Sandisk Sansa Connect, what the Zune Should Have Been

And they mention it in the release, just so you know. The Yahoo Musci Blog announced the release of the Sandisk Sansa Connect, the Wifi enabled MP3 player that will free you from your USB cables, at least until you need to charge it. You can listen to personalized radio, share music over Yahoo Messenger, view photos from Flickr and download music. They are offering unlimited downloads from Yahoo Music Unlimited for only $12 dollars a month, but I see no mention if they are cutting a similar deal of DRM less MP3′s from EMI.

For me personally, the SanDisk Connect has put me in a completely different mode of portable music listening and discovery. I didn?t even connect mine to a computer for a week. I fired it up, started listening to personalized LAUNCHcast, and as songs I loved would play I?d grab the whole album. Then it was time to leave the house so I walked out the door and into the car, connected it to the line-in, and backed out of the driveway. The device elegantly said, ?um, lost the connection to Wifi, dude?, so I flipped over into ?My Library? and hit ?Shuffle All? to start listening to the many songs I?d downloaded. Then when I got home the device was smart enough to wake up, realize there was Wifi available again, and restart my downloads. Simple and genius management of limited connectivity. Source: Wifi-Enabled SanDisk Sansa Connect Features Yahoo! Music Unlimited, LAUNCHcast, Messenger, and Flickr

This device becomes part of your entire music setup, when you update songs on your Sansa Connect, you add your music to your Music Jukebox as well, when you create a playlist in the Jukebox, they show up on your Sansa, when you rate songs on the device it affects your Launchcasts you listen to on the web.

I’m not buying any more MP3 players, with three different iPods, a Zune and various generic MP3 players, I don’t think that me or my kids needs another, but if someone wants to send me one for review, I’d sure like to try one out. Maybe someone should send one to Microsoft so they can see what their wireless should look like.

Added:
Lots more sites are posting stuff about the Sansa Connect; here is a little rundown of some of the other coverage.

A New Wireless Player
Hopes to Challenge iPod
A new wireless MP3 player called the Sansa Connect — the result of a three-way collaboration among Yahoo, MP3 player and storage device maker SanDisk Corp. and technology start-up Zing Systems Inc. — hit store shelves on Friday. The $250 device, crafted to work closely with Yahoo’s Internet music and other online services, has a novel twist: It’s designed to download music from the Internet wirelessly when the user isn’t necessarily near a personal computer and wants to get fresh batches of songs.

Yahoo/Sansa?s Music Player Foray: 100M iPods too Late? If I am Sandisk – #2 at 9% in digital music players – or Yahoo! – #2 in search with 30% market share – I?d look for an iPod killer/Google killer respectively, and seeing how the iPhone will rightfully or wrongfully get much buzz upon launch this year, I?d make sure I?d have plans to turn this into a phone/PDA/web browser pretty soon. Who knows, maybe that?s already in the works.

SanDisk and Yahoo, a Love Connect-ion? Back in September, it appeared as the Zing, a Flash-based Wi-Fi-enabled music player with the un-Zune-y ability to download tracks wirelessly from an Internet service. At CES, it was re-named Connect and announced as part of SanDisk’s successful Flash-player lineup. Now it’s shipping?4GB of internal flash memory, 2.2-in. TFT color screen and a microSD slot for expansion up to 8 gigs, for $250. Today’s news is that it comes with a bunch of Yahoo-related perks.

SanDisk and Yahoo! Music Partner on Unique Music Experience for Sansa Connect Wireless Internet MP3 Player This is the official press release. The Sansa Connect player is designed to work seamlessly with a wide range of popular music formats such as MP3 and Windows Media Audio (WMA) in both unprotected and protected files. While optimized to work wirelessly with Yahoo! Music Unlimited to Go, the player supports all Microsoft PlaysForSure subscription music via a PC connection.