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on July 26, 2007
For $40 you get a basic MP3 player with a 512MB SD card (comes with a few kids tunes already on the card), a small lanyard with clip, a pair of headphones, USB cable, instructions, mini-CD, and AAA battery.

What I like about this player (as an adult):

Built-in Speaker - This unit is completely self-contained. It can be used with one (or two) pair(s) of headphones - or you can 'lose' the headphones and still enjoy your music through the built-in speaker. I can imagine taking this tent camping and using it to lull off to sleep - or to play while working on a meal around the picnic table. When I hold this in my hand, I can contour the sound coming from the speaker by aiming it different directions and partially covering the speaker with my hand.

Compact Size - This is small enough that it is dwarfed by any portable CD or cassette player - but it isn't as small as most MP3 players (especially the ones which are no bigger than your thumb). It easily fits in my man-sized hand so that my thumb and fore-finger can touch.

Runs on one AAA battery - Unlike more expensive units that require you to plug in to charge - and eventually tear apart to replace the battery - this unit simply requires a single AAA battery. Some folks might not like to change batteries - I don't like being stuck with a unit I can't recharge while I'm camping. With all of the AAA LED lights on the market - it's easy to pack one of these 'shakers' along with a flashlight for each family member going camping.

SD card - This is a big feature for me. My palm uses SD cards. My camera uses SD cards. My player should use SD cards. An SD card is about the size of a postage stamp, and their prices have dropped considerably (Today, I could have bought a 1 GB SD card for under $20 at a local department store). I can keep MP3 files I might play on my palm and swap them over to the shaker to play. Now ... if only someone will be bright enough to build an MP3 voice recorder that uses SD cards (?!)

Not Just For Kids - While most claim that this unit isn't appropriate for 'adults', I'm going to disagree. This device might easily appeal to the non-techie and senior adult population. There's no tiny buttons, miniature screens, or confusing menu's to navigate thru. It is VERY simple. With the exception of the shake sound (like a camera sound) when you try to randomly select a tune - the only other 'kid sounds' you'll encounter during normal use is the on and off drum roll. That just adds to the cuteness factor.

Something that isn't obvious about this unit is how much it 'blinks'. There's a blue light ring around the on/off-play/pause button. It continuously blinks twice a second to signify when the unit is playing (or accessing memory). If you pause the play - then it gives two quick blinks every three seconds. Let it pause long enough, and the unit turns off.

This unit plays in alphabetic order (by folder, and then by song). There's not a 'random' or 'continuous' play mode. If you want a different song, you can advance forwards or backwards using the |<< and >>| on the bottom of the shaker. You can randomly pick the next song by manually holding down the on/off-play/pause button for about a second, and then shaking the player up and down. Otherwise play continuous from first to last song on the player.

I haven't had the player long enough to estimate it's battery life on the internal speaker. I've been pleased with the amount of volume. It's loud enough that I can use it at work next to my computer. If you hold the speaker close enough, you can hear a 'hiss' present.

Another thing - if you get one and are trying to open the bottom to insert the battery or access the SD slot - the bottom twists off (don't try to peel back the white rubber bottom ... instead - just rotate the bottom - including the blue and white).

I've bought one - and have tested it out for my wife - and if she likes it - I might even get the 8 year old one also.

I give this unit 5 stars for simplicity in design and ease of use. It might look childish to some - but it is a dependable unit with all of the basics anyone needs to listen to their favorite tunes while on the go.
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on May 3, 2009
This is a great MP3 player. It was actually very frustrating for my mom and sister to get the songs onto it, but that was because we first had to convert them to MP3 files.

Save frustration and follow these steps:

1. Insert a CD or burn songs onto a CD from Itunes, etc. You must do this with Windows Media Player, so you have to have Windows XP, but my family has a Windows Vista and it works on that too.

2. Once the songs are loaded on, right-click Rip and choose Format. Click on that and then click MP3. Now the songs are going to the Library and being converted into MP3 files.

3. Now, plug in the Sansa Shaker with the cord included. Plug it in in the Shaker first, then your computer. With Windows Media Player, something should come up and say "Drag files here to make a playlist to put on 'Sandisk Shaker'".

4. Go to the library and drag your songs over to that panel. After they're all on, click "Start Sync" which is below the text. It should sync quickly and after it says "You can now disconnect the 'Sandisk Shaker'".

5. Disconnect the Shaker and the songs should be on there!

If this doesn't work, make sure you converted the songs to the library and changed them to MP3 files, shown how to do in Step 2.

So, this is a good shaker. It was an awesome birthday present! (My parents bought it for about 30 bucks at Toys R Us). And, it has a lot of room; there's still about 4/5 room left and I've put on a lot of songs! The out-loud speaker and two headphones were nice. Unfortunately, the headphones that came in the package were too big for my ears, but I had my sister's old iPod earphones and a pair of earphones that were just lying around.

I recommend this for ages 8-11 (I'm ten, but I don't think it's childish), my older sister got her iPod at twelve so I think at that age they should have that.

