Tuesday, September 23, 2008

YAPF - Yet another physical format

Music On microSD: I Can't Believe The Labels Fell For This

SanDisk is going to try to sell music on teeny tiny SD memory cards.

The link above says it all for me. Though I'll bet it wasn't the labels falling for it (they likely extracted healthy advances from SanDisk); it's SanDisk that I can't believe fell for it.

Physical music is dying. It doesn't matter whether it's CDs, cassette tapes, DVDs, or tiny chips with music already on them. Sony once proposed selling flyers with album download codes at stores, which customers would enter into their computer at home to download the album. That sounds like a solution for the retailer, not for the customer. People are simply not getting their music at stores as much as they used to. That trend will continue its downward spiral as more mobile phone delivery and always-on connected services come on-line.

SanDisk claims that people are already walking around with microSD players in their mobile phones. But most people with phone memory use it for their photos and contacts. To play music, you'd have to disassemble your phone, take out your contact list and photos, and plug in your music. When the album was done playing, you'd have to do it all over again. Imagine trying to switch out a microSD card in the car, on the train or bus or airplane, in a kid's messy bedroom, or even in your own living room. Your music would quickly join your pocket change in the folds of the sofa.

Even with a USB dongle attached to your computer, you'll still need to change the music far too regularly. Maybe SanDisk needs to sell a SD card changer (though it would more likely be a tiny 50-port rack that all your SDs get plugged into for both storage and playback.) If they expect you to simply upload the album from the card to your computer, then what was the point of getting the card in the first place? Your computer is already hooked up to any number of download stores.

At least SandDisk will have a lot of unused inventory they can erase and resell as mere memory.

UPDATE 2008-12-05: YAPP II

Here is news of another USB memory stick music solution. An Australian company D:Net Media is going to attempt to sell music and bonus materials (videos, remixes, interviews, biographies, photos, lyrics, etc.) on a memory stick in stores. Their product apparently includes an online service component that sends you updates when more media related to your purchase becomes available. Though the bonus materials are a nice bonus, this again sounds like a solution primarily for retailers, not for users. The web site with more info is DDA4me.

No comments: