Score One for Slacker

slackerThe New York Times’ Bob Tedeschi recently wrote an article comparing his experience listening to Pandora and Slacker on a Blackberry Storm and an Apple iPhone – the goal being to compare the music services, rather than the phones. Slacker won for several good reasons that are a quick lesson in what listeners are looking for in mobile streaming services.

Slacker has 2.4 million songs in its library, which “dwarfs Pandora’s roughly 700,000” says Tedeschi. Both Pandora and Slacker offered up personalized music channels based on the selection of a single artist or song, and then refined those channels as the user indicated likes and dislikes of songs as they played.

Slacker offers the ability to download an entire station onto the Blackberry’s SD card, for listening without a cell connection. Apandoratechnology that Pandora does not have. Both services offered easy ways to click and purchase songs.

Slacker’s sound quality was better, mainly due to the fact that Pandora adjusts sound quality to the user connection, minimizing sound files when the user is connected to 3G or 2G, and expanding them for wifi connections. But there’s a cost associated with that for Slacker…the better sound quality results in battery drain, whereas Pandora “hummed along happily”.

There are pros and cons for each service, and they’re both pretty good. But the takeaway here is that user awareness of mobile streaming technologies is expanding. Services that offer good user experiences are already out there and catering to the listeners. Want to play in the mobile streaming game? Make sure your platform and interface can keep up and keep your listeners happy…

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One response

  1. I’ve used both and have found Pandora a bit easier to use. But the numbers you provided were new to me so I did some checking and it turns out you’re right, it is really 2.4 mil vs 700k of songs, and that is enough for me to change the source of the rhythm that keeps me going 😉

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