updated 07:40 am EDT, Tue September 16, 2008
Slacker G2 Personal Player
Slacker on Tuesday revamped its Internet radio concept with the G2 Personal Radio Player. The device continues to embrace the notion of caching Internet radio stations over Wi-Fi but makes a number of significant improvements to the design itself: the device is a full 40 percent smaller than its predecessor without sacrificing a large screen. It also produces better audio quality, helped partly by new EQ features and a new set of earbuds, while also carrying a new and reportedly more intuitive interface. Battery life should also be longer by about 25 percent, the company estimates.
The basic capacity has also gone up with the G2 refresh. A 4GB version at $200 is large enough to buffer 25 Internet radio stations and provides room for about 1GB of the user's own AAC, MP3 and WMA songs. Picking an 8GB, $250 player ups the buffer space to 40 stations and triples the personal usage space to 3GB. At present, Slacker continues to officially support USB music loading only on Windows PCs but supports all its Wi-Fi features for both Macs and Windows PCs.
Player sales start today from the company itself and will also have the G2 reach Best Buy later this year. Basic radio use with limited skipping is free, while premium radio is available in three-, six-, and 12-month subscriptions ranging from $30 to $90.