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Yahoo! intros wireless multimedia gadget

Web giant Yahoo! threatened to shake up the devices market over the weekend with a multimedia player that allows users to download content over the internet.

Yahoo! has teamed up with MP3 player vendor SanDisk, to build the Sansa Connect, wifi-enabled gadget.

Using both free and subscription-based services from Yahoo!, including the portal’s own Yahoo! Music service, consumers can access and download music and photos via wifi, with no PC required.

Users with a Yahoo! ID can listen to Launchcast internet radio, browse Flickr photos and see what their Yahoo! Messenger friends and other Sansa Connect owners nearby are listening to.

The device could prove some serious competition to Apple’s iPod and Microsoft’s Zune. Although the iPod still dominates the market, Zune changed the game by introducing wireless capabilities, although the Sansa is the first device that allows users to download music over the air.

The Sansa is available as a 4GB unit with a 2.2″ TFT color screen, a microSD slot for music and photo capacity expansion, and an internal speaker. It is available in the US at a suggested retail price of $249.99 and is expected to be available elsewhere later.

The device plays a range of popular music formats such as MP3 and Windows Media Audio (WMA) in both unprotected and protected files and also supports Microsoft PlaysForSure.

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