October 16, 2008 SanDisk is looking to expand its market with the introduction of the Sansa slotMusic Player. The plug & play, portable music player was specially designed for use with the new slotMusic cards available today in the US. SanDisk are pushing slotMusic as a new format of high-fidelity, DRM-free MP3 music on a microSD card, which gives consumers the ability to listen to and quickly swap music between a mobile phone, personal computer, and any MP3 player with a microSD slot.

The Sansa slotMusic Player was made to play a self-loaded microSD card full of music or slotMusic card albums, which negate the need for using a PC or the Internet to organize music files. The device weighs a little over two ounces, has dimensions of 2.75” W x 1.4375” H x 1.4375” D and ships with a customizable black shell, earphones and battery. SanDisk has also developed a special line of Sansa slotMusic Player accessories, including a Sansa card wallet, an armband, and additional slotMusic player “shells” for customizing a player to one’s own tastes.

In addition to the Sansa-branded player, SanDisk has created personalized, branded slotMusic players for popular artists such as Robin Thicke and ABBA. The artist-branded slotMusic Player includes both the player bearing the artist’s name and image and a 1GB slotMusic card pre-loaded with an album. Additional content on the card may include liner notes, album art and other content personally chosen by the artist. Other members of SanDisk’s Sansa audio/video line, including the Sansa Fuze and video-centric Sansa View, are compatible with slotMusic cards.

Sandisk has secured support from all four major music labels: EMI Music, SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT, Universal Music Group, and Warner Music Group, and slotMusic cards available this month will feature nearly 40 of the biggest names in music including Robin Thicke, Katy Perry and Coldplay. For those wishing to make use of their existing music library SanDisk is currently selling microSD cards in capacities of up to 16GB, which can hold up to 4,000 MP3 songs.

Those old enough to remember cassettes will remember how easy they were to misplace, so while some will find the ability to easily swap microSD cards between devices convenient, others might find the prospect of one’s entire music library going missing down the back of the couch a bit of a concern.

Sansa slotMusic Players will be available in the coming days at U.S. stores and are expected to be available from retailers in Europe and other regions of the world in 2009.

The SanDisk Sansa slotMusic Player will retail for a MSRP of US $19.99, while the artist-branded slotMusic players will retail for a MSRP of US$34.99.