Imation is shining a spotlight on its portfolio of personal storage solutions at this week’s Macworld New York.
One of the more intriguing items being shown is the DataPlay digital media, a tiny optical disc the size of a quarter that has a 500MB capacity. One disc can hold up to 11 hours of digital music, more than 160 digital photos, numerous eBooks and eGames or documents, according to Kurt Schoenherr, Imation product manager. You can also mix and match what type of content to put on the disc. A blank disc is expected to retail for around US$5-$10.
Imation DataPlay digital media is designed to let users download and record digital content on a single disc and play it back on any DataPlay-enabled device, such as digital music players, e-books, portable games or digital cameras, which should be hitting stores around the fourth quarter holiday season. Other DataPlay partners are working on portable music devices and about 50 albums should debut with these players, Schoenherr told MacCentral. If 192k digital music files are used on these “albums,” a 500MB DataPlay disc can hold three to four albums’ worth of music, plus video clips and background information.
Though digital storage media types are proliferating, Schoenherr thinks DataPlay technology will succeed in part because some of the investors behind it are music labels. That, in itself, means lots of support for the format, he said.
“And the music labels have the power to make the technology ‘cool’ and appealing to lots of people,” Schoenherr added.
Although in the near future DataPlay discs and devices will complement the entrenched CD player, in the long run its compact size and storage capability could position DataPlay as a replacement for the CD, Schoenher said. Another factor that could figure into the format’s success is that it’s one of the few technologies that can do both pre-mastering and recording, he added.
“For instance, you could replicate GPS [global positioning system] data and record personal information about a particular trip on a DataPlay disc,” Schoenherr said.
Imation is also displaying FlashGO!, a USB flash memory card reader/writer that can read/write all existing flash memory card formats including Compact Flash, Smart Media, Multimedia Card, Secured Digital and MemoryStick. It will also support the IBM Micro drive when it is inserted into the FlashGO! An icon will appear on the desktop, and users can drag and drop files to it. It’s due in September at an estimated price of US$79.
“What makes this device unique from other read/writers is that it works will all the formats, and can adapt for future formats,” Schoenherr said. “This should be especially appealing for digital photography enthusiasts.”
Also due in September is the $399 RipGO!, an MP3/CD Burn-R combo. It’s a USB CD-R drive that uses 80mm CD-R (80mm is about half the circumference of a regular CD) to store and play MP3 music files. The drive has a playing time of three hours CD quality or six hours digital quality music. TanGO! offers the smallest form factor available today for MP3 music recorded on CDs, Schoenherr said. It comes with headphones and Toast software.
Imation is also highlighting its new Imation 24X CD-R media; a recordable CD designed for the next wave of high-speed CD-R and CD-RW drives. The write-once discs, available in silver, black and five neon colors, offer an increased storage capacity of 700MB of data or up to 80 minutes for audio files.
Imation’s new Travan FireWire drive is also being displayed at MWNY. Available now for $499, it’s perfect for use with multimedia peripherals such as video camcorders and other high-speed devices like the latest hard disk drives and printers, Schoenherr said. And, it delivers at the speed of 120MB/minute (compressed), he added. Cartridges will cost about $33 each. Bundled with Dantz Retrospect Desktop software version 5.5, the Travan FireWire 20GB Tape Drive is now compatible with FireWire-enabled Macs.
Imation will also demonstrate its expanding line of high performance CD-RW drives, including the Imation USB 4x4x6 External CD Burn-R kit. This drive kit can be installed to the Mac via a USB port or an IDE/ATAPI interface, and implements Burn Proof Technology, a technology which prevents Buffer Under Run Error and allows users to multitask while recording a CD. Additionally, the drive kit is bundled with the Adaptec software suite including Adaptec Direct CD and Easy CD Creator, and includes a blank Imation CD-R and CD-RW disc.
Want more? Okay, Imation is showing off its recently released Imation High-Speed Neon CD-RW media, a high-speed, rewritable CD, available in five neon colors, featuring 650MB of data memory, an increased recording speed of 10X and noise-free playback. Imation 4-10X High Speed CD-RW media are compatible for recording on the latest CD-RW drives which feature the High-Speed Logo. The media can be used for playback by existing multiread drives such as CD-ROM, DVD-ROM, and rewritable DVD.