It appears that SanDisk doesn't want to give up when it comes to pre-loaded music on flash media and the company has just announced its new slotMusic microSD, although it seems like this time, there's no annoying DRM to hold them back.
From what we can remember, this is the third time SanDisk has attempted to flog music pre-loaded onto one or another flash memory card format; the first time was TrustedFlash back in 2005, and earlier this year the company launched Sansa Sessions, neither of which took off.
This time, SanDisk has managed to get EMI Music, SONY BMG, Universal Music Group and the Warner Music Group onboard for content, and according to the press release, you can expect to find the pre-loaded memory cards at Best Buy and Wal-Mart in the U.S. to start with, although Europe is expected to get a taste of slotMusic at an unspecified date in the future.
The music on the slotMusic cards will be encoded at 320kbps in MP3 format which should offer a decent enough quality level for all but the pickiest of users. The SlotMusic cards will ship with a "tiny USB sleeve" which will make it easier to listen to the music on your computer.
Due to the lack of DRM protection, we presume the music can also be copied between devices, although the press release isn't clear on this matter. SanDisk is hoping that the new slotMusic format will appeal to people with mobile phones that can play back music from a microSD card, as well as people with an MP3 player that accepts microSD cards.
The slotMusic cards will have 1GB of space, although no pricing was revealed at this moment with SanDisk saying it will be revealed neared the holiday season when slotMusic will be officially launched.
You can find the press release here.