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Record labels and SanDisk team up for new music format

Written by Andre Yoskowitz (Google+) @ 22 Sep 2008 11:17 User comments (40)

Record labels and SanDisk team up for new music format SanDisk and the major record labels have announced a new physical music format which they have called SlotMusic and will begin sales this upcoming holiday season.
Backed by EMI Music, Sony BMG, Universal Music Group, and Warner Music Group, the "new" format will basically be an entire album on a MicroSD card. The large retailers Wal-Mart and Best Buy have already agreed to begin selling the cards starting in November.

While CD sales continue their path to death, this new effort is aimed at all the users of cell phones or MP3 players that have MicroSD slots. The album can be inserted right into the device and played back. The SlotMusic also comes with a USB adapter so you can move the music to your computer.

The press release did not say the bitrate of the music, but it will be DRM-free and in MP3 form.

A WSJ article adds that the "initial release batch will be 29 albums from all four of the involved labels. The releases are mostly by current pop artists including Rihanna, Ne-Yo, Robin Thicke, New Kids on the Block, Weezer, Usher, Chris Brown, Akon and Leona Lewis," the story stays. "In a nod to older buyers, Elvis Presley is also represented."

It is estimated the SlotMusic cards will sell for $7 to $10 USD each.

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40 user comments

122.9.2008 11:37

If thats the price I'm in! Sick of paying 10-15+ for a CD

222.9.2008 12:06

mp3 drm free =] for 10 dolla.. ill buy it =D

322.9.2008 12:31
13thHouR
Inactive

here comes the future of media distribution.

this and downloaded content that you are allowed to copy from your HD and keep is the way forward.

422.9.2008 12:52

and of course when it comes to the U.K. we will be expected to pay 10

522.9.2008 12:54

cards will be 7-10 and the music will be 7-10 more, just you wait and see :P

622.9.2008 13:56
1bonehead
Inactive

Not interested, as I want cd quality and not compressed mp3

722.9.2008 14:31

Originally posted by 1bonehead:
Not interested, as I want cd quality and not compressed mp3

Quote:
The DRM-free MP3s on the card will be available in a reasonably high-quality 320kbps.

http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/200...ital-music.html

Its not hat bad, and at 1GB a unit you can put high qaulity wav and such on it.

822.9.2008 15:01

Speaking of new formats, when are we getting a better than CD quality format.You know for those of us who want high qaulity sound. Not compressed music

922.9.2008 15:03

I will buy music again if they start selling it in SlotMusic "format".

If its $7-$10 I assume that means it will depend on how many songs are on the card. Plus, at 320Kbps that is good enough for me, as well as most others, as long as it is encoded with a decent encoder such as LAME.

Plus, the ability to copy it to your computer means that you can enjoy it there as well as on any MP3 compatible device that doesn't support MicroSD cards.

Another crazy thing is maybe Sony, EMI etc. are learning a lesson.

If they are offering their artists music DRM-Free for $7-$10 it shows that they know that the RIAA's business model is going to either have to adapt or die.

Hopefully this will turn out as well or better than its sounding.

A big increase in sales due to this new "format" would be good, other than it wouldn't reduce their noise and fight against "piracy".

1022.9.2008 15:06

Originally posted by cjdevesa:
Speaking of new formats, when are we getting a better than CD quality format.You know for those of us who want high qaulity sound. Not compressed music
The masses do not care about super high quality, however if this format holds they can double the storage without changing the size much, this is will lead to better quality music all around... that is if they do not charge 20$ a slot....

With this you can go to a kiosk buy the card for and fill with the music you want, say the card is 4$ and the songs are 50cents a pop (12 songs for 11$).

All in all this has promise if they do not screw the price up.

1122.9.2008 15:11

Originally posted by Pop_Smith:
I will buy music again if they start selling it in SlotMusic "format".

If its $7-$10 I assume that means it will depend on how many songs are on the card. Plus, at 320Kbps that is good enough for me, as well as most others, as long as it is encoded with a decent encoder such as LAME.

Plus, the ability to copy it to your computer means that you can enjoy it there as well as on any MP3 compatible device that doesn't support MicroSD cards.

Another crazy thing is maybe Sony, EMI etc. are learning a lesson.

If they are offering their artists music DRM-Free for $7-$10 it shows that they know that the RIAA's business model is going to either have to adapt or die.

Hopefully this will turn out as well or better than its sounding.

