Slacker vs. Pandora – Internet Radio Smackdown

By Gary Mazo on 1 Apr 2009 01:04 am
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Slacker Pandora

It is good to be a BlackBerry user these days. Developers are embracing the platform and options exist today that didn't just a year ago. One of my favorite programs over these past few months has been Slacker Internet radio. Since I cancelled my satellite radio subscription, I have been using Slacker almost exclusively as a way to keep my music fresh and varied.

A few weeks ago, Adam let us know that Pandora Internet Radio (which had long been a favorite when I would stream music from my PC or Mac) was now available for the BlackBerry. Sadly, being a T-Mobile subscriber this wasn't available for us...yet. Just last week, a new update made Pandora available for T-Mobile customers (and, I presume, most others) in the US.

So, what do we do now? Which is the king of Internet radio for the BlackBerry? I did a full comparison and have my thoughts on the matter below.

To give a fair comparison, I will divide this review into three sections; Setup and ease of use, Options and Interface and Musical Depth and Sound Quality. My BlackBerry for this review was the T-Mobile 8900.

Setup and Ease of Use

Both Slacker and Pandora are available as OTA downloads from their respective web sites - www.slacker.com and www.pandora.com . Before you download either program, make your Slacker and Pandora accounts on your PC or Mac. Setting up accounts on both web sites from your computer is easy - you register with your email address and you choose a password.

Each computer based web site gives you similar options - listen to pre-programmed stations in various musical Genres or "Create Stations" based on artists that you like. I am a huge fan of the latter approach - I have 8 or 9 stations based on very different artists. Each web site will then match similar artists to the one you choose as the "base" for that station. You will hear more of that particular artist's music than any other, but not so much that you get tired of it.

OK, so now I have accounts at Pandora and Slacker and I go to both web sites from my BlackBerry and download the BlackBerry plug in.

Slacker Setup

Setup on Slacker went painlessly on my BlackBerry. I downloaded the software and then was prompted to restart my Blackberry - sort of a pain, but no big deal.

Slacker asked me if I had an account, I input my email and password and then all my favorite stations from my Computer account showed up (with album art) on the BlackBerry.

Slacker Mobile for BlackBerry
Slacker installed on my BlackBerry Curve 8900

Pandora Setup

Setting up Pandora on the BlackBerry was just as painless. The Pandora Web site recognized my BlackBerry, I download the software OTA and I was set to go. Just like Slacker, I input my email address and password and all my favorite stations showed up. Unlike Slacker, however, I did not have album art for my "Favorites," just a list of stations.

Pandora for BlackBerry
Pandora installed on my BlackBerry Curve 8900

Slacker Ease of Use

Using Slacker is very easy. Once you are signed in, you choose to either go to your favorite stations, to create a new station (right on the BlackBerry) or to scroll down the list of available stations. In a genre like Rock, you might find that there are upwards of 15 stations to choose from.

Just choose the station and it will begin playing a song from that particular artist or genre. To access the options (discussed in the next section) just press the MENU button on your blackberry.


Options and Interface

Many of the differences between the two programs is largely cosmetic, but there are some that are more significant.

Slacker

The interface of the Slacker BlackBerry client is very clean. The Album Art interface is nice for scrolling and choosing what to listen to. Sometimes, a piece of album art might trigger a nice musical memory and inspire you to click and listen.

Creating new stations on the fly is very easy and fun with Slacker. Just type a name into the search bar and you are off.

Options during playback are pretty standard for Internet Radio. You can Pause or Play the current song, "Skip" a song, set that particular song as a "Favorite" or "Ban" that song from playing on that station. It should be noted that in the "Basic" edition of Slacker, you only get six skips in a particular listening session and there are some very brief commercials.

Press the MENU key and the options are very robust. You can get a bio of the artist, you can get a review of the album, you can ban the artist altogether from that station and, my favorite "Slacker Option" - you can "Cache" the station.

This is what really sets Slacker apart from other programs - if you have your memory card inserted, you can cache stations. When you select the Cache option, Slacker tells you how much space you have for cached stations. Choose to cache the station, and Slacker "records" what you are listening to your Micro SD card for later playback - a very cool feature and a nice way to build up your music library. It doesn't actually record at that minute - you receive a notice telling you that the next time you connect over USB, the station will be stored on your memory card.

Slacker

Slacker

Slacker

Slacker

Slacker

Pandora

Pandora also has a nice user interface. There are advertisements that are rather prominent at the bottom of the "Now Playing" screen, but that seems fair on a free program.

