Category Archives: iPods in Libraries?!?

Libraries and DRM

Thanks Bibliotheke! Please click through and read the article, which includes this:

The Fairfax County Public Library system is a large library system in Northern Virginia, a suburb of Washington DC. Leaders of the Fairfax Public Libraries think it’s a good idea to distribute downloadable audio books to the public in Windows Media format. These digital rights managed (DRM) files will not play on Macintosh computers, GNU/Linux computers or iPods. Taxpayer funds are being used to purchase these audio books.

Listen to the song! “I much prefer MP3..” :-)

The iPod Experiments


The new issue of LJ Net Connect is out! What started as a blog post here on Tame the Web as Libraries Doing Cool Things with iPods is now “The iPod Experiments.”

This says a lot to me about the crossover between LIS blogging and reporting here in library land. In fact, the genesis was the original post at engadget about South Huntington’s iPod Shuffles!

Thanks to Joe and Ken at South Huntington PL for talking to me about their ground-breaking sevice! Thanks to Brian Kenney at LJ for being so cool about my fascination with iPods in Libraries. Keep watching folks, I think more and more libraries will find cool ways to integrate iPods into their services. You may be amazed!

WOW: iPod Stats & Article! Via Chris (Updated)

An e-mail this am from Chris Kupec:

“I’m going to an OverDrive demo today. I’ll ask the rep what she thinks of

iPodlounge: Apple takes lead in flash market, continues domination

During its second quarter conference call with press and analysts, Apple
revealed that the iPod shuffle was the No. 1 selling flash-based MP3 player
worldwide in February with 43 percent market share. The iPod shuffle is
expected to be the top-selling flash player in the coming months, but NPD
Techworld (which calculates the sales numbers) has not yet released reports
for March.

Apple?s iTunes Music Store remains the clear leader in online music sales
with a share of 70-75 percent, according to Nielsen Soundscan. The company
said over 350 million songs have now been purchased and downloaded from

In addition, Apple?s share of the worldwide hard drive-based MP3 player
market stands at over 90 percent. With Apple?s quick takeover of the flash
market, the company now accounts for more than 70 percent of all MP3 players

Apple also said that Hewlett Packard?s share of the iPod market dropped
last quarter to only 3 percent of iPod sales.

UPDATE: Chris also sent this article: concerning some of those libraries that have realized their download services DO NOT WORK ON IPODS!

Chris Kupec Writes to Audible: We want to support iPods at our PL

Chris is doing some cool stuff with iTunes at his library. This post includes a letter to Audible. His points:

The details need to be addressed carefully, but it boils down to this:

1. We want to offer digital audiobooks to our patrons.
2. We do not want to circulate any devices. The patrons must provide their own.
3. We want the patrons to come into the library, and have the staff load patron devices.
4. We want the library to own the files locally, on a local storage device, e.g., when our Internet service is slow, we do not want to hinder the patron from checking out an audiobook.
5. We want to support iPods. WMA-based services can’t offer this. Audible offers the greatest range of supported hardware and has the advantage over any other service in this regard.
6. We want to be able to circulate multiple copies easily and affordably.

The thread I see here is that this library really wants to be user-centered, including those users that own iPods… And, hmmm, didn’t the new Business 2.0 (which I read cover to cover) report that Apple is selling iPods at a “rate of about 40 per minute.” Chris – keep us informed when you hear back from Audible!

“What’s Next for Apple?”
Business 2.0
By Paul Sloan,?Paul Kaihla
March 23, 2005

MP3 Player Report

U.S. shipments of MP3 players will grow 35% to 18.2 million in 2005 and maintain a compound annual growth rate of over 10% through 2010, reaching an installed base of 56.1 million by then, up from 16.2 million in 2004. MP3 players will reach critical mass this year, fueling demand for digital music services and stores.

And fueling demand by library users for digital content for their players! The MacMerc tidbit concludes with this:

Mostly due to the iPod’s success, JupiterResearch has raised its near-term forecast, but projects that flash-based player shipments will surpass those of hard-drive models in 2007.

More, bigger shuffles? Huge capacity cards? Hmmm…

The Open Source iPod

Imagine recording studio-quality audio using your iPod and a regular-old microphone. Or sitting on the commuter train, playing Othello, Pong, Tetris or Asteroids. All this and more is possible when you install Linux on your 3rd generation or earlier iPod. Best of all, one soft-reset and you?re back in Apple?s iPod operating system, listening to your tunes.

There are probably a lot of older iPods out there and with prices falling for new models, here’s a great use for them. Linux on the iPod!

he installation process is very straightforward. Plug your iPod in and make sure it?s mounted on your desktop. If you can?t see yours, open iTunes and select iTunes: Preferences: iPod. Select the Enable Disk Use option and click OK. Now you can run the installer. Once the installation is complete, unmount your iPod by ejecting it through iTunes or by dragging its icon to the Trash. Disconnect it and reboot your iPod by holding down the Menu and Play buttons. Once you see the Apple logo, press and hold the Back button. The smiling face of Tux (the emblematic penguin and Linux mascot) should greet you, followed by a rapid series of scrolling text. In a few seconds, the new interface should appear. Known as podzilla, this looks very much like the iPod?s familiar interface, but includes new options.

Podzilla. Nice.

What can you do with an iPod running Linix?

Record Audio: On the move podcasts anyone? Conference reports? Library user interviews?

View Images: Wowza..not snazzy full color like iPod Photo but useful.

Play Games: More, better games…

You can switch between Linux and the Apple iPOd OS easily as well. The iPod Linux project is open source, which means new features are always in the pipe and anyone with sufficient programming background can help. For details, go to The developers also maintain a blog ( with news and updates.

TTW Mailbox: Chelmsford Public Library Uses iTunes!

Hi Michael,

We’ve been using iTunes here in the Chelmsford Public Library for over two years, since version 3 of iTunes. We run two iMac kiosks in the main library, one near the CD’s and one for the Young Adult area and then a standalone eMac in our branch library. The main library kiosks tap into an MP3 server in my office. I purchase the CD’s and rip everything I buy to MP3. Since there’s actually only one MP3 around, I think I’m within our legal rights. I’m probably going to expand the iTunes idea to the PC’s in the YA section soon, now that I’ve got a VBScript to search our iPac.

Anyway, here’s a link to my weblog with some more info about what we do.

I just started it a week or so ago, so it’s meager, but you might get a kick out of the iTunes scripts for download. I’m glad to see you’re a fellow mac user. We’re few and far between in public libraries.

I’ll write some stuff soon on my blog about what else I do with the Mac at our library, so check in now and then.

Christopher Kupec
Assistant Director

Chelmsford Public Library
25 Boston Road
Chelmsford, MA 01824