January 8, 2009

SanDisk Introduces Preloaded Memory Card-Based Music Player

SanDisk Corp, No. 1 producer of flash memory card devices, showed off its newest product addition on Wednesday "“ a portable music player that comes with preloaded 1,000 songs.

The Milpitas, California-based firm unveiled its Sansa slotRadio player alongside its own line of compatible memory cards, all of which come with preloaded music, at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.

The slotRadio device is intended for the not-so-tech-savvy music listener. Each card comes with preloaded tracks, which are organized by genre. Genres include rock, hip hop, country, among others selected from the Billboard's music charts.

The gadget features a die-cast aluminum casing with a 1.5-inch OLED display and an FM radio. It will be introduced for $99.99, and users have the option to purchase new slotRadio-compatible cards with a new mix of music for $39.99 each. The device will be available for purchase online and at RadioShack stores in early 2009, SanDisk said.

The slotRadio gives works more like a traditional radio station. The gadget doesn't allow users to skip backwards through previously played songs, and they don't have the option to delete, add or transfer songs to or from the card. The cards also are compatible with SanDisk's Sansa Fuze MP3 music players.

SanDisk has remained a distant No. 2 to the iPod, Apple Inc's popular portable music device. However, a spokesman for the company said SanDisk is a "strong No. 2" due to the fact that its market share is larger than Nos. 3, 4 and 5 combined.

At CES two years ago, SanDisk's Chief Executive Eli Harari said he intended the company to become a "consumer electronics powerhouse." But the company has had to deal with excess supply and decreasing demand for flash memory compatible products.

Previously, SanDisk introduced the slotMusic player, a DRM-free MP3 player shipping with microSD cards that have MP3s from EMI Music, Universal Music, Warner Music Group and Sony BMG.




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