• Slacker CES 2008 preview

Hey folks, Valkor here with another CES nugget. I got to hang out with the guys from Slacker who were showing off their new Slacker player, which was long thought to be vaporware, until coming out of its shell last year, along with other associated bits. But if it wasn’t for project Kuro this to me would be “Best of Show” however the Slacker does stand at a very close second.

The Slacker isn’t just about the player. For starters you have a full on webpage where you can listen to the music you want by simply choosing from a variety of stations, such as top 40, 80's, 90's, classical, comedy, etc. But then they one up that by giving you the choice for creating your own station and even naming it. You can even customize it with your own pic or album art. You can also attach it as a widget to your Myspace page so your friends can share in your musical flavors. Let the world know you like Rick James, Abba, and the New Kids on the block… not that I listen to those guys. I mean Rick James is cool as hell, but those other guys…. Well uhmmm moving on…

Finally you can get a widget for your Vista desktop so you can have your station no matter where you are, and with the Slacker player you really can take it on the go.

Before I jump in on the player, I've tried the web version on a couple of different connections. The first was my own cable modem. There was no lag or stuttering, just smooth CD quality audio. Second was on a hi wi-fi connection and a very low wi-fi signal. Believe it or not there was no drop in quality or lag, so sound quality remained the same throughout. Kick ass!!

Now enter the Prime of all Primes, damn right this is better than Optimus when he got the Touch in the TF Movie in 86. The Slacker is radio evolved. Forget XM, forget Sirus, forget whatever they’re gonna call the two companies when they finally merge, Slacker one ups them by not just giving you commercial free tunes at CD quality sound, but the station you create can be downloaded to the player. That’s right the station you created on the Slacker website can be moved to the Slacker player. Want me to one up that? Ok, how’s this? Say you listen to a buddy’s station and you’re feelin it. Well you can add that station to your list and BAM you can download it to the player. Now you have his station on your player, music, image and all. You can do this through a wi-fi spot (but it has to be set up online) or you can also hook it up USB. The player itself has a large screen that's crystal clear and very sharp, plus its touch-based, however you also get buttons for maneuvering around the menu area. With the demo I played with, the touch buttons took some getting used to. But after a few minutes it was a breeze to handle.

I like my MP3 world because I can listen to the music I like, by my choosing. But I can see myself adding room for the Slacker player due to the fact that I can get all the artist I want, thru a listing that I created. It’s not like XM where yea I can choose the station I want, but XM is just like radio where I have to sit through artist I could care less about, when all I really want are the artist that are important to me. Give me Slacker player and its freedom of choice and I’m set. Look for a full on review soon, but until then head on over to the website by clicking the logo