Sansa Clip+ could boost slotMusic and slotRadio

SanDisk's Clip+ looks like a much better deal for playing preloaded slotMusic and slotRadio cards than the dedicated players built for that purpose.

SanDisk's new Sansa Clip+ sounds like a solid choice for an inexpensive MP3 player, but I'm more interested in how it could boost SanDisk's slotMusic and slotRadio--two types of microSD cards preloaded with music.

The new Sansa Clip+ lets you load music from a microSD card. 2009 CBS Interactive

When first announced last year, slotMusic seemed like a misfire: I couldn't imagine why consumers would pay almost the same price as a CD for a microSD card loaded with lower-quality files. The release of the $19.99 slotMusic player changed my opinion a little bit , but it still seemed too limiting: the only way to get music onto the device through microSD cards. I had the same problem with the slotRadio player, which came out earlier this year--yes, it comes with 1,000 songs for only $99, and you can add additional blocks of 1,000 songs for $39.99, which is great if you're not too picky about your music. But I am .

The Clip+ doesn't force any such choices. For your control-freak moments, you can sideload MP3s (and nearly every other type of music file except, inexplicably, AAC) from your computer, or attach a microSD card of your own making. Or, if you just want to add a bunch of new music without fiddling around with ripped CDs, downloads, and USB cables, you can use slotMusic albums or slotRadio bundles. Add the other features--voice recording, FM radio, and support for Rhapsody--and this seems like an amazing deal for a very flexible portable music player.

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About the author

    Matt Rosoff is an analyst with Directions on Microsoft, where he covers Microsoft's consumer products and corporate news. He's written about the technology industry since 1995, and reviewed the first Rio MP3 player for CNET.com in 1998. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network. Disclosure. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mattrosoff.

     

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