The slow segue from CD to MP3 took a giant step forward today when it was announced that SanDisk had reached a deal with all four major labels to begin selling memory card albums of both new acts and classic artists. The one-gig Micro SD cards will make their first appearance in Best Buys and Wal-Marts in time for the holiday season. Each memory card will contain the album in all its 320kbps and DRM-free glory. The music industry, trying to fight off rapidly decreasing annual CD sales, hopes the memory card's immediate accessibility with cell phones, computers and MP3 players will result in a revenue renaissance. The initial batch of micro carded albums will feature 29 artists, including Weezer, Rihanna, Chris Brown, Ne-Yo and Elvis Presley. This doesn't mark the first time the major labels have experimented with memory cards: last year, UMG celebrated the anniversary of Bob Marley's Exodus by releasing a limited edition USB stick, while EMI got revenge for Radiohead's exodus from the label by releasing a memory stick with the band's entire non-In Rainbows discography. This new round of memory stick albums will sell for between $7 and $10 apiece — much cheaper than the standard price of the antiquated CD.
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