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Guest Message by DevFuse

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Slacker as a "Sirius" substitute for SiriusXM?

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51 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   Richard King

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Posted 27 February 2009 - 10:28 PM

As mentioned before, I recently Wooted a 25 station 8Gig "Slacker" WiFi radio. After using it for a couple of days, I have become convinced that if I were a music only listener on XM that the Slacker would be a great substiute. I can load any of 25 radio "stations" that they program and listen to any of them at any time. They claim that the free subscription is advertising supported with 2 ads per hour. I have yet to hear an ad after many hours of listening (while working on rebuilding a house here). Anyway, so far I am very impressed. My only two complaints are that I have a problem hooking it up to the computer and it takes a couple of minutes for it to fire up when turned on. The first isn't really a problem since I can "reload" my station by WiFi. I don't think there's a cure for the second problem. So far, so good.

http://www.slacker.com/
The Pump Don't Work 'cause the Vandals Took the Handles.

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#2 OFFLINE   bdowell

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Posted 27 February 2009 - 10:36 PM

I bought the same unit several weeks ago and have enjoyed using it with a few minor issues.

I set up a custom station, got it fairly well configured for my tastes, but unfortunately there's still a few artists that Slacker doesn't have available for me to add. They're in their rotation on their canned stations, but not available yet for adding to custom stations. They seem to be willing to hear the suggestions and requests, but seem a little slow acting upon them.

Otherwise, my only real concern would be the same as a co-worker: the battery life on the first generation 8GB units isn't the greatest. It's not horrible, but it'd be nice if it went more than the 8 - 9 hours that it seems to top out at.
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#3 OFFLINE   Galaxie6411

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Posted 28 February 2009 - 11:17 AM

As for certain groups I found a great function that I now LOVE. You can customize a station so type in the name of the band you want and they will give you that band and related ones. The related bands are very impressive IMO. I have one station entitled Live, they added groups such as Everclear, SoundGarden, CandleBox, Pearl Jam etc etc, which is exactly the type of music I wanted. I did the same with stations labeled Metallica, Led Zeppelin, Marilyn Manson, Beatles etc etc and they all came out great.

I also agree if I didn't listen to so much talk on the XM I would just go with the Slacker and dump the XM.

#4 OFFLINE   WERA689

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Posted 28 February 2009 - 03:23 PM

But what about mobile use? I find that I listen to my XM more in my car or on my motorcycle than in the house. Is there any way to use this in a mobile application?
link to my system specs: http://www.dbstalk.c...775#post3155775

My wonderful cat, Kawie, passed away on 11/23/08. He had a remarkable soul, and I miss him deeply. Thank you, my buddy, for sharing your life with me.

#5 OFFLINE   Galaxie6411

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Posted 28 February 2009 - 03:50 PM

Yes they have an FM transmitter, much like some of the Ipod transmitters.

#6 OFFLINE   Richard King

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Posted 28 February 2009 - 04:59 PM

But what about mobile use? I find that I listen to my XM more in my car or on my motorcycle than in the house. Is there any way to use this in a mobile application?

It acts just like an IPod in a mobile situation. All the stations are stored inside the unit and modified by WiFi when you are in a Wifi area. I used mine at the house I am redoing all day today, on one "station", and didn't hear a repeat or a commercial. So far I am VERY impressed (still).
The Pump Don't Work 'cause the Vandals Took the Handles.

#7 OFFLINE   Richard King

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Posted 28 February 2009 - 05:09 PM

I haven't tried any custom stations yet, been too busy with other things.
These are the stations I have programmed at this time:

1.Alternative
2. Adult Alternative
3. Singer Songwriter
4. Indie
5. Party Alternative
6. 80's 90's & Today
7. Oldies
8. '60s Hits
9. '70s Hits
10. '80s Hits
11. Smooth Jazz (non vocal)
12. Smooth Jazz
13. Jazz
14. Classic Rock
15. Party Rock
16. '70s Rock
17. '60s Rock
18. Southern Rock
19. Jam Bands
20. Progressive Rock
21. Rock Hits
22. Rock
23. '80s Rock
24. '90s Rock
25. Folk Rock

I just entered these rather quickly, and I am sure I will do some fine tuning in the next few days. I spent the whole day today though on Singer Songwriter and haven't even tried most of the channels I entered.

Time for you other Slackers to list your "stations".
The Pump Don't Work 'cause the Vandals Took the Handles.

#8 OFFLINE   pigskins

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Posted 28 February 2009 - 07:32 PM

Welcome aboard, slackers!! Happy you could join the rest of us happy former satellite subscribers who are saving a lot of scratch!
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#9 OFFLINE   jazzyd971fm

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Posted 28 February 2009 - 07:41 PM

I'm not sure about the mobile units, but the software version that I use has about 3 to 4 commercials per hour. Other than that, its a great player !!!!! Love that smooth jazz on Sundays !!!!!

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#10 OFFLINE   Galaxie6411

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Posted 28 February 2009 - 09:19 PM

My power was out for 2 hours tonite, it was nice to be able to listen to the Slacker to pass some of the time. I have found it may play the "hearted" songs a little too much though.