A big increase in sales due to this new "format" would be good, other than it wouldn't reduce their noise and fight against "piracy".
True true they have to realize that price ad portability are the main issues, buy the card for 4$ then 50cents a song for alacart or 25cents a song for whole albums or song packages, and you can listen to and weed out the songs you don't want at least at a kiosk station, the card has a tag its scanned into kiosk and then a price is tallyed with your songs you get alil paper receipt that has the price on it but also the price is sent to registers so you want need the recite to buy it with they can just scan the card's tag.

This dose have real promise, if they understand they can not charge more than 50 cents a song.. with a 3-5 dollar charge for the card itself.

1222.9.2008 15:25
gnorvell
Inactive

I can see these rigs getting lost in a hurry by the youngsters. This won't help those of us with Blackberries that require removal of the battery to get to the microsd slot either. And what about packaging with song titles etc? I prefer the tried and true CD format. It's not the media format that is killing sales it's the download and file sharing that is the culprit.

1322.9.2008 15:49

Why in the HELL would I buy mp3 format when the cd can be had for same or less price? And STILL be able to rip to HD!? Another failed attempt in the making. Those who pirate off the net surely aren't going for this. Who is? I'd hardly call a trip to a brick & mortar store convenience!

1422.9.2008 16:31

Originally posted by 1bonehead:
Not interested, as I want cd quality and not compressed mp3
Full CD quality or NO DEAL!

1522.9.2008 16:52

Originally posted by 1bonehead:
Not interested, as I want cd quality and not compressed mp3

I agree. They could at least go with FLAC or something lossless. The biggest reason I never buy music online (aside from the vanishing DRM) is that the quality is inferior to audio CDs.

1622.9.2008 17:53

Quote:
Speaking of new formats, when are we getting a better than CD quality format.You know for those of us who want high qaulity sound. Not compressed music

What about the "Super Audio CD" that came out some years back that supposedly delivered higher than normal CD quality sound? I guess it never really took off with the public all that much or just wasn't supported by the labels a great deal. I'm guessing the majority of people either didn't know about the new format, were pleased with what they had, or couldn't afford to invest in the discs or compatable players.[url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Super_Audio_CD][/url]

1722.9.2008 17:59

Quote:
The press release did not say the bitrate of the music, but it will be DRM-free and in MP3 form.
This got me i am in when it comes to OZ.

1822.9.2008 18:10

Perhaps using MP3's is a start...It would be nice if they offered songs & albums in 5.1 .dts format.

1922.9.2008 18:37
1bonehead
Inactive

Originally posted by BludRayne:
Originally posted by 1bonehead:
Not interested, as I want cd quality and not compressed mp3
Full CD quality or NO DEAL!

We stand united !

The BPI Are: SONY, UNIVERSAL, WARNER GROUP, EMI.
The RIAA Soundexchange Are: SONY, UNIVERSAL, WARNER GROUP, EMI.
The IFPI Are: The same anti consumer lot as listed above!
The MPAA Are: SONY, UNIVERSAL, WARNER GROUP, DISNEY, PARAMOUNT, FOX.

2023.9.2008 4:40
13thHouR
Inactive

Originally posted by ivymike:
Perhaps using MP3's is a start...It would be nice if they offered songs & albums in 5.1 .dts format.
why? in and out of phase works far superior at setting a sound stage and sounds far more realistic than any 5.1 pie in your ear set up.


@ 1bonehead & others.

a lossy format will be important to customers but the studios do not like giving out perfect quality now do they, they would rather squander their entire business at the expense of losing a few sales to piracy by forcing a downgrade to media you own.

Just as HDMI SPDC DRM has in-store for us all. keep purchasing that crippled equipment guys.

2123.9.2008 8:40

First the price, AM I MISSING SOMETHING! If they sell music at a $1/tune what makes you think they will stop? This is going to be higher quality to boot.

I will be surprised if you can copy the music off the chips.

The reason most encoders do not go above 320 BR is humans can't hear even what is in a 320. MP3s ignore frequencies they only a child can hear. By 25 humans can't hear 18 KHz tones. Faithfully reproducing tones above 20KHz take up most of the storage on a CD.
I know plenty of persons that claim they can hear a difference but I am convinced most lossless advocates can't hear the difference between 260 and 320 BR music let alone lossless. It reminds me of the old wine tasting snobbery. Persons claiming to be able to tell the vinyard, the year and even what side of a certain hill the grapes were grwon, really could not tell the difference between that wine and Californian wine. They had just been bribing officials so they knew what they were tasting.

