Print Thinking

bq.I have had enough experience with library studies to know that librarians are prone to only think in print terms. – “Kenneth Hambrick(Downtown library not a good idea)”:http://www.contracostatimes.com/mld/cctimes/news/local/states/california/counties/contra_costa_county/cities_neighborhoods/walnut_creek/12186002.htm And I have had enough experience with self-styled library prognosticators to know that anyone who advocates libraries without print doesn’t know as much about libraries as they think they do. [via “The Internet has made traditional libraries obsolete(The Internet has made traditional libraries obsolete)”:http://public.lisnews.com/article.pl?sid=05/07/21/082236]

Enhanced Podcasts

Phillip Torrone of Make Magazine has outlined a method for constructing “Enhanced Podcasts(HOW TO make Enhanced Podcasts)”:http://www.makezine.com/blog/archive/2005/07/how_to_make_enh.html. The good thing is these look like a wonderful educational application. The bad thing is that they are extremely platform-limited at the moment. This is just a guess but I would be willing to bet if manufacturers were able to spend more time on enhancing the experience of the consumer and less time trying to think of new methods of DRM, we would all be better off in ways we haven’t even thought of yet.

DRM, Audible and Dave Winer

First he ceased to be a customer.
bq.I cancelled my Audible subscription this morning. I hadn’t used it in a few months yet was still paying the monthly fee. I stopped using it because both the computer I used to download books and the iPod I used to listen to them developed difficulties. I’ve replaced both the computer and the iPod but the Audible service doesn’t transfer because of the DRM limits. I think they assume that I’m “stealing” the books. – “Dave Winer(I cancelled my Audible subscription this morning)”:http://archive.scripting.com/2005/05/06#When:7:05:14AM Then things got ever worse.
bq.And yesterday I got yelled at in public by the CEO of Audible, Don Katz. One of the things he was angry about was that, when I decided to unsub, instead of trying to work things out with them, I wrote about it on my weblog. I was incredulous. I tried to ask if he was saying that his customers shouldn’t have blogs, but he had a smart answer for everything. “You’re not a customer,” he said. Damn straight. And I never will as long as he’s the CEO. – “Dave Winer(Netflix users talk openly about throttling,)”:http://archive.scripting.com/2005/06/24#When:8:51:38AM It says a lot to me about Audible when they can’t deal with the fact that their customers are going to write things they don’t like about them on their weblogs. That is one of the prices of doing business. And it is interesting that DRM is the cause of all this. DRM works perfectly fine. For the first five minutes or so. I have been through 5 desktops at home in the last 13 years, countless windows installations and multiple music devices. The thought of transferring licenses and authorizing devices always either strikes me with fear or gives me a headache. And I consider myself technically adept. I wonder how much business DRM has caused companies to lose up until this point. And I wonder how much more they lose when people realize the inherent problems.

netLibrary and your PDA

These instructions for “Downloading netLibrary titles to your PDA(Downloading netLibrary titles to your PDA)”:http://www.library.ualberta.ca/pdazone/netlibrary_download/index.cfm look really interesting. As well as the rest of their “PDA Zone(PDA Zone)”:http://www.library.ualberta.ca/pdazone/.

EarthCore

“EarthCore(EarthCore: A Podcast Novel)”:http://www.scottsigler.net/earthcore/ is a serialized audiobook (aka podcast or should we call this a bibliocast) of a novel by Scott Singler. Interestingly, Scott Sigler “tells the story( The history of EarthCore)”:http://www.scottsigler.net/earthcore/2005/03/history-of-earthcore.html of how the work was originally released as an e-book and was scheduled to appear in print but the publisher didn’t survive long enough. I can’t help but wonder, though, has he “checked the shelf(EarthCore / Scott Sigler)”:http://catalog.cantonpl.org/search/tearthcore/tearthcore/1,1,1,B/frameset&FF=tearthcore&1,0 at the Canton Public Library in Michigan?

PlaysforSure and Audio Books

Not being ones to jump too quickly on any bandwagon (which is generally a good thing because our patrons would not generally be considered early adopters), we have begun to explore the possibility of acquiring a plan for downloadable audiobooks. The choices appear to be “Audible(Audible.com Partners With Regional Public Library Programs for Internet-delivered Audiobooks)”:http://www.corporate-ir.net/ireye/ir_site.zhtml?ticker=ADBL&script=415&layout=-6&item_id=229790, “NetLibrary(RecordedBooks)”:http://www.netlibrary.com/recordedbooks/, and “Overdrive(OverDrive(r) Audio Books(r))”:http://www.overdrive.com/audiobooks/. Both of the latter are “Microsoft partners(NetLibrary and OverDrive Expand Microsoft’s Presence in Audiobook Market)”:http://www.drmwatch.com/ocr/article.php/3427371 and use “PlaysforSure(PlaysForSure – more music, more choices)”:http://www.playsforsure.com/, Microsoft’s proprietary “DRM(More DRM Avoidance)”:http://www.libraryplanet.com/2004/01/drm. PlaysforSure requires “Media Player 10(Downloads for Windows Media Player:)”:http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windowsmedia/download/default.asp?displang=en, which lets out not only all non-Windows users, but also many Windows users as well, since it only runs on XP. Also, it is limited to a “subset(Finding portable devices)”:http://www.playsforsure.com/FindPortableDevices.aspx of MP3 players, excluding at least one model popular with both the “public(Apple profits soar on iPod sales)”:http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/4170111.stm and “Microsoft employees(Hide Your IPod, Here Comes Bill)”:http://www.wired.com/news/mac/0,2125,66460,00.html?tw=rss.GAD. The question is, will the market develop fast enough for these companies to survive, or will everyone just give up in disgust?

NYPL E-Books

bq.The newest books in the New York Public Library don’t take up any shelf space. They are “electronic books(Welcome to The New York Public Library’s eBook Catalog)”:http://ebooks.nypl.org/DCDF4813-9361-4E21-89F7-5D85FFB8F1D9/10/61/en/Default.htm – 3,000 titles’ worth – and the library’s 1.8 million cardholders can point and click through the collection at www .nypl.org, choosing from among best sellers, nonfiction, romance novels and self-help guides. Patrons borrow them for set periods, downloading them for reading on a computer, a hand-held organizer or other device using free reader software. When they are due, the files are automatically locked out – no matter what hardware they are on – and returned to circulation, eliminating late fees. – “Tim Gnatek(Libraries Reach Out, Online)”:http://www.nytimes.com/2004/12/09/technology/circuits/09libr.html?ex=1103259600&en=40015d305096921b&ei=5043&partner=EXCITE

Massive Format Conversion

One of the problems that will hang over the Digital Revolution for a while yet is the problem of how to convert all the published text into digital form. Digital Divide Data is a company with a solution, but there are some questions to be asked about it. One things that always brother me is when a private company choose to use .org.