Today Apple announced that after 5 years of selling ipods, they’ve sold 100 million on them. The ipod has dethroned Sony’s Walkman as “the fastest selling music player in history.” Poor Walkman.
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.
My hopes of ipods in libraries has been somewhat renewed with Apple and EMI’s announcement of DRM free music and Microsoft’s announcement that their floundering Zune will follow suit. Could the tide be turning? I’m not holding my breath but I’m afraid that reasonably DRMed content is the only way libraries will be a relevant digital content provider in the coming years.