Slacker’s Hardware Tease


Two weeks after ramping up hardware pre-orders for their Portable Radio Player, internet radio provider Slacker has delayed product delivery from this week until late January. While delays are pretty common, it’s a bit unusual to pull back so close to shipment. (I’d call this manuveur a ‘Foleo‘, but I was actually looking forward to that device. As Asus has proven with the Eee PC, there’s a market for small Linux notebooks.) Back to Slacker, Walt Mossberg has previewed the devicesummarized over at Orbitcast:

I’ve been testing a prototype of the chunky, black plastic Slacker player, which is dominated by a four-inch color screen. It has two redundant navigation systems: a touch-sensitive strip at the side of the screen and a wheel on one edge. It provides a rich listening experience, including album art and other photos, artist bios and album reviews. The sound is good, and the Wi-Fi wireless connection worked in both my home and office.

I’ve been in touch with the PR people trying to get my hands on a unit. The pre-programmed “stations” populated during WiFi connectivity appeal to me, though I couldn’t get a straight answer on how many songs are copied over with each sync. (Important to know when taking long flights.)

6 thoughts on “Slacker’s Hardware Tease”

  1. Last100 talked about whether there’s a market for this type of lazy-man’s music when something like the iPod provides you the ultimate in personalization. I say, yes! I love music, but I don’t have time to find what I like. I want someone to do it for me.

  2. The challenges are two-fold: Explain the device to consumers and sell without a retail presence. It’s much more likely Amazon can pull it off (with the Kindle)… Having said that, I’m pretty fired up about this product. My XM Helix does me no go in certain indoor locations and inflight. (I do have an iPod Nano, but I don’t feel like “managing” it.)

  3. Confused – Slacker hardware stuffed full of songs has to be as “managed” as an iPod, doesn’t it?

    If you want to carry just one device, wouldn’t that be an unlocked iPhone? Or like me, a RAZR XX with a couple hundred songs on it?

  4. Not really managed by me… You pick the “stations” (genres) you want and each time you sync, those stations receive more tunes. Essentially, they have pre-populated playlists that are much larger (and more random) than anything I could produce without breaking the bank and investing significant time. It’s more like satellite radio or Rhapsody playlists than manually loading up a DAP. Another bonus – the basic service is free (though ad-based). We’ll see if they hit a critical mass to sustain the business though…

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