SanDisk, Yahoo release latest iPod rival, the Sansa Connect

It's a Wi-Fi-enabled MP3 player

SanDisk Corp. and Yahoo Inc. are the latest companies attempting to take on Apple Inc.'s iPod, releasing the Wi-Fi-enabled Sansa Connect today.

The Sansa Connect comes with a 2.2-in. LCD screen and weighs 15.2 oz., which means it is both heavier and has a smaller screen than the 80GB iPod. It also has an 8GB flash hard drive, the same as the larger iPod nano model. However, the Sansa Connect can be expanded with a microSD memory card.

With a Wi-Fi connection, Sansa Connect users can access both free and paid Yahoo services, including Launchcast Internet radio and Flickr online photo galleries. Users can also see what music other users on a Yahoo Messenger list are listening to. The player supports MP3 and WMA files, both protected and unprotected by digital rights management software.

Users of Yahoo Music Unlimited to Go can download music directly to their Sansa Connect without a PC. Users can see recommendations from friends and other owners of the same device, but they can't beam music to one another.

SanDisk did not disclose a suggested retail price for the Sansa Connect. However, Amazon.com Inc. has the device listed for $249.99.

Copyright © 2007 IDG Communications, Inc.

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