Accessorizing the Slacker G2


Not everyone is a Slacker fan. Analyst Michael Gartenberg blogged recently that the application crashed his Blackberry, and he subsequently dropped it from both the Bold and his iPhone. However, I’ve had good luck with the online app and certainly with the Slacker hardware, and as a result I’m interested when the company tosses out something new. Last week Slacker sent me some accessories to try including a G2 dock, car charger, and arm band. They’re all available online for under $30 along with an FM transmitter (for the car) priced at $39.99.

The G2 dock is a very simple device, and will not be unfamiliar to anyone who’s ever owned an iPod. It can be used to charge the G2, connect to a PC, and hook up a set of speakers. You can do any of these things without a dock, but in theory plugging into one dock for multiple purposes is easier than fooling around with several cables. I tried it out in my living room by unplugging my Squeezebox and hooking the dock into a set of Dell speakers connected to a subwoofer. Simple process and my Slacker tunes were immediately audible. The dock is also unobtrusively black, unlike its iPod counterparts, and faded right into the background of my media center.

Given my Squeezebox + speakers set-up, I have no real need for the dock and will be shipping it back shortly with the car charger and arm band. However, it’s worth noting that I am now paying for Slacker Premium service on a monthly basis after getting the free trial to review some months back. Turns out the unlimited skipping and, more importantly, the ability to keep songs I like for playback any time is addicting. Slacker’s now promoting its cheaper Radio Plus service over Slacker Premium, but despite the difference in price ($3.99/mo vs $7.50/mo), I decided to stick with Premium for the song-saving feature. It’s worth the money.

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4 thoughts on “Accessorizing the Slacker G2”

  1. Like Dave I use the Iphone app all the time (best music app on the app store). I have yet to pay for the Premium service, maybe if they come out with a year service I may consider it. But the one ad every few songs doesn’t bother me.

    I did get to play with the G2 at our local Best Buy. and if the Iphone app never came out I would have most definitely have bought it.

    Dave I found a trick with the Iphone app. If you preload it on a wifi network then hook it up in the car and start playing, as long as you don’t change channels it will play though without cutting out like it does on the edge network ;).

  2. Nice, I’ll start streaming before I pull out of my parking spot when I leave home. I’m currently “evaluating” Radio Plus – the commercials weren’t an issue, but I endlessly skip tracks.

  3. I paid for the Premium annual subscription ($89.99) even before I got the G2 player. It’s nice to see that it’s still available because Slacker doesn’t really advertise it anymore and it seems you can’t navigate to it without Mari’s link. FWIW, you can’t save ALL the songs though — some songs, especially newer ones, can only be favorited (play more often). I guess, it’s a rights issue.

    I got the G2 only a few weeks ago and already love it for listening to at work (company firewall doesn’t like streaming services). The cool thing is that Slacker keeps updating the firmware and it’s gotten a lot neater functionality wise.

    P.S. One thing I do NOT like is the way they do USB syncing. It actually tries to assign the device IP address and then uses XP/Vista’s ICS (Internet Connection Sharing) to connect to Slacker services. I went along with IP thing & changed my router address, but ICS is another matter. I seems not to work unless you leave DNS servers at default which is just too much to ask for (I use OpenDNS). In the end, I decided to stick with Wi-Fi syncing which works very well. The only thing USB gives is ability to put your own music on the device which is not a big deal for me.

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