Samsung on Friday announced a brand new music service called Milk that provides free music streaming to owners of Samsung’s Android devices. Powered by Slacker Radio, Milk operates similarly to an old radio dial, in fact, most of your interaction with the application will be done through a dial-based user interface that let’s you quickly scroll through stations (genres).
Milk has access to more than 13 million songs and has 200 genre-based stations and custom-curated stations, the latter of which we’ve seen from other options like Beats Music. The best part is that it’s all entirely free and there aren’t any ads, though you’re limited to six skips per station per hour. You don’t even need to log-in to the system – just launch the app, pick a station and get going.
We had a chance to play with Milk for a bit this morning and think it’s a really compelling offer, and it adds even more value to Samsung’s handsets. The whole system works really well, and Samsung caches some songs so that they start playing immediately without any lag. It’s a nice touch for that radio feel; moving around the dial really does feel like you’re tweaking a radio station tuner, and there’s even a little bit of haptic feed back as you pass through each station.
Like Pandora and other services, you can also create your own station – we made one, and the system will play similar songs and artists. It goes a bit deeper, however, and you can “Fine Tune” a station to play more or fewer popular artists, newer or older tunes, and more or fewer favorites. Again, it’s powered by Slacker so if you’ve used that service then the prediction engine is really similar, but with a few more features.
We have a few gripes, though. For one, the system doesn’t allow you to save songs or stations for offline playback. That feature is coming in a few months, but it’s not available now (even though songs do cache enough that they start playing immediately when you do have a connection). Also, Milk doesn’t provide any information on artists, you’re instead only offered a brief bit on the station that’s playing. These aren’t huge complaints, though. After all, it’s free.
Samsung also promises that it’s going to start adding exclusive content. If you remember, the company partnered with Jay-Z for the Galaxy S4 launch and offered an exclusive on his album. In the future, those sorts of special offers will populate through Samsung Milk. The first artists with exclusive Samsung content coming will be announced during SXSW.
You can find Milk in Google Play right now, and it’s supposed to work on the Galaxy S III, Galaxy Note II, Galaxy Mega, Galaxy S4 mini, Galaxy S4 Galaxy Note 3 and, soon, the Galaxy S5.