I have had a slotRadio well before it was released to the public and over these last 6 months tried to wrap my head around where this product fits into the way people consume music. I’ve used it myself at the gym and in the car, let friends and relatives borrow it, discussed with other tech bloggers, and prodded lots of sales floor reps for customer reactions.
With all this anecdotal evidence I’m going to bet against it. However, it may be a risky bet on my part since it may be applicable to a market or demographic I don’t at all understand. For the last three or four years I have been reading and writing about digital media players as a full time job. This may have created a myopic point of view now allowing me to see that fringe demographic of music consumers that is still a substantial enough of a market to sustain a profitable product line.
For those who remember, Music Gremlin was the first MP3 player to offer wi-fi connectivity. It was tied into a music service that allowed for the automatic download of content much like the Ibiza Rhapsody and SanDisk’s own Sansa Connect. While I don’t know about the acquisition terms and what their plans are for the integration of MG into SanDisk, but this is rather troubling to me and I question the good that will come out of this acquisition for a few reasons.
SanDisk’s latest player the Sansa Fuze fits nicely in the family between the Clip and the View. How does the Fuze stack up? After just a few hours with the Fuze I can easily say that this is the best Sansa to date. The Sansa View was rushed to market and it shows in the details, but on the other hand you can tell that the Fuze got a lot more TLC.
The biggest improvement I have noticed is the snappier interface as you can see from the video below. The screen is also improved over the View and previous Sansas; it is more crisp and doesn’t suffer from that odd “shimmer” that e200 and the View had. Many of you have been curious to know if the sound quality is on par with great sounding Clip. So far I have been hard pressed to tell the difference on my Sennheiser HD650s (the Fuze does drive them to a comfortable listening level). However, I have only spend a few hours with it, so don’t hold me to it till the full review.
In the mean time, check some photos and video below.
There are a few problems with in-vehicle accessories such as player docks and other player specific accessories. Let’s say that you bought an iPod and had a dock professionally installed to look and work seamlessly with your car’s stereo or after market head unit. Then you finally see all the cool features and devices you are missing outside of the fascist iPod ecosystem. Now you have to tear out that incredibly slick install you just paid top dollar for.
IME has developed and answer to this problem with the IME Dock. The modular dock system will give you a clean install and allow you to upgrade your device across different brands. Each dock will power and supply audio and video line out to your factory stereo or after market head unit.
Currently docks for Microsoft Zune, SanDisk Sansa, and iPod. But IME also has future plans for other players and mobile phones. An interesting thing that I found out while talking with IME was that the Zune dock system has been selling the most preorders. Go Zune!
Soon to be released the dock system will sell for $250 and include one snap on dock for the brand of your choice. When you are ready to change brands a new dock will only cost you around $90. I will be checking one of these out as soon as they are released. This will be a very useful accessory for my massive collection of MP3 players.
This is the first of three Sansa Connects we will be giving away to celebrate the new site design. The first contest will be our spin on the guessing game. You will have to guess how many gigs are in the jar. Hints: You might want to browse the reviews to get an idea of what is in the jar; this may give you a better guess. Also, it may or may not be an exact number of gigs. Tiebreaker will be guess the number of songs on the players.
More photos and video are below to help you out, along with official rules. The contest will end Sunday and the winner will be announced on Monday. Good luck!