I have yet to heard some one claim they have X-Ray eyes. Oh, I forgot, that is easily tested. All my friends that claim they can hear the difference refuse to be blind tested. I have one friend that only listens to vinyl because he can hear the difference between vinyl and a CD. I can hear the difference there because of the vinyl hiss.

2223.9.2008 16:19

This is the way I see it... consumers pay $1 a song from iTunes and other online stores, most of them in MP3 format and in some cases with DRM, and pays $7-10 for a full album, yet SlotMusic offers you to get a full album in MP3 format, DRM-free at an equal price, but you get it preloaded on a micro SD, USB adapter included, therefore you don't have to worry about where to store your music nor invest money on that.

Anyone that's already buying music from iTunes and other online music stores, and anyone that listen music on portable devices (iPod, MP3 players, cell phones) even on PCs, laptops, car auto stereo and home recievers with USB, will find SlotMusic an easier and more attractive way to purchase music, and will recognize the benefits from investing on this physical music format.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 23 Sep 2008 @ 16:26

2323.9.2008 16:22

To me it sounds like a Compact Disc replacement, which means it will come with album art, in a case et cetera. It won't work if you buy one SD card and load it with music at a store, I can do that from my couch, minus the SD card with the internet.

2423.9.2008 16:25

DarkJello
Not everyone has the internet, the personalizing kiosk idea is 2ndary to having full albums on the card for 5-12$ that is what they will do first to replace CD.

2523.9.2008 18:09
varnull
Inactive

Are we interested when it can be had for nothing?.. I doubt it.

I just bought one of MY lp's online for 1.99.. less than it cost in the few shops it was stocked in on release. I will upload it under the creative commons as soon as I receive it.. because it's mine.. I wrote the songs.. and I own the publishing rights. They have tried to tell me I don't own my own IP.. but I have never ever joined the BPI or RIAA, yet they think they are entitled to collect my royalties.. MY ARSE!!!

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 23 Sep 2008 @ 18:13

2623.9.2008 18:13

Originally posted by varnull:
Are we interested when it can be had for nothing?.. I doubt it.
Same can be said for good old games, some people will buy at reduced price and that will be enough to keep the market up, albeit a different kind of market than it is today but A market non the less.

Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Lets renegotiate them.

---
Check out my crappy creations
http://zippydsmlee.deviantart.com/

2723.9.2008 18:21
varnull
Inactive

Hi Zipp./. yeah.. we agree on the basics..

after something is abandoned by the manufacturers then letting it become abandonware and payment free would make people respect the devs and publishers. Open and free licensing would do them more good than harm..

Can't you use your influence as a senior on the fair trade consumer forums (yeah.. i found you) to swing a bit of lead?

Not unreasonable to release all those old roms under the creative commons.. and probably get people who like the old games back into the shops for the new ones.. or am I being stupid??

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 23 Sep 2008 @ 18:22

2823.9.2008 18:58

Originally posted by varnull:
Hi Zipp./. yeah.. we agree on the basics..

after something is abandoned by the manufacturers then letting it become abandonware and payment free would make people respect the devs and publishers. Open and free licensing would do them more good than harm..

Can't you use your influence as a senior on the fair trade consumer forums (yeah.. i found you) to swing a bit of lead?

Not unreasonable to release all those old roms under the creative commons.. and probably get people who like the old games back into the shops for the new ones.. or am I being stupid??
Mew dear I is senile not senior ^_~

but it coems down to a produt is only worth what the public iswiling to spend on it andto go out of your way to protect the marekt only makes it like the financial market "oh we are a free market..oh wait we screwed up and lost billions we need a gov loan now pelasze"

The rules are rather simple(or at least should be) consumers should not engage in distribution and the industry should not create a situation to force consumers to engage in questionable distribution.

The industry has to learn its not going to sale to everyone and not ever copy is an equatable sale, they have to re learn their place in the markets as a whole and understand any sale is a good sale if you can not cope with it someone will come along and make money off it because thats how things should work 1 business dies another comes along and dose better or worse, to protect industry beyond reasons creates a industry defendant on the government for handouts when it can not cope with reality anymore much like the current US financial industry.


And the way the media industry is being propped up is scary consumer rights>publisher/CP owner rights ALWAYS, the media industry has to wake up slim down and start selling to the individual again not at faceless masses they constantly try to get one over on.