When you start Pandora, it remembers the last station you were listening to and it immediately starts off with that station. If you want to listen to something else, just click on the "stations" tab and you go back to your list of created stations.

Like Slacker, you can create a new station right on the BlackBerry. Your options for playing music are not as robust as with Slacker. You can choose a "Quick Mix" which takes songs from the "Stations" you have already created and sort of shuffles the genres.

Your only options are to listen to your pre-made stations or to make new ones - you can't browse by genre and just look for a dozen rock stations.

Press the MENU key and your options are also not as robust as Slacker. You can Bookmark a Song, Bookmark the artist, choose "Why this Song?" Which is sort of a strange feature where Pandora rationalizes why that particular song has been chosen to go in that list and you can shut down Pandora - that's all.

When playing music, you can choose a "Thumbs up" or "Thumbs down" which is just like the "Favorite" or "Ban" feature on Slacker. You can pause the song and you can skip to the next song - there is no limit to skips on Pandora.

Pandora

Pandora

Pandora

Pandora

Pandora

Musical Depth and Sound Quality

For me, this winds up being the most important feature. I do like the idea of Caching music, but I have an extensive music library and use Genius playlists that I Sync to my BlackBerry and I can listen to streaming Internet Radio - so, Caching is sort of overkill.

Both Pandora and Slacker offer an impressive array of music when you create a station.

Musical Depth

I have been listening to both of these programs pretty extensively as of late. I find that with Pandora, I have a better option of hearing the same song repeat - but it may take a couple of hours. With Slacker I can go an entire day, sometimes two days, and never hear the same song - assuming I don't pick an obscure artist around which to create a station.

That being said, I find that Slacker offers a "Deeper" musical library around my chosen artist. Pandora mixes up the tunes, but it draws from fewer artists than does Slacker. Slacker offers deeper cuts off of some of my favorite albums that I just don't hear on Pandora.

I do like the choices that Pandora makes and I find myself "Skipping" much more in slacker. Why is Madonna on the Sheryl Crow station in Slacker? I rarely find myself skipping to another song when listening to Pandora.

Sound Quality

This is a very subjective issue - we all have different ears and use different equipment. On the go, I used a pair of Klipsh headphones that are pretty amazing. At home, I plugged my BlackBerry into my office stereo with 5 channel surround and powerful amp and subwoofer.

This was the one category that surprised me - the only one with a true "Hands down" winner. That winner was Pandora. Pandora offered much deeper bass, crisper highs and pure silence between songs. Slacker occasionally had that Wi-Fi high pitch scratch that I sometimes get when making UMA calls on my BlackBerry. Most of the time, Slacker sounded great - but it didn't sound as great as Pandora.

I didn't know if this was the stations themselves or my BlackBerry, so I tried both Slacker and Pandora on my MacBook using the digital audio output to a high quality stereo. There was no high pitch scratching here - so I think that must have been a Wi-Fi Issue with my BlackBerry. However, Pandora still sounded better - it seems as though they are using a higher quality feed than Slacker.

* UPDATE: It is really amazing how CrackBerry has the eyes and ears of the BlackBerry world. A Slacker rep contacted me this morning after this article was published to make an important point; the sound issues I heard on my 8900 were real -= but they are issues with the 8900 OS, not the Slacker program. He suggested that is we do a sound comparison using a Bold, the sound quality of Slacker should be much improved. **

Overall Conclusions

The good news for BlackBerry users is that we really don't have to choose- we can have both. Slacker and Pandora really advance the Streaming Internet Radio options and mean that we can have great quality and fresh musical choices wherever we are.

Slacker wins with regards to in program options - I like looking up the artist history and I love all the stations I can just scroll through.

Slacker also wins with regards to caching music - this is an amazing feature and means that you can really be free from iTunes and other programs and you can just cache your favorite stations for great musical variety. The other huge advantage is that both these programs are memory and resource intensive. If you are not in a Wi-Fi zone or on 3G - forget it. I was able to use both on EDGE, but, eventually, both crapped out.

Pandora is the winner, however, in the very important category of Sound Quality. I can't speak as to why that is, but, for me, it was consistently cleaner and crisper with fuller bass and no noise.

I would recommend that you try them both and see which works for you. I keep both on my BlackBerry and now use them all the time. It is a great time to be a BlackBerry lover!


