The format introduced by EMI, Sony BMG, Universal and Warner Bros. is called “SlotMusic” and will be available initially through a range U.S. retailers such as Best Buy and Wal-Mart. Sandisk is developing the hardware and software technology, which is based on the microSD format. SlotMusic cards will be packaged with a tiny USB sleeve, which will allow buyers to play the music in any portable device with a microSD slot (such as cellphones) as well as any device with a USB interface (such as PCs).
SlotMusic cards are positioned as a CD replacement for all those portable devices that can play digital music, but are simply too small to integrate a CD player. The four music giants consider their SlotMusic cards as “a versatile new physical music format for the 21st Century” and promise to launch the format with “MP3 music of top artists” in time for the Christmas season. The artist lineup and pricing of these cards has not been announced.