iPod’s closest competitor, SanDisk’s Sansa MP3 player will now come with 32 hours of pre-loaded music.
Although Apple’s iPod is the world’s best seller when it comes to portable MP3 player, its 77 percent share of the market is threatened by the smaller rivals. After Microsoft officially unveiled last week the Zune device it plans to sell for Christmas, iPod’s closest competitor, the SanDisk Sansa portable player now comes with a more attractive offer to customers.
By teaming up with RealNetworks, SanDisk is now able to offer with its Sansa e200 models 32 hours of pre-loaded music from hundreds of the world’s most popular artists. The Sansa e200s will now be compatible with RealNetworks Rapsody DNA, a new technology platform that enables device makers to deliver a seamless, Rhapsody experience to consumers via a broad range of portable, mobile, and in-home devices.
“Rhapsody DNA is an amazing innovation that puts the celestial jukebox into the consumer’s pocket,” said Rob Glaser, chairman and CEO, RealNetworks. “We can’t imagine a better launch partner than SanDisk. Together, Real and SanDisk will soon deliver great new end-to-end experiences that make it easier and more fun than ever before for consumers to discover and enjoy music.”
Subscribers to the RealNetworks service will be able to change the pre-loaded music every month for $14.99 to music of their choice and also allow the service to make choices for them based on their historical preferences.
The Sansa e200 MP3 player line includes the 8GB Sansa e280 that includes the ability to add 2GB of additional music via a microSD card. With a total of 10GB of memory, the e280 is one of the world’s largest capacity flash-based MP3 players. The players also feature photo viewing and video clip playback, digital FM tuner with FM recording, voice recording using a build-in microphone and a user replaceable and rechargeable Lithium Ion battery for up to 20 hours of battery life.
With such characteristics and with 32 hours of preloaded music, the Sansa portable player will probable gain some more market shares. But as for getting real close to Apple’s iPod (which just increased its capacity and added new features)…that’s not likely.