Sansa Takes on Zune with Connected MP3 Player

SanDisk's pride and joy will "un-tether users from their PCs." (

LAS VEGAS - With a little help from manufacturing partner ZING, SanDisk on Monday unveiled the Sansa Connect, which for all intents and purposes seems to be positioned by the company as a direct competitor to the Microsoft Zune.

Designed for use in Wi-Fi hotspots (although it functions as a regular MP3 player when there is no wireless signal to be found), the Connect accesses online music services without a PC, and users can both stream or download content. It has an internal speaker and the ability to expand the internal 4 Gbytes of memory.

So can you send a song to a friend wirelessly, just like the Zune? Well, because the Connect utilizes music services, the answer is yes.

If a customer is on the same music service as his buddy and wants to send him the hottest new track, a Connect owner just needs to ping him with the player, and the friend can rock out immediately to the new song, SanDisk said. According to the company, a Connect is not even required – Connect-to-PC connections are supported as well. Furthermore, since its within the confines of a music service, there arent any restrictions on how many times the track can be played.

There is also a photo playback feature, and the ability to download photos wirelessly as well.

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