100 Million Ipods

What many would consider a good day for Apple…
bq.Generally, Apple has very little use for anniversaries. Recent milestones-like 2006’s 30th anniversary of the company’s founding, the Mac’s 20th anniversary in 2004, and the iPod’s fifth anniversary last fall-passed without much official to-do from the company. But when Apple sold its 100 millionth iPod recently, the company made sure not to let the occasion go by without comment. And for good reason, tech industry analysts say: “Obviously it’s a big threshold for Apple and industry,” said Tim Bajarin, president of high-tech consulting firm Creative Strategies. “This clearly reinforces Apple’s dominance in the market.” – “Jim Dalrymple(Analysis: iPod success won’t stop at 100 million)”:http://playlistmag.com/news/2007/04/09/ipodanalysis/index.php is perhaps a sad day for Libraries.
bq.I realize it isn’t 100% the fault of libraries, but it is a bit telling that libraries haven’t responded with more vigor to the ipod by attempting to integrate them into library services. If more libraries would have copied the homegrown ipod audiobook program of the South Huntington Public Library instead of throwing money at vendors for inferior (in some ways, and to be fair, better in a few ways) products, maybe this would have exerted pressure on vendors to work something out. – “Aaron Schmidt(sad walkman!)”:http://www.walkingpaper.org/415 I have written about this issue before several times: “what drm choices the vendors were making(PlaysforSure and Audio Books)”:http://www.libraryplanet.com/2005/02/07/playsforsure, “how Cory Doctorow felt about the Fairfax County Public Libraries choices(PlaysforSure @ Your Library)”:http://www.libraryplanet.com/2005/05/12/playsforsure, “whether Apple should license PlaysForSure(The DRM of SpiralFrog)”:http://www.libraryplanet.com/2006/09/14/spiralfrog, “how PlaysforSure was not compatible with the Zune(The DRM of Zune)”:http://www.libraryplanet.com/2006/09/15/zune, and “even whether it was likely that Microsoft would license either of their DRM technologies to Apple if asked(Interoperable DRM)”:http://www.libraryplanet.com/2007/02/08/interoperable. It would seem to me that the stumbling block is not the audiobook vendors themselves, but the publishers. Let’s face it, publishers (not all of them, but a lot of them) have hated Libraries for a long time because every time someone reads a book from us, that is one less sale. They would much rather sell books for iPods through Audible directly to consumers and cut libraries out of the equation entirely. I doubt many of them are very upset over this whole situation. In my system, we initially tried the NetLibrary/Recorded Books plan but found that the use didn’t match up with the cost. Now we are “using Overdrive as part of a consortial purchase(Audio Books)”:http://www.myhlc.org/audiobooks/ and supplementing that with a pretty good selection of “Playaways(Playaway Digital Audio Books)”:http://www.myhlc.org/2006/10/12/playaway-digital-audio-books. Personally, I think that when and if everyone realizes that DRM is not a solution, we will all benefit. But as long as too many business are desperately trying to protect business models they don’t even understand, we are going to just have to do the best we can.