Friday, January 11, 2008

Internet Radio Wars


I had the pleasure (if you can call fighting your way through massive crowds of tech geeks a pleasure) of attending the gigantastic Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas earlier this week, and while I saw a few really cool products, this was one of my favs.

It’s called Slacker and it’s an Internet radio station. I know, not that special, right? Red already told us about Pandora a while back. But I personally like Slacker better. (No offense, Ginge). For one thing, Slacker has way more artists. I typed a few of my favs into Pandora and it didn’t have them. The people who run Slacker have licensing deals with all the major labels and a shed load of the indies so they have pretty much everything you might want.

The way it’s set up is, they had DJs and professional music programmers design all these pre-made radio stations by genre, so you can just listen to those if you want. Or, you can type in your favorite band and it will give you songs by them as well as similar bands. When I first started playing with it, I typed in Rilo Kiley (natch). It gave me one of their new songs, and then a song by Bright Eyes and then Death Cab for Cutie. I love those bands, but I already know them. I was nervous I wasn’t going to learn anything new. But soon enough, it was queuing up bands called things like The Wooly Leaves, Those Transatlantics and Say Hi To Your Mom. All new to me. You can use these bands to create your own radio stations and send them to your friends.

If you have $200 laying around, you can buy Slacker’s handheld device at the end of January. This lets you take your stations and music with you wherever you want. Pretty cool, no? They also have tons of artist information, ways to tell them if you like/hate certain songs/artists and a premium service that lets you save songs to your computer.

You can’t search for individual songs, which kind of sucks, but its still a great free way to listen to bands, especially if you office has blocked MySpace.

5 comments:

Tiffany said...

I never really got into internet radio. I think it's because my headphone cord is too short and I have to hunch over if I want to listen to anything. Then I get a neck cramp.

Red said...

Sweet. Thanks, Liz. I like that they have a Broadway station (nerd alert!). They don't on Pandora...

CL-Meister said...

I've been on Pandora for quite a while. To be honest, I think I do like Slacker better. Thanks Liz! Great find!

Nooch said...

now all I need is $200 bucks.

Sharon said...

This is sweet. But I still stand by KEXP. The mid-day show with Cheryl is my fave.