What’s WIFI in a music player for?

I’ve seen a number of people pontificate on the concept of Wifi in an MP3 player.  About how it’s all about people sharing music with people.  Honestly, I think that’s bunk.  Such behavior would only work if everyone involved had the same device, and the only person with the market penetration to assume that is Apple.

More interesting, I think, is the use of Wifi on devices that also have access to the limitless catalog music services of Yahoo, Rhapsody, Urge, and others.  How much more music would you discover if you could simply download it straight to your player the minute you hear about it?  I would think a lot.

Oh, did someone just tell you that you might like Dashboard Confessional?  Download it to your player, no computer required.

The Sansa Connect is the first of these players to come out and it only works with Yahoo! Music.  Instead of Yahoo I use Rhapsody, but I’m going to wait and read a few reviews and if they haven’t made a mess of the implementation I’m going to pick it up.


  1. Will on April 16, 2007 at 9:27 am

    Unless I misunderstood you, the Zune is the first WiFi-enabled MP3 player. Granted, it can’t do all this neat stuff that this Sansa can do (from another article I read):

    “With the device, all a user has to do is to find a Wi-Fi network and start streaming internet radio from Yahoo Launchcast, browse photos on Flickr, register with Yahoo Music Unlimited To Go for $15 per month and download any tracks or albums you like.”

    The only thing the Zune’s WiFi allows you to do is share a few songs with another Zune user for three plays or three days, whichever comes first. Kinda neat, until you consider the fact that there are seven Zune users out there. Who are you going to share this music with?

    With Sandisk bringing more compelling functionality with their Sansa, MS should be motivated to add something more to the Zune. I imagine it is only a matter of time before Apple announces a 6G iPod with WiFi.

  2. ShabbirJSafdar on April 16, 2007 at 10:47 am

    I fully expect Microsoft to do this with the Zune. I think they didn’t because battery life has been a problem, and Wifi will just about finish it off.

  3. ampressman on April 16, 2007 at 12:21 pm

    Hmm, it seems pretty crippled, actually. According to PC Magazine’s review (http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1895,2113118,00.asp), you can’t log on to wifi hotspots that require proxy authentication and such, like T-Mobile and Boingo so no coffee shop downloading at Starbucks.

    Much worse, you can’t actually search for music and download it from Yahoo over wifi.

    (From PC Mag) “I’d prefer being able to type in an artist’s name and search for albums and tracks rather than wait for music to be suggested to me, rate it, and hope something I’m looking for pops up. Alas, the Connect offers no search field. If you haven’t already downloaded a track by, say, Urge Overkill before using Yahoo!’s Jukebox, your chances of finding a track by them are not great; Connect depends entirely on what Yahoo! chooses to show you. At first, for instance, I think the 50-song list of indie-rock suggestions for me had two Ween songs and two Postal Service songs, although I’d never downloaded a track from either group. If the list doesn’t have what you’re looking for, refreshing it just seems to provide more songs by the same artists. So, seeking out obscure songs is still best left for a PC session, and the Connect has some annoying, repetitive artist placement instead of tons of variety at first.”

    And it also sounds like the sending song recommendations bit is quite limited, too. You can’t actually send song files, as Zune does, and you can’t even send recommendations of songs that you didn’t download from the yahoo jukebox. The reviewer burned a cd and wanted to recommend one of its songs. He couldn’t even though the song was also available from yahoo. From Sandisk’s Site
    ” Yahoo! Music does not permit copying or transferring music files to other users. Yahoo’s share function available only for subscribers to access another subscriber’s Yahoo! Music Unlimited music files.”

    And, of course, you can’t sync with your own computer over wifi or connect via wifi to anything but the yahoo service.

    This all reminds me of the wacky state of affairs pre-ipod and pre-itunes music store.

  4. ShabbirJSafdar on April 16, 2007 at 12:26 pm

    It’s all so sad. The marketing concept of carrying around 2 million songs is your pocket is obvious, why can’t they build it?

    Hell I could build it.