Follow-up announcement from SanDisk for Sansa Connect Users

This is a follow-up on our prior communication regarding Yahoo’s recent announcement that it will discontinue its Yahoo Music Unlimited and Unlimited To Go subscription services.  We are committed to you, our customers and want to provide accurate and reliable information as soon as we are able to. SanDisk is exploring several potential courses of action to address a situation which is not entirely in our control. We expect to post more information shortly, which we hope will answer some of the questions that have been raised in several forum threads. We thank for your continued support.

“discontinue its Yahoo Music Unlimited and Unlimited To Go subscription services” does this include Launchast Streaming music service? I wouldn’t classify this as a subscription service as it does not allow ala cart song selection or purchase for non–internet-connected playback. It is also provided as part of my Yahoo-dsl subscription, so converting the player to use another provider breaks the player for my purposes.

Also, will this change occur with another firmware update? and if so, will I be able to opt-out of the upgrade that breaks my player.

IMO, sandisk could get out completely from this problem if they just open the source and allow a method of replacing the firmware with custom user-supported builds that would allow 3rd party MP3 streaming such as shoutcast or any other UPNP player, (shoutcast, rockbox, twonky, wmp, etc)

snerdley wrote:

Also, will this change occur with another firmware update? and if so, will I be able to opt-out of the upgrade that breaks my player.

Yahoo will stop providing the service.  It has nothing to do with a firmware update.

“Yahoo will stop providing the service.”

Do you mean Launchcast? or just the music to go service? I believe they are distictly different offerings from yahoo. on http://ymusicblog.com/blog/2008/02/04/yahoo-music-rhapsody-and-foxytunes/ , Ian Rodgers suggests that Music to go is taking resources away from more popular services such as LAUNCHcast. Does this imply that Yahoo will continue the LC radio service? and that the connect will continue to function as a streaming radio player from LC?

"The fact of the matter is that building a great premium music service takes a huge amount of resources and effort, and it was taking energy away from our important main offerings, music.yahoo.com (the Web’s #1 Music destination), music videos, and LAUNCHcast Radio. "

What don’t want to see is a new deal with rhapsody for downloads that will break the existing and continuing functional launchcast radio service (if it continues). If new rhapsody functionality comes with a firmware update (it has to, right?) and it breaks the LC service, I don’t want the update.

snerdley wrote:

“Yahoo will stop providing the service.”

Do you mean Launchcast? or just the music to go service?

I mean the Music To Go service; I don’t know about Launchcast.  I was responding to the previous post that implied that the Music To Go service would be removed via a firmware update to the Connect.  There’s no need to release a firmware update to stop a service that’s not being delivered in the first place.  Though I suppose a firmware update might be required to remove menu items that would access that service IF it was available.

@snerdley wrote:

“discontinue its Yahoo Music Unlimited and Unlimited To Go subscription services” does this include Launchast Streaming music service? I wouldn’t classify this as a subscription service as it does not allow ala cart song selection or purchase for non–internet-connected playback. It is also provided as part of my Yahoo-dsl subscription, so converting the player to use another provider breaks the player for my purposes.

Also, will this change occur with another firmware update? and if so, will I be able to opt-out of the upgrade that breaks my player.

IMO, sandisk could get out completely from this problem if they just open the source and allow a method of replacing the firmware with custom user-supported builds that would allow 3rd party MP3 streaming such as shoutcast or any other UPNP player, (shoutcast, rockbox, twonky, wmp, etc)

If this change is made, it would be on Yahoo’s end…  firmware wouldn’t affect the availability of the Launchcast service.

The source code has been released as required under the GPL for the pre-existing components that SanDisk and Zing had to modify to get the Connect to run…  it’s the ZAP and boot signature that they’d need to release.  I’m in favor of the idea, personally, but I don’t think there’s any point to it unless SanDisk commits to providing support for this and to continue production of the Connect for the forseeable future.

“The source code has been released as required under the GPL for the pre-existing components that SanDisk and Zing had to modify to get the Connect to run…  it’s the ZAP and boot signature that they’d need to release.  I’m in favor of the idea, personally, but I don’t think there’s any point to it unless SanDisk commits to providing support for this and to continue production of the Connect for the forseeable future.”

Releasing this would not necessarily require committment to production and continued support, it would be washing their hands of the project and release it to the public domain. Future support would have to come from the user community and I suspect we would produce better products as we aren’t focused on striking deals for profit or locking users into propriatory streaming sources.

I, personally, would sign a waver of any future lawsuit, for failing to provide services as promised, for the ability to have an open streaming source. That would protect Sandisk from lawsuits and absolve them from any future requirements for support or production of the product. Win-Win. :smiley:

It’s been nearly a month – any update on the "We expect to post more information shortly, which we hope will answer some of the questions that have been raised in several forum threads."

Thanks,
Doug Sojourner

Will a firmware update be available by means other than wifi download? I currently don’t have convenient

access to a wifi hotspot, and my home network has dial up service and therefore requires a proxy server,

which the connect currently doesn’t support. Is any consideration being given to allow internet access via

proxy server?

 Ben 

Ya know, I was a little upset about the yahoo ending too, but you have to admit, the connect is still a sweet piece of machine.

And honestly, I use it all the time for my videos, and the Kids love the thing when i play through the speaker so they can both listen to the music.

Im sure SanDisk will figure something out. I doubt they will let the Connect just die out. Its too popular in my area

This product is discontinued.  This product was a gift to me …otherwise, I would NEVER have purchased it.  This player has been nothing but problems.  When this was  bought, you are NOT told that some services are no longer or that some music stores will not download onto it.  I have told everyone I know to buy any type of a mp3 player but not a sansa, I will not !!!

Hey, it’s not Sansa’s fault that Yahoo! music is discontinued. You can send back your sansa for a full refund if you want.

LagunaSansa -

I do hope one of the potential solutions is to update firmware to duplicate many of the great features with regard to WiFi streaming from Rhapsody channels and add subscription tracks “on the fly”.  I performed the migration today which, BTW, worked without issue, and transferring tracks from my PC to the Connect seems to work as well.   I love my Connect, especially the aforementioned features, and with so many similarities between Yahoo Music Unlimited To Go and the Rhapsody service, it would be great to complete the transition with a fully-functional Connect - how 'bout it SanDisk??  The market needs a simple, cost-effective, app specific WiFi player instead of having to haul around a big, clunky, PMP with web browser, etc., etc., just to have the simple (but elegant!) features unique to the Connect.