81 comments

pcamp5

I hate to simplify a debate in this manner but Slacker is a better name and the symbol looks better on my phone.

mrich70

Pcamp5 is SOOO right...the slacker icon is really HOT and the program options are just way better. Long Live SLACKER!!!

Darthstorm528

I like them both but use Pandora when creating custom stations because Pandora has better songs on the playlist. I tried slacker's custom stations but only did a better job in the classic rock selection. I tried making trance channel and club dance channels but they sucked, Pandora was much better on that category.

I put down Mozart in Slacker and did not play classical music instead heavy metal. I put the same in Pandora and it did the right thing by playing Mozart and other classical hits.

My conclusion is Pandora is better on song selection and slacker is better on wide selection of genres. I will continue to keep both on my BB as I do use them often.

Also Slacker seems to go to the next song before the previous song ends. Pandora does not, it will play the entire song before going to the next song.

Richie D

Pandora isn't available for my BB Storm but I've been using Slacker on my Pearl and Storm and the caching feature is what really makes Slacker stand apart.

Just connect it to your computer once in a while, choose a few favorite stations and it'll pile on a ton of music to your SD card.

Next thing you know you can listen to just about any type of music you want for free, with or without a wireless connection.

I've used Slacker on the BB at the gym and in the car connected to an aux jack. In reality, this really blows away sat radio, and potentially iPod listening, depending on the level of control you want to have over your collection. If they had a car kit with a device that powered on an off with my car, plus auto refreshed in the garage with my wi-fi hotspot, talk about a killer app.
Of course, that might all be possible on the iPod touch or iPhone Slacker app...

You can't beat the free service, but even 4 bucks a month seems worth it to me.

BCMike

All well and good except these apps are of no value to us in Canada. Its cool though, I'm happy with the Jazz selections on FlyCast and Radio Companion.

DonJoseofOrange

With Full EDGE, Pandora seems to be the best option for me, even with just one bar it does its job. Slacker would freeze my 8320 and took a while to respond to it closing down. Its a lot easier for me to use now but Pandora all the way for me.

Androidberry

Same thing for me and also Slacker wouldn't work over WiFi for me on my 8320.

papped

I seriously have to wonder how in the hell a sound quality test goes in Pandora's favor...

16-bit

Slacker clearly sounds better to me on my Curve than Pandora. Plus there's no issues with volume levels between songs.

nighguy

Pandora does a better job with artists that are lesser known and grouping other similar artists. Slacker doesn't even have some of my favorite artists listed.

On the other hand, I love Slacker's channels and the caching feature.

My problem is I'm running out of memory space on my 8320. I have both Slacker and Pandora, Google Maps, and Docs to Go along with some other smaller apps. So the stuff I have is memory intensive so something's got to go.

cadzilla74

Until Pandora ports their app to the Storm it's no contest ... Slacker FTW! ...

Isaac

I like pandora better do to the fact that I hate that sound in between songs. and pandora plays more of what I want when I create a station. Hands down pandora is the better for me. I still keep slacker do to the caching until pandora take this into affect then it will be the perfect app. Congrats to both apps for being awsome.

Isaac

I like pandora better do to the fact that I hate that sound in between songs. and pandora plays more of what I want when I create a station. Hands down pandora is the better for me. I still keep slacker do to the caching until pandora take this into affect then it will be the perfect app. Congrats to both apps for being awsome.

electric1#CB

I like Pandora better on my 8320. It just seems to stream better and the program overall is much more responsive. Slacker seemed to really lag when I tried it.

cloud9

I love Pandora application for my Bold no problems with it compared it to slacker I had slacker for over 2 months but switched over to Pandora because I got better reception and no cut outs like how I did for the Slacker Radio which to this day didnt know why, and what was the reason so I left Slacker:) Im so happy with Pandora we get unlimited skipping but for Slacker they only allow you to skip 6 times then stop you for an hour, unless you want to upgrade and pay your money!!! hehe...

Mattheous

I much prefer Pandora Radio. I haven't tried it on a BlackBerry yet (I'm getting one this summer), but I use it all the time on my laptop. It's actually replaced iTunes for me--no need to spend money on all that music that can get 'corrupted' (thanks, Vista...)! Now, if only it had podcasts...

