Musical overachiever

Accessing hundreds of programmed stations and your custom collections from on your BlackBerry is just one point this app has going for it. Storing stations for offline use is another.

Don't be fooled by Slacker Radio's freemium BlackBerry app--it's not just loafing around. After logging onto your account, you'll be able to choose among your favorite and custom stations, and all of's genre-based programming. A stream of overlapping album art stands out on the app's dark-themed interface, keeping track of the songs you've listened to and those yet to come. Familiar buttons let you pause, skip, save, and ban songs.

From the BlackBerry's menu key, you'll be able to view stations, plus artist and album info. You can also reset your messages or the entire account, and shut down the Slacker app, which will otherwise conveniently continue to play in the background while you do other tasks.

Surprisingly, multitasking is only this application's second best feature. Honors go to its ability on BlackBerry to cache stations as they play and store cached stations on a Micro SD card. The process of plugging your device into your computer to get Slacker Radio to recognize the cached stations is an unfortunate and sometimes inconvenient step we hope its developers will overcome, but other than having to be in short range of a computer, it at least is painless. When Wi-Fi wobbles and 3G cuts out, clicking on a cached station is a windfall for any serious listener. Subscribers to Slacker's Radio Plus service also get the benefit of the lyrics tab, provided by Slacker Radio Partner LyricFind where lyrics are available.

Now if we could just send custom station creations to our friends, we'd stick a fork in this app and call it done.

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