Slack off

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

There are a number of reasons to like Slacker Radio.

The first is the most obvious -- it's the name, stupid. Many of us work hard to cultivate the "slacker" brand.

As you may already know, Slacker is an online service that lets you generate your own radio station. You select a favorite artist, and an entire free online radio station is shaped around that musician's style.

Take Katy Perry, for example. The one-time Christian artist who now sings sassy songs like "I Kissed A Girl" is a staple of my newly created station, which also includes Amy Winehouse, Lily Allen and the Jonas Brothers.

While I typically enjoy Slacker on my computer at work, I see no reason why my tunes have to depend on an internet connection. Obviously, neither do the folks at Slacker. So they've created the Slacker G2 personal radio player, available at

The G2 comes in two palm-size models. The 4-GB version ($199) stores up to 25 stations (created by you or Slacker) or 2,500 songs. The 8-GB version ($249) stores up to 40 stations or 4,000 songs. Both models have a 2.4-inch screen that displays album covers and artist bios.

The music on both is unlimited, free and personalized to your tastes. New music is loaded onto the player automatically whenever and wherever you have Wi-Fi access. This gadget also stores and plays your own AAC, MP3 and WMA music files.

Slacker offers a premium service for as little as $7.50 a month (with a one-year commitment) that allows users to request songs, save tracks directly to the G2, skip an unlimited number of songs (free subscribers only get to skip six songs per hour per station) as well as avoid ads and DJ patter.

In true Slacker fashion, there are no playlists to manage. Purchase a G2 and the folks at Slacker will preload your favorite stations so you don't have to exert a single musical muscle. And as a true Slacker would expect, the G2 comes with a 30-day, risk-free trial.

By the way, since this week's Alive features our Ultimate Bar Guide, allow me to placate my editor by directing you to YouTube, where entering the search words "Tooheys Beer" will serve up an Australian commercial of a dreamy blonde who uses a certain body part to open beer bottles in a way you won't soon forget.

Check it out, you Slacker.

Got a gadget question or a high-tech toy to recommend? E-mail