Now that Slacker is out in the open, here's a close look what the thing actually will offer you. The video above was shot by our own Benny G, and after the jump there's a full gallery of the interface and features.
It's not as small as a nano or flash Zune, but its got a beautiful 4" screen and a offbeat capacitive touch strip for quick scrolling. The interface still confuses us a little: we know this is one of those products that will make more sense as you use it, because it's trying to do something different than everything that's happened up until now. You carry around a player that is essentially building its own vast virtual music collection of songs it thinks you might like. (That's why there are easy-access "heart" and "ban" buttons.)
But what about sound quality? How easy is it to refresh when you're not near your computer? Will there be enough fresh music for long trips away from a net connection? Do I really need more than 15 virtual personalized radio stations? I find it hard to imagine 40. These are all questions we'll have to answer in a full-blown review.
Slacker Announces Availability of Portable Personal Radio Players
Slacker Portable Players Give Music Lovers Freedom to Enjoy Personal Radio Anytime, Anywhere
SAN DIEGO, Calif. - November 15, 2007 - Slacker, Inc., today announced the availability of the world's first truly portable personalized radio players. Slacker Portable Players in 15, 25 and 40 station capacities extend the personal radio experience of the free Slacker Basic Radio and recently announced Slacker Premium Radio services.
Whether choosing the free or premium radio services, the players provide customers access to the extensive Slacker music library and associated artist profiles, album reviews and large cover art on the 4" vivid color display. Simply refresh your personalized Slacker stations via Wi-Fi or USB to ensure you always have the newest hits and classic favorites at your fingertips.
"With the Slacker Portable Radio Player, for the first time, people can play their personalized radio stations wherever they go, " said Dennis Mudd, CEO of Slacker. "We've created a groundbreaking portable music device that lets people play their favorite music without working at it, whenever they want to listen."
Revolutionary DJ technology built into the device, and a new class of radio licenses, allow the Slacker Portable to play highly personalized radio stations even when not connected to Wi-Fi or any network.
Slacker has previously announced new licensing deals with all of the major record labels and thousands of independent record labels, which provide the Slacker Portable direct access to an extensive music catalog. The portable players can automatically create perfect radio stations without the requirement of having to manage content or even a direct connection to a Mac or PC.
About Slacker Portable
Designed to work with Slacker Basic Radio and Premium Radio services
Personal radio stations play anytime: online or offline
Automatically refreshes personalized stations via Wi-Fi or USB
Heart and Ban buttons enable personalization on the go
4" color screen displays artist profiles, album reviews and large cover art
Available in 15, 20 and 40 station capacities
Plays your existing music collection (MP3, WMA & AAC)
Up to 10 hours of battery life
Removable, rechargeable battery
The Slacker Portable comes with earphones, USB 2.0 cable and carrying case.
Slacker listeners that order the Slacker Portable will have the free option to have the player pre-loaded with their favorite stations and linked with their Slacker account (Basic or Premium) so it is ready to play right out of the box with personalized radio content.
Slacker Portable Availability
The Slacker Portable Player is available for pre-order in the U.S. now at www.slacker.com at a MSRP of $199.99 (15 stations, 2GB), $249.99 (25 stations, 4GB) and $299.99 (40 stations, 8GB) and is scheduled to ship on (or before) December 13th, 2007. Pre-loading of personalized stations is available on all purchases from www.slacker.com.
About Slacker, Inc.
Slacker is the world's first Personal Radio company, providing a new kind of radio that enables consumers to play highly personalized music everywhere. Visit www.slacker.com for more information.