SlotRadio Pumps up the Packaged Playlist

SlotRadio Not As Sexy as the iPod But Offers Value

And it is in the cards in which slotRadio's future lies. Unlike online radio, which is often available for free with ads, slotRadio cards cost $39 each. The music on them is protected and can't be transferred to a PC or other most other digital music players. SanDisk currently offers four Billboard-branded genre-specific cards: rock, oldies, country, and hip-hop/R&B.

Unlike Apple's music-playing beauties, the slotRadio player's industrial design isn't anything to inspire lust, but it is an accommodating on-ramp to the world of digital music to those used to buying physical media, and offers good value in terms of price per song.

As SanDisk adds more cards, they will be a good option for music listening when there is a lot of time to kill and little time to prepare.

Ross Rubin (@rossrubin on Twitter) is director of industry analysis at The NPD Group (@npdgroup on Twitter). He blogs at The NPD Group Blog as well as his own blog, Out of the Box.

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