SanDisk detaches music from the PC with Wi-Fi downloads

SanDisk has announced a second partnership with a US online music service, its new Sansa Connect portable music player providing direct Wi-Fi access to Yahoo!’s subscription-based downloads.

SanDisk detaches music from the PC with Wi-Fi downloads

Last year SanDisk, the second biggest supplier of portable players in the US, began pre-loading music from Real Networks’ Rhapsody service on its Sansa e200 players. But the tie-up with Yahoo! goes further. The flash-based Sansa Connect can connect via any open Wi-Fi connection to download tracks. It can also listen to LAUNCHcast Internet radio, browse Flickr photos on the 2.2in colour screen and find what the user’s Yahoo! Messenger friends and other Sansa Connect owners nearby are listening to.

When it is not connected to a Wi-Fi network, the player behaves like a traditional Flash MP3 player and can be connected to a PC. Users can play music and view photos stored either on the player or on an optional microSD card.

‘The Sansa Connect is a new breed of music player,’ said Daniel Schreiber, senior vice president and general manager for SanDisk’s Audio Video Business Unit. ‘It untethers consumers from their computers, and allows them to get new music and share their recommendations anytime, anywhere – over an open wireless Internet network.’

It certainly differs from Microsoft’s Zune. Microsoft has made much of Zune’s Wi-Fi capabilities, but they are restricted to ‘squirting’ tracks between Zunes, and then they can only be played up to three times on the receiving player.

Sansa Connect is currently available only in the US.

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