SanDisk just announced the Sansa Connect, which serves to prove that my earlier prediction about wireless MP3 players at CES was correct. Oh, how I do love to be right--especially about a cool device like the Connect.
This sleek MP3 player uses built-in wireless technology (802.11g, to be exact) to hop onto any available hot spots, allowing the user to grab music and photos without connecting to a PC. It is designed to work with online music services (specifics are yet to be determined), meaning you could potentially find and buy a song from just about anywhere (Starbucks comes to mind). How I've been waiting for this! I suppose I should thank Zing, whose mobile entertainment technology has made all of this possible. While you will be able to share music with other users, however, the Connect won't let you grab tracks living on your PC--not yet, anyway.
The Sansa Connect does have other things going for it, of course. The player comes with 4GB of flash memory and offers an SD card slot to add more. The body is sleek and compact, measuring in at 2.05x3.58x0.63 inches, and the bright color screen is ample at 2.2 inches (diagonal). The Connect also features simple, tactile controls; a fun, user-friendly interface; photo playback; and support for subscription WMA files (MP3 and unprotected WMA is also supported). Noticeably absent is video playback capability and an FM tuner, though I suppose SanDisk figured you could do without the latter given that you get access to Internet radio? That's right, Internet radio. Sweet. Where do I sign up?
The Connect is due in March and will sport a $249.99 price tag.