SanDisk, Yahoo release Wi-Fi MP3 player

SanDisk and Yahoo are the latest companies attempting to take on Apple's iPod

SanDisk and Yahoo are the latest companies attempting to take on Apple's iPod, Monday releasing the Wi-Fi-enabled Sansa Connect.

The Sansa Connect comes with a 2.2-inch LCD (liquid crystal display) screen and weighs 15.2 ounces, which means it is both heavier and has a smaller screen than the 80G-byte iPod. It also has an 8G-byte flash hard drive, the same as the larger iPod nano model. However, the Sansa Connect can be expanded with a microSD memory card.

With a Wi-Fi connection, Sansa Connect users can access both free and paid Yahoo services, including Launchcast Internet radio, Flickr online photo galleries, and see to what music other users on a Yahoo Messenger list are listening. The player supports MP3 and WMA files, both protected and unprotected by DRM (digital rights management software).

Yahoo Music Unlimited To Go can download music direct to their Sansa Connect, without needing a PC. Users can see recommendations from friends and other owners of the same device, but cannot beam music to one another.

SanDisk did not disclose a suggested retail price for the Sansa Connect. However Amazon.com has the device listed for US$249.99.

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Steven Schwankert

IDG News Service

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