SanDisk Sansa slotMusic MP3 Player Review

by Michael Kwan on April 23, 2009

Expanding with microSD Memory Cards

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While iPod owners may boot up iTunes to search for new music, owners of a slotMusic player would instead go to an online retailer or a brick and mortar store to buy a physical album. Understandably, the selection will be much more limited that a vast online library, but you are not restricted to just what SanDisk sells.

Of course, they’d love if you bought all their tunes from their cards, but that’s not necessary. Each 1GB slotMusic microSD card sells for a flat rate of $14.99, which is quite the good value when you think about how much it would cost to buy an “empty” microSD card of the same capacity. The current selection of slotMusic cards include Lady Gaga, Coldplay, All American Rejects, and Solange.

If you have other (non-DRM) MP3 files kicking around on your computer, those can easily be saved onto the microSD card as well and played through the slotMusic player. The player comes with a USB microSD card reader, so you don’t have to worry about that part of the equation either.

Simplified Controls for a Simplified Player

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If you’re looking for all sorts of robust features and advanced functions, you’re going to be sorely disappointed with this offering. In many ways, you could say that the SanDisk Sansa slotMusic MP3 player best competes against something like the iPod shuffle. There is no display, no battery indicator, no complex controls.

Near the standard 3.5mm headphone jack are the two buttons to adjust the volume. On the side of the player are three additional buttons. These get you to the previous track, advance to the next track, and operate the play/pause. The play button, when held down, is also the power button.

Want to shuffle? Sorry. Want to navigate playlists or check different folders? Sorry. You have to realize that SanDisk was trying to keep this as simple as possible and this will be very frustrating for more experienced users. If you’re comfortable with other MP3 players, you’ll probably be disappointed by what the slotMusic can do.

Buying More Music

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Buying a new album for the slotMusic player, as mentioned, is much like buying a music CD at your local store. The packaging looks pretty much the same with the same sizing and the same song listings on the back. This is meant to add to the familiarity of the situation, but it adds a lot of completely useless packaging.

Remember that the only piece that holds any substance at all is that fingernail-sized microSD card. The paper sleeve and the large plastic insert are just there for show. Interestingly, each album also comes with an extra USB microSD card reader. These are inexpensive, to be sure, but SanDisk could have reduced the price of each album by removing this inclusion.

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