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.

Posted by Michael K Pate

Michael K. Pate tends to spend a great deal time of time around computers. He has been a Librarian since 1997. Michael was born in Avon Park, Florida in 1966. Except for a couple of brief periods in his life (once in Tampa and once in Winter Haven/Haines City), he has been a life-long resident. Originally, he planned on a career as a Computer Programmer and therefore graduate from Webber College with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems in 1988. However, unhappy with career opportunities at the time, he soon returned to school and received a BS in Social Science Education from the University of South Florida. He began his career in education at Avon Elementary and later Avon Park Middle working as a Computer Lab Coordinator. While technological challenges were interesting, he found himself more and more interested in becoming a Media Specialist. He began work on his MLS in 1995. However, a summer internship at the Sebring Public Library in 1996 soon made him reconsider just what his career should be. Upon graduation in 1997, he secured a position as a Media Specialist at Eastside Elementary in Haines City. Eventually, the position he was looking for opened up and he returned to SPL as Reference Librarian in 1999. In 2003, he became Assistant Director of the Highlands County Library System, serving in that role until the position was eliminated during a late round of budget cuts in 2010. Since then, he has been the Computer Support Specialist for the Heartland Library Cooperative. In 2011, he began serving on the Board of Directors of the Tampa Bay Library Consortium.