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Slacker Radio - Awful Bass?


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  1. Fabolous

    Fabolous Superuser VIP Member This Topic's Starter

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    Hi, has anyone noticed that the sound quality from the Slacker app is really lacking in the bass department? It's not crisp at all, and makes my headphones sound like crap. I'm pretty sure this is a software issue as Slacker sounded great on my Tour.

    Also, Pandora does not have this issue (especially when sound quality is turned to high).

    The built in music player does not have this problem either.

    It become very noticeable above 60% volume.

    Is everyone else experiencing this or is it just me?
     

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  2. erxnmedia

    erxnmedia New Member

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    Hi,

    I just confirmed this. I was listening to Slacker radio and got awful bass.

    I went to "Bass Test" page on Wikipedia and listened to a Boston Audio bass test on Youtube -- bass on my headphones was fine. This is a problem with either Motorola Droid or Slacker Radio.

    Probably it's compression/data rate on Slacker because it never skips or pauses, so data rate must be pretty low.

    Thanks
     
  3. Guido Ravioli

    Guido Ravioli Member

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    Im glad other people are posting on this issue. I recently moved my Slacker app from a BB Curve to Droid and the sound (bass) quality is awful and downright unlistenable. I have tested all the other media players as you have with the same results. It is clearly an issue with Slacker's software. I am a PAID subscriber and have posted these findings to the official Slacker forum as well. Let's see what they have to say...
     
  4. MotoDroidHelpandInfo

    MotoDroidHelpandInfo Well-Known Member

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    You guys could try to see if there are any equalizer apps. Although that won't really "fix" the problems. The only way to get the sound to be truly good is for slacker to stream higher quality files. My guess is it's a licensing agreements. Sometimes especially on youtube companies will purposely post lower quality files so we go and buy the real song.
     
  5. Guido Ravioli

    Guido Ravioli Member

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    Im not buying into the licensing argument, or lack of quality streams, for the simple reason that these issues were nonexistant on my blackberry; and we have at least one other poster attesting to that. I never had any issues with sound quality on my Curve, and the Droid is a faster phone on the same network.
     
  6. Fabolous

    Fabolous Superuser VIP Member This Topic's Starter

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    Absolutely. Slacker is excellent on BlackBerry, and streaming from their website on PC. Not sure about iPhone, idc really.

    Hopefully they get back to you Guido, especially since you're a plus subscriber. I absolutely think it's just a simple software issue that can be easily fixed.

    The question is, how long will it take them to do so?
     
  7. GrandMasterB

    GrandMasterB Go Go Gadget Flow! VIP Member

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    Same problem here. Bass is just awefully distorted. And I have been using Slacker on my Storm for 6 months and never had the problem. Listened to Pandora ALL day today and dont have that problem nor do I with the built in music player. Only Slacker does this and I am greatly disappointed :( I loved Slacker...
     
  8. Guido Ravioli

    Guido Ravioli Member

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    Update:
    Basically got a stock cookie-cutter reply to my official gripe via email-- no help. But I also got a response from an admin on the forums, which stated that they were aware of the problem but did not have an answer. Since then at least one other person has posted with the same issue. So it appears they are at least looking into it.

    You can read my thread and their response here:
    Official Slacker Forums • Audio issues w/ bluetooth
     
  9. GrandMasterB

    GrandMasterB Go Go Gadget Flow! VIP Member

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    I argued with Frank in an email over the cookie cutter response they gave me and implied that he was insulting my intelligence by copy and pasting directly from the FAQ's which had nothing to do with the situation.

    Thank God for Pandora right about now ;)
     
  10. dascth

    dascth New Member

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    Just to be clear, this is not a bitrate issue. Because of the low inherent frequency of bass, it requires very very little information to encode it correctly. If the high frequencies were garbled then it very likely could be them cutting out the most data-intensive sections to keep the bitrate low, but that isn't the case.

    The way it sounds actually makes me think it's "clipping" on the lower frequencies. This happens when the audio amplifier attempts to output a signal voltage higher than the power supply voltage. The higher you set the volume, the more parts of the song that would cross this threshold and the uglier it would sound. If it gets better as you turn the volume down, it's probably related to clipping. This could be happening if they've implemented a "bass boost" feature in the android version of the app.

    We'll just see how long it takes for them to fix it or even officially acknowledge it!
     
  11. Guido Ravioli

    Guido Ravioli Member

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    Actually the problem persists even at a low volume setting, that is one thing i've definately noticed
     
  12. tsaunders

    tsaunders Well-Known Member

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    I was about to return my droid.

    Glad others are reporting the same issue.
     
