You've got to admire the major labels - faced with a decline in physical product sales, they conclude that the problem is not that people don't want physical product, it's just they want a slightly different shape of physical product.
The latest format, then, to answer this imagined hunger, is slotMusic. This is, effectively, a MicroSD card that someone has already recorded some music on for you. The labels are delighted, hailing "at last: a format that still needs to shipped round the planet, but working with fewer devices than the CD while being much, much, easier to lose."
The official website is excited:
These leaders have issued their launch press release only as a PDF - I'm assuming as a joke; choosing a clumsy, needs-intervention-and-plug-ins format for something that they could have just simply coded up to let people read directly in their browser must be a tongue-in-cheek metaphor for the format, right?
These things are expected to turn up - briefly - on the shelves of Best Buy and WalMart until the challenge of making a microsized product a comfortable browse and trying to persuade people to buy into what I think is the 19th new format since yesterday teatime (BlueRay Audio, anyone?) leads to a quick loss-cutting.
One thing in the defence of the industry: DRM MP3s. The lack of DRM is to be welcomed (gradually learning) but since they're delivering these tracks on a physical format, couldn't they have offered them in higher quality?