Jerry5k

I have had Slacker for awhile and really like the cache (favorite stations) feature that you can play without interruption when you are in an area that is having reception problems.
My iPhone friends have told me for years how they loved Pandora. Was happy to see it was now available on my BOLD with my AT&T carrier. Was disappointed when I was told that Pandora did not support Bluetooth and wireless headsets. But found out on Crackberry forum that it is possible to get it on wireless HD headsets. The best thing is I can have my Garmin mobile GPS on my car stero, then open Pandora or Slacker and the directions will be heard over the music. And, believe it or not, all applications will shut down while receiving a call. Life is good with my BOLD.

safemodef8

I've been using both Pandora and Slacker but now I mostly use Pandora only. Pandora's songs selections are way better and I rarely have to skip songs. I like Slacker's cache feature and stations selections but now I just create a lot of stations on Pandora and they play exactly what I like to listen to. And for the cache feature I don't really mind because I sync my BlackBerry with my iTunes and my iTunes collections is extremely large.

roeod4

"You can pause the song and you can skip to the next song - there is no limit to skips on Pandora."

Sorry to be bearer of bad news, but Pandora does have the same 6 song skip limit that Slacker does. You may not be using 6 skips an hour though, which would be a good thing.

Also, the issue of wifi, 3g and edge don't really apply to Slacker because of the cache option. If you are listening to a cached station then your signal doesn't matter, the station is not streaming.

Slacker should also get a point, IMO, for allowing you to see the next artist playing.

yeti#CB

I tried them both and both played well. I agree with the writer of this post about the featurerich Slacker app. But folks, I have a Blackberry with tons of apps on it. Running already on the edge of manageable memory Slacker is an absolute No No. With 1.2 MB memoryusage it's hardly something for a BB. Pandora only needs 350 kb and gives me pretty much the same musicchoices.
As to not working properly if not using to WiFi, I never had a problem. My Pearl is not WiFi capable and there may be an occasional "hick" in the stream but that happens rarely (at least with Pandora, Slacker was more demanding).
So, Pandora is the undisputed winner in this contest !

DenDen2008

Booo to no content availability in Canada. This is why the RIAA must die and burn in hell.

Music is global!! Cultural borders are a thing of the 19th & 20th centrury.

Canada and the USA listen to the same damn music! Sign those liscences already so we can also enjoy this great content.

derbaff

I hear this on my Storm as well, which doesn't have WiFi. It's the only radio/audio app I've used that has this problem, so I do not think it's the hardware but the software.

kriss76

Slacker would NOT load on my Curve, no matter how many times I uninstalled/reinstalled, edited permissions etc. Pandora worked like a charm and I'm surprised at how great it sounds with absolutely NO skips or lags! It works perfectly for me, so I will be sticking with it.

I attempted to use FlyCast at one point, but the pauses and skips were too much to deal with. I don't get great reception at my apartment, but Pandora works so wonderfully here. LOVE IT!!!

KiltJoy

I'm new to Slacker but my Pandora stations are easy to define from web with enough artist to make a non-repeating compilation. I do miss the web features when using the BlackBerry.
Slacker locked up on my brand new 8330 BB requiring power down to escape so I'll stick with Pandora which loads and exits quick & clean without a nag screen to buy 'radio plus' like Slacker.

pvtolson

doesnt work for the 8220

757EliasHZ

Although I like both Slacker and Pandora, I've found that both get repetitive if you listen for a while. (Besides, Pandora's not working on my 8820 yet.) For those reasons I prefer moodio.fm, though I know that's an altogether different application. I've also been trying live365.com's blackberry app, and so far am really liking the variety.

Xopher

I'm glad we have choices!

When looking at these two apps, I ended up loading Pandora. This was mainly due to the file size of each app. My 8830's memory is valuable, and taking away 1.2MB for Slacker woul dhave just been too much. Pandora's smaller file size works well with my BB.

Maybe when the Niagara finally makes it to market, I may try Slacker. :)

imotionsrt4

I had slacker for a while and it was a memory hog. It would always studder when switching songs and take about 30 seconds or so to finish buffering. The only reason I had it was because slacker wasn't available for my curve. I have been honing my pandora stations for a while and the day it was released, I dl'd it. I never have a problem with stations (except at work-but we have horrible reception in the building). And there is no lag when starting a new song. Pandora and iheartradio along with my sd card allow me all the music I want. Pandora will never leave my phone.

imotionsrt4

I had slacker for a while and it was a memory hog. It would always studder when switching songs and take about 30 seconds or so to finish buffering. The only reason I had it was because slacker wasn't available for my curve. I have been honing my pandora stations for a while and the day it was released, I dl'd it. I never have a problem with stations (except at work-but we have horrible reception in the building). And there is no lag when starting a new song. Pandora and iheartradio along with my sd card allow me all the music I want. Pandora will never leave my phone.

imotionsrt4

I had slacker for a while and it was a memory hog. It would always studder when switching songs and take about 30 seconds or so to finish buffering. The only reason I had it was because slacker wasn't available for my curve. I have been honing my pandora stations for a while and the day it was released, I dl'd it. I never have a problem with stations (except at work-but we have horrible reception in the building). And there is no lag when starting a new song. Pandora and iheartradio along with my sd card allow me all the music I want. Pandora will never leave my phone.

