SanDisk Puts Its $$$ Where Its Slot Is [Yet Again]

SanDisk's $100 Sansa slotRadio player we reviewed previously is another attempt to convince us to adopt the music/media "format of the future" — which is, of course, the company's microSD card. Last year, you may recall SanDisk launched a huge print marketing campaign that featured billboards of people next to the phrase "Sally found her slot" (yes, I know). The idea was simple: First make consumers understand it's possible to pump music into a phone via memory card. (OK, we got you)... Then try to get them to purchase albums on individual, 1GB cards... for $15 a piece. (Uh, no thanks!). First of all, if you ask major labels what the real format of the future is, they probably won't say the microSD, but CMX. Secondly, they're pushing a proprietary player and mix cards with 1,000 songs culled from the Billboard Charts, as if that's appealing on any level. Here's what's completely asinine about this (and forgive me for re-stating much of what Joel's said previously): 1) A lot of people don't want to hear just 1,000 "hits." They want 10,000 micro-hits. Why not give it to them? That's right, storage is very expensive and hard to come by... Oh wait, no it's not. 2) NO ONE wants to carry and organize potentially hundreds of little microSD cards. Yes, they are small, which makes 'em easier to cart around, but even easier to misplace. Let me buy music digitally (with awesome bonus content/videos, etc.), so I can shove the files I want to hear onto a 32GB card. 3) Instead of zero onboard memory for $100, you can get an iPod Shuffle with 4GB of space for $79. If you don't like the idea of random tracklists, then you can spend $150 for an 8GB iPod nano. Hate Apple? You can pick up an 8GB Zune for $110, which is $10 more than the Sana SlotRadio and won't require you to fuss with physical cards. Good luck, SanDisk! [via Uncrate]
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17 Responses to SanDisk Puts Its $$$ Where Its Slot Is [Yet Again]

  1. nutbastard says:

    what i’ve always wondered is, why do no PMPs have USB ports and a basic file browser built in?

    if i could plug my 1TB drive straight into, say, an ipod touch, and navigate through and drag shit over… i’d be all about that. thumbdrives, too. i still wouldn’t buy thumbdrives of music but being able to walk into a brick and mortar and legally download an album from a kiosk would be awesome.

  2. phisrow says:

    @AKBAR56: I think that the basic problem with this particular option is that, already, there are devices that can do everything it can, and more, cheaper(Like, for instance, Sandisk’s own Sansa models.) I have nothing against the notion of a cheap, internal-storageless player to pop cards full of music into; but when the storageless special purpose player costs twice as much as my 4GB model, which is from the same company and has the same expansion options, I wonder what is being smoked.

  3. Steven Leckart says:

    If I’m going to pop cards into anything, it’ll be a phone which I already carry. That’s what I did with a Nokia I carried. 8GB of my iTunes library hand-picked.

    Why anyone would buy a 1GB card every time a new album comes out is totally beyond me.

  4. subliminati says:

    What if other businesses wasted a decade trying to push nonsense like this and CMX?

    “Hey, I’ve got a great new car to sell you. It costs twice as much as other new cars, and is far less fuel efficient than your 98 carolla. It also has to be driven on special roads that haven’t been built yet. And it can’t cross state lines.”

  5. Rodney says:

    I don’t understand your #3. You compare Sansa’s slotradio player against other mp3 players w/o mentioning Sansa’s own offering. I got a Fuze for $79. It has 4GB internal and infinite via microSD. Also, radio, video, recording and photos in a very nice piece of hardware (they have a really great feel–so solid).
    Also, I just spent 2 months traveling Europe with my girlfriend. We both had Sansas so were able to swap huge libraries in seconds with no computer needed.

  6. Steven Leckart says:

    @Rodney: Yes, you’re right. But now that we’re talking about the Fuze, why on Earth would anyone want a slotRadio player instead of a Fuze, for $100?

  7. Slurpy says:

    So when we don’t want a Microsoft OR an Apple MP3 player, where should we turn?

  8. nutbastard says:

    at least the sansa clip is still a decent offering from sandisk, but yeah. nobody cares if sally found her slot.

    and if you just wanted billboard hits, you can turn on any friggin radio and get those all day, every day, over and over and over again. invariably, it’ll be interrupted by morning zoo douchebags and cringingly asinine mcdonalds ads, but hey, if you’re into billboard hits, that kind of brain damaging aural garbage is probably right up your alley anyways.

  9. strider_mt2k says:

    We’ve had these on sale at Rad Schmack and it’s difficult to keep the cobwebs from building up on the display.

  10. Steven Leckart says:

    Don’t forget to dust the slots ;)

  11. word_virus says:

    @16: Sansa! Just.. not this one.

  12. brianary says:

    I don’t know, I think digital distribution and physical media can co-exist. Competition is generally good, right? Especially within an otherwise price-fixed copyright monopoly. OK, perhaps not.

    Maybe I’ve got a soft spot for Sansa, since I use an e280 (with a microSD slot and 8GB built-in memory) running Rockbox, but I can see occasionally buying an album on microSD, copying the songs I like to built-in memory, and never having to turn on a computer to download and transfer/sync. This would be more likely while traveling where Internet access is not a given, or when I don’t have my main sync computer (maybe I’m carrying a netbook instead).

    This format also seems reasonable for local artists to sell at concerts, rather than expensive-to-produce and inconvenient-to-carry CDs.

    Technically, CMX could be put on a microSD card, but of course CMX will be laughed out of the market.

  13. word_virus says:

    > blah blah iPod shuffle blah

    Or for half as much money as that iPod shuffle (and with more features and twice the capacity) you can get sansa’s own Clip mp3 player.

    That’s the bit that’s got me scratching my head about this thing.

  14. Fernando says:

    CMX is a file format. MicroSD is a storage device. The one cannot replace the other.

  15. muteboy says:

    @ #5 – right! I have a Clip 2GB which cost me less than $40. Its great, and I have no idea what they are playing at with this SD card thing.

    I got a free sample of a slotRadio card, with a bunch of songs on it which I deleted. It came with a tiny plastic microSD reader. So I got a free 1GB stick! Nice.

    @ #4 – They just tend to give away regular USB sticks. A super-cheap 256MB has plenty of room for goodies.

  16. akbar56 says:

    @8 Nutbastard

    The Sansa E260 I use has just that. I never use any kind of “managing” software to load my music on. Just open up the drive and plop it in. Same goes when i use its expanded memory on the SD card.

    An argument for SD cards:
    I have a primary set of music that I have full on my device that I listen to at random of the complete collection. Occasionally, I want to play something else but don’t want to hear it on my normal random play (ie a set for working out.) Plop in the SD card that has the specifics I want and I am good to go. When im done, pop out the card, reboot and then I am back to just my normal regular random stuff.

    The main point against this argument I see is why the vitriol against it? Aren’t more options filling more needs better?

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