At a presentation in London SanDisk Director of Product Marketing Jan Hauer announced that very soon MP3 players will come with... no memory at all. But they will have Ogg and Flac support.
Well, he would say that, wouldn't he? After all, SanDisk is the only music player maker that also sells removable media. Mandy Rice-Davis apart, Hauer's statement is not without some foundation.
SanDisk is of the opinion that when Moore's Law is applied to removable Flash memory it means every 12 months we'll get twice the storage for the same price. So, the dosh you have to part with today for an 8GB SanDisk Micro SDHC card today will get you 16GB model in June 2009 and a 32GB version a year after that.
We'll be keeping an eye on SanDisk's pricing structure to see how well they stick to this.
SanDisk's point, then, is why would anyone buy an MP3 player with any built-in memory when they can buy one with a bundled Micro SD card of the same capacity instead that can also be slotted into your phone, car or hi-fi when you want to listen to your music elsewhere? With Audi and BMW already apparently offering this capacity, along with high-end ICE maker Blaupunkt, the argument is persuasive.
SanDisk also announced that an imminent firmware upgrade for its iPod Nano-basher, the Sansa Clip, will bring Ogg Vorbis and Flac file support to the range. A similar upgrade for the new Fuze player, due for release next week, is coming "soon".
All SanDisk MP3 players will also come with FM radios from now on, the recent move of their manufacturing base from China to Prague means they no longer have to worry about that pesky ten per cent European import tariff on FM-fitted devices.