walking paper scraps

Downloadable audio content from the library on iPods?!?! Holy smokes.

OverDrive MP3 Audiobooks will go on sale in May at Borders.com and should be available to libraries by the end of June, to be followed with the release of OverDrive Media Console for the Mac.

OverDrive CEO Steve Potash said the policy change emerged from demand in the library market

Where does “Blue” end and “Red” begin?
Very attractive info display.

TV when you want it.
Interesting cube interface.

Nice gaming in libraries reporting from freep.
I’ve given a talk in the big room where the people are gaming! [thanks, jacob]

Apple mulls unlimited music bundle
Music rentals from iTunes? [behind lame Financial Times reg]

Paper Is Out, Cellphones Are In

Now, with 80 percent of passengers using these self-service options, the next step is electronic boarding passes, which essentially turn the hand-held devices and mobile phones of travelers into their boarding passes.

No printing paper boarding passes, not even for going through security. Cool and probably problematic.

new ipods change content delivery

Sarah scooped me and posted about the new iPod touch, redesigned iPod nanos. See her post Apple news on iPods and iPhones: prices down, features sweet for some details.

What she didn’t mention though, is that along with the iPod touch’s wifi capability, the iTunes Music Store got wifi capability too. ITMS junkies no longer have to slog over to their computers to buy music. Apple also will be delivering content through Starbucks. The new iPods will provide the details of the song that you’re listening to in Starbucks and of course make it easy for you to buy it. This Starbucks feature is cute, maybe clever, but isn’t as significant as the general concept of wireless delivery of purchased content to iPods.

If this move ushers in the age of anywhere on-demand download of music (which seems eventually inevitable) it will widen the gap between the soon to be normal way of doing things and the library way of delivering content. And will our users feel like crossing this big gap to visit us?

wal-mart enters the MP3 frey

The 800 pound gorilla now offers $0.94, 256kpbs, DRM free MP3s from Universal. To some Windows uses, that is.

In similar news, Universal and Rhapsody are doing an experiment of their own, offering a DRM free MP3s for $0.99, or $0.89 for Rhapsody subscribers.

Will Sony and BMG follow Universal and EMI and eventually offer DRM free music? Will the public choose $0.94 256kbps MP3s without DRM or will they buy Wal-mart’s cheaper and DRMed 128kbps WMA files?

sad walkman!

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.