I am an intense lover of nearly every genre of music there is, except Country and some Spanish music. Other than that, you can find me reading with some Mendelssohn, Mozart, Beethoven or even the Three Tenors in the evening, bumping Bone Thugs ‘n Harmony on the way home, head banging to Rob Zombie and Korn while cleaning the house and ‘chilling’ with some Ravi Shankar or Jimi Hendrix trailing from my Eastern themed black light room.
In short, music means a lot to me. My BlackBerry also means a lot to me, and I don’t like a lot of clutter in my bag, so I expect my BlackBerry to multi-task and fully fulfill my ever changing demands. Unfortunately for my 8900 Javelin, its owner is a female Virgo with a constant need for connectivity and a discriminating need for well working applications, even if they cost some to guarantee the quality.
Luckily, all of today’s application showcases are free of charge, the only requirement of which you must have a BlackBerry phone.
Slacker Radio is the oldest app of the bunch for me. The newest version of Slacker Radio as of this writing is the 2.0.2, available here (OTA). When you initially download and startup Slacker, you can create an account on the BlackBerry application or can use an existing account created online from your PC. The great thing about Slacker is that any channels, favorites and settings you may have on the website version carry over to your BlackBerry and vice versa.
Clicking on the ‘Upgrade’ button will open a new browser session and invite you to try Slacker Radio Plus for free for 7 days. The upgrade boasts Unlimited skips, no intermittent ads, unlimited song requests and complete lyrics for the karaoke singer in all of us. I continue to use the free version.
I really like Slacker for its gorgeous visuals such as the iPhone-esque album presentation. Another feature that brings Slacker above and beyond its counterparts is the ability to cache certain stations. When you cache a station, you can sync the stations when you connect you BlackBerry to your PC. This alleviates buffering time and lags between songs.
Pandora for BlackBerry debuted in July 2008 but was only available to AT&T, Sprint and Verizon customers until BlackBerry’s App World launch on April 1st. By the way, if you haven’t gotten BlackBerry App World on your phone, it’s a must have. You can download it HERE. So, after April 1st, T-Mobile was included in the party and now is downloadable for all four carriers by going to www.pandora.com/blackberry on your device browser or through App World.
It is best to have an existing account with Pandora through your PC. Through the web portal it is easier to customize your channels and add variety. Whatever changes you have made on the desktop or web interface versions will carry over to the application on the BlackBerry.
Thirdly, I recently discovered and downloaded FlyCast while browsing through the BlackBerry Owner’s lounge. You can download it OTA from your device browser and through BlackBerry App World. FlyCast is appealing because you’ve got 1500 different channels to choose from, including my very favorite NPR. There are a plethora of other channels to choose from such as R&B, Rock, Classical, Opera, Talk Radio and much more. FlyCast also gives you the option to Favorite different stations so that you can access them more quickly.
So, to sum it all up:
Slacker has the best aesthetics and innovative features. Pandora is the most reliable. FlyCast has the largest variety.
Download one or download them all, one of them will surely meet your needs!