January 18, 2008 weblog
Will the vAMP replace the CD?
While some people might argue that the CD has already been replaced by the MP3, music stores want to think otherwise.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.