While some people might argue that the CD has already been replaced by the MP3, music stores want to think otherwise.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 MyDigitialContent.com 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.
Nevertheless, MediaStreet and the music stores are hoping that the vAMP and a compelling marketing campaign will lure music fans back into stores. Certainly, the device provides a more tangible collectible item than single MP3s. But whether people who already own iPods will be interested remains to be seen.