updated 05:00 pm EST, Wed January 14, 2009
SanDisk slotRadio player
SanDisk at the CES introduced the Sansa slotRadio player and accompanying slotRadio music cards, meant for casual music listeners who do not want to get involved with music downloads or subscription-based services. The small die-cast aluminum player has a 1.5-inch OLED screen that shows artist and song information for the tracks as well as the radio stations from the built-in FM radio tuner. A belt clip is included to allow for hands-free operation.
The simplicity theme carries on to the design of the player itself, as there is simply a play/pause button, power button and track/station and volume up and down buttons. Battery life is rated at 16 hours.
The slotRadio ships with a slotRadio card that includes 1,000 songs grouped by various genre-themed playlists from SanDisk's Billboard collection. Standard microSD cards will also be compatible with the slotRadio player. The 1,000 pre-loaded songs are grouped into rock, contemporary, country and other genres as well as chillout, workout and more themes. The songs cannot be copied or played on any other device than the slotRadio, and while SanDisk reps at CES hinted at the possibility of adding a few new tracks onto the device, they would not comment on either how much space is leftover or the overall capacity of the card itself.
At the same time, SanDisk showed the 2GB Rock Band 2 SD Card to expand the Nintendo Wii gaming console's 512MB of integrated storage, allowing users to download additional songs for the Rock Band 2 video game. The card will also save games progress in various titles, and can be used in digital cameras to take photos and then transfer them onto the Wii Photo Channel.
The slotRadio player will cost nearly $100 when it ships in early spring. Additional 1,000-song, genre-specific and themed slotRadio cards will be offered $40 each. The SanDisk 2GB Rock Band 2 SD gaming card will also begin shipping this spring, priced at nearly $13.
Sansa slotRadio player
slotRadio 1,000-track music cards by genre
SanDisk RockBand 2 SD Card