Media Spotlight

We Knew Them When
Sat 27-Apr-2002 * Daily Camera: Tech Buzz
Erika Stutzman

DataPlay, the Boulder-based developer of quarter-sized discs that hold lots of content, is getting a lot of play. The company, which has raised $120 million in financing and is close to $50 million more, was founded in 1998.

Locals already knew that.

With a recent spate of coverage in publications spanning from the Chicago Tribune to the Los Angeles Times and from the BBC to ABC, something's clear-DataPlay says it's ready for the big time.

Or, at least DataPlay is ready for the market. 'Nsync and Britney Spears fans will have to decide whether tiny discs are big time.

"This is where technology is going-small and portable," said Dave Davies, the chief technology officer for DataPlay Inc.

Davies, who spoke at the Boulder Chamber of Commerce this week, said DataPlay's discs-holding more than 11 hours of music and the high hopes of this local tech firm-will be on store shelves in June. The discs could hold three albums, three music videos, graphics and text, and recordings that can be "unlocked" online later.

Unlike so many tech firms whose dreams were dashed by the downturn in the economy, DataPlay's product line and plans are still pretty spot-on to what it has been planning for many years. Its debut on the market was pushed back at least a year, but its product and its employee growth to 259 employees was predicted back in 2000.

Its emphasis on music reflects today's era, though. Originally, it would tout everything from music to electronic books as possible markets. The e-book market has stagnated at best; DataPlay hasn't really been talking about that much since.

The company was the debut presenter for "On the High-Tech Launch Pad," a series by the Boulder Chamber of Commerce Technology Council that started this week. The council hopes to have presentations by emerging companies three to four times a year.

A schedule has not yet been announced. The events are free to Chamber members, $5 for everyone else. Diana Royce Smith, with the council, said the aim is to introduce tech firms to the community before they get too big for their britches. Actually, she put it nicer than that.

The presenting companies will be "still small enough and friendly enough to come in-so we can get get to know them and someday say "We knew them when,'" she said.

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