SanDisk has recently announced their newand also a companion to the player, a card for a free MicroSD card that has music with no DRM on it to promote over 50 new artists. This is called Sansa Sessions. Some of the artists included on the MicroSD are All Time Low, Ladytron, Magnet, Nada Surf, Of Montreal, The Coup and many more.
Image courtesy of SanDisk
Sandisk sent me the 512 MB MicroSD which not only had 55 tracks of music on it, but it also had 8 music videos and some low res bmp’s of the artists.
The music worked on my Insignia Pilot, my LG enV and pretty much any player I tried that supported MP3. It’s MP3 with no DRM, and the quality was excellent; they are 256 KBps constant bit rate files.
Now, do I think that there’s a future in selling flash memory with music on it? No. I think digital audio itself is a virtual product that is better handled by downloading direct from the provider. I will admit that it’s nice to have the music on a flash card, because you can pop it in like you used to a cassette, but I just ended up copying the music over to my computer and mp3 player. The flash card isn’t really needed to play the music, it is just a delivery mechanism. Sandisk could have just as easily set up something with Amazon MP3 or emusic and achieved the same thing, which is giving new Sansa owners some free music and promoting new artists at the same time.
With that said, I think it’s cool SanDisk worked with these new labels to try and get these artists some exposure. My favorites thus far have been Amusement Parks on Fire and Amber Pacific; I just might start adding these guys to my Amazon Wish List!
Lastly, I have to give SanDisk mad props for not putting any DRM on the music. Not having DRM allowed me to play this music on any operating system and on any portable music player that supports MP3. Patent encumbrances or not, MP3 is the defacto standard that almost everyone supports, and using it as your file format will let you listen to your music on anything.
If you by a silver Sansa Fuze, you can get it for free!
What I liked: The price and the fact that there’s no DRM on the music.
What I didn’t care for: The media. It’s not needed. It could have just as easily been a download rather than a physical piece of media. Just copy it to anything you want and keep the card for a spare microSD; the fact that there’s no DRM on the music let’s you do that!