Slot music is a good first step to replace CDs however the most important thing here is price if they can sale these for 5-10 less than a CD then its a real start on at least one front, but they do not learn and price it like CDs then...its another failure they need to sell in bulk and the lower the price the more bulk sold thats how media should be dealt with on a national/world wide basis passed that they can sell collectors and extra editions to bring in more money but the basics are as low as you can go for the most quality that can be sold.

BTW thinking about starting a Changing DRM to be consumer friendly. thread like the oen I started here
http://forums.theeca.com/showthread.php?t=5162

And yes I know its an oxy moron but DRM can be made to be "user friendly" and not make games into coasters at the same time.



Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Lets renegotiate them.

---
Check out my crappy creations
http://zippydsmlee.deviantart.com/

2923.9.2008 19:11

MP3 Form... Must and can only be 320kbps CBR otherwise just buy the CD and create your own high quality MP3.
If they are gonna try and sell these things, at least make as pleasant as possible on the ear.

3023.9.2008 19:49

if you think of this concept as a replacement of CD's then the whole argument about sound quality is redundant. You won't have users choosing between Good sound quality and ease of use, because CD's will not be produced. Therefore, the sound quality you get is what is sold.

The reason i like to buy cd's, isn't the sound quality, it's the physicality of it, the photo's, the liner notes and supporting the artist. Don't get me wrong, the majority of music i download and always have, but if a i find a special band i will purchase the album.

At the end of the day the public has decided it doesn't care about sound quality, otherwise 128kb mp3's would be dead and CD's would still sell well. MP3's are easy to get (internet, torrent, itunes), they are easily stored and a wide medium of devices play them (from mp3 players, to phones and even in car gps devices), not so with cd's

I think this is a good idea, and at least shows that the industry is at least considering catching up to the technology that it's userbase has fostered. Whether it will work, i don't know. As many have said, Free+easy is a hard concept to better. And is there enough audio devices out there that accept SD cards?

3123.9.2008 19:53

Originally posted by magnets:
if you think of this concept as a replacement of CD's then the whole argument about sound quality is redundant. You won't have users choosing between Good sound quality and ease of use, because CD's will not be produced. Therefore, the sound quality you get is what is sold.

The reason i like to buy cd's, isn't the sound quality, it's the physicality of it, the photo's, the liner notes and supporting the artist. Don't get me wrong, the majority of music i download and always have, but if a i find a special band i will purchase the album.

At the end of the day the public has decided it doesn't care about sound quality, otherwise 128kb mp3's would be dead and CD's would still sell well. MP3's are easy to get (internet, torrent, itunes), they are easily stored and a wide medium of devices play them (from mp3 players, to phones and even in car gps devices), not so with cd's

I think this is a good idea, and at least shows that the industry is at least considering catching up to the technology that it's userbase has fostered. Whether it will work, i don't know. As many have said, Free+easy is a hard concept to better. And is there enough audio devices out there that accept SD cards?
Heres the thing, if you want high quality you'll buy the higher quality releases that are priced like CD, besides with SD sizes offering it on wav/higher MP3 format is still a option.

They will start out at medium high quality which is not bad.

3223.9.2008 20:00

ooOO!? I would be interested in THAT one! ;- )

3323.9.2008 20:03

Interested in varnull's LP! A few quickies interceded the last post by me!

3424.9.2008 1:29
atomicxl
Inactive

I don't know if this will work. You're getting worse than CD quality for more than a CD!!! Check Amazon.com and you can buy virtually any cd made within the last 7+ years for $9.99 or less.

With a gig of space you could do way better than MP3. They could use MP4 or WMA, which support samplerates of 96kHz and 192kHz... which is what the overwhelming majority of music is mixed and mastered at. Why do we have to get MP3 still?

3524.9.2008 1:49

Originally posted by atomicxl:
I don't know if this will work. You're getting worse than CD quality for more than a CD!!! Check Amazon.com and you can buy virtually any cd made within the last 7+ years for $9.99 or less.

With a gig of space you could do way better than MP3. They could use MP4 or WMA, which support samplerates of 96kHz and 192kHz... which is what the overwhelming majority of music is mixed and mastered at. Why do we have to get MP3 still?
Thats the beauty of it they can easily offer better quality, but in order to get there they are going to to have to start replacing CDs first.

Also most of the devices can run "normal" MP3s but not the more fancy encoded ones so they kinda have to start with MP3s first because they are going to have to sale these in volume to every device that has a SD slot once they get a foothold in you will start seeing "high quality" stuff but without the starting it they will never get to it.

