SanDisk, record labels introduce new music format

Written by Tim Smalley

September 22, 2008 // 1:06 p.m.

Tags: #bmg #drm #emi #labels #mobile #music #phone #record #sandisk #slot #slotmusic #sony #universal #warner

SanDisk has introduced a new physical music format dubbed slotMusic in conjunction with the four major record labels—EMI, Sony BMG, Universal and Warner.

slotMusic is essentially an entire album shipped on a 1GB microSD card, enabling consumers to purchase and listen to music on their microSD-equipped phones or MP3 players without needing a PC or Internet connection.

The albums will use the MP3 format and will be encoded at up to 320kbps, said a company statement.

According to the flash memory giant, slotMusic cards will come with a tiny USB sleeve which will ensure “seamless interoperability with all computers.” The company then added that slotMusic cards will work in “a growing number of in-car sound systems” as well.

Interestingly, SanDisk said that the slotMusic cards will not come with embedded DRM systems, as it believes they interfere with the customer’s personal use. On that note, it looks like at least one industry heavyweight has managed to get the recording industry to listen to its customers – I guess it’s better late than never!

What’s more, consumers will be able to add their own content onto their slotMusic cards, creating their own personalised plug-and-play media library.

SanDisk hasn’t given a date for when slotMusic cards will be available but it said that the media will be on sale first in brick-and-mortar stores throughout the US, including chains like Wal-Mart and Best Buy, before expanding over into Europe at a later date.

Do you think this is a good move for the record industry? Let us know your thoughts in the forums.

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