Big four agree to sell music on memory cards
By Barry Collins
Posted on 22 Sep 2008 at 08:24
SanDisk has struck a deal with the big four music labels to distribute albums in the MicroSD memory card format.
Dubbed SlotMusic, the initiative is yet another bid by the music industry to combat declining CD sales.
The SlotMusic albums will be DRM-free, with music encoded at 320Kb/sec in the MP3 format. The 1GB cards will leave plenty of space for additional extras, such as videos, album artwork or other extras that the labels may choose to ship with the cards.
The memory cards will be sold with a "USB sleeve" that will allow owners to plug the memory card into any PC. The companies also hope to introduce the format into car stereos.
Sony BMG, Universal, EMI and Warner have all agreed to release albums in the SlotMusic format, although the actual artist line-up and pricing have yet to be announced.
The labels claim attacking the mobile phone market offers them much more scope than the MP3 player sector, with 1.2 billion phones shipping globally last year, outstripping portable media player sales "by nearly an order of magnitude" according to research firm IDC.
The SlotMusic albums are expected to go on sale in the US before Christmas, with Europe "to follow".
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