SanDisk is in a bit of a tough spot, being the second biggest MP3 player brand in the United States. On the one hand, they’ve got to compete with the ubiquitous Apple iPod as well as the marketing muscle behind the Microsoft Zune. The answer, it seems, is to combine the best features of both units and pawn it off as your own. SanDisk has just inked a deal with Yahoo! Music that will see a high level of Yahoo! integration into the SanDisk Sansa Connect WiFi-enabled MP3 player.
This integration would be akin to the relationship between iTunes and iPod, except the SanDisk Sansa Connect, a Flash-based player, would be able to wirelessly access both free and subscription-based services from Yahoo! Music, as well as pump out tunes from LAUNCHcast Internet radio. You can also use the connection to browse Flikr sets and check up on your Yahoo! Messenger friends. This WiFi functionality clearly improves on the somewhat crippled use found on the Zune. See what I mean? Best of both worlds, right?
The 4GB Sansa Connect, which goes on sale today in the US for $249.99, features a 2.2-inch TFT color screen, a microSD™ slot for music and photo capacity expansion, and an internal speaker. Canadian availability is expected for later on this year.