Slacker personalizes Internet radio with iPod rivalMarch 19, 2007
Fans of Internet radio who want to listen to their favorite stations away from the computer will soon be able to do so with a new digital music player called Slacker.
The new gadget, by a San Diego-based start-up of the same name, aims to compete with Apple Inc.’s iPod and in-car digital radios offered by XM Satellite Radio and Sirius Satellite Radio.
Slacker, which has the backing of three of the four biggest music companies and hundreds of independent labels, also launched its own Internet radio stations at http://www.slacker.com this week.
Fans can customize radio stations using their computer and listen to them on Slacker Portable Radio Players, which will retail from around $149 starting this summer. Stations are loaded via Wi-Fi wireless Internet connection.
The device will also be able to play MP3 and WMA audio files, and MPEG and Windows Media video formats, to compete in an increasingly crowded digital music player market that includes offerings by mobile phone makers.
“The hardware player is critical,” Slacker Inc. Chief Executive Dennis Mudd said in an interview on Friday. “This is going to be the first personalized radio that’s really portable,” he said.
The company also plans to offer in-car digital radios with the Slacker Satellite Car Kit.