David Pogue reviews the latest Wi-Fi-enabled music player, and finds admirable features alongside showstopping problems: SanDisk has promoted the notion that its flash-based 4GB, $250 music player can access any of 2m songs from Yahoo's $15/month music service. Pogue notes that it can do no such thing. Instead, the player has access to only songs that are streamed via Yahoo Internet radio stations and a few limited lists, and some of those songs can't be downloaded because of licensing restrictions.
Pogue likes the intent of the Wi-Fi connection, providing direct access to the Internet via hotspots or home networks to download music and view Flickr photos. But, good gravy, the limitations are ridiculous. The Sansa Connect won't enable Wi-Fi if the battery has dropped below 60 percent; Pogue found Wi-Fi network connections erratic in his testing, too. There's no provision to connect to a network that requires payment or authentication. (One hopes they solve that through either Boingo or Devicescape or both.)