Anonymous2

I've always liked Slacker, and now have a good set of custom stations that I don't want to recreate. But someone I work with found that Slacker didn't do a good job of music discovery with the music he listens to, so he uses Pandora.

I think it almost completely comes down to personal preference.

metall8cat

Definitely Slacker! Since it doesn't work on the 95xx series yet. And nice job on the Red Sox launcher! GO RED SOX!!

rockinsage

I've been using Slacker on my Pearl since it came out, and was very excited when Pandora entered the scene. I also believe there's a very noticeable difference in quality, but I believe it to be opposite from the reviewer. Slacker sounds much clearer and more defined to me, Pandora sounds very compressed and undefined, I think I can actually hear the compression artifacts. I even pulled up the same song in both players using the custom station features - Pandora sounded very muffled compared to Slacker.

wpwoodjr#AC

There is no comparison between the sound quality of Pandora and Slacker on my Verizon Pearl 8130. Pandora has a severely restricted stereo sound stage - its almost mono. The sound of cymbals is harsh and unforgiving. I really can't listen to it. Slacker sounds open and airy in comparison.

Unfortunately Slacker does not perform as well as Pandora - it seems to make my phone unstable. And it often pauses for 10-30 seconds between songs, or stops a song early which I hate.

Neither is that good because of these problems.

foxybanjo

I use my phone ALL the time driving out of the city, on the ski slope, hiking, etc... where there there is no data connection, for that matter no cell connection. Without caching, you simply cannot listen to streaming internet radio period. Caching allows you to listen to you tunes anywhere, anytime. If you want or need to listen to your music this way, only Slacker will give it to you. End of debate.

imotionsrt4

Orrrrrrrr you could just put a few hundred of your favorite mp3 on that memory card you are caching on.

Clyde67

The issue about sound quality won't matter all that much if you're just listening on your handheld device. You probably won't notice it at.

Nice article, I'm listening to Slacker on my Storm right now!

zamey

By personal comparison / usage over T-Mo / both the 8320 and 8100, I prefer Pandora over Slacker. Pandora has the least amount of buffering time, doesn't chop up as bad, doesn't take 2984792849287492729378 years to load, and the quality of what I'm looking for is great.
Slacker is great on the computer, but not on the phone. Pandora has two good marks against it, so you know what I'll pick first.
(note: this was MY personal opinion.)

Blastissimo

Not only does Pandora have better sound quality, but it also chooses better quality music most of the time. As reviewed, most people will skip songs Slacker puts in your playlist because they are irrelevant to the chosen station. Pandora creates smarter playlists, albeit from smaller pool, but still is the winner here.

possmann

I am addicted to Slacker only because there is no Storm version of Pandora (yet). Anyone know when they are going to release a Storm compatible version?
I enjoy the configuration and selection of Pandora on my PC so I would hope it would be similar on the Storm...

cain96

When I have slacker installed on my Storm, it makes the camera on not useable? Sup with that??

cafe_civet

who thought Pandora sounded better. I thought I was imagining thing.

mrich70

i can't really say which is better because they do not make Pandora for Storm, which is beyond me since it is the Hot new product on the scene.

Lucas982

The algorithms are entireley different: Pandora analyzes THE SOUND of a particular track, then matches it with similar SOUNDING music. Slacker will match an ARTIST with SIMILAR ARTISTS (i.e. similar genre). I find Pandora's set-up more preferable most of the time. For example: You enter Jay-Z, or Notorious BIG, you'll get those artists..and then Fat Joe, and Ja-Rule as well?. Anyone who knows Hip-hop, knows that Fat Joe and Ja-Rule's music is nothing like BIG or Jay-z's. I put in Tito Puente, and Gypsy Kings are in Q?! Slacker merely matches general genre, and doesn't pay attention to, seemingly, to tonality, style, even sound!

crys

I use to use slacker all the time and loved it but when pandora came out i loved it as well.. i use slacker when iam at work or working out bc the melody of the music changes so often....from fast to slow....i use pandora when i go to sleep bc the music from stations i choose have the same melody and the tempo stays the same on all song.... so in my eyes they are both awesome in my book.

imotionsrt4

I would like to take this time to appolgize to my fell crackberry member for the triple post. I was using my phone and it gave me no indication my reply was being posted. I would click post reply and it would just sit there.

