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Sansa slotMusic Player Review

on November 24, 2008 8:00 am

Is there a place in the market for another MP3 player? What if this one doesn’t require a computer in order to copy music, buy music, etc? Sansa is willing to gamble that the answer to both of those questions is yes, with their new slotMusic player. Keep reading to learn more…

Sansa SlotMusic package

The slotMusic player is unique because it has no internal memory of its own. Music is loaded via MicroSD cards that are either bundled with the player for $34.99, or sold separately for $14.99 each.

Sansa SlotMusic package contents

Package Contents

slotMusic player
Earbuds
1 AAA battery
Instructions

Sansa SlotMusic top

The player is cigarette lighter sized, with a plastic cover and aluminum body.

Sansa SlotMusic controls

On the long edge, you find the Play/Pause button (which doubles as a power toggle button when held down for several seconds), flanked by next and previous track buttons. A small status LED is also located on this side of the player.

Sansa SlotMusic earphone jack

On the top, you’ll find the volume adjustment buttons and a standard sized stereo earbud jack.

Sansa SlotMusic MicroSD slot

On the opposite side is a spring loaded MicroSD card slot.

Sansa SlotMusic cover off

The player is powered by a AAA battery. To load it, you just remove the plastic cover.

Sansa SlotMusic music package

The whole selling point of the slotMusic player is that a computer is not required in order to transfer music it. Instead, you purchase pre-loaded MicroSD cards with albums like this one – Spirit by Leona Lewis.

Sansa SlotMusic music package contents

When you open the CD sized package, you find liner notes like those that you would find inside the jewel box of a CD. But instead of a CD, the album has been saved onto a 1GB MicroSD card.

Sansa SlotMusic MicroSD card and reader

Also included is a plastic case and a handy little MicroSD USB reader. With this reader, you can save even more music on to the MicroSD card or copy the music to your computer. Yeah, that’s right, the music on these little cards does not have any DRM restrictions.

Sansa SlotMusic MicroSD card and reader

The music has been sampled at a decent bit rate and sounds good. As you can see, the tracks include album art. Also included on the card are the liner notes in PDF format.

Sansa SlotMusic MicroSD card and reader

I was unable to copy files to the card using my Mac as the card shows up as read only. Worked fine on my MSI Wind netbook though…

Sansa SlotMusic running

The player performs the same as other music players out there. The buttons are easy to press and have good tactile feedback. The only “problem” with this player should be obvious – it doesn’t have a display… That may or may not be a concern for some people. The other issue is that there isn’t a way to shuffle the music or find a specific track. For that fact, if you copy more music to the card, you have to use the prev and next tracks to find specific songs.

Besides those issues, probably the biggest deal is the availability and price of slotMusic cards. Right now, there’s only about 30 different albums available from different artists. The selection of albums is all over the place. Jimmy Buffett, Kiss, Weezer, Ne-Yo, Abba, etc. But if the availability doesn’t bother you, the $14.99 price per album probably will. That’s too expensive when you compare the same albums on iTunes and Amazon…

Example #1: Fame by Lady Gaga is pre-order for $14.99 from the Sansa store. But, you can download it right now on iTunes for $7.99 or buy the CD from Amazon.com for the same price of $7.99.

Example #2: Year of the Gentleman by Ne-Yo is $14.99 from the Sansa Store. But, you can download from iTunes for $9.99 or buy the CD from Amazon.com for the same price of $9.99.

The only feature that the Sansa slotMusic player has going for it is that it does not require a computer in order to transfer music. You can just purchase the slotMusic albums on MicroSD cards, pop them into the player and away you go. That would be fine if there were more (a LOT more) albums available for it. As is, this is a novelty player that really doesn’t have a lot going for it other than the $20 price tag. I suppose if you have some MicroSD cards laying around, it might make a nice little workout player though…

 

Product Information

Price:19.99
Manufacturer:Sansa
Pros:
  • No computer needed
  • Music has no DRM
  • MicroSD USB reader included
Cons:
  • Only 30 albums available so far
  • slotMusic album prices are higher than CD prices
  • Tiny MicroSD cards are easy to misplace

Comments

  1. 1
    DStaal says:

    I don’t see the player doing much, but selling the music on the cards might be successful even without it, if they can bring the price down.

  2. 2
    Julie says:

    DStaal:

    You make a good point about music distribution via MicroSD cards. I have to think that the cost of packaging music this way would have to be way cheaper than CDs.

  3. 3
    mel says:

    So if I like bought only the player and say a blank 8 or 16gb card and format it for a PC on my Mac, then I could probably transfer my MP3 files to this? I could create different cards for say, podcasts, an entire Beatles tracks collection, mixed hits, whatever. The only problem no shuffle function and no decent way to search.

    Anyone tried to format a blank card as PC on a Mac and then load MP3 onto it from the Mac using OSX?

  4. 4

    [...] winter I reviewed the slotMusic player from Sansa. I thought it was an ok player for $20, but the lack of display and CD music [...]

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