Sandisk Releases iPod Shuffle Killer

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It’s not often that I see a device that I would call a “killer” of an Apple product…but I do think this new player from Sandisk might just claim that title for a few reasons.

1) It has an FM Receiver (which is great if you like listening to the radio, or if you want to tune into the audio for the televisions playing in most gyms)
2) It has a display
3) It can play mulitple playlists, allowing you to navigate them using the display

When this device comes out, if it’s priced around the iPod Shuffle (which it is expected to be), I will consider this over an iPod shuffle for working out at the gym.

Now I’m wondering if we’ll be getting a new iPod shuffle at that rumored Sept. 5th event – while the Sandisk isn’t as sleek looking as the current Shuffle – it does make Apple’s littlest iPod seem a tad behind the times…

UPDATE: The Sansa Clip is $39.95 for a 1 gig model and $59.95 for a 2 gig model, and uses Windows Media Player for content management.

You can purchase one here.

via ubergizmo

Comments

  1. OOO a screen and FM tuner…. big deal, what about the user interface? How easy is it to get songs on and off the device? What’s the battery life? What type of program to orginize the music?

    come on Michael, think critically and actually put the device in your hands prior to making statements such as the iPod shuffle is behind the times. This sounds like the FUD that people said before the iPhone without using one.

    Hey if its better than the shuffle then great competition is good but don’t count the chickens before they are hatched? How many iPod killers have shed blood on the iPod’s click wheel?

    Just a heads up amazon now has a non-iPod mp3 bestseller list.

    Oh and how come your write up is 50 more words than the original linked article?

  2. @slevin

    A screeen and an FM Tuner are a big deal.

    I have held other model in the Sandisk series, and they are nice – not iPod nice – but nice. I wouldn’t buy an iPod Video replacement of a Sandisk device, but a Shuffle-styled portable is an entirely different type of model.

    There is no clickwheel on an iPod Shuffle.

    My article is “50 more words” than the original linked article because I wrote my article. What the hell does word count have to do with anything?

    Now let me ask you this – why is there a section of Apple fanboys that absolutely refuses to think that any other company could make a good or competing product?

    Why is it that these same fanboys come out of the wood work and decide to tell me everything that I’m doing wrong anytime I dare to suggest that there might be a product NOT made by Apple that’s worth buying?

  3. Anyone know how much space this one has, as that will make a difference in its ability to “kill” the shuffle.

  4. @Steve

    Good question – and I don’t know that, or the price yet – two factors that will play heavily in its ability to compete.

  5. Hmmm… I have had one of those vulgar MP3 devices prior to my iPod 5G and iPod Shuffle 1G. I never used the radio nor the voice recorder, only the first days to show everyone, but they proved useless later. And yes, I had a screen, one that only would show artist / tltle / album, and that I never looked at. It would not tell me which the next ten songs were, i.e., and I did not need to look at any screen to know what I was listening to. But the thing, as this one here, was horrible and vulgar. Not stylishe, refined, colourful and bright as a shuffle (2G). I bought a 5G iPod to have means to carry my whole music library with me. But for going to and coming from work, I bought a shuffle 1G, as I had the previous experience, and understood what I really needed / wanted. As a plus, I have the auto-fill feature, and do not need to be changing batteries. And believe me, my little shiny white Shuffle turns heads (I notice). Dozens of reasons to be sure Apple’s products are the best.

  6. @Michael,

    Ok lets look at it get the easy stuff out of the way.

    If an FM tuner was such a big deal I would say way more of them around New York than I do. Its not hard to miss it since its had a old style iPod remote to control it. If a FM tuner was such a big deal I would see way more of them seeing as NYC is a HUGE radio market with over 50% available FM channels occoupied. FM tuner good for the small percentage of people who want one.

    Screen again eh.. 3 lines of text plus the header. I would say that makes it inconvient to navigate. When I’m reading the screen I like to see more than the next upcoming song, artist, playlist etc. Is it easy to navigate between the catagories? Is it easy to select items?