Sorry once again.

M. Honcho

Gotta go with Slacker by far. I loved it but anxiously awaited Pandora to see what all the hype was about. I found that the Pandora was better for listening to the exact song you were looking for, but Slackers mix was far better expanding the variety of music. To echo what everyone else has said, the cache feature is great. I can cache 25+ stations on an 8gb card(like $10), with loads of other stuff loaded as well. So basically, I can listen to whatever genre I want regardless of wifi or cell service. Both great apps and free, rendering my ipod obsolete.

bigsupa

I LOVE MY SLACKER....I USE IT ALL DAY AT WORK AND WHEN I DISCOVERED I CAN CACHE THE STATIONS I WAS SOLD BIG TIME...I CAN HEAR SLACKER WHILE IN THE SUBWAY!!

paulsterberry

pandora is best for my 8330. i tried slacker and it's too slow, and yes, it does freeze up a lot. the graphics on slacker is cool, but just like the name, "slacker" it does slack on streaming. its just too slow. Pandora is the way to go!

fiore68

It was a great description of all the goods the applications offer, but I have to add one to slaker, you don´t have to have the services of an especific service provider... I'm in Venezuela, and I can use my Slacker here...

so I loooooove Slacker...!!!

Dave Cartwright

PANDORA FTW@!#%#!%

It's so sad Pandora isn't available for the Storm yet, please hurry guys =D

Slacker has a horrid music algorithm and collection, their songs suck!

Alpha Omega

I've been a slacker user for awhile. thought I try Pandora, I heard it on my instructor's Iphone and it sounded nice. I also downloaded iheartradio, and I love that I have enough music to last me a long time. you must try iheartradio also

Shadowlore

I would not only tend to disagree with the sound quality comparison, but I'd rather outright say: 'No.'

I've ran both Pandora and Slacker on the Bold for the last week or so, and I've done some testing. If you record music from both applications, and look at them in a wave file analysis, you can see the glaring issues. Slacker has 'peaks' with regards to it's music, and Pandora is predominantly 'flat'.

What I'm referring to, specifically, is the common appearance you get with a graphical analysis of compressed music. What it clearly points to, is the fact that Pandora is over compressing their streams for the Blackberry.

I make it a point to specify 'Blackberry', because a PC stream, and an iPhone stream don't show this level of flatness.

Now in the case of the iPhone (just read.. I'm not praising the iP in any way) Pandora has given the user the option to enable 'High Quality' mode. What we, as Blackberry users, are getting.. is the regular quality mode. If/when Pandora allows us to retrieve the higher bitrate stream, I have no doubt the graphical analysis will show less compression, and a sound quality closer (if not surpassing) the quality of Slacker.

Admittedly, some people don't notice compression, and some even prefer the muffled/subdued effect from overly compressed files... I however, am not one of them.

So, that said, I'm leaving both applications on my Blackberry, but until Pandora gives us the option to stream the same quality as the iP... I'll be sticking with Slacker.

I would strongly recommend that others also take the time to compare the quality... after all, your opinion is the only one that matters :)

BBMme

i have both Internet radio apps and I'd have to say I like Slacker a little more because you can play music via Bluetooth unlike Pandora where it doesnt have that option.

Read the post above yours. I use it with bluetooth all the time.

All I have to do is activate my bluetooth from the connection manager and it auto switches back and forth from my bluetooth gate way to the car bluetooth when ever a call comes in. If you do not believe me i will take a video of it and send it to you.

It works great with bluetooth were the Slacker app requires me to do a battery pull every time it switches from bluetooth to the phone speaker or car bluetooth.

cyndiy777

Pandora doesn't support Storm ;(

mcangeli

Having read the post and the comments, I wanted to respond. First of all, either program's music choice is only as good as the person on the other end picking it. On Slacker, the Michael Buble channel is right on. However, when I put in Jimmy Buffett I had to do some tuning.

