updated 09:00 pm EDT, Wed September 29, 2004
SanDisk debuts Photo Album
today introduced the SanDisk Photo Album, a compact, sleek device that lets consumers display digital still pictures or video clips on their TV sets and even attach soundtracks to slide shows. Using any one of eight flash memory card formats as well as portable USB flash drives, the unit also enables consumers to play MP3 music files on their home audio systems. The SanDisk Photo Album (SPA) connects to any television set that has an audio/video input and the included remote control offers multiple functions. It will cost $50 and be available this holiday season.
On the front side, the SPA supports eight flash memory card formats in four slots—for CompactFlash Type I/II, SD/MultiMediaCard, Memory Stick/Memory Stick PRO, and SmartMedia/xD. On the rear side there are two USB sockets--one that allows it to double as an 8-in-1 card reader/writer and another that can host a portable USB flash drive. A second CompactFlash slot on the back also can be used for "archiving memory" for storing extended slide shows from images that are displayed from flash cards on the front side or from the USB flash drive. This rear card also can store and replay video clips and MP3 music selections.
The compact device measures 7.4" x 2.6" x 0.8". In addition to standard JPEG still images and MP3 files, the media player supports Motion JPEG and MPEG-1 for video. The device can archive images for optimal TV playback, allowing it to store up to 4,000 photos on a 256MB CF card. The device can also playback MP3 music when the rear CF slot is loaded with a CF card with MP3 files or via USB flash drive that contains MP3 music. Users can jump to specific selections from the music menu that is displayed on the screen. The device will also allow users to drop MP3 files onto the same card that stores images for TV playback and automatically have background music for slide shows.