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Yet Another Digital Format

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NY Times on DataPlay:

    HERE’S the proposition: The record industry wants you to buy your music on a new kind of disc. Unlike a CD, the format will greatly restrict your ability to make digital copies. It will cost more than a prerecorded CD. And it will require you to invest a few hundred dollars in a new player.

    If the appeal isn’t immediately apparent, you have some idea of the salesmanship task ahead.

    The newly released portable music format, called DataPlay digital media, is the latest technology joining a cornucopia of choices for consumers to play their favorite tunes through headphones connected to palm-size devices. The discs, contained in a clear plastic shell, are about the size of the ring in the center of a CD, or about one-fourth the size of a minidisc. They will be available in blank, recordable form as well as prerecorded, copy-protected albums.

    Because of that last feature, DataPlay is being embraced by major record labels. So far BMG, Universal Music and EMI Group have signed on, say officials for DataPlay, which developed the technology.

    The first DataPlay music player-recorders went on sale recently, and waves of prerecorded DataPlay discs will soon wash into record stores, starting with re-releases of top-selling albums by the likes of Britney Spears, ‘N Sync, Pink, Usher, OutKast, Sarah McLachlan and Brooks & Dunn, BMG record executives say. Some musicians, including Carlos Santana, are scheduled to have new albums released simultaneously on CD and DataPlay.

    Ads for DataPlay blank discs started showing up this month with a tag line reading, “This thing is huge.” But for the millions of music enthusiasts who have mounted the MP3 revolution, downloading music or copying it from CD’s onto hard drives and then to portable players, what’s the motivation to switch?….

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