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DataPlay CEO Promises Q1 Ship Date For Player

DataPlay CEO Steve Volk said at Comdex Fall 2001 that a DataPlay media-based music player will ship in the first quarter of 2002.

The first device will come from one of several consumer electronic companies that have licensed the DataPlay optical engine from the company, including Toshiba and Samsung. Volk would not say which company would be first, but he was showing a prototype of the initial offering. The unveiling is expected to take place at CES this January. In addition, for the first time since the technology was introduced two years ago, Volk had a second, working prototype of a portable player/recorder.

DataPlay products originally were scheduled to be launched in time for this holiday selling season, but manufacturing problems forced the company to postpone the launch. Volk said the problem has been resolved and the factories are now shipping the optical engines to licensees.

“Devices will ship in the first quarter for certain,” he said.

Between 100 and 200 pre-recorded music titles, 500MB blank media and DataPlay accessories, such as USB PC adapters, will be ready to support the launch of the first player.

“The media is ready to go. We are just tweaking the packaging,” said Jacqui Hart, Imation’s business development manager.

Volk said his company is developing a multi-gigabyte version of the media, but there are no plans to launch it until there is an application that requires such a large amount of removable storage.