SanDisk and record companies launch flash memory with music

Record companies are scrambling to find new ways to distribute music. The latest is slotMusic, albums stored on microSD cards.

Record companies are scrambling to find new ways to distribute music in the face of declining music sales. The latest is slotMusic, a microSD card containing music in MP3 format without DRM (digital rights management), playable on pocket devices such as mobile phones.

EMI Music, Sony BMG, Universal Music, and Warner Music have joined forces with memory card maker SanDisk, which is developing the technology behind slotMusic.

The cards will hold 1G byte of data and will ship with a USB (Universal Serial Bus) adapter so that users can add their own content using a PC.

SlotMusic cards will first be available at brick-and-mortar and online stores throughout the U.S., including Best Buy and Wal-Mart. A launch in Europe is also to follow. A complete list of slotMusic albums, availability and pricing will be announced in time for the coming holiday season, the companies said. So far, there are no details of the artists whose music will be available on the cards: The slotMusic Web site simply says that "the year's biggest releases" will be available in the new format.

To persuade listeners to buy a physical medium rather than download the songs, the record companies will offer extras including liner notes, album art, videos, and "other creative content that an artist may choose". Music tracks will also be played back at up to 320K bps.

Using microSD cards to store music sounds rather cumbersome to Paolo Pescatore, an analyst at CCS Insight. Built-in storage is still a scarce resource on most mobile phones, so users are dependent on memory cards for storing all kinds of data.

With a slotMusic card one would first have to take out the main memory card, put in the album, listen to it or move songs to the built-in storage (if available), take out the slotMusic card and then put back the main one. The fact that card slots are hard to get at on many phones doesn't help either, according to Pescatore: Reaching them on some models involves taking out the battery.

Pescatore also questions whether consumers will be able to find slotMusic in stores, and thinks that download services like Nokia's Comes With Music and Orange Music Max will be more viable alternatives.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags slotmusicsandisk

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Mikael Ricknäs

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?