Pandora may be the Web’s best-known personalized radio service, but it’s not the best one. That honor belongs to Slacker, which just upped its game by adding caching to its iPhone app. The new feature lets you download thousands of songs to your iPhone, listen to Slacker’s customized stations when you don’t have an Internet connection, or a reliable one, or you just want to conserve battery life. And as the Slacker folks are pointing out, it may prove especially appealing for folks who sign up for AT&T’s new, not-unlimited-anymore data plans–they can cache music over Wi-Fi, then listen without eating up any wireless data.
(When you tell Slacker to cache, it advises you to do so over 3G only if you’ve got an unlimited data plan–that alert will take on new meaning once there are iPhone users who don’t have unlimited data.)
Missing, at least for now, is the automated night-time caching feature that’s available on Slacker’s Android and BlackBerry versions. Maybe Slacker will add it once iPhone OS 4 is out and it can make the downloading happen in the background.
Dave Zatz liked this feature when he tried it a couple of weeks ago, and I do, too. It’s a point in favor of Slacker’s $4.99 a month Plus service; you can try it out for two weeks for free. After the jump, some screenshots.