#11 OFFLINE   dpd146

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Posted 01 March 2009 - 09:48 AM

I'm not willing to give up my Sirius but this is an interesting product. I saw where it is compatible with the iTouch. My question is why would I buy their player when for only a little more $ I can get the iTouch with double the storage and use the free plug-in (plus won't be a paperweight if slacker goes away)?

Is anyone using Slacker with iTouch or iPhone? If so, is there a difference using the plug-in versus their player?

#12 OFFLINE   WERA689

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Posted 01 March 2009 - 10:51 AM

I've gotta admit, I love the online service!!! Good variety, and so far, better sound quality than XM's on-line service too.

Thanks for the heads up there, Richard! I'm gonna keep an eye on this...
link to my system specs: http://www.dbstalk.c...775#post3155775

My wonderful cat, Kawie, passed away on 11/23/08. He had a remarkable soul, and I miss him deeply. Thank you, my buddy, for sharing your life with me.

#13 OFFLINE   tigerwillow1

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Posted 01 March 2009 - 03:35 PM

I dropped Sirius after the post-merger music channel destruction. Slacker isn't a substitute, it's an upgrade, with way better playlists and no stupid DJs.

#14 OFFLINE   WERA689

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Posted 01 March 2009 - 04:08 PM

The more I listen to the web based Slacker, the more impressed I am with the sound quality! It has dynamics, which XM has not for quite some time; it has extended frequency response, which XM never had; it has superior separation to anything I've heard from XM; and the noise floor is well below audibility, which XM's dynamic compression also impacts. This could well be my way out of XM's price increases, if I can sell my Polk XM tuner and Alpine XM ready package!

Thanks again, Rich! Slacker is really impressive!
link to my system specs: http://www.dbstalk.c...775#post3155775

My wonderful cat, Kawie, passed away on 11/23/08. He had a remarkable soul, and I miss him deeply. Thank you, my buddy, for sharing your life with me.

#15 OFFLINE   dpd146

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Posted 01 March 2009 - 05:13 PM

It acts just like an IPod in a mobile situation. All the stations are stored inside the unit and modified by WiFi when you are in a Wifi area.


How much is stored (length of time)?

#16 OFFLINE   Shades228

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Posted 01 March 2009 - 07:15 PM

Going to try this out thanks for posting it. Too bad they only support RIM and I Phone at the moment. a Winmo application would be awesome.

#17 OFFLINE   itguy05

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Posted 01 March 2009 - 07:41 PM

The more I listen to the web based Slacker, the more impressed I am with the sound quality! It has dynamics, which XM has not for quite some time; it has extended frequency response, which XM never had; it has superior separation to anything I've heard from XM; and the noise floor is well below audibility, which XM's dynamic compression also impacts. This could well be my way out of XM's price increases, if I can sell my Polk XM tuner and Alpine XM ready package!

Thanks again, Rich! Slacker is really impressive!


I've got both XM, Sirius and Slacker on my iPhone. Of them, Sirius and Slacker sound 1000x better than XM. Like you said, XM is flat and lifeless while Sirius and Slacker just sound better.

I've done comparisons on XM and Sirius over the same inputs in the same car (mine) and every time, Sirius sounds much better. Slacker through the iPhone and into the car also sounds great!

#18 OFFLINE   Richard King

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Posted 02 March 2009 - 07:30 AM

My question is why would I buy their player when for only a little more $ I can get the iTouch with double the storage and use the free plug-in

I bought the Slacker because I found it for $49 on Woot (first Gen unit). If not for Woot I wouldn't own it, simply because I wouldn't have looked at it seriously. I think I'm going to cancel XM for a long enough period to pay for the Slacker (4 months). After that time I may be back to XM if I find that I miss the talk channels (and Underground Garage) enough. The problem is that in Vero Beach through most of the day I only receive one AM station (for talk programming).
The Pump Don't Work 'cause the Vandals Took the Handles.

#19 OFFLINE   Richard King

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Posted 02 March 2009 - 07:35 AM

How much is stored (length of time)?

I wish I could tell you. I have my 25 stations loaded and spent all of yesterday (about 7 hours) listening to one station with no repeats that I noticed. It would be interesting to find this out if anyone here knows.
The Pump Don't Work 'cause the Vandals Took the Handles.

#20 OFFLINE   Dolly

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Posted 02 March 2009 - 07:55 AM

I bought the Slacker because I found it for $49 on Woot (first Gen unit). If not for Woot I wouldn't own it, simply because I wouldn't have looked at it seriously. I think I'm going to cancel XM for a long enough period to pay for the Slacker (4 months). After that time I may be back to XM if I find that I miss the talk channels (and Underground Garage) enough. The problem is that in Vero Beach through most of the day I only receive one AM station (for talk programming).

Mr. King Little Stevie and I will miss you at the Underground Garage :( Since I don't have a PC I couldn't use a Slacker even if I wanted to.




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