Playbuttons [Feature]

Ever worn a button (that’s a badge to us UK folk) with the name of a really good band on it?
Sure you have. Everyone has, right? It’s a nice way of reppin’ your favourite band and making a fashion statement at the same time.

What if someone was to take that one step further, though?
What if that button didn’t just have the bands name printed upon it, but actually played their music, too?


Well now it can.
Simply put, a Playbutton is a wearable button that plays music.

It is just like a CD in as much as the tracks are recorded in an unalterable sequence but that is pretty much where the similarities end.
With Playbuttons you can go into your record store, buy an album, pin it onto your jacket and start listening to it before you have even left the store.

The whole thing is the brain child of Nick Dangerfield (I know, cool name, huh?) who thought of Playbuttons whilst trying to come up with a new and interesting format to release a record.
He decided that technology was such these days, that the format could even be the player too – and the Playbutton was born.


They are relatively simple to use; the controls are minimal, the battery is rechargeable – all you really need is a set of headphones and you’re all set.

They have only been available for a few months but, says Jim Colvill of Playbutton’s New York branch, ‘The response has been great so far. It’s been very heartening to see so many people understand the ideas and intentions behind Playbuttons.’

Indeed, they are already selling in a limited number of stores (Opening Ceremony, Other Music and New Museum if you are in New York; Ooga Booga if you are in LA and Rough Trade if you are in London) and that list will be expanding before too long.
Of course, you can order them online wherever you are in the world by clicking right here.

And whilst the titles available are also limited at the moment, we can expect that to increase shortly too, because discussions with many artists and labels are well underway.

When asked if he would like Playbuttons to eventually be the equal of vinyl records and CD’s in all music stores, Colvill is keeping his feet on the ground ‘Well of course it would be great to see it sit alongside CD’s and LP’s as an established format. I wouldn’t necessarily call it the long term hope as our goals are a little more modest than that, but it would certainly be nice.’

So there you have it. Playbuttons, making the physical format cool again?

Well, they certainly get our vote.

-David Tinkler

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One Response to Playbuttons [Feature]

  1. ColinWhatever says:

    Love my Playbutton (Pains of Being Pure at Heart) bought from Rough Trade. Few niggles tho: pin on back a bit flimsy, not totally convinced by sound quality compared to my iPod or N8 and the equaliser is a bit fiddly with a few too many options.. But, as i said, i still love it πŸ™‚

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