of Slacker, Inc. All other trademarks and product names are the property of their respective companies.


Home Screen
Caching View

To download Slacker 3.0, head over to the Slacker.com website on your BlackBerry browser, or go get it from BlackBerry App World.


Reader comments

Slacker Radio 3.0 Goes Live In The USA!

55 Comments

Was using the Canadian version of 3.0 beta for the past few weeks and loving it. Now hopping on the official 3.0 train and couldn't be happier.

I'm sure some folks will bit** about the requirement of a Plus subscription to have caching, but it's worth it in my opinion. I find I'm using my almost-full 16Gb worth of on-device music less and less now. Unattended night time caching via WiFi is oh-so-sweet.

Yeah, I've been using the Canadian version the past few weeks as well and tried the 14 day trial and believe me unless yours is different than mine, the wireless caching is WAY slower than using the USB, I tried it overnite like I do using the USB cord and it wasn't even to the halfway mark by the next morning and I have a 20mb connection.

LAME!!! - "** The BlackBerry 8830 smartphone is not currently supported with Slacker for BlackBerry 3.0"

I think there should be at least wired cashing. I will not be upgrading until something like this happens. I love Slacker, and I've purchased a LOT of music I either remembered or didn't know was out there, and that alone I feel should be the real reason for these radio programs, but I really don't use it THAT much to warrent the price of Slacker Plus.

Lets see what happens.

WCM

They didn't take it away but you cannot cache at all, according to the article, without a Plus(pay) account

Playing usb cached stations will work for 14 days, then it will stop completely. Caching is no longer free.

Can you confirm with 100% certainty that they didn't take away USB-wired cashing for non-paid users? The article specifically states:

"Before you get too excited, there is a catch with upgrading to 3.0 that some people may not be happy about -- caching, whether done via wired connection or wirelessly -- will now only be available on a Slacker Plus account."

Doesn't look like its working for the 8330 either. I just logged on to the site and its only allowing me to access 2.0

Anyone else?

Have been waiting for this since I signed up a month ago. I only signed up when I heard about the wireless caching. The only problem I have ever had with Slacker is caching on the computer was very inconsistent. I would get error messages all the time. Plus every time you put a new OS or hybrid on you would lose all the music. It was a big hassle. Now I can "set it and forget it". I am caching my stations as we speak in the cradle on my desk. Hopefully it is very dependable and doesn't give me the same errors as wired caching did. Worth the $4.99 a month for sure. My XM costs $14.99. This way I get stations I have customized and get new content all the time and don't have to hassle downloading songs all the time. Nice work. One of my favorite apps since the beginning.

I'm sick of stupid verizon putting download links on my phone without my permission of apps like this. First Bing, now this dumpy radio app.

Thanks for the heads up before I made the mistake of upgrading. Caching only on premium accounts is a deal breaker (for me). I don't use it enough to justify a subscription.

Weak signal inside the building at work, spotty signal in certain spots on the interstate home, and cached stations are easier on the battery are a few reasons I prefer not to stream.

I hear ya, and given the batt life on the storm 2 isn't like the S1, although the latest leaks and hybrids have juiced mine back up tremendously.

Because the primary benefit of Slacker in the first place is the caching...

If I purely wanted to stream then I would just use Pandora since their suggestion algorithm is about 1000x better than Slacker.

While I understand what your saying, it's like comparing Apples to Oranges though because Slacker wasn't developed as a suggestion only app like Pandora, yes the feature is there, but what I like the best with Slacker is I can choose what "genre" I want to listen to based on the mood I'm in and if I want to change to the opposite end of the spectrum I can with the push of a couple of buttons. With Pandora you get what is pumped through based on your liking or disliking and if I wanted to change to something besides what's in my playlist I have to search for it based off of keywords entered, but hey to each their own right. I do use Pandora, just not as often as Slacker.

The issue is that anybody who relied on the caching as the primary draw will view *ALL* future updates as useless. Eventually I am sure they will force an upgrade at some point too, just a matter of when. Whether Slacker has other merits or not, this will push non-paid users to Pandora for sure.

Agreed.

Caching is the only thing that keeps me using Slacker at all. And it has too many problems for me to be willing to pay for it (i.e. No BT A/V remote support, unable to resume song after alerts, etc).

Without caching, I find Pandora to be superior in every way. If they fix all of the problems, then I MIGHT consider upgrading, but until that happens, it's a deal-breaker.

Thanks but no thanks! I as well will not be using 3.0 I will be sticking with the 2.0 version. I think Slacker is a great application but not worth the money for me. I use the caching feature often but can't justify the cost. I don't mind connecting to my computer to cache the stations, seems like they could offer the wireless caching for the premium edition and keep the wired caching as it was. But, then again people really like the caching feature and I think Slacker realized that so why not charge for it all.

no way will I be gettign 3.0! not paying to upgrade like that per month... I'll keep 2.0 as it never gave me a problem

I agree, but it should be contest to see who the biggest WHINER is out here in the comments, it's called comment section, not b1tching or whining section. I think CB should lock down the comment section on all of these blogs as it usually tends to look like a thread from the "Rants and Raves" forum anyway. There's a difference between stating an opinion and bitching and whining about something.

I'm much less interested in hearing about a new version of Slacker than I would be in hearing about how to permanently and forever remove the @$^&*$ worthless app that VZW pushes to my phone!

I'm in michigan. I have the 3.0 Canada version for a few weeks now with no problem. Should I get the us version, is there a difference? Maybe more Brian Adams with the Canada version or something. Lol. Just wanted to know of I should bother.

