SanDisk has come up with great idea: pre-program 1,000 of Billboards most popular hits for unlimited playback onto a microSD card that goes into your Blackberry and allows users to play the music they want without downloading a single song for a fraction of the listed price of those same songs from iTunes or other sellers. Additional memory on the card for your own file storage included.
The premise is smart, but the product does not follow through as brilliantly. Given the obvious restrictions placed upon by the music labels, the preloaded content is locked. I quickly realized that the 4GB of memory allowance on the card is half of the full size of the disk and therefore, knowing the music was located on the disk, went searching. It is cleverly hidden and unreachable.
When I opened the required slotRadio program to listen to the songs, I saw a handful of playlists: 00’s, 90’s, 80’s, Rock Classics, Oldies, RB Classics, Workout, Chillout. [Side note: Since when did the 70’s automatically fall into the Oldies category?] Choose a playlist and start listening. The song pops on with all the necessary artist information and the choice to purchase the song. Wait, didn’t I purchase it already? I’m listening to it at my own convenience… Yes, but this is the option to purchase it at full price without being locked and stuck in a pre-determined playlist.
As I skip through the preset song list using the next button (even seeing what artist is next to come on), I realize one more important thing missing: a back button. The option to rewind to a good song (or guilty pleasure one) that was accidentally skipped, doesn’t exist in this program. I may end up hitting ‘next’ 999 times to get back to that one again.
To conclude, if you like the radio and enjoy Billboard top hits, without the need to control the music you listen to, this card is great for you. For those who like making their own playlists, expect to be frustrated.
- ~5% of the cost of iTunes or other music sellers
- Convenience, since it goes in the phone
- Additional storage space (4gb)
- Pre-arranged playlists
- Lack of ability to control music specifics
- No back button
- No shuffle option