Welcome to Reviews OnLine: DataPlay Optical Disc
DataPlay Optical Disc
Quarter-sized R/W Storage
by Stephen Jones (April 9, 2000)


CDRs are great but no one's figured out a way to fit one into your handheld digital camera or slip one inside your shirt pocket without ripping a seam.

But, what if you took the virtues of multi-session CDR discs and shrunk them down to the size of a quarter?

That's what a startup company, DataPlay, has done. It's promoting its DataPlay discs as the future of removable media which could be built into digital cameras, MP3 players, and e-books by early next year.

Some of the details are sketchy, but the company's site is clear that the tiny, floppy-like media will offer hundreds of megabytes of storage for a retail cost of $5 to $10 dollars per incrementally rewritable disc.

If true, DataPlay discs would hold more data at lower cost than either Flash cards or Iomega Clik discs in a form-factor just as portable.

In addition, DataPlay's design allows for both "pre-burned" areas as well as write-once areas of of the disc. This means that a record label could cut a disc with several prerecorded MP3 songs while leaving enough room for some of your own favorite tunes.

Another neat (but not so new) idea that DataPlay is promoting is distributing multiple titles (e-books, games, etc) on a single disc. You pay for the first at the store and then can purchase unlock codes online to access the rest.

Overall, DataPlay discs could be coming along just in time. Just when album length MP3s and multi-megapixel images are beginning to strain existing portable media, DataPlay discs could provide much needed relief.

Copyright 2006 Stephen Jones All rights reserved.

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