Gadget of the Week - Sansa slotRadio

With the slow demise of cassette tapes and CDs, many folks are finding it harder to take their tunes on-the-go. It’s not that they don’t want to. Once upon a time, they proudly strapped on their Sony Walkman or cradled a portable CD player. Instead, it’s now become rather complicated. Many people, especially the senior set, are not comfortable downloading digital music onto their computer and then transferring it to an iPod or MP3 player.

Well, now there’s a pretty cool alternative for these folks: the Sansa slotRadio from SanDisk, manufacturer of the already popular and easy-to-use Sansa line of flash-based MP3 players.

The Sansa slotRadio is a small, stylish, portable music device that comes bundled with a slotRadio card preloaded with 1,000 songs handpicked from the Billboard® charts. The songs are professionally arranged into a variety of genre-themed playlists. Additional slotRadio cards are also available, each with a themed selection of another 1,000 songs.
The slotRadio is clearly targeted toward those individuals that don't want to fuss with downloading, storing, or managing music on the PC or Mac. Instead of installing software and downloading music file-by-file, the user just has to pop the card in the player and enjoy a near-endless supply of full-length tracks.

The additional cards are $39.99 each and there is a current choice of rock, country, hip hop/r&b, and oldies, with more coming soon. Each card is subdivided into 7 playlists – for the rock card, there is classic rock, hard rock, alternative, etc. While you can navigate between playlists and skip through songs, you can't delete songs or skip backwards. The preloaded music cards are interchangeable with any slotRadio player and are also compatible with the Sansa Fuze line of MP3 players.

The player itself has a 1.5-inch OLED screen – in black and white – that scrolls song information and displays which "channel" you are listening to (as well as station information when you are listening to the built-in FM tuner). Equipped with a belt clip, the slotRadio is small enough to fit comfortably in a pocket. The screen has no video or photo capabilities.

If you know someone who’s looking for an easier solution to music on-the-go, the slotRadio is a terrific gift idea. Just don’t try and pass it off on your digitally savvy kids in place of an iPod or an MP3 player. They may prefer the freedom to organize and manipulate playlists that those music players provide!

The Sansa slotRadio Player is available for $99.99 online through the Sansa web site and at more than 4,400 RadioShack stores nationwide.

Comment by TK, posted 5/6/2009, 2:02 PM:

What a great concept! I've been waiting for something like this to put me back on the music grid... I fell off when ipod came about - and I have stacks and stacks of records and CDs I can't (or rather, won't venture and spend the time to) rip. This sounds like something designed with me in mind! yay!
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