Labels Releasing Music On 1GB MicroSD

Forget buying an album on a USB stick, SanDisk just convinced the big labels to release (DRM free, thankfully) music on a 1 GB 15mm x 11mm x 1mm microSD card. And then they convinced Best Buy and Walmart to sell these things. Check out the attached Press Release for more information.

The New York Times says a source puts the album price at $7-$10, which is amazing given that the retail price of the SanDisk microSD card alone is currently about $8.50. Included with every purchase is a USB converter, which adds more to the price. Sure, profit margin is built into that price, but it still doesn't leave much for the labels. My suspicion is the price will be higher, perhaps even more than actual CDs.

USB drives seem like a much more reasonable way to distribute music. All computers support USB, and they're a lot harder to lose than a fingernail sized flash drive. But the people behind slotMusic are betting that mobile phones, many of which have microSD slots, will drive sales. Buy the album at Walmart and listen to it as you leave the store.

Except that won't happen, since free on-demand streaming music is also available many phones with a browser through services like iMeem and, later this week, MySpace Music. Hell, I can watch virtually any music video ever recorded with my iPhone on Youtube in about three clicks. A much better business model is to sell mobile users the song as a download if they like the stream, or an even higher-margin ringtone.

Get one of these while they last, because they'll be collectors items by this time next year. The future of music is free streaming and (also free, eventually) downloads, not physical media.

View: slotMusic Press Release slotmusic.org

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37 Comments

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Next thing you know they will release music on compact disc! Cheaper media, just as portable, and they play in cars equipped with CD Players. Now THAT would be a step forward!

(Skyfrog said @ #14.1)
Wait, a CD is just as portable as a card the size of your thumbnail?

Well it's nowhere near as easy to lose as a MicroSD card, LOL!

(WAR-DOG said @ #13)
my question is, can you delete the songs from the SD card?

From one of the articles on the net, the card is supposedly not read/write protected at all. They are doing that in case there are extras put out that the end-user can then add to the card.

This won't work, especially since no car that I know of is equipped to play songs off a USB key or a MicroSD slot. Not to mention, the iPhone and many consumer flip phones don't even support MicroSD expansion slots.

They sell car CD players now with a USB port in them so you can just plug that in and listen to your music.

When I looked at them about a year and a half ago, none were really "great" looking for a lower budget, but I'm sure they are a bit better than they were that long ago.

Keywords being "that you know of", the stereo in my car has a usb port, it's great, I've even see stereos with MicroSD
slots, I think it's a great idea and I hope flash as the physical media for music/movies/games takes off.

Hell, Walmart sells car stereos that have SD card slots in them for $70 or so. Many consumer phones DO have MicroSD slots, including most models of the RAZR, and pretty much every other phone (besides the iPhone) that supports playback of MP3s. I really think that MulletRobZ needs to get out more, as he clearly has no knowledge of what is actually on the market these days.

I'm going to assume that the thought process is; "If they buy enough of these microSD cards, then we'll front the money to make them loadable, a'la a kiosk." While records labels seem to be inherently stupid, you can guarantee they are greedy and won't try and milk a situation for all it is worth. In which case, floating this format and seeing what the early adopter market is and then adding the kiosks later wouldn't be surprising. I also wouldn't be surprised to see the "loadable" albums priced within 90% of the "loaded" albums, in a bid to up profits.

It is ridiculous that they are now going to release music on a 1GB card. What the heck is taking up the rest of the space if they are using MP3 format? Advertising?

Having a "jukebox" where you can go in and put music onto your own memory stick would be a cool service think of it as a vending machine where you fill up your card and that's it.

I'd love to see say a 320 MP3 set *and* a lossless FLAC set on the same card, perhaps lyrics and album art or whatever they can cram on it.

(Bryanhoop said @ #5)
Until this is lossless....no go. I'd have to transcode anyway for my portable, so what's the point?

What kind of PMP can't play MP3's?
That's the point with this, EVERYTHING plays MP3's and as a business, it makes sense to target the largest market you can. Your beef should be with the people who produce PMPs, but don't add support for open standards like FLAC.

or we could just let people download it DRM free? if you are gona give them a device with DRM free songs why in the world cant we just DOWNLOAD if DRM free?

Physical media rules. having a collection of music or movies just on a hard drive is so lame.

You can't beat having things in real life and being able to hold them and look at the art work etc.

The future is going to be so dull and soul-less.

(Valiant said @ #2.2)
Physical media rules. having a collection of music or movies just on a hard drive is so lame.

You can't beat having things in real life and being able to hold them and look at the art work etc.

The future is going to be so dull and soul-less.


I couldn't agree with you more.

Just wait you'll see more pirates because of this lol

I see kids buying CDs at Target and Wal-Mart all the time, and I'd say many consumers today still own or have owned cassette tapes. The CD may go away someday but it's a bit premature to say that people today have never had a CD. I bought a new vinyl LP just this year off Amazon actually.

I still don't get the point. If they can do this why not just let you bring your own memory into the store and plug it into a gang-loader?

(GreyWolfSC said @ #1)
I still don't get the point. If they can do this why not just let you bring your own memory into the store and plug it into a gang-loader?

Gang-loader is not a word.

Imagine if I said "You are lopeterulopt!"; Thats not a word either.