It was first shown at January's Consumer Electronics Show--and then leaked on Buy.com just days ago--but the Sansa TakeTV is now official. It's not the first device designed to put PC-based digital videos on the TV, but what sets SanDisk's TakeTV apart is its simplicity: just drag and drop videos to the flash drive from your PC, and then plug it into the included video dock to watch them on your TV. The straightforward operation is a notable counterpoint to most other PC-to-TV digital video alternatives, which involve either cumbersome direct hook-ups (video and audio runs … Read more
Thanks to its position as a memory chip manufacturer, SanDisk is a master at cost competing in the portable audio space, and although companies such as Creative Labs are now tagging at about the same level, SanDisk's initial aggressiveness earned it the No. 2 spot in sales (behind Apple, natch)--and a reputation for producing cheap MP3 players. The company's latest device, an ultracompact model dubbed the Sansa Clip, is no exception: The 1GB model comes in at a mere $40, while the 2GB is on offer for a no less reasonable $70. But don't let the … Read more
According to a report yesterday in The Wall Street Journal, Yahoo's restructuring plan will likely involve significant cutbacks at Yahoo Music, including the shutdown of one or more of its subscription-based services.
In fact, it looks like Yahoo has already removed all links to its Yahoo Music Unlimited To Go service. The service, priced at $11.99 per month, allows users to transfer files to a compatible portable device. The service now can be found only by conducting a search, and I'm not sure if Yahoo is accepting new customers for it. That leaves Yahoo Music Unlimited, which … Read more
You may recognize the name Sansa View, but that's about all SanDisk's new video MP3 player has in common with the original View announced at CES. SanDisk essentially went back to the drawing board, which is why it's taken so long for the official View to surface. Rather than a screen-dominated PVP, you get an e200 with a sleeker design, a beefed-up (2.4-inch) screen, and a larger--but still thin--body (4.3 inches by 1.9 inches by 0.4 inch). It's a smart move, since more users are inclined toward compact players than dedicated PVPs. … Read more
Wednesday morning I visited the new Menlo Park, Calif., headquarters of Zonbu, makers of the low-cost, service-supported Linux computer I mentioned last month (here). I met with Zonbu CEO Grégoire Gentil, who gave me an overview of the company's business plan and a demo of the system. He also offered… Read more
(UPDATE: RealNetworks has filed an 8-K form with the SEC that contains some more details about Rhapsody America. Most notable: MTV is contributing a $230 million note to the deal, and RealNetworks will in exchange be required to spend that amount with MTV on advertising. The joint venture is between RealNetworks and MTV, with Verizon as a distribution partner.)
The 2007 Consumer Electronics Show must've held some awkward moments for Microsoft.
If there's one buzz topic that has laptop fans excited right now, it's the transition from traditional platter-based hard drives to solid state drives (like the one in your iPod Nano). These drives, like that flash memory stick hanging off your keychain, have no moving parts, give off less heat, and require less power to run--all good things if you're packing a few thousand dollars worth of battery-powered technology into your carry on bag.
This week, the National Association of Broadcasters converges in Las Vegas for its annual convention, a show we here at CNET usually ignore; after all, while the typical CNET reader may have a room dedicated to the worship of the moving image, we don't expect to see a TV studio in an adjacent shrine. And no, producing YouTube videos doesn't count. However, interesting prosumer news floats down every now and then, and Sony's announcement of its flash-memory-based XDCAM EX camcorder landed gently on my keyboard this morning, via Engadget.
In fact, I usually ignore Sony's XDCAM … Read more
We were sure, at first glance, that these were MP3 travel mugs. But that explains why these items aren't marketed at consumers of our advanced age bracket.
The SanDisk "Sansa Shaker" is aimed at younger types with its bright pink and blue hues, as Engadget points out, as well as more conventional specs such as 512MB of storage, an SD flash card slot and a built-in speaker. But the most curious attribute is an cryptic "interactive 'Shake' feature" that remains to be disclosed, along with pricing and availability. We're not too concerned: Whatever it … Read more