SanDisk is bundling its new $99-suggested Sansa SlotRadio player with a SlotRadio (MicroSD) card preloaded with 1,000 MP3 songs in multiple genres. Thousand-song cards in specific genres are also planned at a suggested $39.99.
The player and preloaded cards are targeted to time-pressed consumers who lack the time or patience for downloading individual songs or ripping their own CDs, then transferring them to an MP3 player.
The preloaded songs are locked to their cards, cannot be copied and cannot be played back on any device other than a SlotRadio player or on Sansa Fuze players due by late in the first quarter. The future Fuze players will be compatible with SanDisk's locking technology.
The company expects the SlotRadio player and bundled card to be available March 2009 for purchase at Sansa.com, Sandisk.com, and more than 4,500 RadioShack stores. The genre-specific cards will be available shortly after that through Sansa.com.
The bundled card features tracks in multiple genres, picked from Billboard's lists of top-charted songs. The genres are organized into playlists labeled rock, contemporary, country, "chillout" and "workout."
At least seven separately sold genre-specific cards will be available shortly after the player's launch. Billboard-selected top-1,000 songs in the rock, country, modern rock, decades and Latin/World genres will account for six cards. The seventh card will be promoted as 1,000 Daily Motion songs, or "music that moves with you throughout your day."
"One thousand hand-picked songs in your pocket with zero downloads makes enjoying digital music easier than ever," said senior VP/GM Daniel Schreiber.
Last year, SanDisk teamed with the four largest music companies to launch 1GB MicroSD cards with preloaded songs at a suggested $14.99. The cards, called SlotMusic cards, are sold with unrestricted MP3-format music playable on any MP3 player, including cellphones, that play MP3 music.