Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Sansa Connect At $15/Month, Costs More Than Satellite Radio

An iPod Rival With an Edge
Music Player Uses Wi-Fi Connection; No Search on Device

May 2, 2007; Page D10, WSJ, Mossberg Solution

Since its introduction in 2001, Apple Inc.'s iPod has taken over the portable-music-player industry, gaining steam each year and rolling over competitors one after the other. Its simple interface, navigational scroll wheel and iTunes software program make it a pleasure to use -- and impossible for other companies to beat. To stay fresh, Apple regularly introduces iPods with thinner builds, lighter weights, longer battery lives, brighter screens and new functions.
But despite improvements on the original iPod, none has enabled interaction with other players or wireless Internet connectivity -- two features that competitors are eager to offer so as to chip away at iPod's huge market share. Microsoft Corp.'s Zune music player, for example, was shipped with built-in Wi-Fi, enabling song sharing -- albeit limited -- with nearby Zunes.
Apple is about to bring out its own wireless music player in the iPhone, which combines a full iPod with Wi-Fi and cellphone connectivity. But so far, it's unclear whether you'll be able to use the iPhone to download or share music.
This week, I tested San-Disk's $250 Sansa Connect player, a collaborative effort from SanDisk Corp., Yahoo Inc.'s Yahoo Music and Zing Systems Inc. that comes with built-in Wi-Fi for more than just limited sharing with other players. Unlike the iPod, which must be plugged into a computer to load new music, Sansa Connect can play and download content on the player whenever a Wi-Fi network is available, including photos, Internet Radio, songs from Yahoo's music store or recommendations from friends....read more: here

5/02/2007 06:44:00 AM

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