SanDisk first to market with 8GB flash player

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
Looking to chip away at Apple's dominate share of the digital music player market, SanDisk on Monday unveiled a new player with twice the storage capacity of the largest iPod nano.



SanDisk said its new 8GB, 2000-song Sansa e280 is the world's largest capacity flash-based player, offering twice the storage of Apple's largest iPod nano at relatively the same cost.



The $249.99 Sansa e280 also includes a microSD expansion slot allowing expansion to 10GB of music -- or 2,500 songs -- with an optional SanDisk 2GB microSD card.



Alongside the introduction of the e280, SanDisk reduced the price of its 6, 4 and 2GB players to $219.99, $179.99, and $139.99, respectively.



The new product line could pose as indicator of the price points and capacities Apple is likely to match or exceed with its much anticipated iPod nano update due this fall.



Although SanDisk has traditionally been recognized as a flash-memory card maker, the company has emerged as a distant second to Apple in the race for share of the digital music player market with a 9.7 percent share, according to recent NPD data.



SanDisk's ongoing assault on the iPod has at times stretched the bounds of conventional product marketing. The company in May resorted to a comedic broadside with its iDon't campaign, which stood solely to equated iPod users to sheep and monkeys, rather hype a competitive product.



Apple's iPod has so far brushed off the offensive from potential competitors, maintaining a 75.6 percent share in the US market, according to NPD.





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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 54
    All 3 iPod products are looking decidedly long in the tooth, and long overdue for a refresh

    - I think Apple have really stretched this too far for a consumer product range

    - they should have a 6 monthly refresh cycle, with major revisions every year

    - otherwise they just allow in competitors - like SanDisk
  • Reply 2 of 54
    cubertcubert Posts: 728member
    Does anyone else laugh when they see that Sandisk named their player Sansa? Sansa is the dregs of the olive oil making process. It is the stuff that no one will use for cooking unless absolutely forced to. Quite fitting.
  • Reply 3 of 54
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by samurai1999


    All 3 iPod products are looking decidedly long in the tooth, and long overdue for a refresh



    Agreed. I hope there is no hesitation on Apple's part getting the next product cycle going, because even though they are far ahead now, the lead is theirs to lose. \
  • Reply 4 of 54
    bdj21yabdj21ya Posts: 297member
    Definitely their lead to lose, but in my mind the greatness of the iPod is not so much in the player as it is in the ease of getting your media onto that player. The reason more people buy iPods is not just because they're "cooler", but also because it's so easy to use iTunes to rip your CD music collection and so easy to find what you want to hear/watch in the iTMS. Until another company comes out with a peice of software as intuitive and integrated as the iTunes/iPod combo, they will continue to be the "leftovers" of the market.
  • Reply 5 of 54
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    I owned the 2GB version. Some people really like it for some reason. I thought it was kind of a nuisance to use.



    To back out of some menus, you press left but the previous screen slides *down* over the current screen. The wheel in the middle is a mechanical wheel and it protrudes such that I can't operate all the arrow buttons with the hand I hold the unit,



    The FM tuner can automatically scan the spectrum and add stations to a list, but there was no easy way to remove stations from that list, and the autoscan didn't find half the stations that it can tune to. The wheel isn't offered as a control for channel selection, you just hold the left and right arrow keys down for a long time for manual channel selection. There was a slip in the box that says that the docking cable doubles as an antenna, which looks goofy to be dragging around the cable, and it didn't make much difference in the reception anyway. I had other qualms about the user interface too.



    The screen is a 4:3 set on its side, and it was not meant to be set on its side like, causing each of my eyes to see different black levels and different contrast levels.



    The Sansa e2x0 series is also twice as thick as a nano too.



    I did think the sound quality was better and it does play video but I couldn't justify keeping it based on that. If I'm going to use a music player for a few hours a day for two years, I think it's worth paying a little more to get something that's not irritating to use.
  • Reply 6 of 54
    SanDisk not only raised the bar on capacity, they are offering an FM tuner, recording capability, scratch resistant design, expandability, a user replaceable battery, etc. After waiting for a year for Apple, SanDisk adds all these features with no hype.



    Apple used to be an order of magnitude above the competition. Let's hope they make the year's wait worthwhile with Sattellite radio, more capacity, touch screen, along with the new SanDisk features.
  • Reply 7 of 54
    jasenj1jasenj1 Posts: 910member
    Until one of these "second tier" MP3 makers pairs up with a music store and media management software as Apple has done with iTMS and iTunes, I don't see any real problem. And with Apple continuing partnerships with other media providers - TV and movies, Apple is raising the bar where it counts - content - rather than features on the player.



