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1/28/2010
09:15 AM
Eric Ogren
Eric Ogren
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Verizon Thinks BlackBerry Users Don't Consume Enough Music

This morning Verizon Wireless announced a new music-focused service specifically for BlackBerry users. Despite offering 1,000 songs on a microSD card, the service is clearly meant to coax BlackBerry users to download more music from Verizon's V CAST Music Store. Updated.

This morning Verizon Wireless announced a new music-focused service specifically for BlackBerry users. Despite offering 1,000 songs on a microSD card, the service is clearly meant to coax BlackBerry users to download more music from Verizon's V CAST Music Store. Updated.At first glance, you might be fooled into thinking that Verizon Wireless is being super generous here. It claims to offer 1,000 Billboard hits for $50 when you buy a new slotRadio+ microSD card. Sounds too good to be true, right? It is.

Look carefully at Verizon's language in the press release. Here are the key statements:

  • The slotRadio+ microSD card combines 1,000 popular songs featuring top-charting Billboard artists with an additional 4GB of flash memory for personal storage.
  • Verizon Wireless customers can easily connect via the touch of a button to V CAST Music to purchase many of the titles featured on the slotRadio+ card as full tracks, ringtones and ringback tones.
At first you might think that all sounds pretty cool, but there's a serious drawback to consider. Here's what slotRadio+ spokesperson Jody Privette said to me in an email, "You do get the full songs with the sR+ card for the $49.99. You can also download additional music through V CAST if you want more music, or if you want to buy the song and own it outright in order to transfer it to other devices."

When asked to clarify that last statement, Privette said, "Like a DVD, the content is locked to the card, hence the great price for 1,000 songs. V CAST ... allows for quick purchase of the song for playing on any device, or for additional songs when building a music library. But those who just want to regularly play the 1,000 songs on their slotRadio+ card can do so repeatedly - they will own these songs on the card purchased for the Blackberry phone."

In other words, if you buy the slotRadio+ microSD card, those 1,000 songs can not be moved to any other device, such as your PC. If you want to move them to your main music library, you'll have to pay extra. You'll "own" them only on your BlackBerry.

FULL PRESS RELEASE

Verizon Wireless said today it is bringing more music to many of its BlackBerry® smartphone customers with the introduction of the exclusive slotRadio+ microSD card. Designed by SanDisk, the slotRadio+ microSD card combines 1,000 popular songs featuring top-charting Billboard® artists with an additional 4 GB of flash memory for personal storage - all on one microSD memory card. Verizon Wireless customers can tap into the full music potential of their BlackBerry smartphones with the slotRadio+ card and application. The extra storage space on the microSD card allows customers to save photos, music and videos on their BlackBerry smartphones and transfer them to their PCs. While listening to the hand-selected playlists on the slotRadio+ card, Verizon Wireless customers can easily connect via the touch of a button to V CAST Music to purchase many of the titles featured on the slotRadio+ card as full tracks, ringtones and ringback tones, as well as millions of other titles from V CAST Music, available over-the-air, to store them directly on the microSD card and enjoy them on their smartphone. Customers simply insert the slotRadio+ card, then go to the smartphone's browser to download and install the slotRadio+ application from http://m.slotradio.com. Verizon Wireless is offering two versions of the slotRadio+ card: Billboard Hits, featuring music hand-picked from today's top artists in modern rock, dance and hip hop, Latin, and country; and Billboard Decades, with songs from the '80s, the '90s, classic rock and oldies. Available beginning Jan. 29 for $49.99 each, the slotRadio+ card will work with a wide range of BlackBerry smartphones, including the BlackBerry® Curve™ 8530, BlackBerry® Pearl™ 8130, BlackBerry® Pearl™ Flip 8230, BlackBerry® Storm™ 9530, BlackBerry® Storm2™ 9550, BlackBerry® Tour™ 9630 and BlackBerry® 8830 World Edition smartphone. Customers can purchase this hot new accessory at Verizon Wireless Communications Stores nationwide and at www.verizonwireless.com/accessories

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