SanDisk intros new player, cuts prices to take on iPod | iLounge News

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SanDisk intros new player, cuts prices to take on iPod

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SanDisk has introduced an 8GB version of its flagship media player and reduced prices on its entire Sansa line up in a bid to lure customers away from the iPod. SanDisk, which is a distant second to Apple in the digital music player market, today announced its $250 Sansa e280 player, which offers 8GB of flash storage (expandable to 10GB with microSD slot), audio, photo and video capabilities, FM tuner and recorder, a user-replaceable battery, and a 1.8” TFT display. SanDisk also cut prices on its existing line of Sansa e200 players. The e250 (2GB) now sells for $140, the e260 (4GB) is now priced at $180, and the e270 (6GB) now sells for $220. According to the NPD Group, SanDisk accounted for 9.7% of U.S. MP3 player sales in the second quarter, up from 3.1%  last year.

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Comments

21

I don’t want DRM support, that’s never going to happen, and I never buy music online anyway. What I do want is to not have to convert all my music. I have an incredibly slow PC, plus I don’t want to cut the quality down; I use 192kbps aac, which I really can’t distinguish from CD. The LAME codec and the same bitrate has the same performance, IMO, but it’ll still sound s**t if I put if through two different codecs.

Posted by Liam on August 22, 2006 at 7:23 AM (CDT)

22

Liam: You do know that 128 kbps AAC is supposed to sound the same as 192 kbps MP3?

Posted by Nobody on August 22, 2006 at 9:57 AM (CDT)

23

Yeah. But the LAME codec makes mp3 sound… well quite a lot better. Up there with current .aac technologies.

Posted by Liam on August 22, 2006 at 12:50 PM (CDT)

24

I have the 4GB e260 Sansa, and compared with my girlfriends’2GB Nano, I thought the Nano had slightly better volume, the Sansa a little bit better with over-all sound quality, and both a little lacking in the bass. I installed the recent firmware upgrade, and I am pleasantly surprised with the results. The added user EQ is very effective - not just an extra, useless feature. My Sansa’s volume is even slightly louder: I don’t know how that is possible, but it is. And with the user EQ tweaked a bit, the sound quality is noticably better than the Nano’s, especially in the bass department, with no distortion.

Sandisk took the 2nd place position in the DAP market from established companies like Creative, Cowon, and iriver with nothing more on the table than their cheap, plastic m200 and e100 series DAP’s, and have tripled their market share in a year’s time. With the Sansa e200 series, they have stepped up quite a bit in terms of sound & build quality, and in feature sets. Because of their well established relationship with brick & mortar stores, and their highly regarded reputation in the computer/electronics markets (before they even had a mp3 player), they’ll be able to market and provide their DAP products in the US on a level that currently only Apple is familiar with.

Apple will be able to broker outstanding flash-memory deals with Samsung, Hynix, and Intel-Micron, but Sandisk will be in a more enviable position of making it’s own flash memory, so as long as it can sell it’s Sansa’s with more capacity, more features, and at a lower price, and still market them at a near comparable level, then Apple has a good reason to worry. I haven’t heard if Microsoft is planning a flash DAP, but it would make sense: I think the microHDD is going the way of the Dodo….

The iPod is certainly a very nice DAP, and it’s very dominant in the DAP market, to say the least. But, IMO until someone actually decides to attempt to go toe-to-toe with Apple in the marketing of their DAP, no one is going to even threaten Apple for market share, much less be a iPod “killer”. It’s like trying to challenge the heavy-weight boxing champ, but never getting into the ring with him. You won’t succeed that way. It looks like Sandisk is making a serious attempt, and I’m sure MS is going to exceed even that effort. It’ll be interesting to check back on this in a year’s time….

I think the next Nano will need to be at least 8GB, and have video support.

Posted by HappyDAPer on August 23, 2006 at 10:35 AM (CDT)

25

A few things I like about the Sandisk flash players:
- you are not hooked to a media player (with an iPod, all the “regurlar” users have to use iTunes, right?). My PC recognises it as an external hard drive, and can actually put anything I want on it.
- you can add an extra flash memory card if you need more space
- no mechanical parts to break down

I do agree though that if you need much more space, then the iPod 30 or 60 Gb is the way to go for the price difference…

And also, in case someone was actually considering doing this, I really don’t recommend re-encoding from any compressed format to any other compressed format. Your source is already compressed, so when software uncompresses it before compressing it again to another format, it does not “gain” any sound quality. That is impossible. Instead it stays the same. Then when it recompresses to the other format, even if its a good quality, it will still be poorer that the source.

Posted by MrBabou on August 23, 2006 at 10:42 AM (CDT)

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