Wired recently sat down with Broadband Instruments to talk about its new Slacker music service. In a nutshell, it sounds like a music-lover’s dream. Slacker is comprised of both a service and hardware device. The service will use either WiFi or satellite bandwidth to serve up music channels to owners of the Slacker player. Tons of music, lots to choose from, all that great stuff – think Pandora, except a bit more corporate.
Now here’s the kicker: the service is free. Yup, totally free, but you can only skip six tracks per hour on the service. That means if you keep on shuffling and get stuck with Kenny Rogers, you’ll have to wait it out. There’s also ads on the Slacker player itself, which features USB, touch sensitive scrolling, and a massive 4-inch screen. Expect to shell out $150 to $350 for a player depending on the size of the memory inside it.
So how does a company like Broadband Instruments make money out of all this? Well next month or so, they’ll be rolling out a $7.50 monthly fee which will allow you to skip tracks to your heart’s content and gets rid of banner ads on the player. This service sounds extremely promising and I’m curious as to how they’re going to market this. Either way, keep an eye out for Slacker if music is your thing and you like free service.