Solid state replacing optical media

| January 19, 2008

Some 18 months ago, I wrote about the Blu-Ray v. HD-DVD format battle and suggested that both formats were a dead-end, and that the real next-generation video media would be based on solid-state storage (e.g., flash RAM). I predicted this was quite a few years away, though.

What I forgot is that there’s another optical media due for replacement, namely music CDs:

While some people might argue that the CD has already been replaced by the MP3, music stores want to think otherwise. The digital device manufacturer MediaStreet has recently announced a product that it hopes will replace the CD and get music fans back in stores.

The new device, called the vAMP (virtual album MP3 player), is like a cross between a CD and MP3. Technically, it´s an MP3 player, but it comes pre-loaded with a particular album, and you buy it in stores. The vAMP doesn´t have a screen, but it has a front sticker containing album art and a back sticker containing the track listing and liner notes. MediaStreet claims that it´s the smallest (0.7 ounces) and thinnest (3 mm) fully functional MP3 player.

The vAMP has 1 GB of space, so consumers can add additional songs to the device, as well as transfer the vAMP´s pre-loaded songs to a computer. Consumers will also have access to Beyond.FM and to download songs.

The vAMP has a suggested retail price of $27.99 each (or you can buy a blank vAMP for $19.99). It may be about the cheapest MP3 player you can get, but it´s still quite a bit pricier than a single CD or downloading individual songs.

My idea of FlashVideo (FV) may come about sooner than I think. ..bruce w..

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Category: Information Technology, Main, Media, Science

About the Author ()

Webster is Principal and Founder at Bruce F. Webster & Associates, as well as an Adjunct Professor of Computer Science at Brigham Young University. He works with organizations to help them with troubled or failed information technology (IT) projects. He has also worked in several dozen legal cases as a consultant and as a testifying expert, both in the United States and Japan. He can be reached at, or you can follow him on Twitter as @bfwebster.

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