The idea behind Slacker Internet radio is pretty cool: Tell the free service the kind of music you like and it will introduce you to similar new artists. And the Slacker Portable player lets you take all this musical goodness with you. The device uses Wi-Fi (or a plain old USB connection to your PC) to load customized "channels” that you create online and refreshes them with new tunes every time the device connects to a network.
An excellent concept, but the player is bulky, and it's hindered by buggy, unintuitive software and an unreliable touch-strip controller, which had me unintentionally pausing songs, switching stations, or skipping tunes many times during testing. Luckily you can disable it and use the scroll wheel instead.
Three flash memory capacities are available: 2GB, 4GB, and 8G. You can also add your own MP3 and WMA files, but most of the storage is reserved for Slacker files (AAC Pro V2). The device doesn't play videos or display photos, though the huge 4-inch, 480-by-272-pixel LCD is reserved for my favorite feature: perusing artist bios.
Shortcomings aside, listening to your customized stations on the go is a blast. It combines the surprise and discovery of radio listening with the ability to refine each station as you listen. Unfortunately, the player’s many flaws mean that only patient early adopters should tune in.Slacker Portable ReviewPrice range: $250 list (2GB)Check This Out:WinFast palmTop TV Review: Watch and RecordAPC UPB80 Review: Backup Battery for NotebookLive! Interest Notebook Ultra Review: Compact Web Cam for Your Laptop