Audio Downloads and Social Book Reviews

One of my favorite weblogs to keep up with technology issues is Download Squad. I thought it was going to be about software but it covers all sorts of things. What it doesn’t usually do, though, is cover library issues. Tonight is a little different.
bq.In Warren, Ohio the public library is allowing their patrons to download digital copies of audio-books in an unabridged format so listeners can get the full “text” of the book they want to listen to. Listeners must have a valid library card to download the books, that patrons can listen to for 21 days. At that time the books erase themselves. – “Ryan Carter(Library allows digital audio-book downloads)”: It sounds really cool until you find out that is NetLibrary. From personal experience, I know libraries have been doing this for a year and a half. The next story is a lot more exciting.
bq.”BookRevyoo(BookRevyoo)”: is a social book review community where books can be added and reviewed by members, and also rated. Books that users enter into the system are tagged with keywords relevant to the book, allowing easy categorization, and browsing. – “Chris Gilmer(BookRevyoo: Social book reviews)”: So far it seems they are largely technical books but I wonder who will do the first “mashup(Latest Mashup Contest News)”:

ATIZ BookDrive

Remember how I said last week I wasn’t worried about libraries disappearing? Well, take a look at the “ATIZ BookDrive(ATIZ BookDrive: The World’s First Portable Automatic Book Scanner)”: It obviously means I was wrong and libraries are done and I need to get to work on polishing up my resume and… Or maybe not. It does look kind of cool, though. I am curious to see how well it works when distribution begins.


Then (aka September of 2004):
bq.I’ve been lurking on the ipodder-dev list, and have been totally impressed with how productive this community of users and developers has been. At the core is an activity they call podcasting, a really simple idea with powerful implications. – “Dave Winer(I’ve been lurking on the ipodder-dev list)”: Now:
bq.Only a year ago, podcasting was an arcane activity, the domain of a few techies and self-admitted “geeks.” Now you can hear everything from NASCAR coverage to NPR’s All Things Considered in downloadable audio files called “podcasts”. Thousands of podcasts are available at the iTunes Music Store, and websites such as and track thousands more. That’s why the editors of the New Oxford American Dictionary have selected “podcast” as the Word of the Year for 2005. Podcast, defined as “a digital recording of a radio broadcast or similar program, made available on the Internet for downloading to a personal audio player,” will be added to the next online update of the New Oxford American Dictionary, due in early 2006. – “Oxford University Press(All Hail Podcasting)”: When I was searching my archives to find the quote, I found 18 occurences of the word “podcast” and they were all in the last 12 months. It definitely is the word of the year around here.

1 Terabyte Ipod

I saw “Richard Madaus(J. Richard Madaus)”: of CCLA give a keynote speech at this year’s TBLC Annual Meeting about future trends of technology. One of Richard’s predictions was centered around the concept of an iPod with one terabyte of storage. He isn’t the only one making predictions like that.
bq.Munster said that within five years, Apple could release an iPod with one terabyte of storage — that’s almost 17 times the maximum amount of iPod storage Apple currently offers. Munster envisions a one terabyte iPod as a portable, “coffee table” media center that would allow users to store hundreds of movies and thousands of photos and songs. Munster wrote that fellow Piper Jaffray analyst Les Santiago, who covers data storage technologies, thinks Apple could feasibly release a $500, one terabyte iPod in the next five years. – “Amanda Cantrell(Apple’s next move…media domination?)”: While this still doesn’t quite equal the storage capacity of the “iPod Invisa(Steve Jobs presents the iPod Invisa… on SNL)”:, it still has the potential to effect a great change in the way media is used at a consumer level. Couple this level of storage with pre-loaded content which will be available “with(Time to allow hard drives pre loaded with Music…and change Harry Fox)”: or “without(Internet Archive)”: the cooperation of Hollywood, and you have something that libraries will either be able to take great advantage of or get totally blindsided by. Right now, you can carry “Worldcat in your pocket(WorldCat in your pocket)”: Pretty soon, that will seem quaint.

Norton Woes

When we built a new computer for my mother a few months ago, I made the mistake of installing the 90-day trial copy of Norton Internet Security that came with it. After I couldn’t uninstall it via Add/Remove Programs, I did a “search”: and came up with “Uninstalling Norton Internet Security or Personal Firewall 2003 or earlier using the RnisUPG.exe removal utility(Uninstalling Norton Internet Security or Personal Firewall 2003 or earlier using the RnisUPG.exe removal utility)”: I thought it was taken care of. As it turned out, while http sites were still accessible, anything connecting via https or ftp were not. So back to Google where another “search”: revealed “Norton Internet Security Problems(Norton Internet Security Problems)”: where a “comment”: led me to “Removing your Norton program using SymNRT(Removing your Norton program using SymNRT)”: At one time, I was a big believer in Norton products. Now you can officially color me disenchanted.

Opera 8.02

If you haven’t taken a look at “Opera(Opera Web Browser)”: for a while, today might be a good day to give it a try. You can also take advantage of the “free registration offer(Opera 8.02)”: if advertisements aren’t your thing. The “BitTorrent integration(Opera Incorporates BitTorrent)”: has gotten lots of attention, but it has really matured in other ways as well.

Google Talk

I had an interesting time playing with the “Google Talk(Google Talk)”: client this morning as I was lucky enough to find “Greg Schwartz(Open Stacks)”: online and we had a nice chat. It seems very bare-bones but functional. If anyone wants a Gmail invite to try it out (assuming there is anyone out there left without an account), let me know. The “joint search capability(Google Talk Review)”: aka “group browsing(Google’s Roar: Sidebar and Google Talk In One Week)”: could be very interesting for libraries in a “Jybe(IM @ Your Library)”: sort-of-way. In other Google News, I added the new Desktop Search as well (which interesting enough “integrate(Google Talk’s Open Platform and Sidebar Integration)”: nicely). This has been a big week for Google even if some people are “calling them names(Relax, Bill Gates; It’s Google’s Turn as the Villain)”:


bq.There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home. – Ken Olsen Kevin Maney has assembled a list of “infamous technology-related quotes(Tech titans wish we wouldn’t quote them on this baloney)”: that actually are not. Except for the one above.

Wild over Widgets

bq.I love the idea of a “search the library” widget. Let’s take it a step further, though, and add one that shows what I have checked out and when it’s due. Oh, and how about a box for my library’s virtual reference or IM service? A total library widget package like this would rock hard! Put yourself in as many patron spaces as possible (desktop, toolbar, aggregator, cell phone, etc.). – “Jenny Levine(Library Widgets for Your Desktop?)”: From what I can tell, actually “writing the widgets(Programming Konfabulator Widgets)”: is the easy part. The hard part is extracting the information you need from your ILS.

Yahoo! Audio Search

I tried it out earlier after Michael “linked(Yahoo Searches Audio Content)”: to it. The ability to comparison shop at different music stores is pretty neat, although some “results(the man who sold the world)”: make more sense than “others(with arms wide open)”: And they don’t seem to be on the “”: bandwagon yet because the only result for “Open Stacks(open stacks)”: is Jenny’s post on “The Digital Audiobook Divide(The Digital Audiobook Divide)”: from yesterday which linked to an old podcast of his (which I had once “linked to(PlaysforSure @ Your Library)”: as well). But, it is beta, after all…