updated 03:25 pm EDT, Tue September 5, 2006
SanDisk Sansa Base Station
As most accessory manufacturers for portable audio still develop with the iPod primarily in mind, rivals are left to create their own hardware ecosystems to encourage new buyers. SanDisk is the most prominent of these challengers and, accordingly, announced today a dock made just for its new Sansa c200 and e200 players. The new Base Station serves as a multi-purpose hub for the flash-based players, connecting to a computer through USB to ease the sync process or to a set of speakers for direct music playback. SanDisk also ventures beyond Apple's current iPod dock by including an IR remote with the Base Station to let Sansa owners control music wirelessly without an extra purchase. The dock ships in October for $69.