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.
SanDisk’s latest update for the Sansa Fuze fixes a bunch of bugs and adds further improvements and features. One of the more notable features is the addition of File/Folder browsing, something many Fuze fans have been campaigning for since its release. Additionally they have added a normalization feature called “Replay Gain” which basically keeps the sound normalized (same volume) throughout the song or album.
Finally, the biggest update is the addition of slotRadio support. Below are a few screenshots of the implementation and a quick overview.
Remember the SlotMusic Player? Similar idea and concept, SanDisk announces the slotRadio. This whole idea of very easy to use / ready to go digital music is what the “slot” genre players are all about. The slotRadio is $100 and comes with 1,000 Billboard Chart songs hand selected separated into various genres. The user will simply select the type of music on the player’s 1.5” OLED screen.
The catch is you will not be able to move the songs off the player, so it’s not like getting 1,000 songs at 10 cents each, though these cards will work in other mSD card players like the Sansa Fuze. Additional cards can be purchased for around $40 each with 1000 songs of a specific genre.
I’m still quite bearish on this new type of music format on a memory card. Possibly because I have yet to meet someone that would fall into this purchasing demographic. Or it could be that I’m working on no sleep for the last two days. I will opine further after I have had a chance to check it out first hand tomorrow. Press release after the jump.