There's nothing like showing your full commitment to a really bad idea...
For that is exactly what SanDisk has done today with the announcement of its 'Sansa slotMusic Player' - a device twinned to its equally questionable slotMusic microSD based digital music albums.
As the photo suggests, the slotMusic player itself is as basic as can be with SanDisk launching its first screen-less MP3 player in many a year. Measuring a surely typo-afflicted 70 x 36 x 36mm (that'd be one thick mamma) the Player will be compatible with just MP3 and unprotected WMA codecs, plays back only from slotMusic / music stored on microSD cards and contains no internal memory.
On the bright side, microSD HC cards up to 16GB will be compatible and the basic player will be available from just $19.99 (little more than £11). More expensive skinned versions featuring artists like ABBA and Robin Thicke (really!) and a bundled 1GB card will retail for a rather more substantial $34.99 (£19.95).
Right, I'm not doing the argument as to why this is all completely ill-thought out and destined to fail (I've already ranted about it in the original slotMusic launch) but with an excellent 1GB Sansa Clip with drag and drop functionality retailing for about £17 (2GB from £23) safe to say this is all rather silly and harks back to the days of carrying CDs and cassettes (just smaller - and easier to lose).
A US launch for the Sansa slotMusic Player will happen any minute now, with a UK appearance scheduled for early 2009 - but personally I have my doubts whether that will ever materialise since its destiny as a woeful Christmas sales flop will likely mean it won't last that long.
SanDisk, we love you dearly but in this case you've lost the plot...