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Last.FM needs to respond to this Challenge.

  • Last.FM needs to respond to this Challenge.

    "NEW YORK (Reuters) - Fans of Internet radio who want to listen to their favorite stations away from the computer will soon be able to do so with a new digital music player called Slacker.

    The new gadget, by a San Diego-based start-up of the same name, aims to compete with Inc.'s (Nasdaq:AAPL - news) and in-car digital radios offered by (Nasdaq:XMSR - news) and (Nasdaq:SIRI - news).

    Slacker, which has the backing of three of the four biggest music companies and hundreds of independent labels, also launched its own Internet radio stations at this week.

    Fans can customize radio stations using their computer and listen to them on Slacker Portable Radio Players, which will retail from around $149 starting this summer. Stations are loaded via Wi-Fi wireless Internet connection.

    The device will also be able to play and audio files, and and formats, to compete in an increasingly crowded digital music player market that includes offerings by mobile phone makers.

    "The hardware player is critical," Slacker Inc. Chief Executive Dennis Mudd said in an interview on Friday. "This is going to be the first personalized radio that's really portable," he said.

    Personalized radio online allows users to customize music based on similar artists and genres, and has been made popular by other start-ups including and Pandora, as well as Yahoo Inc.'s (Nasdaq:YHOO - news) Launch.

    The company also plans to offer in-car digital radios with the Slacker Satellite Car Kit.

    "I expect that we'll be competing with several people but not directly because we're creating a new category," said Mudd.

    Slacker said it has signed music licensing deals with Sony BMG Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group and hundreds of independent labels, and has around 2 million tracks at launch.

    It said it also agreed terms, but not signed deals yet, with Warner Music Group (NYSE:WMG - news).

    Slacker's founders have a strong pedigree in the digital music industry. Mudd was previously chief executive of Musicmatch, an online music company which was sold to Yahoo in 2004. Slacker's president is Jim Cady, former chief executive at Rio, a digital media player maker. Jonathan Sasse, vice president of marketing, is the former chief executive of iriver America, another media device maker.

    Mudd said Slacker is backed with $13.5 million in funding and employs around 50 full-time employees."

    • Oldbean sa...
    • Användare
    • 16 mar 2007, 23:59
    I challenged Last.Fm to make their system measure user's listening patterns with some semblance of accuracy but they didn't step up to that...

    • mXc sa...
    • Användare
    • 17 mar 2007, 02:13
    Milkshake8 said:
    Mudd said Slacker is backed with $13.5 million in funding"

    Being that its associated with ipod I wouldn't be surprised if 90% of that goes toward advertising.

  • I wonder if they have ANYTHING that is on my charts, besides Metallica and Black Sabbath...

    • [Raderad användare] sa...
    • Användare
    • 25 mar 2007, 21:43
    What challenge? No indietronica, no shibuya-kei, no ... pfft.

    • [Raderad användare] sa...
    • Användare
    • 25 mar 2007, 22:16
    argonianslave said:
    I wonder if they have ANYTHING that is on my charts, besides Metallica and Black Sabbath...

    You have the charts of a physchopath. Though it looks like thats what you're going for.

  • iPod Killer?

    "At this point, WiFi-equipped DAPs aren't completely novel, but they're still novel enough to command a good deal of attention -- especially when they're coming from companies like Sandisk through collaborations with Zing. In fact, the $249 Sansa Connect bears a truly striking resemblance (both physically and in user experience) to the reference device Zing was showing off last year -- much more so than its distant cousin from the same Zing drafting board, Sirius' Stiletto. Though the Sansa Connect obiviously loses the Stiletto's satellite radio capabilites, it dominates the Stiletto (and the Zune, for that matter) in its effective use of 802.11 airwaves. Why most manufacturers have yet to pick up on the WiFi formula for this class of devices, we don't understand, but hey folks, it's easy: give us streaming, easy PC-free downloading, and firmware updates over the air. We're all awash in hotspots at this point, so let's take full advantage, yeah? The Connect is tied to Yahoo! Music Unlimited for its subscription download model and streaming radio, and we've gotta say, a WiFi DAP really brings the model into its own. It almost trivializes the need for serious storage in the device -- this one makes do with 4GB plus microSD expansion -- because you can get literally any music in Yahoo's catalog whenever you have a data connection handy. All of Yahoo's features carry over, too: ratings can be saved from the Connect, album art is downloaded in real time, and you've even got Messenger on here. All of LAUNCHcast's stations are available to stream, and of course, you can build your own station based on personal tastes. And for users of other services that employ secure WMA, rest easy: you'll be able to pull your songs into Yahoo Music Jukebox (or, if you subscribe to Unlimited, just grab the song again if you're so inclined). We tested this with URGE and it worked like a champ."

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