Saturday, August 15, 2009

Sansa slotMusic Player Review by Jerry Tubbs

What I Love/Hate about the new "Sansa slotMusic Player." know them...they make the memory card that turns your digital camera into a Photo mat booth (for pics) or a film studio (for vids). They turn your phone into a data warehouse of addresses, appointments, applications and "tune"-age. They make thumb drives so dense that you can carry the digital equivalent of a set of encyclopedias on your key ring.

When you make something (memory cards) in a way that is so ubiquitous, why do anything else? And after my trial run with the new SanDisk Sansa slotMusic Player...I'm still asking that.

Don't get me wrong, I love MP3 players, but after 10 years of having one...I'm spoiled, and as much as I love SanDisk products, it's a love/hate relationship with this one.

I love that fact that is pocket-sized, this one will remind you of a Zippo lighter......and like the coolest Zippo lighters...the slotMusic player comes with a my case the sample was the artist "Akon", but it would be easy to imagine getting a wrap with your favorite artist on it.

I hate the fact that it's got a wrap on it instead of a display! What tune am I on...hello??? Guessing what track I'm on went the way of the dodo bird when I finally listened to my last cassette tape in..hmmm...1985?

I like the fact that it's battery powered...I hate MP3 players that have rechargeable batteries that develop a "memory" and can't be replaced. Nothing worse than a 30 minute treadmill run ahead of you and your Mp3 player dies in the first minute...with this player I can snap in my own rechargeable and carry a spare!

I love the ear buds....normally hate them because they fall out of my ears constantly...but the set that came with these are they friction fit my ears. First time I've been able to wear ear buds AND be in motion without constantly re-inserting them.

I hate the fact that the sound was so-so....hey folks, you are dealing with perfectly reproduced digital music...make sure the "speakers' can handle it.

I love the fact that the controls were so simple...on/off, skip forward/skip back and play/pause. But hate 'em as well...I was listening to an artist that was new to me, and a compilation that was new to I didn't know Track 1 from Track 13...without a display I had to rely on an eerie sense of Déjà' Vu when I had tried to skip to the next song unsuccessfully 3 times in a row.

And finally, I love/hate the one the thing SanDisk does so well....the reason for theSansa Media Player to even exist...the Micro disk that stores all your tunes and makes the player play.

I love that this Micro card is less than 1/2 the size of a postage stamp and thinnerthan an ATM card, this mighty midget carries an IMPRESSIVE 1 gig of memory. And SanDisk anticipated my next question, and provided a USB convertor, so I was able to slip the chip out of the player and in to my computer...where I discovered a photo gallery of the artist, full length videos, all the songs AND...about 400 Megs of left over memory, to boot.

I also hate that the Micro card is so small. In fact, for the first time, I can sympathize with women who lose the back to their earrings...drop this card on a dark carpet and you’re in for an all out "down on your hands and knees" search for hours.

I love the fact that the Micro card comes in its own plastic carrying case...thesecards are so small and so thin, you want to protect them.

But, I also hate that the Micro card comes in a little plastic case with the artist’s picture on it. I know you are trying to bring me back to my old "album art" days ...but I left those days on purpose. Imagine if Barbie had a record collection...that's the size of the case this Micro card comes in ...with a postage stamp sized picture of Akon glued to the front.

My first thought was, I just weaned myself away from the old CD Carrying silly am I going to feel bringing a carrying case for a couple hundred plastic postage stamped sized album covers...not gonna happen. Remember when you could spend a whole afternoon trying to match CD's to their empty cases? Imagine trying that using a magnifying glass.

Packaging...gone the way of the dinosaur when the MP3 player arrived. It's the very reason why the IPod was so revolutionary in the first place...a jukebox without all the baggage. I can carry thousands of artists with me without the packaging...that's the freedom of an MP3 player, freedom from packaging, freedom from media....dangerous words for a media company.

Okay, I don't hate the thing...but, what's it going to take for me to love this player?

1) A display...I gotta know who/what I'm listening to and a way to navigate quicker thanskipping through my entire collection a song at a time.
2) One BIG memory card, not hundreds of little ones. I want a multi-gig card that USB'sto my PC so I can manage my library with ease, and that can slip into my phone or my player with the same ease,
3) Wraps with MY favorite artist on it.

Maybe I just need to remember what I am dealing with. After all, what would you expect from a basic $20 player that was designed to be cheap yet allow you to listen to the slotMusic. Maybe what I need is the new slotRadio player with it’s built in display, get a large capacity memory card for all my tunes, and a nice pair of ear buds.

Until then, I will remain Micro card free....and loving it.