    Let me know when AOL comes out with a media player hooked into the entire Time-Warner music, movie, and TV library. Then Apple will have some competition.



    - Jasen.
  • Reply 8 of 54
    I never knew about the definition of "Sansa" with regards to low quality olive oil. LOL! The Dictionary Widget notes that "Sansa" is "another defintion for thumb piano". However, I -- and probably quite a few other people out there -- deliberately misread the product name as "Santa".
  • Reply 9 of 54
    ajmasajmas Posts: 554member
    From what I can see of the Sansa:



    Good:

    - looks good

    - included radio

    - good capacity

    - expansion slot

    - user replaceable and rechargeable Lithium Ion battery



    Bad

    - no Mac support

    - no FM-tuner is available in Europe



    Unable to tell what file formats it supports, other than MP3 and WMA.
  • Reply 10 of 54
    meelashmeelash Posts: 1,045member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ajmas


    From what I can see of the Sansa:



    Good:

    - looks good

    - included radio

    - good capacity

    - expansion slot

    - user replaceable and rechargeable Lithium Ion battery



    Bad

    - no Mac support

    - no FM-tuner is available in Europe



    Unable to tell what file formats it supports, other than MP3 and WMA.



    No Mac support? What does that mean? Isn't this basically a USB drive? It should just plug in and work.
  • Reply 11 of 54
    Hey, LOOK EVERYONE! Its an iPod Nano!! oh, no, never mind. It's just a knock off. Don't be sheep, they say, then they make it look like a nano. Riiiiiiight. Someone's jelouse!



    Yes, I know I spelled that wrong. We need a spell checker on here.



    I have, though I rarely use it, since I have my ipod, a tiny memorex SD card based player. The primary reason I don't use it, aside from small capacity (yeah, I know I can get a 4GB SD card for $80) is that it has a tendancy to corrupt the data on the card. Gets annoying having to wipe the card and then copy all the music back on. And it can't play AAC.



    I use my iPod for not just music, but Audible audio books as well, most of which are available from iTunes.



    I would like to see recording capability built in, but remember that this isn't a new concept. Dell had it on their player. You know, the one they discontinued?



    Satalite? hmmm.... would be nice if it didn't require an external antenna... would it?



    FM I definately would like built in. I currently have no radio but in my car, and no TV (they rot your mind, you know. I saw it on the Discovery Channel), so I tend to get behind on local news... like that tornado over there.... uh, gotta go.
  • Reply 12 of 54
    trobertstroberts Posts: 701member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ajmas


    From what I can see of the Sansa:



    Good:

    - looks good

    - included radio

    - good capacity

    - expansion slot

    - user replaceable and rechargeable Lithium Ion battery



    Bad

    - no Mac support

    - no FM-tuner is available in Europe



    Unable to tell what file formats it supports, other than MP3 and WMA.



    Secure WMA for those that use Playsforsure content.
  • Reply 13 of 54
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,453member
    I can not beleive they are trying to use the Apple 1984 Lemmings concept against Apple



    Yes it has more Capacity

    Yes it has FM Tuner

    Yes it has voice recored

    Yes it has memory expension

    Yes it has a removeable battery



    However it is not a nano, it more like the Gen 5 Ipod. Notice they do not tell you the size because you will realize it is twice as big as a nano, more of the size of a bigger iPod with less memory.



    The best part is they point you to a website with a review and the person ripped on the control wheel which happens to be a mechanical gear. What they did not realize that things are moving away from electro-mech to all solid state. Be happy the FM tuner is not the old style air capacitor tuners from the 1950's. You can bet that wheel will have problems.



    Hey the reason they call it "Sansa" is because it absorbs the oil from your skin.



    Read the review...



    http://www.anythingbutipod.com/archi...ies-review.php
  • Reply 14 of 54
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,215member
    Quote:

    * Music Playback at 128 Kbps MP3, 64 Kbps WMA. 1MB = 1 Million Bytes, 1GB = 1 Billion Bytes. Playback based on 3.5 minute songs



    Clearly, they are playing up the Windows WMA file support by intentionally showing the difference between MP3 and WMA with two separate encoding rates. MP3 is going to offer half the songs when its playback is twice the bitrate. These are the types of dense tables that people get all excited about and reminds me how stupid people are. Apple does it as well, from time to time and you have to know it works because its rampant across the industry.
  • Reply 15 of 54
    Wow ... it is monsterously thick. Not too mention that it looks like shit trying to look like the nano.



