Stay Tuned: Sandisk Sansa Connect
Update: After you read this entry, check out my “mind map” reviews for the Sansa Connect and Yahoo Music Unlimited subscription service, as well as the final thoughts post about the Sansa Connect that I just posted today (4/16/07).
Hey, Kids! I recently purchased a Sandisk Sansa Connect, a portable audio player that’s WiFi-enabled and can stream internet radio stations as well as play mp3s/WMAs and view photos from Flickr or on the device. It’s a pretty interesting device, and I plan on writing up a review for it soon, after I’ve had a few days to play around with it. You can check out my unboxing pictures on Flickr.
A few quick notes:
1. Probably the most important point: the Connect device does not just connect to unprotected, open WiFi spots like all of the literature implies. You can connect to a WEP-protected WiFi access point. This was a concern of mine, since I couldn’t find any mention online anywhere about this. I wasn’t about to leave my WiFi open just to use this device!
2. The player gets its net content from Yahoo Music Unlimited. So if you have a subscription to this service you can fill the Connect player with songs from YMU. What’s cool is that you can download YMU songs directly to the player over WiFi, without needing to sync with your PC. The internet radio stations that Connect streams are also from the Yahoo music service. As far as I can tell so far, you can’t input your own online radio station links.
3. Connecting to Flickr is pretty cool. You can view the public photos chosen for the Explore page, or view pictures from your own photostream, if you have a Flickr account. You can view slideshows from either the Explore gallery or your photostream, and play music in the background. I compared the colors of the display on the Connect to my iMac monitor for the Explore gallery, and they are very close, which is impressive. Very cool if you’re a Flickr junkie.
4. Yahoo Music Jukebox is the software used to sync music to the Connect. As far as I know at the moment, you can’t just drag and drop music to the device, but I’m going to explore that further. So far the Yahoo Music Jukebox software has been rather sluggish. Syncing the subscription music (or even podcasts from my laptop) is a slow process. I think part of this has to do with my unfamiliarity with how the subscription service works (I eventually figured out to change the settings so that when I mark an album from Yahoo Music Unlimited to add to “My Music”, it automatically downloads the songs instead of just bookmarking them), so I will play around with it more. But so far, even just copying a playlist of podcasts to the Connect seems a lot slower than syncing my iPod with iTunes. And there’s no integrated podcatching feature in the Yahoo Music Jukebox software.
Stay tuned for a more in-depth review, along with menu walkthroughs (and perhaps some videos), coming soon.