Sep 22, 2008

slotMusic: another doomed physical format

According to the Los Angeles Times, "the four major record labels plan to start selling their music on mini flash memory cards that can be loaded into some mobile phones, digital music players and car stereos". The product is called slotMusic and is basically is a 1Gb microSD card, preloaded with a full music album in high-quality MP3.

I understand the need for experimentation (and SanDisk's efforts to move away from commodity markets) but how could this even be remotely successful? Is there anything more awkward than MicroSD? How many times do you think you can insert a MicroSD card in your device before the connector breaks? How long would it take for you or me to lose such a tiny item? And even if I bought 10 of them, where would I store them? Not to mention all issues linked to physical distribution : limited catalog, unsold items, etc.

Retail price is expected to be "comparable to CDs". About $12-$15, then. A blank 1Gb MicroSD card costs about $3.50, an 8 Gb USB key about $25. Sideloading still wins, sorry.

Don't BestBuy and Walmart remember the UMD fiasco? slotMusic is next.

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