  13. beardgod

    beardgod New Member

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    I, too, am severely disappointed in Slacker's performance. Got my Droid last week in time for a road trip (hello free traffic-enabled nav, saved me at least 30 minutes through LA). However, thankfully I saw this post so I kept my BB Curve active in case Slacker sucked on the Droid. It did. It also sucks that I can't cache (in Slacker's defense that is a BB only option) so no way to use Slacker on airplanes. Checked the performance vs. Pandora, which was much better. However, really prefer the pre-loaded stations (as do my daughters, who dig the kids pre-load). Just can't get the same mix of music via artist-built stations. Slacker better step up or they lose me as a premium customer in February.
     
  14. Romee

    Romee Member

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    Just to confirm, we are still looking into the problem. We have verified that the same files played on the BlackBerry's sound fine. So it's something with the Android Media Player and how it's playing the files. We are currently working on way to correct the issue.

    Best regards,
    Rome E
    Slacker Support
     
  15. BritBoy

    BritBoy New Member

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    I'm getting this garbled bass on Slacker AND Pandora. I've got Pandora set to High Quality audio and it's still making bass heavy tunes unbearable. Forget D'n'B or Big Beat! Anyone else experiencing this with Pandora?

    I'm not getting this problem with Last.fm though; the bass sounds great. Live radio streams don't have this problem either (through Droid Live Lite). I agree that it's an issue with the software and not a bandwidth limitation. Hope it gets sorted soon!

    (Handset is Samsung M900 Moment, Android 1.5)
     
  16. goathog02

    goathog02 Member

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    Thanks Rome. I am sure there are a lot of people here (and on the Slacker forums) that appreciate what your Dev team is doing. Please keep us posted on the progress.

    And I am sure there are a lot of willing beta testers here! (me being one of them)
     
  17. Caddyman

    Caddyman Well-Known Member

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    I LOVE slacker, WAY more then Pandora, but I have also noticed the bass crapping out, sucks.
     
  18. trenen

    trenen New Member

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    I can also verify the problem (as well as crackling in left speaker). The volume in my Tour could be completely maxed out and have rich bass in my car. No problems in other programs though as far as the Droid is concerned.
     
  19. Xystence

    Xystence Well-Known Member

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    I have been using Slacker in my car since I got my Droid earlier in the month, and today I just noticed the bass issue. I used my Tour in my car for a short time and did not notice this issue. I hope they fix it because I really enjoy a lot of the preprogrammed stations Slacker has to offer over Pandora.
     
  20. superdorf

    superdorf Well-Known Member

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    I'm trying to switch from Pandora to Slacker, but this sound quality issue makes it almost impossible.
     
  21. hempwallace

    hempwallace Well-Known Member

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    I also have issues with Slacker skipping and pausing or freezing up altogether. I pretty much gave up trying to listen to it.
     
  22. beardgod

    beardgod New Member

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    As a follow-up to my prior post...

    You can now cache stations to the Droid, if you are a premium Slacker subscriber (however, I allowed my subscription to lapse per the bass/sound quality issues noted in this thread).

    After having used Pandora for about 4 months now I have built up some nice stations (even for the kids) and Pandora also cooperated by providing some limited pre-builds (Slacker's are still way better). Regardless, the sound quality disparity has only become more glaring as I have acclimated to Pandora's significantly superior quality.

    My heart used to leap at every Slacker update, hoping for a fix, but alas I have become jaded and resigned to life A.S. (after Slacker). I do note that I run into occasional download delays/mid-song interruptions with Pandora, so perhaps Slacker is giving away sound quality for compression or speed? It is irrelevant because crappy audio sucks at any speed.
     
  23. YohonV

    YohonV New Member

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    Had the muddy flat bass issues with Slacker on Droid, but after receiving the Droid 2.1 update, my sound quality has vastly improved. :D
     
    superdorf likes this.
  24. superdorf

    superdorf Well-Known Member

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    Mine hasn't.
     
  25. jwmacdon1231

    jwmacdon1231 Well-Known Member

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    Just got this email today from someone over at Slacker.

    Subject
    Slacker Radio

    Discussion Thread
    Response (Frank S.)04/08/2010 04:35 PM
    We are still working with the Android OS team on this issue. The new Slacker Application will not address this at all, because the problem is not in the Application. The problem is a combo between the Codec that we use and the Android OS. Unfortunately this isn't a quick fix because all of our other Mobile Clients use the same Codec with no problems, so we are working with the Android OS team to see if they can resolve the problem on their end.

    Customer (JEFF MACDONALD)04/07/2010 08:14 PM
    I have the Motorla Cliq XT, and have the pre installed Slacker app. I
    upgraded my account.
    I am noticing, though, that the bass of all the songs is horrible. It pretty
    much distorts the music.
    Are y'all aware of this problem?
     

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