Since I wrote my glowing review of the SanDisk Sansa e260 (below) in June I’ve had numerous enquiries about how to enable the onboard FM tuner which I had been told was disabled for its EU launch. Unfortunately, I’d been fed some bum information because while the e200 series has the majority of technology installed to provide this functionality a vital piece of it had been physically removed.
Apparently very, very early e200s did ship will the full shebang and could theoretically be enabled with any US firmware update but that was quickly knocked on the head by the EU (which requires an additional licence fee be paid on all players with an FM tuner). This would pass an extra cost to the customer – about 10 per cent – and SanDisk decided it was something European customers would not be prepared to pay. So the long and short of it is now SanDisk has had a rethink.
As with most things in life – except Ben Stiller and Adam Sandler movies – consumers should always have a choice about whether they wish to participate or not and SanDisk agrees. Consequently, both c200 and e200 series players will begin shipping in FM tuner-ed and FM tuner-less versions this month with the radio enabled players carrying the aforementioned 10 per cent premium.
Do you want to cough up the extra cash to listen to Moyles, Whiley, Bragg, Wogan et al? Well, now at least you can have a say.
Stepping up to the plate Ed Moro, VP and MD of SanDisk EMEA, said something very logical, “SanDisk has decided to offer the FM tuner function in Europe as part of the ‘freedom of choice’ concept of Sansa. Following feedback from customers, suppliers and the media, SanDisk realized that many people would like this function on the Sansa, and we took the decision to include this as an extra for those interested in this feature.”
Now can you all please stop emailing me about this...?