DataPlay is an optical disc system developed by DataPlay Inc. and released to the consumer market in 2002. Using very small (32mm diameter) disks enclosed in a protective cartridge storing 250MB per side, DataPlay was intended primarily for portable music playback, including both pre-recorded disks and user-recorded disks (and disks that combined pre-recorded information with a writable area).

DataPlay Inc.
Headquarters Longmont, Colorado, USA
Key people
Bill Almon, Jr., CEO and President
Jeff Roberts, CFO
ProductsDataPlay Engine
DataPlay 500MB Optical Media
Number of employees
~30 (2006) (defunct)

DataPlay included an elaborate digital rights management system designed to allow consumers to "unlock" extra pre-recorded content on the disk at any time following the initial purchase.

The recorded music industry was initially generally supportive of DataPlay and a small number of a pre-recorded DataPlay disks were released, including the Britney Spears album Britney. However, as a pre-recorded format, DataPlay was a failure.

There were very few products seen on the market that could write data to these discs. Most notable was the Topy Mini Writer, which retailed for $130 (USD) and housed an optical pickup unit (image No.4) with a USB interface board, allowing the use of DataPlay discs much like other end-user writable optical media (e.g., CD-Rs). Other products were the iriver IDP-100 and the MTV Video Device "MTV FLIP", which both housed the prototype-based model (image No.2).

Other trademark names:

  • DPHI
  • Dataplay
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