Normally I don't like surprises. Like the time I asked the SheFlogger for Snap-On tools for my birthday, but we somehow ended up with a strap-on, which was not nearly as fun for me. I can happily report the SanDisk Sansa slotRadio player is a good surprise,giving you a ton of music for your backcountry edification, as long as you understand what you are and are not getting.
What you get is the new slotRadio format that gives you 1,000 songs on various themed micro SD cards for $49.99. That's five cents per song, as opposed to a buck a song from just about anywhere else, so theoretically you save big bucks. Various SanDisk Sansa players accept the card, including the somewhat confusingly named Sansa slotRadio player we tested, and supposedly phones are on the way that support the format. SlotRadio players also accept albums using the slotMusic format as well as micro SD cards with your own tunage.
The player is simplicity itself: tiny and lightweight with a built-in sturdy metal body and clip, you can choose between FM radio (RBDS compatible, no less) and the card, adjust volume, switch between the seven built-in playlists, and skip songs. The songs are good but not great audio quality, and they are totally locked to the card (no copying) and you can't go back through songs. The last limitation is far and away the most annoying because there is no reason not to include a reverse button.
SlotRadio is designed to provide an equivalent experience to listening to the radio, but without annoying commercials and inane DJs. No computer is needed so it's pretty much a zero-effort experience. I found the included Billboard Mix music card to have a great selection of songs spanning genres and time, and the overall listening experience was great; I discovered and rediscovered a lot of music and was continually pleasantly surprised by the tracks. Bottom line: with the exception of no backtracking, what slotRadio does it does very well and inexpensively.