Demise of Yahoo Music to Kill the Sansa Connect?

Demise of Yahoo Music to Kill the Sansa Connect?

SanDisk’s Sansa Connect has been one of our favorite digital media players, thanks to the built-in Wi-Fi feature that enabled you to download music from your Yahoo Music Unlimited subscription. But Yahoo’s announcement that it intends to shutter its subscription music service by the middle of this year will render the player’s Wi-Fi capabilities practically useless—a development that's almost certain to kill sales of the Connect.

If you’re a Yahoo Music subscriber, your subscription will be automatically transferred to RealNetworks’ Rhapsody service (unless you opt out, at which point Yahoo will refund the balance of your paid subscription). According to this FAQ on Yahoo’s site, Yahoo Music Unlimited subscribers will be transferred to a Rhapsody Unlimited account ($13.00 per month); Yahoo Music Unlimited To Go customers (the service Connect owners are most likely using) will be switched to Rhapsody To Go ($15.00 per month). A Rhapsody spokesperson tells me that Yahoo customers will receive special pricing for a limited time, but that those details have not yet been worked out.

The Sansa Connect is not currently listed as being compatible with Rhapsody, but we have confirmed with Eric Bone, SanDisk’s director of audio/video product marketing, that the device will be compatible by the time the switch takes place. The wireless functionality, on the other hand, will not function with Rhapsody. “The wireless connectivity for downloading music from the Yahoo service will be discontinued [when Yahoo shuts down its music subscription service]” said Bone. “Unfortunately, we’re not able to transfer the wireless downloading functionality to Rhapsody.”

In other words, the number-one feature that drove most people to buy a Sansa Connect in the first place is now permanently broken. In the words of the immortal Johnny Rotten, “Ever feel like you’ve been cheated?”



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I have to admit, the device, in concept is pretty darn cool.  It was really pretty cool to have the abilty to sync up w/ my Yahoo account and play Launchcast Radio... the flaw is that the Launchcast Radio didn't really provide me with mixes of music that I really cared for, but occasionally I would hear a song that I liked and with my subscription, I could just say "Get this song" and it would download and be available to play on-demand... That was the only really cool part, but since Yahoo Music is going bye-bye, it leaves me with quite a dud, especially given the shoddy battery life (like 5 hours tops with an ever-draining standby mode). 

Is there anyway anyone (someone much smarter than me obviously) to hack the firmware of this device kinda like we can do with our Linksys Routers w/ Tomato or DD-WRT?  It seems like such a waste of landfill space if someone could hack it to do the following instead:

- Support friggon MP4 video
- Support RSS-Podcast feeds - I'm so sick of having to download my shows and hook up the player to transfer them (which only works 1/2 the time w/o having to reboot the device, which ALSO takes like 30 seconds to boot).  If wi-fi's built in, why not provide a podcast aggregator.  A news reader and mini browser would be cool, but I'm asking a lot!
- Change the "friends" module to actually allow for IM.

I will retire my Sansa Connect into a some sort of time capsule for now and work on getting something that I'll be happier with.  With all the features I described it's pointing towards an iPhone, but I'm not sure I feel like shelling out the near $150 a month to have the AT&T service.  I'm in a verizon dominated area and not many of my contacts are "In-network" so I need a beefy minute plan and the data plan... ugh... decisions, decisions...

Anyway... just my 2 cents.



Add wireless sync and song transfer.



i sniff a lawsuit somewhere

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