Last year I wrote that Pandora was my favorite streaming music application. I am now singing the praises of another streaming service that I find better for me because it gives me a better listening experience (more song choices and less repeating of songs) and provides a major bonus feature that was just released today on the Android platform. Slacker Radio announced station caching for the Google Android platform (already supported on the iPhone and BlackBerry platforms) with Slacker Radio version 2.0. I have been beta testing it for a few days and love that I can now cache music with Slacker and then enjoy that music on the airplane and in other areas where I am not connected to the data network.
Google AndroidYou will need the Radio Plus subscription ($47.88 per year or $4.99 per month) to use this station caching capability, but you can try out station caching with the free service for up to 14 days so you can see what you think. Station caching lets you select stations for caching (number is dependent on how much storage space you have available), chosen manually by pressing and holding on your preferred station. You can select to auto refresh the station so at night you then plug in your Android device (needs to have power connected) and make sure a WiFi connection is available to have music cached while you sleep. There is also the ability to perform this via a carrier data connection, but make sure you have an unlimited plan for this. I personally leave WiFi only mode enabled and let the refresh run like intended at night.
FYI, Slacker Radio Plus gives you more than just station caching. You also get ad-free listening, song lyrics, unlimited song skipping, unlimited song requests and more. I personally like the lyrics support and the ability to read the bios of artists.
With this new station caching capability, my Zune HD is sitting idle at home more and more as I rock out with my Google Nexus One. You can find the updated Slack Radio 2.0 for Android in the Android Market.