Slacker Launches Premium Service, Hardware

San Diego-based personalized music streaming firm Slacker said Thursday that it has launched its premium services, and announced its first personalized radio players. The firm, which operates a service which allows web users to create their own "personal" radio stations said that it will begin shipping its Slacker Portable Radio Player in December; units are available for pre-order now, and start at $199.99. The hardware is shipping in conjunction with the firm's Slacker Premium Radio service, which adds the ability to skip an unlimited number of songs being streamed from the service; the new, $7.50 per month service also allows for "time shifting" of music through direct access to listener-created playlists and specific songs or artists. Slacker is venture backed by Austin Ventures, Centennial Ventures, Mission Ventures and Sevin Rosen Funds.