Archive for March 12th, 2008

Ponderable: Optical Media

Compact Discs weren’t the first optical digital storage medium, but they seem to have set the standard for those which followed – at least for physical dimensions. Smaller – and stranger – physical formats than the original round disc have followed, though they never gained much popularity. 8cm “mini” CDs hold something like 170MB, which might explain why they never became as popular as they should have. (The oblong “credit card” CDs? Their unpopularity should be obvious…) “Mini” DVDs, however, hold a bit over a gigabyte, a very respectable amount of storage for the size. They aren’t cheap, but I think the combination of the capacity and form factor could make them, if not popular, at least useful. Alas, mini hard drives and affordable flash memory meant that the potential for miniature Walkman players – only using mini DVDs instead of CDs – and with them, the popularity of the format, never really existed outside drawing boards.

What I’m really curious about is a small form-factor, 8cm or so, Blue-Ray disc. Assuming the media itself becomes less expensive, mini Blue-Ray discs seem like they could be pretty popular – if only in Japan, where they go ga-ga over darn near anything that’s “cute”. I’m not sure that Blue-Ray’s DRM features are extensible to music in a meaningful fashion, but if they are… who knows?

Published in: General | on March 12th, 2008 | Comments Off on Ponderable: Optical Media