What I ended up doing is creating my own channel (on slacker, search for Feelin Good) and going from there. Yes, I started with slacker's selection for Jimmy Buffett and added my own based on my preferences and what the DJ's on Radio Margaritaville play. I'm finally getting close to a station I can listen to with out any repeating music.

Both Slacker and Pandora need work (done on a computer) to add artists you like to your favorite stations.

Slacker's interface is FAR better, the caching is good for those long road trips when you're in areas of patchy service. I like the fact that slacker has the ability to pull up the artist bio, the lyrics and more and unlike the author of the review, the quality for slacker is far better on my bold then it is for pandora. Noticably so.

Outside of the fact that Slacker doesn't display ads (I do have a pro membership) I like that Slacker does not automatically start playing the last station like pandora (even pandora's web client does it). I like the fact that I have the choice to choose what I want to listen to before it starts playing, not after.

I have both downloaded, but with the recent improvements to slacker I find I haven't started pandora more then twice since I downloaded it.

Cliff76

I was so happy to get 4.5 loaded on my 8830 so I could try apps like Pandora. I have both Pandora and iHeartRadio installed and iHeartRadio plays with well with my Jabra 8010. Pandora has serious tempo issues when I connect my bluetooth headset. I just don't understand why. Someone above says there's a way to get it working and I'd appreciate some advice, a hack or whatever. Leave it here or visit my site. I never heard of Slacker but I'm willing to give it a try.

There is something that causes the tempo to occasionally speed up when a bluettooh device is activated.

To solve this problem. Press the pause button and then press the play button. this should correct the problem until the next time the phone is turned off and buletooth is reactivated.

Al least that is the way it works on my 8330.

bstew111

Slacker wins...have used both on my BOLD for 2 weeks. Depth of music on Slacker is awesome and the advertising on Pandora messes up the whole experience - I was always closing the pop-up window on Pandora which puts itself dead-center in the middle of the screen. Not so on Slacker. Audio on the BOLD is identical from my experience.

boilermaker8372

I'm a first time bb owner and I love slacker.

ToeTaggerH

Pandora has better audio quality than slacker in the same sense Ron Jeremy has better tits than Pamela Anderson. You must have a pretty shiity phone man, because over anything else the guys at slacker focus on their HIGH QUALITY streaming. Pandora sounds like a dogs queef compared to Slacker on a bold. YOU FAIL.

Crowleyman

But, more importantly, what's that Red Sox logo on your 'Berry's screen? Can I somehow stream Sox games???? Please enlighten a fellow member of the Nation!

Gary Mazo

Crowleyman,

Just go to the mobile site for mlb.com - they have an icon for every team. You can't stream a live game (yet) but you can get live pitch by pitch with a refreshing screen which is cool. I go between that and the slingbox to catch the games.

norpino10

but I recently changed to Pandora because there is not a lag between songs compared to Slacker. Slacker is aesthetically more appealing to the eye, but Pandora is more functional :)

webpmp

I uninstalled slacker once I started using Pandora. The caching feature is a unique feature of slacker but something I really wouldn't use, especially since I would hear commercials. The frustration with WIFI not working using Slacker wasn't helping. I decided to go with Pandora since it has good quality streams and no commercials.

Mr.Miagi

we can have both! so relax and enjoy!!

thefatkid22

I really like both i have the Storm 9530 and i like pandora for the custom stations they seem too work better but i like slacker for the genre stations those are good and i have been pleased i will continue to use both on my berry

BraileyGirl1

I heard so much about Pandora from non-storm users so I decided to download it today...and within the first 5 minutes...I became very bored with it. I feel that slacker is easier to use and it looks better. Whereas, I had to input my favorite artist on Pandora and some of them didn't even show up...so why give me that option if you don't have every artist?! The artists are very popular actually. I'll keep both just because I can...but I think I like slacker more ;-)

nhonnguyen

Can someone help me. I can't get the pandora to work. I install the app but still don't work.
It saids '' could not connect to pandora. Please be sure u have sufficient .
Network coverage and try again.(I have T-Mobile )

csumler

Hi, I can't seem to get my S9-HD headphones to work well with the Pandora app. It cuts in and out through the entire song. They work perfect with Slacker and the built in player. Any help to resolve this issue will be appreciated. I am running it on my Curve 8310 with O.S. 4.5 and AT&T. Thanks in advance..

SDStormer

I tried to create a single artist station with Slacker and it worked fine on my desktop, but when I accessed the station from my Storm, it could not get the tracks. I chatted with a tech at Slacker and he said you have to have a minimum of 15 artists on any created station. This is a bummer since I sometimes like to listen to only one artist for an extended period of time.

