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Slacker’s Portable firmware update fixes some glitches

Yesterday Slacker released a firmware update that addresses some of the glitches I described in my post yesterday, including the WPA password key problem and some stuttering I was occasionally hearing twoard the beginning of songs (anathema for flash device). The firmware upgrade was transparent and the Portable now automatically connects to the last access point used, which is the way it should be. By the way, unllke the Zune, the Slacker Portable can sync over Wi-Fi even when it is running on batteries.

However, I’d still like to see better status reporting on the home screen (or maybe even in the less prominent About screen) when a sync is complete because clicking “Connect” to see the status starts a sync again.

Glitches aside, it’s worth noting that the Slacker Portable provides a positive and unique portable music experience, picking up on some of the best aspects of last year’s innovative Sansa Connect, which unfortunately was tied to a premium music service that is slated to be shut down.

Slacker’s PR team also tells me that the Portable’s battery is indeed removable by inserting a pin into what looks like a reset hole.


  1. Darrell Darrell March 12, 2008

    You might want to do a little more fact checking with regards to the Zune. The Zune CAN synch over WiFi without being connected to the computer.

  2. Ross Rubin Ross Rubin March 12, 2008

    Indeed, but, as I noted, it has to be plugged in to sync over Wi-Fi.

  3. Darrell Darrell March 12, 2008


    No. The Zune does NOT have to be connected to ANYTHING to synch over WiFi. I know this first hand. There are 3 Zunes in my house – all 3 synch over my home network and they are usually only docked to the computer for recharging.

    Or am I missing something?????

  4. Ross Rubin Ross Rubin March 12, 2008

    Ah, ok. Here’s the deal. The Zune can sync when it is not plugged in. However, it will not sync automatically unless it is plugged in. Since the Slacker Portable must be manually synced over Wi-Fi, advantage Zune. Thanks.

  5. Ross Rubin Ross Rubin March 12, 2008

    By the way, I should clarify that by plugged in, I mean “charging”, not necessariliy connected to a PC.

  6. Yevon Yevon April 1, 2008

    I just returned my portable a few days ago and got a Samsung P2. Warning to all considering this device: this device should have a giant BETA sticker slapped on the front because it is very much so. There are some things that it does (and doesn’t) do that make the $200 or so price seem ridiculous.

    Ex: Screen stays on while charging through PC or the wall adapter, no video playback, poor codec support, poor build quality (seriously, I thought I broke it when I took off the battery cover), major stuttering even with latest firmware, and a terrible music selection algorithm compared to desktop and online players.

    Other than this it rocks. Don’t let me dissuade your decision though, they need all the money they can get.

    BTW – returning the Slacker Portable is a bitch. I literally had to take a quiz. No joke.

  7. Jeremy Jeremy April 2, 2008

    Again worth noting here is that I have a Slacker Portable and as soon as I plug it into the wall at home, it automatically connects to (and syncs) over my WiFi network, no manual connection needed. So it seems they both may behave similarly (although I have no Zune to compare to, however the Slacker WiFi sync is automatic).


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