SanDisk Sansa Clip+ MP3 Player Keeps the Bizarre slotRadio Dream Alive

Remember slotRadio, SanDisk's anachronistic plan to load microSD cards with sometimes-DRMed music, as if they were CDs? It was strange! Also strange: SanDisk still believes in it, and they've even produced a second, fuller-featured player, called the Clip+.

The core concept hasn't changed since it was introduced, so here's a quick refresh: The first tier of the system is a fairly literal update to the CD, in which customers pays around $15 for a DRM-free MP3 album on a microSD card. The second, and potentially more interesting, part of the plan is slotRadio, which upped the SD card content to 1000 songs, the price to $40, and the DRM warning level to "Critical." It didn't win too many fans here (or anywhere), partly because it was a flawed concept, and partly because the player sucked.

And for what it's worth, the Clip+ looks like a better piece of hardware. Alongside the slotMusic/Radio shtick, it's a fairly standard entry-level MP3 player—a direct update to the popular original Clips—with an FM radio, anywhere from 2GB to 8GB of storage, and prices from $40 to $70, and—this is notable, sadly—a way to navigate your music via a one-inch OLED screen. For its benefit, you should probably just think of the Clip+ as another one in the growing pile of commoditized low-end MP3 players, that just happens to support one of the most misguided marketing ploys the music industry has ever seen. The players will be available online tomorrow, and in stores on the 13th of September. [SanDisk]

SanDisk Debuts Sansa Clip+ MP3 Player – Offering Big Sound and Tons of Features in a Tiny, Stylish Package

New microSD Card Slot Extends the Fun Indefinitely, Letting Consumers Listen to Thousands of Additional Songs in Seconds

MILPITAS, Calif.—(BUSINESS WIRE)—SanDisk® Corporation (NASDAQ:SNDK), the global leader in flash memory cards, today announced the Sansa® Clip+ MP3 player. The new Sansa Clip+ MP3 player comes equipped with a new microSD™ memory card slot that enables consumers to listen to thousands of additional songs effortlessly.

microSD Card Compatibility Offers Major Music Enjoyment:

As the successor to the best selling full-featured sub-$100 MP3 player in America, the Sansa Clip+ MP3 player is fully compatible with SanDisk slotRadio™ and slotMusic™ cards, as well as any microSD card pre-loaded with music. By sliding any of these cards into the new Sansa Clip+ memory card slot, music lovers can instantly listen to premium songs and handcrafted playlists without consuming any of the device's onboard memory.

* slotRadio cards: SanDisk slotRadio cards (starting at $39.99 MSRP, U.S. only) give consumers immediate access to some of their favorite styles of music, including Rock, Country, Oldies and Hip Hop/R&B. Most slotRadio cards contain 1,000 songs** featuring chart topping artists from the Billboard® charts.
* slotMusic cards: Consumers can also insert a SanDisk slotMusic card into their Sansa Clip+ MP3 player's microSD card slot to plug-and-play the latest albums (on microSD card) from today's hottest artists, as well as greatest hits' compilations from past decades (cards start at $14.99 MSRP, U.S. only). slotMusic cards make music portable and can also be used in mobile phones with a microSD card slot that can play MP3 files, computers with a microSD USB reader or an SD card adapter, and even some car stereos with a microSD USB reader or SD card adapter.
* Custom-loaded microSD cards: Consumers have the option of inserting a microSD card loaded with their own music library to listen to - up to 4,000 additional songs1 per 16GB card - which again adds interoperability with other devices, including mobile phones that are microSD card compatible.

Tailor made for budget and time-conscious music fans looking for the best MP3 player for the money, the Sansa Clip+ MP3 player offers outstanding sound quality; long-lasting rechargeable battery; bright, easy-to-read screen, and compact wearable design.

"We made a great product - the Sansa Clip - even better," said Eric Bone, vice president, retail product marketing, SanDisk. "This small player packs big features, including a new microSD memory card slot that gives music lovers the ability to listen to thousands of additional songs in seconds. It's the perfect player for travelers, busy moms, fitness buffs or anyone looking to enjoy music without the hassle of loading songs from their computer or updating playlists."

The Sansa Clip+ MP3 player is expected to be available at sandisk.com and bestbuy.com on Aug. 31, and at other retailers nationwide on Sept. 13. The device will be available in Canada and Europe in time for the holiday season. The music player comes in a variety of capacities, including 2-gigabytes* (GB) of onboard memory for up to 500 songs1 for $39.99 (MSRP), 4GB which holds up to 1,000 songs1 for $49.99, and 8GB, which has an up to 2,000-song1 capacity for just $69.99.

Consumers can show off their style by choosing the Sansa Clip+ MP3 player in red, blue or black. (Capacity and associated colors vary.)

Sansa Clip+ MP3 Player Features:

* Superior sound – one of the best sounding MP3 players on the market
* microSD expansion slot which is compatible with slotRadio and slotMusic cards and any standard microSD card
* A wearable clip for hands-free portability and effortless enjoyment of digital music on the go
* Large(1"), bright (OLED) screen with a simple user interface that makes it easy to choose playlists or songs sorted by title, artist, album, genre
* FM tuner with 40 presets for listening to sports, tuning in at the gym or your favorite music station
* Built-in microphone to record thoughts while on the go
* Equalizer mode to fine tune the listening experience
* Rechargeable, lithium ion battery with up to 15 hours of life2 - one of the most competitive battery performances for an MP3 player of its size on the market today
* Solid state flash memory for skip-free playback of music
* Support for many music download and subscription services including Rhapsody®, Napster, eMusic and others
* Designed to work seamlessly with a wide range of music formats, such as MP3, WMA, WAV, FLAC, Ogg Vorbis and Audible files (for audio books), in both unprotected and protected files

The Sansa Clip+ MP3 player is the first Windows 7 certified MP3 player (along with the Sansa® Fuze™, Sansa® View, and Sansa® Clip portable media players). This compatibility simplifies the user experience and offers a smooth transition to the forthcoming operating system.

The Sansa Clip+ MP3 player updates SanDisk's Sansa audio/video product family, which includes the popular full-sized Sansa Fuze MP3 player, SanDisk slotRadio™ player, SanDisk slotMusic™ player and the companion SanDisk slotRadio and slotMusic cards.