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Slacker Radio: Great Radio Application but a few Annoyances


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  1. FrozenIpaq

    FrozenIpaq Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    Review and Walkthrough Videos available at bottom

    Overview

    Slacker Radio is an online radio streaming application which takes the radio streaming competition to the next level. The application is feature-packed with streaming radio of 100 various radio stations. You can also choose to create your own station or search for a song / artist and have one created for you. The application requires a quick registration on their website or through their application before using the application. You won't have to worry about logging in at any time after that unless you choose to disassociate your account.

    Performance

    From a cold start, it takes Slacker Radio approximately 11 seconds from launching the application to listening to a song. It's not very long at all, but the initial load time seems to take it's time when you're on a tight schedule and just want to listen to some tunes in the car. The performance within the application is great with no slowdowns and station/song buffering only a second or two long. Most of the time the player transitions to the next song immediately, unless there's a commercial /advertisement.

    Playback

    The playback controls are very simple with a Pause, Skip, Favorite and Block. There's no rewind or previous function to check out your previous songs you were listening to. Ideally I would love to be able to get a list of all the songs I listened to today, but that's probably just asking a bit too much.

    The player supports both Portrait and Landscape orientations for navigation and playback controls. It's great for those that have desk or car docks and would like easy access to the application. However the controls are a bit small to precisely hit from a distance, so I would not suggest using it while driving (you shouldn't do so either way!).

    Station Caching and Radio Plus

    Radio plus is available for $4.99 a month or $3.99 a month if subscribing for 12 months. The price is a little steep, coming in at roughly $50 for a year's subscription. I would much rather save that money to purchase a dedicated Slacker radio player, however for the short-term it's a great deal. If you're going on a vacation and would like to use your phone as a music player without an internet connection, the station caching feature on Slacker will deliver great results.

    On top of station caching, Radio Plus subscribers get limited commercial interruption (gone are the 30 second advertisements) and full lyrics of the songs. Just hold down on the album art, go to song info and check out the lyrics for whatever song is playing.

    Annoyances

    One of the main reasons I use station caching is to avoid the various connection problems and application hiccups I encounter when streaming the content live. I've yet to have a full, uninterrupted listening experience when streaming over my 3G connection. When driving to work there's always one spot off the highway that requires me to accept a dialog box and restart/re-tune into my station. It's very annoying and since the latest update these problems and hiccups have increased.

    As writing this review, Slacker just stopped playing on me and I went to check it. The dialog box reads "Unable to find active data or WiFi connection. Would you like to quit the application?" I've had a solid connection the entire time, so why it failed is beyond me. Dialog box is shown below.
    [​IMG]

    Another annoyance is the streaming advertising. While I don't mind the 3-4 second advertisements telling me that I'm listening to Slacker radio, it's the 30 second advertisements that are annoying. While they aren't frequent, only a few ever few hours from what I recall, they are still there. I'm tired of hearing about Slacker's twitter features, I don't care about DICE.com, and I certainly know that I'm listening to Slacker radio.

    Conclusion

    Overall it's a great music streaming application...when it works. I would give it a 4/5 because of the advertisements and various hiccups I've encountered. I've had other people test the application on their phones and they don't run into nearly as many hiccups as I do, probably having something to do with my configuration or other installed applications interfering with it. I'm reviewing it from my personal experience, you may not have as many crashes I do so it's definitely worth a look!

    Recommendation: I highly recommend this application, it's free to use! 14-day trial of caching and 7-day trial of Radio Plus, so get going!


    Review:

    Review Video [Walkthrough available at bottom]
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bT2mSRyzzck
     

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  2. FrozenIpaq

    FrozenIpaq Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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  3. Rob

    Rob I'm tellin' mommy on you! Administrator

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    Care to share what experience you had when trying to put multiple videos in the review? I'll get it fixed and then delete this post along with your hopefully helpful response!
     
  4. FrozenIpaq

    FrozenIpaq Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    Sorry for the late response! If I tried multiple videos it just wouldn't post the second video or it would cut off after the first video is posted (all content displayed after the first video wouldn't be displayed properly).

    I'm using the latest build of Firefox and will try to re-create the scenario when I submit my next review in an hour or so (uploading a video takes time!).

    EDIT: I took a video of what's going on, will upload that to youtube and show it to you there.
     

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