Slacker: Internet Radio for the Car

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Internet radio has been popular for a few years, and now it looks like one company is set to bring it to your car. Slacker, launched earlier this week, is a website where all you need is a browser to listen to dozens of stations playing everything from rock to comedy — all for free.

Now, the cool thing for satellite radio subscribers is that Slacker will release an iPod-like device this summer that will let you take your favorites with you — it stores a certain number of songs on the player. In the second half of the year, a car dock will go on sale that will receive updated radio information for the player via satellite signals.

Because the online service is free, there are commercials and you can’t skip more than six songs. If you want total control and no ads, that’ll cost $7.50 a month, well below the $12.95 Sirius and XM charge. The company says it can afford the price because it isn’t paying for a dedicated satellite, like the other two.

We’ve been listening to Slacker pretty much non-stop for the past day and love the song selection, channel choices and customization. The quality is about MP3 level, but much better than FM, and we didn’t experience any skipping or technical snags.

Slacker hasn’t announced prices yet for the line of players nor the car dock, but we’re guessing they’ll be in line with popular MP3 players already on the market.

What do you think? Could Slacker — or other competitors — kill the soon-to-be-merged Sirius and XM?

Slacker Website

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Former managing editor David Thomas has a thing for wagons and owns a 2010 Subaru Outback and a 2005 Volkswagen Passat wagon. Email David Thomas

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