I love my iPod, but there is a new music player vying for my heart: the slotRadio ($79) by Sansa.The two-inch-by-two-inch clip-on music player comes with a data card with 1,000 songs from the Billboard music charts, with prearranged playlists by music genre. I tried the additional Health and Fitness mix, which includes the mixes for warmup, cardio, roadwork (cycling), power (lifting), yoga, cooldown, and the even more mellow spa mix.
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I must admit I am a bit technically challenged — ironic since I am a blogger, I know. Even with my latent Luddite ways, I found the slotRadio super easy to use. The instruction manual was simply written with helpful graphics. Open the box, charge the radio, which took about an hour, put in your music card, and go. My inaugural run with the slotRadio was great. It clips onto your clothes and is so small and light you don't even notice it. The volume button is easy to find, as is the skip button. You can easily skip genres, too. I warmed up with Lady Gaga and Nelly and moved onto cardio with a few bands I have never heard of, like VHS or Beta. The slotRadio feels like a pop music education in a good way. This little player is a great way to introduce yourself to new music. However, I had to remove the foam covers from the earbuds to keep them from falling out of my ears.
The video screen features graphics of exercises and lets you know the next song up on the playlist so you can advance easily to find motivational music. The slotRadio is also a real radio. As an NPR junkie, I love that I can switch over to radio and catch up on news or Fresh Air while working out.
I enjoyed the Health and Fitness music card much more than the standard Billboard artist music card. Thankfully, the data cards are easy to change, and there are many options to choose from, including Christmas tunes, '80s and '90s music, Latin, and classical. The extra data cards cost $40. The slotRadio bundle comes with headphones, charger, and Billboard music card. These make a great gift for the musically impaired fitness fanatic in your life.