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Slacker launches Songza-like music stations tailored to activities

Slacker Inc., a music streaming service, has introduced a new feature that it hopes will be a more personalized way to discover music through its app for Apple Inc.'s iOS devices.

The new feature, included in Slacker's app for iOS 7, lets users choose music stations to go along with their activities, such as working out or eating brunch with friends.

Users can choose from categories such as "Working in the Office," "Running" and "Daydream," which each lead to a selection of programmed, themed stations with names like "Classic Jazz" and "Reggae Brunch." It's a similar idea to Songza, which aims to help users discover the best music for their mood.  

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Slacker's new feature adds personalized music to its offerings, which include access to songs on-demand and themed stations set up by DJs targeting laid back listeners who may not want to create their own playlists.

Slacker's chief product officer, John Hayase, said the idea was to give users an option for when they don't want to listen to a series of songs all in the same genre.

“If you think about how people listen to music, its very contextual," he said. "Sometimes you want to listen to a genre, but often you want a soundtrack." 

There are about 50 activities to choose from in the feature, dubbed "My Vibe."

Slacker, which competes with streaming music services including Pandora, Spotify and Rdio, launched as a digital music service in 2010 and relaunched in February of this year. It has a free ad-based service and premium subscription versions that cost $4 to $10 a month. 

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