BusinessWeek’s Wildstrom says the Sansa Connect is slick

Stephen H. Wildstrom of BusinessWeek applauds the new SanDisk Sansa Connect in this article, calling it a “slick Wi-Fi music player.” This new device integrates Yahoo’s subscription music service…

“The $250 Sansa Connect is the result of a collaboration among SanDisk, Yahoo!, and Zing Systems, which is responsible for the software and network infrastructure. The Connect, which is smaller than the standard hard drive iPod and bigger than the nano, has 4 gigabytes of memory, which you can double by adding a memory card. You download music to it—MP3s and copy-protected or unprotected Windows Media files—from a Windows PC. But the important advance is the device’s deft use of Wi-Fi networking.

“To get the best experience with Wi-Fi, you really need an all-you-can-eat subscription plan. The iPod/iTunes pay-per-song approach that forces you to sync with a PC just doesn’t cut it. Apple (AAPL) never believed its customers would spring for subscriptions, which is why there’s no Wi-Fi iPod. Even the upcoming iPhone, which will have Wi-Fi, won’t be able to download content from the iTunes Store over the air.

“It remains to be seen if Wi-Fi plus subscription can give SanDisk, Yahoo, and Zing traction against the iPod juggernaut. But I find the Sansa Connect a welcome addition to the field of music players.”

Cool. I am tripping down to the electronics store this weekend to take a look. Great to hear how the Connect works well with on-line photos, too (it can access Flickr).