SanDisk Sansa slotMusic MP3 Player Review

by Michael Kwan on April 23, 2009

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If you are looking to take your music with you on the go, you have a lot of options these days. If you want to stick to the most popular brand out there, then you can opt for any number of different Apple iPod models. If you prefer the offerings of Redmond, Washington, then you can take a look at the Microsoft Zune. If you dare to be different, you can consider an iRiver or a Creative Zen. And let’s not forget about the abundance of music phones too.

People who are new to the MP3 playing phenomenon may be a little overwhelmed or intimidated by what such a player may require. Typically, you’d have to look into some sort of software solution on your computer so that the music can be loaded onto the player. If you’re staying legal, you’ll also need to find a good online source to buy your digital tunes. That can sound quite daunting for a technophobe.

The Sansa slotMusic MP3 player from SanDisk is supposed to simplify the process, making it easier for anyone to enjoy their digital music without having to deal with messy software or any kind of real installation. Does it succeed? Let’s find out.

Starting with the ABBA Pack

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While you could buy the slotMusic player on its own, it’s not very useful on its own. As such, SanDisk is offering the Sansa slotMusic in a variety of “bundles” as well. The version that I received to review is the ABBA Edition. I may not be much of a Dancing Queen and it wouldn’t be my first pick if I were to purchase this, but this bundle does give you a good indication of what to expect.

With the regular player, you get the unit itself, a battery, and a set of headphones. By opting for a bundle, you get started with your first microSD memory card, preloaded with ABBA music in this case, as well as a special edition shell that wraps around the player for added style.

The packaging is attractive and well-branded. In addition to the ABBA edition, you can also find variants that come with branding and memory cards featuring Akon, Connie Talbot, or Robin Thicke. They all currently retail for $34.99.

The Transitional Music Player

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In many ways, the Sansa slotMusic player is very much meant to be a transitional device. For years, we were accustomed to going to a physical store, picking up some sort of physical media, and playing that music on some sort of player at home. Maybe you remember buying a record. Maybe you were around for eight-tracks. Maybe you didn’t get in until cassettes and CDs hit the scene. Whatever the case, the typical process involved something in your hands.

With a typical digital download, there is no physical exchange of media. With the Sansa slotMusic system, there is. You go to the store to buy an album, just like you did before, except the album has been saved onto a 1GB microSD memory card. This is just a regular SanDisk memory card, so you can use it for other purposes as well. Inserting the card into the player, you can then play the MP3 files found within.

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