    I don't think it's a matter of Apple can't build in FM, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, etc - I think it's a matter of them having control of their product experience. The only user serviceable part of the iMac is the extra RAM slot - why? Because in Apple's mind, someone buying an iMac probably won't need terabytes of storage and replaceable graphics. Same thing with the iPod. Would having bluetooth be useful for SOME people? Sure. Wi-Fi. Yeah, why not ... but the iPod is still the thing in the world for PLAYING MUSIC. It's ease of use and seamless integration with iTunes make it THE premiere digital music player. Everyone is trying to outclass the iPod line-up with features, and 5 years later, Apple still has 75% + of the market. You think after a while people would learn that maybe consumers aren't going to drop their iPods for a SanDisk with an FM tuner just because you throw one in there. It's the product AND the ease of use of that product that keep people flocking back to Apple whenever a new iPod comes out.



    Eat your heart out Creative and SanDisk - if nothing else it'll make for an interesting series of iPod announcements this fal!
  • Reply 16 of 54
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by meelash


    No Mac support? What does that mean? Isn't this basically a USB drive? It should just plug in and work.





    There are two different USB modes that it supports. One is supporting it as a media drive so you can drop compatible files into the music directory. This is not the default mode, you have to go to settings and switch to this mode which is only described by three letters. Even the manual did not describe what these three letter acronyms meant or what they do.



    The default USB mode is probably similar to iPod's standard synching mechanism where a compatible program manages what is on the player. I don't think there are any Mac or pre-XP Windows programs that support this mode.



    edit: I found the modes: The Sansa has "MSC" and "MTP" modes of USB control. The manual says MTP is "Media Transfer Protocol". I had to look online to some non-Sandisk site to find that MSC is "Mass Storage Class".
  • Reply 17 of 54
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bdj21ya


    Definitely their lead to lose, but in my mind the greatness of the iPod is not so much in the player as it is in the ease of getting your media onto that player. The reason more people buy iPods is not just because they're "cooler", but also because it's so easy to use iTunes to rip your CD music collection and so easy to find what you want to hear/watch in the iTMS. Until another company comes out with a peice of software as intuitive and integrated as the iTunes/iPod combo, they will continue to be the "leftovers" of the market.



    HEAR, HEAR!

    My Creative Zen Xtra 30 GB has served me remarkably well for 3 years despite its total lack of "cool" factor -- but Creative's organizing software blows SO BAD that I have to use a third-party program (Notmad Explorer) to make the experience of loading files / making playlists merely "adequate". I wish I hadn't used my girlfriend's nano for a while, and seen just how green the grass was on the other side...
  • Reply 18 of 54
    auxioauxio Posts: 1,959member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jasenj1


    Until one of these "second tier" MP3 makers pairs up with a music store and media management software as Apple has done with iTMS and iTunes, I don't see any real problem.



    I own an iPod mini (waiting for the nano update) and I have not once used the iTunes store (and no, the vast majority of my MP3s are not pirated). Why?



    I like audio quality. I'll either buy a CD or vinyl record and then convert it to MP3 for easier listening. I also spend the time to hunt down speciality online MP3 stores or artist sites which sell MP3s at the highest possible bitrate with no copy protection (eg. bleep.com).



    Maybe I'm not a typical consumer (although most people I know do the same thing) but I honestly don't think a music store matters all that much (especially one with the limitations of iTMS). Having the best quality MP3 player and library management software is the most important factor IMO.
  • Reply 19 of 54
    mark2005mark2005 Posts: 1,158member
    Did Sandisk say when the 8GB would actually be available? It doesn't show up at Amazon yet.



    If it's a typical press release, I don't expect to see them available until Labor Day (or later). If that's the case, they'll only be a couple of weeks ahead of Apple (I expect Sept 19 for new nano). And Apple will have them in Apple stores immediately.



    Of course, they've had the 6GB out for a pretty long while and haven't made much headway against Apple, though they've pretty much wiped out Creative and the others.



    I think they had to announce before Apple so they don't seem to be a me-too product like what happened to Creative. But there's a huge risk if Apple makes a big change...
  • Reply 20 of 54
    ronnronn Posts: 313member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mark2005




    I think they had to announce before Apple so they don't seem to be a me-too product like what happened to Creative. But there's a huge risk if Apple makes a big change...



    Exactly. And the press release says first half of September; don't know why AI decided to go with a headline that includes "first to market." We'll have to wait and see because I'm not too sure Apple won't be releasing higher capacity Nanos. It's a slight possibility, but still, a possibility there'll be new Nanos/iPods in Paris.
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