updated 01:20 pm EDT, Tue April 8, 2008
Slacker signs music labels
Slacker, the creator of its namesake Portable Radio Player, has announced a deal for the support of all four major record labels: Warner, Universal, EMI and Sony BMG. The Portable is an unusual "radio" device in that it does not stream live music, but rather syncs with the Slacker service via USB or Wi-Fi, and copies up to 40 "stations" for listening offline as well as on. As music plays listeners can rate their tracks, and ban ones they do not want to hear again.
Although Slacker is believed to have had the support of labels before putting its players on sale, the deal now officially lets users save major-label tracks to their players without worrying about copyright infringement. There is no mention however of support for independent labels such as Kranky or Sub Pop, a factor which may affect the widespread appeal of the Portable. Owners must also pay for a Premium Radio service in order to play individual songs, or skip an unlimited number of tracks. [via Orbitcast]