On the face of it, an SD card with built-in 32bit RISC microprocessor, capable of encrypting, deciphering and generally guarding data very, very securely, isn't that exciting.
But Sandisk's new TrustedFlash cards have much potential when it comes to music distribution. This is a little complicated, so concentrate:
- Gruvi cards, built on TrustedFlash technology, will be available from music shops pre-loaded with music in the same way that CDs are.
- Gruvi cards will immediately provide users with compatible devices access to WMA versions of album tracks, which are automatically decrypted for playback and limited copying by the built-in microprocessor. Album art and electronic sleeve notes will also be available.
- Gruvi cards will play in any compatible device, so the media is portable in the same way that a CD is.
- In addition to the album tracks, there will be space on a Gruvi card for other media. Sandisk suggests, for example, that you could have a band's entire back catalogue, music videos, games, ringtones etc. stored on the Gruvi card. (Storage space will go up to 2GB).
- Via Click&Buy, users will be able to instantly access the other stored content, immediately paying for it via credit card or phone bill.
So, Gruvi has benefits of both CDs (portability) and download services (instant access, but without the associated bandwidth cost and downloading delays). Sounds pretty good to us.
Dinosaur rockers The Rolling Stones' new album A Bigger Bang has already been announced in the Gruvi format - expect much more to follow.
For some really rather perplexing press releases, hit www.sandisk.com.