Back in September, it appeared as the Zing, a Flash-based Wi-Fi-enabled music player with the un-Zune-y ability to download tracks wirelessly from an Internet service. At CES, it was re-named Connect and announced as part of SanDisk's successful Flash-player lineup. Now it's shipping—4GB of internal flash memory, 2.2-in. TFT color screen and a microSD slot for expansion up to 8 gigs, for $250. Today's news is that it comes with a bunch of Yahoo-related perks.
When you're in Wi-Fi range, your Yahoo ID will get you over-the-air LAUNCHcast radio, access to Flickr, and the ability to see the music played by Yahoo Messenger friends, if you have any. (You can't send IMs though.) If you subscribe to Yahoo's Music Unlimited To Go service, you can download straight to the device, and even pick up music that your friends are playing.
It's a pretty cozy setup, but it does raise the question: what happened to Rhapsody? Last fall, SanDisk and Rhapsody were friendly enough to co-brand a player . We asked, then, if the relationship really stood a chance. I guess this is our answer.