Michigan here also, the music stays the same as it goes by licensing and when you registered your account with Slacker you put that u was in the US, so it gives you the same music you've been getting, I've been using it for a few weeks now too with all the same lineup I had with 2.0

I've never been one to put down an app, but seriously, this is way too expensive for my taste imo. With sirius having an app now, I can just pay the extra 2.99 a month to go along with my yearly satellite subscription and get the same thing but with more stations and shows. Sorry slacker, your officially history in my books, sirius is the way to go, I've had it for 4 years now

Won't be upgrading to 3.0, I already pay for Sirius in my vehicle so it makes no sense to have two paid radio apps. 2.0 serves me just fine.

Trying out the sirius trial now, must say the 128kb sounds really good... The app is slick and easy to use too.

I think people are confused by this upgrade. They added wireless cacheing for paid subscribers, but you can still cache via USB. There services is still available free of charge, nothing in that regards has changed.

As a paid subscriber and former Sirius subscriber I love the new addition, and the GUI is a lont nicer and quicker as well.

Incorrect. You have 14 days of USB caching, then it will say your trial expired.

USB caching is a paid service now.

My only complaint for the old version was that you couldn't advance songs with the BT headphone controls. I am disappointed to see that it still isn't possible. I don't know about on BB, but PAndora allows this on Android. Sure wish we could get that on Slacker because otherise I love it!

yes with the BB using Pandora stereo BT advance pause/play, etc is supported. I too wish that Slacker had that.....

Anyone else seeing Slacker 3.0 stop the song 5 seconds in to buffer? It wasn't doing this until I installed 3.0. It's not even occasional, it's every damn song.

I don't fly that often but when I do having the cache was great. I will not be upgrading until the offer free USB cache, I can live without the wireless refresh.

Bad move IMHO to have to pay for cache, if I have to stream I will look for other radio options.

Agreed, bad move to now charge for what was previously free. The wireless caching alone should be part of the paid subscription, or even if they only limited free users to 3 cached stations vs none.

Sirius is the way to go if you like crap audio, dj's who have a inflated opinion about themselves, songs that are so often repeated it sounds like the old days of Top 40 radio just to name a few.

Had XM for years, had SiriusXM, had a big headache, had to say are you serious?

Just received postal mail today from them. New promotion
5 months for 20 dollars. Was going to shred it but I just opened it. Here is one of the questions in the letter.

Question Don't you miss commercial free music?
Answer Not yours.

Besides the receiver is now buried somewhere in a landfill.

I'll take Slacker over Sirius any day. Even if Sirius was free.

Pfft...haha, what a joke post! Seriously? You can take your slacker and sack up with it. The fact that you originally picked XM over Sirius lets all of us know that your personally opinion of products is crap. But whatever, if you enjoy genre's over content, thats your business, but don't spew your garbage opinion on the net

following message on my BB following after the upgrade:

“error starting Slacker_radio: error loading module ‘slacker_radio’ out of Memory Error”

How can everyone here pay over $100 for a cell phone bill and then bitch that Slacker is too expensive? This is a great service, and everyone here uses it. So pay for it and stop whining. We are talking about $4 a month. You probably spend that once a day on a cup of coffee. What is with people that want everything for free? Go use your free Pandora, which I think is inferior to this service (in my opinion).

Not sure what $4 a month for radio service has to do with mandatory cellphone plan prices... If you want a smartphone, you have to buy a smartphone and you need a plan. I think most people are not that likely to fork over $4 a month just for radio service despite the obligatory and overused coffee/device cost comparisons...

Yes you need a plan, but is it worth it for $10 for unlimited text? or $40 for internet? $4 a month or $60 a year is not even half your monthly bill. I used the coffee analogy because everyone I know will spend money on coffee. Didn't want to give you a overused comparison. How about a $5 ham sandwich for lunch? Is that better?

That's the point though, caching *was* free. A new feature was added (wifi caching), understandable that it costs, but something else was removed that used to be free.

And yes you can easily rack up way, way more than $10 without unlimited text plans since you get charged for incoming, not just outgoing.

"But you can just use 2.0...". Yeah, it just means your app is no longer supported, at all... They are not going to simultaneously update 2.0 and 3.0. I would not be surprised if 3.0 is forced at some point down the road either.

works....sounds good, especially with the EQ from the media player. Go to the media player and start a song, use the menu to choose an eq setting and pause the song playback, then go back to slacker and resume playback there and the eq settings from the default media player stick. makes it sounds good. i like using the rock eq setting. gives the music good depth and cleans up the treble without being to harsh..:D

oh, and i don't care about caching.....never used it before so no loss here. just free streaming :D

I will not upgrade due to the new caching cost. I use it everyday on my commute and at the gym. Caching is the best way to go because you never have to worry about signal loss. Oh well. I will continue with 2.0 until they either try to force me to upgrade by charging for caching on 2.0 or stop supporting 2.0 cache updating.

I was already to upgrade to 3.0 when I read no more free cached stations. Sorry but I am sticking with 2.0, Slacker is great but too spendy for me.

Hopefully they release 3.0 for those of us who use it free.

Hi there. just hooked my curve 8320 to my laptop by usb to refresh cached stations which it has always started automatically when blackberry hooks up to computer. well guess what. nothing happened. ugh. anyone else out there with this happening? or rather not happeneing? crap crap crap.

update. started working again. not sure why.

alls well for today.