Oh well.

beardgod

Just downloaded Pandora today. Have been using Slacker for about 3 months. My .02:
1) Sound quality (preliminary on my Bose headphones; will update based upon office 5.1 system in the future). Slacker seems to have deeper base, Pandora seems to give up a little low end, but is much crisper on the highs. No clear favorite, probably personal taste controls.
2) Caching not available on Pandora. Huge bummer as I travel extensively for work. trans-continental flights are a breeze with 12 stations cached to my BB.
3. Pre-programmed stations. Slacker wins here...just way better breadth in each category (and my kids really dig the 'kids' station).
4. Skipping-Finally, the true separator. Maybe I am missing something, but Pandora's premium option does not seem to permit unlimited skipping??? For $48/yr, I get no commercials and unlimited skipping with Slacker. No need to play games switching stations to get around my unhappiness with 6 unsavory songs in a row. BINGO!

tchiky

Hi!
Pandora and Slacker radio are not available in my country - Portugal.
I have found http://www.tv243.com a great alternative for it.

siafu

I have never installed slacker radio onto my BlackBerry device, nor have I been remotely interested in it because I'm quite happy with Pandora. Recently I installed an upgrade to my Google Mobile program and after rebooting I noticed that slacker radio had downloaded itself onto my BB without me even doing anything. It took a couple of hours for me to remove this ridiculous program from my device. Any company that behaves this way to market their inferior and pathetic products is a scam. Do NOT install slacker radio.

jailbird00

I like them both, have them both on my 8330, but I a will stay will stay with Pandora simply because I have been using it on my PC for a couple years now and have fine tuned my stations with countless thumbs up or thumbs down. I have it pretty much exactly to my taste and have to much invested to turn back now. The dealbreaker for me so far is the Quickmix feature on Pandora. It can take all my stations and make a giant playlist that can't be beat. If Slacker has that feature, I haven't found it yet.

I do like the station and genre choices Slacker offer tho, and will keep it only because of the Cache feature. That is handy for times I am in the basement and want my internet radio.

fayskelley

have no reason to switch for all the reasons you mentioned. My hubby commented upon how great the sound quality is on the BB. And free !

I was very pleased with song selection.

There is however a limit now to skips ... per station ... I ended up deleting some stations as there was too narrow a range for particular artist.

The ones I play most have awesome selection and they stay within the genre.

The only problem I can thing of is that you are offered a chance to download ring tunes only to be led to a place where you must subscribe at the outrageous price of $10 US per month. No way !

Now ... back to listening to Boogie Woogie !

w27bill

Pandora Kicks ass - So far.
Rating the two FREE versions via PC (Not mobile device)
I've been on Pandora a couple yrs so far - and LOVE IT! Only been trying Slacker a couple wks so far, but NOT IMPRESSED W/ SLACKER!
PANDORA KICKS SLACKERS ASS IN THESE AREAS:
1) Slackers ads are RIGHT on top of the song info playing! You have to click on "Dismiss Ad" in order to view the song info. Pandora's ad's are always off to the right edge of music info, and are not even noticeable unless u consciously look at the ad's!
2) W/ Pandoa, you can see the last 3 songs played, so if u want, can view, rate etc. Slackers last song disapears into cyberworld, so if you just missed looking at info for the song that just ended a second ago, too bad!
3) Lyric info: Slacker only ever shows the 1st few lines of the song *(Then prompts you to pay for upgrade for rest of lyrics), Pandora always give you access to the Full lyrics *(When available).
4) I love Pandora waayyy better - so far!

alliedbass#CB

I have tried both and i get studdering on the slacker side and pandora freezes sometimes but i get better playback from Pandora. however they both have major setbacks from the playback side because of the lack of memory on the curve and blackberry in particular i have to be able to take total control of my settings being on cdma but it is possible and pandora does rate higher on this scale for me. however i so wish we had live365 ironed out.

still love blackberry
was iphone before but i need the actual business side of it and not the wow factor

christina_mg82

Personally I think Pandora Is better...the caching feature on slacker is tuff to beat, but not enough to get me to switch. To me Pandora is FASTER and cheaper subscription too...I still have both, subscribed to Pandora but free account on Slacker...but use Pandora more on my Bold 9650 and on Laptop with/ the desktop Icon player, which is pretty cool in my opinion. :)