SanDisk unveils 'slotMusic,' a flash-based competitor to CD music

Logo SanDiskPre-loaded with MP3 tunes from the "big four" labels, SanDisk's DRM-free, microSD-based, USB-enabled slotMusic cards will be sold during the upcoming holiday season in Best Buys and Wal-Marts.

SanDisk today anounced "slotMusic" -- a new service to sell memory cards pre-loaded with DRM-free music from major record labels -- just three years after trying to launch a similar service dubbed "gruvi." Revolving around microSD, a flash memory format created by SanDisk, slotMusic will be supported by "big four" record labels EMI, Sony BMG (soon to become SMEI), Warner, and Universal.

During the upcoming holiday season, Best Buy, Wal-Mart, and other US retailers will begin to sell microSD memory cards pre-loaded with MP3 music in their brick-and-mortar stores. In a statement, SanDisk said that the service will subsequently be launched in Europe. Users will be able to play back MP3 music tracks from the cards at up to 320 Kbps.

The MicroSD format is used mostly in smartphones but also in some MP3 players, including many of SanDisk's own Sansa models. SanDisk plans to package the slotMusic microSD cards in small USB sleeves for playback on laptops, desktop PCs, in-car audio systems, and other devices outfitted with USB connectors.

BetaNews notes that many laptops also contain SD slots which are capable of using content formatted in microSD. Apple's briskly selling iPhone, however, does not contain either microSD or SD slots. It has a standard iPod connector which connects to USB on the opposite end, but it has no mini-USB.

The 1 GB slotMusic cards are capable of holding songs, videos, album art, liner notes, and other content chosen by artists or record labels, according to officials. Also, users will be able to download other content onto the cards.

Either the stars are coming into alignment on their own, or someone is helping to put them there. SanDisk is already a major provider of Sansa MP3 players to Best Buy stores; and up until very recently, Sansa players with RealNetworks' Rhapsody was supported by Best Buy's online music store. Last week, Best Buy acquired the Napster brand for what some would say was...well, a song. So now, a new distribution medium, the IP owner of that medium, a household name brand in music, and one of the nation's largest music retailers all seem to be allied.

Meanwhile, some observers are questioning whether this new approach to selling music will appeal to either remaining buyers of music CDs or the generally younger users who are accustomed to downloading MP3 songs, often free of charge. As analysts have noted before, especially for BetaNews, CDs and MP3s constitute very different sides of the music market.

By and large, MP3 downloads are most popular among teenagers. Further, many of those teens are downloading the songs on to portable devices from Apple, said Mark Best, an analyst at JupiterMedia, in an earlier interview.

"But adults still tend to like to have something they can hold in their hands, and they like to 'own' their music," he added. In many instances, digital downloads constitute more of a "rental" than an "ownership" model, according to the analyst.

SanDisk hasn't yet specified pricing for the slotMusic music cards, and the "big four" records labels haven't announced how many titles they plan to release on slotMusic cards.

SanDisk's earlier "gruvi" -- an effort launched in 2005 which failed to grab hold -- called for selling preloaded music and video on flash memory cards that could also accommodate downloaded content. The gruvi cards carried a steep suggested retail price of $39.99, however. And unlike the DRM-free slotMusic service, the gruvi cards came with their own DRM, although gruvi content could be moved around between devices.

Source: BetaNews

Tags: MP3, SanDisk

Comments
Add comment

Your name:
Sign in with:
or
Your comment:


Enter code:

E-mail (not required)
E-mail will not be disclosed to the third party


Last news

 
The 41 million Galaxy S8/S8+ units that the company reported it has shipped in 2017
 
A new survey from Loup Ventures finds Apple iPhone users are falling into a predictable upgrade cycle
 
 
The company might do away with the Android Wear moniker in favor of “Wear OS”
 
But still no third-party Lightning to USB-C cables
 
Jolla confirmed Sailfish OS will now be supported by another Sony smartphone
 
A complete line of accessories will be available of $1,899.99
 
The Snapdragon 700 Series will allow you to capture content during the day and night
The Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017) Review
The evolution of the successful smartphone, now with a waterproof body and USB Type-C
February 7, 2017 /
Samsung Galaxy TabPro S - a tablet with the Windows-keyboard
The first Windows-tablet with the 12-inch display Super AMOLED
June 7, 2016 /
Keyboards for iOS
Ten iOS keyboards review
July 18, 2015 /
Samsung E1200 Mobile Phone Review
A cheap phone with a good screen
March 8, 2015 / 4
Creative Sound Blaster Z sound card review
Good sound for those who are not satisfied with the onboard solution
September 25, 2014 / 2
Samsung Galaxy Gear: Smartwatch at High Price
The first smartwatch from Samsung - almost a smartphone with a small body
December 19, 2013 /
 
 

News Archive

 
 
SuMoTuWeThFrSa
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
2930     




Poll

Do you use microSD card with your phone?
or leave your own version in comments (9)