PORTLAND, OR, United States – It seems that online streaming radio stations are the most preferred way to consume music for those who live an Internet-heavy lifestyle. I’ve gone through the the migration from using CDs and then to buying tracks via online services one at a time. Now, with ubiquitous high speed data at home and while on the go via 3G cellular networks and Wi-Fi, I don’t carry much music on me at all via my mobile devices – I prefer to stream it.
Now, in the United States, we have some great choices for streaming music online. Pandora and Last.FM started the online streaming movement and now other players have risen up as well. My brothers in Europe are blessed to have Spotify and while there have been rumors suggesting a US Spotify launch, this is not a reality. However, another great option that has popped up onto the scene is Slacker Radio.
Launched earlier this year on Symbian^3 handsets, Slacker Radio has been around for a few years, making inroads with their stellar music service via their website. Now, to take their service mobile, Slacker has released an app written in Qt that makes it possible to stream music wherever you are.
To get started, you simply load up the application any Symbian^3 device. I’ve used the application on the Nokia N8 and the newly released Nokia Astound. You’ll be prompted to create an account or sign into your account if one already exists.
Slacker Radio has millions of songs on the service. If you’re not sure what you want to listen to, over 130 professionally set up and customized genre stations have been created. As songs play on whatever stations you’re listening to, you can rate songs as favorites to keep more songs like it coming or ban songs as they play. Giving music a favorite or banning a song is as easy as pressing the heart or crosshair, depending on your feeling.
One favorite feature I like with Slacker is the ability to get more information about an artist. If you’re curious about a particular artist, you can pull up basics such as artist and album name, along with lyrics (full lyrics with pro subscription) and an artist bio if you so wish.
A major complaint of those who regularly listen to Internet radio is the lack of news and current events coverage. For those hungry for news, ABC News is available for hourly news and other features.
Slacker Radio is available in the Ovi Store – in the States – for those who want an amazing music streaming experience. You must have a Symbian^3 phone to take part.