    I’ll expand it a little further by asking the question what about the sync between the computer and the player is that easy? Does it have dedicated software to do it or is it like some where you have to drag and drop songs in to it. Is it easy t use and manage the music collection?

    Before jumping on the train look critically at an item and then make a comparison. Don’t go in half cocked and make claims without information. Just look from Jan to July at the negative press for the iPhone how everyone was saying it was a failure without even using it.

    You do your readers a disservice by claiming fact without doing the research required of it.

  7. Michael is right. The display imho is what really will set this apart. If it’s priced comparably I would think it could gain some real traction.

  8. @Slevin

    I do not do my readers a disservice by showing them alternative products that are worth looking at.

    and FM Tuner is a HUGE deal to a large number of people that buy iPods to listen at the gym…I would agree that it isn’t a huge deal for a larger iPod or even a Nano….but that’s not what I’m talking about.

    This little device is $39.95 for a 1 gig model and $59.95 for a 2 gig model, and uses Windows Media Player for content management.

    Now, for Mac Users that aren’t running virtualization software or Boot Camp – the Windows-only nature of the software is going to keep 90% of them from buying, and that’s fine. I’m not saying they should.

    I still might consider it because I do run virtualization software, and having an FM tuner when I go to the gym would be very helpful.

    Media Player is a perfectly acceptable way of managing audio content. Sandisk’s other players work just fine, and are highly reviewed.

    You also might be surprised to know that almost HALF of the regular visitors of this site are visiting on Windows machines…so I see no reason not to show them a device that may be a better alternative to them.

    What I’m sick of – and I mean this – is having to defend every single post on this site that isn’t licking Apple’s boots to a small number of commentors that want to call out my integrity for posting something that isn’t talking about how Apple rules the world and is the king of everything.

  9. What I find interesting is that this item keeps being mentioned in apple related web sites, but the Sandisk web site shows almost none of their MP3 players as Mac applicable.

    I’m guessing that these players have some kind of Windows-only based tune management software, they can still be used via USB (drag and drop) to transfer files on a Mac?

    (While I’ve played with computers since 1980, I’m pretty much a Mac and MP3 player newbie)

  10. @Jim

    They use Windows Media Player for content management.

    You can do the drag and drop method on your Mac.

    I mentioned it here because almost half of our readers visit via Windows, and we cover all aspects of Apple products and their competition and I really think this little device is stiff competition for the shuffle.

  11. I appreciate your article. I recently purchased a shuffle for working out and I have thoroughly enjoyed it. I appreciate non biased articles that look at the whole picture. Even though I just bought my shuffle, I’m tempted to get one of these Sanddisk players also to try out. I feel that the FM tuner ability would be nice. It might not be a total seller point to switch over but it sure helps.

  12. Hey, this is great news for me, precisely because of the reasons Michael wrote about, as well as a couple of others.

    I love my iPod Shuffle 2G, but it no longer syncs with ANY Windows machines, not even on an Ubuntu machine I play with. It completely failed doing anything after six months but operating as a small (1G), expensive USB drive. The Genius bar folks have it working perfectly on MacOS, but not on Windows (no, don’t bring up a switch, I am not switching to MacOS and spending $5k to re-purchase all my software or relearn Mac apps, my business operates fine in Windows).

    I do go to the gym and having the FM radio would be perfect to hear the news, I missed that when I moved from a larger/heavier Creative Zen Micro to my lovely Shuffle. Syncing on WMP? Fine, it’s built in and doesn’t cost me anything; better yet, I may just drag and drop because I hate software that keeps calling home to report on me (iTunes, MacOS, WMP, Vista, think about it people…).

    Only $39.95? I’m there in a minute. Heck, just sending in the Shuffle for servicing will be $29.95 and there’s no guarantee it will work with any Windows machines.

    Oooo, and I get a couple of lines of tezxt, too? OK! I’m sold!

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