Memory specialists Sandisk is teaming up with four major music labels to release MP3 albums on SD cards.
With the increasing popularity of downloading, the music industry is hoping that this product, dubbed Slotmusic, will enable it to regain some control over music distribution.
The quality (up to 320kbps) will be superior to most downloaded albums according to Sandisk, the cards are more portable than CDs, and the lack of moving parts makes them a more durable medium.
Being DRM-free means that the the audio can be played on any number of devices, from mobiles phones, MP3 players, DAB radios and car radios; and it’s likely that album artwork and music videos will be included thanks to the greater capacity of space that is available, reckons the storage card maker.
The albums are likely to be sold on 1GB cards, but SD cards can currently be made to hold up to 32GB of material, so if this enterprise succeeds, then it could be possible that films, and even boxsets, will also be released in this format. A 32GB SD card will hold around six HD films.
“Downloading music is hugely popular as its simple and immediate,” says Jon Barrow of Which? Research. “It’s hard to see why anyone who currently downloads songs would want to switch to this new system. And traditionalists who prefer buying CDs are unlikely to be drawn to a tiny memory card that’s easily lost.”
Sony, Universal, EMI and Warner are some of the labels that are planning to release albums in this format and they should be available before Christmas. The titles haven’t yet been announced, and the price is likely to be in line with the current price of a CD album.