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Vmedia not dead yet, wants to bring optical media to netbooks

Nilay Patel

The last time we heard from Vmedia, the company was on a quixotic journey to bring Minidisc-like optical video disks to cellphones in India -- and while we haven't heard anything on that front since, the company is back with plans to place its tiny 1GB disks inside netbooks, MIDs, and dedicated USB drives. If this just sounds like SanDisk's futile SlotMusic initiative with weirder proprietary hardware and no installed base of readers, congratulations, you can identify terrible business models. Vmedia says that it'll succeed because SD and microSD don't offer consumers a standard set of codecs, while you'll always know a Vmedia drive will play video from a Vmedia disc. Sure, maybe, but we'd bet the industry adopts a few standard video codecs for SD and microSD long before we see a mainstream cellphone or netbook with a clunky mechanical optical drive in it. In fact, hell, let's get crazy: we're willing to bet that UMD will take over as a dominant format before we see a Vmedia drive in a name-brand device. Any takers?

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