3624.9.2008 3:54

- slotMusic is a versatile new physical music format for the 21st Century, which enables consumers to instantly and easily enjoy music from their favorite artists, without being dependent on a PC or internet connection, and it's supported by Universal Music Group, SONY BMG, Warner Music Group, and EMI Music.

- With 1GB of capacity, slotMusic cards can hold songs, as well as liner notes, album art, videos, and other creative content that an artist may choose. Consumers can also add their own content to a slotMusic card, creating a personal plug-and-play media library.

- slotMusic offers you a preloaded full album for $7-10, which is an equal price than if you downloaded it from iTunes and other music online stores, where one song costs $1, or $7-10 for a full album. In a way you're getting the slotMusic microSD card and USB adapter for free.

- iTunes and other music online stores usually offer songs in MP3 format at 128-192 kbps, and in some cases with DRM. slotMusic intents to surpass that with MP3 songs at 320 kbps, offering a high quality music experience, and without passwords, downloading online or DRM interfering with your personal use.

- Users simply insert the slotMusic card into their microSD-enabled mobile phone or MP3 player to hear the music, yet slotMusic cards will be bundled with a tiny USB sleeve ensuring seamless interoperability with all computers Windows, Linux and Mac.

- The upshot is that slotMusic will enjoy an unparalleled, pre-existing install base at launch: hundreds of millions of multimedia-phones, virtually any computer and device with a USB connector, and a growing number of home recievers and in-car sound systems will be able to play slotMusic cards.

3724.9.2008 8:23

Varnull, who is they or more importantly, who published your music without your permission? I wonder if the EFF does Britain...
I would love to see whoever caught with their hand in the cookie jar. Well that is why they are the media mafia. They are crooks that bribe lawmakers into allowing them to extort the public legally.

Magnets I totally agree! I am not a fan of lossless but I do believe that the user should decide to listen to lossless, not some pin head. I only purchase CDs and try to buy them used as to not support the evil mafia.

Atomicxl, mp3 is a universal format. If you really want to save space without hearable loss, MP3 VBR is far more sophisticated so it is far more efficient than either MP4s or WMAs. All devices play variable mp3s. Granted, because the compression is not consistent throughout the tune, the % played is rarely correct. I chose to forgo an accurate % played for an additional 20% compression.

Sudds, there encoders that create mp3s with more bits than 320. They are unpopular because that defeats the concept of an mp3. MP3s with a constant bit rate ignore high pitched tones to save space. The lower the bit rate the lower the cut off pitch is. 20,000 hz tones contain 1,000 times more data but also require a significatly higher sample rate to accuratly capture that tone so the actual date needed to reproduce the tone is thousands of times more. Humans hear and feel the 20 hz tones well at any age. Only young undamaged ears can hear 20,000 Hz tones and above. There is a young croud dispersal weapon which is used in Britian that targets teenagers. It uses 18,000 Hz tones to disperse pesky teenagers from malls and elsewhere. If adults could really hear 18,000 tones it would have been taken off the market. Persons stop hearning 18 KHz tones from 20-25. 320s clip the tones at 20 KHz. MP3 360s would only benifit dogs and other animals that can hear tones above 20 KHz.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 24 Sep 2008 @ 8:58

3825.9.2008 10:13

This bogus invention will fail. The problem with CDs is not the media but what is on the media. Most new albums only have one good tune on them. Once you rip the music you do not need to wear out your CD. I have bought the same albums several times over. Now I just rip them an store the master in a large box of old masters.

3925.9.2008 14:24

Originally posted by Mez:
This bogus invention will fail. The problem with CDs is not the media but what is on the media. Most new albums only have one good tune on them. Once you rip the music you do not need to wear out your CD. I have bought the same albums several times over. Now I just rip them an store the master in a large box of old masters.
Mabye but with the chance to offer more CD quality tracks its not that bad of a thing.

4023.9.2011 19:05

What do you mean by that my friend?

Mp3 is not what many call quality tracks. In reality high quality bit rate mp3s are plenty good. You put more than 100 extreme VRB mp3s on a CD. Still I bet they are selling 128s which don't sound very good. 128 is a commercial grade mp3. They are allowed to sell them for less because they are not very good.

I don't see them setting the world on fire. I think my prediction of 3 years ago was accurate. I checked them out. It looks like they are only putting 1 album on gig cards. They do have 320 br so the quality is there but they are going for about what a CD goes for. The tiny chip comes in a CD jewel case. I would prefer the CD.

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