A great player overall, I strongly recommend it!
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on July 31, 2007
She's not left the house without it since she got it for her birthday. It works well for her, she's just turned four, and she can listen to her music without the headphones at home, and with the headphones in the car and at stores.

The only downfall, it doesn't have a chargable battery, using a AAA instead. The one that arrived with the Shaker was dead in a day (she uses it a lot!). But that's the price you pay for a cheap MP3 player.

Also, if you put a lot of songs on there you don't have any song management, so you're pretty much at the mercy of random or going through each song one by one. That would drive me nuts, but she doesn't mind most of the time (sometimes she makes me go find a specific song)

The dual headphone jacks means both her little brother and her can share the device while sitting on the couch or in the car.

For the money, this devices is solid. It's got a nice sized flash disk (512MB) and that is PLENTY of space for all my daughters kids songs.

For an adult, this is a total pass. But if you're trying to get your kid introduced to neat technology and don't want to risk giving a younger one an ipod or similar expensive device, this is a good intro test to see how they respect a product like this.
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on June 20, 2007
This player is great! It's the only one I've seen that has its own external speaker, which was a must for me. It's exceptionally easy to use, ultra-portable, and the sound quality is better than I expected. I took it out of the package, stuck in the battery, and plugged it into my computer to transfer some songs. Three minutes after unwrapping this thing it was playing my music - can't beat that! I know it says it's for kids 8 and up, but I loaded it with Raffi tunes and handed it over to my 8-month-old. He absolutely adores it! We'll see how well it holds up to baby slobber...regardless, at under $40 this thing is a steal. I might order another one now to have in reserve!
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on August 23, 2007
I got this mp3 player for my mom, who is not too tech savvy, so she can listen to podcasts of radio broadcasts that she missed. Although this player is definitely aimed at children, it's also great for anyone in need of a simple player. There are several features that made the Sansa Shaker the ideal purchase for my mom:
1) an external speaker, since she doesn't like using headphones
2) uses a AAA battery, this way mom doesn't have to worry about recharging through a USB port, or buying an extra charger
3) uses an SD card, this is actually good for me since I'm the one filling up the player, using my computer's built in SD-card reader it's extremely easy for me to get the podcasts on the device, and it allows for cheap memory expansion

I have to say that the quality of the external speaker is pretty good given the players small size. The only downside we have discovered is that powering down the Sansa Shaker results in losing your place. Not a problem with music, but more annoying with a long podcast. Although you can fast forward through the podcast, it's a bit cumbersome to do with the "ring" control and no time elapse display. Otherwise, mom and I are both extremely pleased with this product.
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on December 26, 2007
Hi, my 2 boys, 1 is 7 and the other 5 really like this item. It enven came with preloaded childs song. But, when I try to find any current music to purchase online that they would like (jonas brothers, naked brothers, etc.) it's all in wma format which the sansa doesn't play. So if your thinking of getting a player for your kids find one that plays wma format and not just mp3. Live and learn. I even tried a program called switch to switch some wma to mp3 but all the current tunes have DRM which prevents the conversion. THis is all a very sad situation. I want to buy more music, but the companies are actually preventing me from doing so.

Good Luck and hope this helps.
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on August 6, 2007
My husband and I purchased this little mp3 player for our 5 year old. She loves it! There are some cons, ie it will only play mp3 and wav files, which are not compatible with apple music and yahoo music. But, for a young child it is perfect- it even withstands our 2yr old.
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on October 29, 2008
I currently own 4 of these. One is permanently stationed in the kitchen, bedroom, bath and clipped to my backpack. For the price, this is an OUTSTANDING player. Since it works entirely off SD cards, I never hook it up to the computer. Simply drag and drop files via my card reader. As an audiobook fanatic, the ability to swap cards in and out is a dream.

While not having a screen that allows you to select a particular song (or book) by name, I load files on the card in folders in the order I want to hear them, so it's only takes a few twists for me to reach the file I want. The shaker remembers the last file played whenever you turn it off, so it easy to pick up where you left off. Not at the exact word, as it will start at the beginning of the last file played, but it's no different than reading a book where you are forced to go back a few pages to reorient yourself.

The external speaker is MIRACULOUS. I use it while cooking, taking a bath, and at bedtime. I have dropped all of them numerous times (including water and mud) and stepped on them more times than I can count, and all continue to work perfectly. Fantastic product.
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on November 10, 2007
I bought these for my nephews, identical twins, who turned 7 on October 9th and are in 2nd grade. Their dad had a bit of trouble at first (he is an I-Pod owner), but called the 800 number, where he, in just a few seconds, learned how easy they were to use. Since then, not only did he download music onto the shakers, he has downloaded some of their favorite CD's (I did not even know that you could do this) to the shakers. My sis-in-law, said that these are their favorite "toys" and do not go anywhere without them. They think that Aunt Anna-Marie is the best...I highly recommend them!!!!!!
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on July 16, 2007
I bought a pair of these for my nephews' birthdays and added a couple of extra SD cards loaded with some additional kidz music. They told me these were the coolest presents they got this year. I think what they like most about it is the tactile experience of shaking the device to play different songs. I like the fact that it has a built-in speaker which means they won't damage their hearing with headphones.
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