The other day, I got a chance to talk to Slacker (makers of the portable radio player, Slacker G2). I thought it was a pretty cool device and asked since it was wireless already, why not make the whole thing wireless by adding Bluetooth? The Slacker spokesperson nodded and told me that he could not tell me about that, but to keep an eye out for new developments. When I pressed him to see if they would do Bluetooth, he responded with a laugh and said he couldn’t say anything now.
He then explained how Bluetooth compresses audio and there may be quality issues for other music players when they try to use Bluetooth. The Slacker spokesperson told me that since Slacker uses AAC V2 compression, Bluetooth may be able to handle Slacker’s music without any loss of quality. This explanation on how the Slacker G2 could take advantage of Bluetooth coupled with the knowing laughs of the spokesperson convinced me that Bluetooth is coming.
I tested out the G2 player using a pair of Sony professional headphones. The higher the quality of headphones, the more you can hear the quality of the source audio. The audio fron the G2 sounded quite similar to a 128 kbps mp3 file. As previously mentioned, the Slacker uses AAC V2 and I believe it is at 48 kbps
If you are unfamiliar with their players, the Slacker G2 is a music player. You buy the hardware and you get 10 Internet radio stations on the device. The radio stations are free with purchase of the hardware. Plus, you can tell the player you like a song or don’t and the station will become more customized for you. The Slacker G2 uses Wi-Fi to get its music and when you don’t have access to Wi-Fi, the device stores a bunch of music on the player so you can listen to music anywhere.