Slacker adds offline playback for the iPhone

slacker station casting

AT&T recently changed their data plan structure by limiting the amount of data a new iPhone user can consume each month. The cheapest plan allows for just 200MB per month which can be very limiting if you want to enjoy all the Internet has to offer. Thankfully some app makers are watching out for their iPhone users, they are adding features to help reduce the amount of 3G bandwidth they consume.

Slacker has released an update to their iPhone app to help out those who are watching their bandwidth consumption closely. They have now added station caching on the iPhone; the feature has been available on the Blackberry and Android since February. According to cnet, the iPhone app will cache 100 songs initially, but as you listen to those stations, the app will start to download more songs to the cached station, to a maximum of 500 songs.

The station caching will help iPhone users conserve bandwidth by allowing them to cache their radio station using a Wifi connection and then listening to it on the go without having to consume any of their mobile bandwidth.

The iPhone app is free to download and use but to take advantage of the station caching you have to get a Slacker Plus subscription which is $4.99 per month or if you pay for the year it is just $47.88 which is $3.99 per month.

Image courtesy of cnet.

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15 Comments

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Dinggus said,
I still have Unlimited Data for my iPhone. Wonder if it's going to change.

If they change it - most likely you can cancel your contract without penalty, and keep your phone.

This is one of the many reasons that mobile operators do things like offer reduced 24 month contracts - because then at the end they can hike to the "real" price, and if you arent happy then people change their contracts - at which point they can change anything they want.

Dinggus said,
I still have Unlimited Data for my iPhone. Wonder if it's going to change.

There is no change. As long as you stay with a smartphone (iPhone, Windows Mobile, Andriod, Blackberry etc) you can keep the unlimited data plan. However if you ever drop the data plan or change to one of the new 200MB or 2GB plans you cannot go back and you loose your grandfathered status.

Whats the point in caching if its only in the monthly paid version. with those $5 bucks I would rather just get the 2 GB plan instead and I'll be able to use more than just this app.

TechDudeGeorge said,
Unlucky for the US... I top up £15 an get unlimited Texts and 500mb a month on O2-UK PAYG

The US relies much more heavily on mobile phones and wireless data than Europe. Not to sound condescending, but the US is more "modernized" than most parts of Europe, yet they both use the same technologies: the same kind of cell towers, the same networks, ect. This basically means that the US carriers need to deal with much higher demand than Europe does. Which means they need to put harsher limits on things like these so that they can provide service to all the customers.

Conjor said,

The US relies much more heavily on mobile phones and wireless data than Europe. Not to sound condescending, but the US is more "modernized" than most parts of Europe, yet they both use the same technologies: the same kind of cell towers, the same networks, ect. This basically means that the US carriers need to deal with much higher demand than Europe does. Which means they need to put harsher limits on things like these so that they can provide service to all the customers.

I'd say western Europe at least is just as modernized as the USA.

Conjor said,

The US relies much more heavily on mobile phones and wireless data than Europe. Not to sound condescending, but the US is more "modernized" than most parts of Europe, yet they both use the same technologies: the same kind of cell towers, the same networks, ect. This basically means that the US carriers need to deal with much higher demand than Europe does. Which means they need to put harsher limits on things like these so that they can provide service to all the customers.

I wouldn't agree the US is more modernized at all, the UK has better broadband and mobile phone networks than the USA from what I hear. Yes i do realise one state is the US is like the size of the UK so its a lot harder for new technologies to be rolled out to everyone in the US.

Some countries in Europe put both the US and UK to shame when it comes to advances in Technology.

Mobiles are used just as much in Western Europe(if not more), and we have a greater population density which means more users per cell site, however our network operators have built enough sites. Which is what the american networks need to do.
In the UK, some operators have even signed up to share cell sites.

Although the price of data in the UK is actually going up on some networks.

As wireless data is becoming more mainstream. I find those who rely on wireless data more, to be less organised, or use it as a business tool.

What humours me is the number of people doing "work" whilst out of the office.

Actually, no complaints from me here about the new AT&T data plans. It will save my wife and I $30 a month. I've never broken 100MB and she has only hit 160MB once since last August.

For our usage, this is a good thing. For power users who stream radio and all sorts of other stuff, I can see how this hurts. Hopefully features like this will become more common in apps to allow for cached playback.

zeke009 said,
Actually, no complaints from me here about the new AT&T data plans. It will save my wife and I $30 a month. I've never broken 100MB and she has only hit 160MB once since last August.

For our usage, this is a good thing. For power users who stream radio and all sorts of other stuff, I can see how this hurts. Hopefully features like this will become more common in apps to allow for cached playback.

+1 same here

200MB a month? I'm on T-Mobile UK PAYG, if I topup £10 a month I get free internet and texts, the fair use policy is 50mb a day, it's funny how crap AT&T is.

thealexweb said,
200MB a month? I'm on T-Mobile UK PAYG, if I topup £10 a month I get free internet and texts, the fair use policy is 50mb a day, it's funny how crap AT&T is.

I am so glad I am not a "new user", I have unlimited use. But then again, once the iphone is released to sprint and verizon, I am not sure how many people will actually stick with AT&T or become a new user at AT&T.