I used to use XM Radio back when it was actually just "XM Radio." I liked the fact that there were so many curated radio stations with actual on-air personalities. I knew about Slacker but only recently decided to try it. Except for the abysmal [lack of] customer service that I've received so far, and this is a huge issue for me, I actually love Slacker and am currently using the Premium subscription. I really like the ability to create stations based on whatever artists that I choose and unlike Pandora, Slacker actually plays the artists that I choose! What a novel idea that is. I stopped using Pandora long ago except for an occasional listen, because it never plays the artist around which I created a station and never seemed to play "similar" artists that I'd even heard of. –Not that some of them weren't good, but it always felt like the service was free because they play mainly unknown artists, so I lost interest a long time ago.
As for Slacker, again I'm really loving it but I so wish that there was a local app like Spotify as that would be a much nicer and much preferred way of searching for, organizing, and playing music. –But that's just my preference. I really like the actual "radio feel" that Slacker has with occasional voiceovers from actual DJs as well as specialty channels like the Top 50 Rock songs of the century, i.e. 2000 to present, hosted by Chris Daughtry. It's basically a playlist but Chris' occasional commentary is a very nice touch.
I would highly recommend Slacker and given that it's one of the few internet radio services that allows access with even free accounts, there's nothing to loose. You have to first create an account at the website, then if you want to use it on a mobile device you can download the app and log into your account in settings. For some reason though, the app does not prompt you to log into your account. I actually had to search for the log-in screen. The real beauty of Slacker is in finding the stations that you really like and then you have an in-depth level of customization that is far superior to Pandora. Of course Slacker Radio is far superior to Pandora in every way, at least from my perspective. If you really like it, a $3.99 subscription removes all adds, gives you unlimited skips, and allows you to cache stations for offline listening (though I don't know how many) and a $9.99 subscription adds the ability to play music on demand, though not all tracks in their library can be streamed on demand due to specific licensing arrangements for particular artists. however, unlike Spotify, Slacker has the Beatles, and they play often on certain channels.
However, there's one thing that I can't seem to figure out, and since Slacker isn't answering my emails I thought I'd post it here. With my premium subscription I'm supposed to be able to cache up to 25 different stations for offline use. I want to do this for a road trip over Thanksgiving as much of my drive is mountainous and lacks cellular access. I don't see any place to tell the iPhone app to download, i.e. cache the content. I see nothing on the main screen or on the screen of an actual station and nothing in settings. Can anyone here tell me how to do this?
Highly highly recommended by this user!