SanDisk's new Sansa Clip+ sounds like a solid choice for an inexpensive MP3 player, but I'm more interested in how it could boost SanDisk's slotMusic and slotRadio--two types of microSD cards preloaded with music.
When first announced last year, slotMusic seemed like a misfire: I couldn't imagine why consumers would pay almost the same price as a CD for a microSD card loaded with lower-quality files. The release of the $19.99 slotMusic player changed my opinion a little bit, but it still seemed too limiting: the only way to get music onto the device through microSD cards. I had the same problem with the slotRadio player, which came out earlier this year--yes, it comes with 1,000 songs for only $99, and you can add additional blocks of 1,000 songs for $39.99, which is great if you're not too picky about your music. But I am.
The Clip+ doesn't force any such choices. For your control-freak moments, you can sideload MP3s (and nearly every other type of music file except, inexplicably, AAC) from your computer, or attach a microSD card of your own making. Or, if you just want to add a bunch of new music without fiddling around with ripped CDs, downloads, and USB cables, you can use slotMusic albums or slotRadio bundles. Add the other features--voice recording, FM radio, and support for Rhapsody--and this seems like an amazing deal for a very flexible portable music player.