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November 06, 2007

Centers of Production

The text of a speech by Jon Udell fires me up this morning:

http://jonudell.net/talks/lib2020/talk.html

In an online world of small pieces loosely joined, librarians are among the most well qualified and highly motivated joiners of those pieces. Library patrons, meanwhile, are in transition. Once mainly consumers of information, they are now, on the two-way web, becoming producers too. Can libraries function not only as centers of consumption, but also as centers of production?

Jon's answer is yes - the library should be a center of production as well, and you, dear readers, know I certainly agree! Don't miss this excellent post of his talk "Remixing the Library."

October 18, 2007

KooKoo for Amazon MP3 & iTunes (Updated)

KooKoo at Amazon MP3

I was tickled to find the long out of print album from Debbie Harry KOOKOO at Amazon's new MP3 service. What a perfect test. For $8.99 I downloaded the whole album at 256bps quality non-DRM MP3 and it automatically added to my iTunes library, with cover art and tags. Nice!

Now, I'll be shopping iTunes (and the newly price-dropped iTunes Plus) as well as Amazon. Competition is good. :-)

My questions then for library folk: Can we tap into Amazon's MP3 store and put a purchased and burned copy of KOOKOO on the shelf for other fans? Can we load up devices with library purchased content and circulate them?

It will be very interesting to see where this non-DRM'ed trend takes us.

Update:

Caroline comments: It's exciting to see more DRM-free music being offered, but I wonder if we'll start to see more restrictive user terms creep in. There's an interesting article on Amazon's wording at http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/businesstechnology/2003932604_brier08.html:
Amazon's contract says you "may copy, store, transfer and burn the Digital Content" for personal use. But then it goes further and specifies restrictions, saying you "agree that you will not redistribute, transmit, assign, sell, broadcast, rent, share, lend, modify, adapt, edit, sub-license or otherwise transfer or use the Digital Content."

Joshua comments: Borders has started offering a service where you can download MP3s (DRM-free, according to the clerk I talked to) to your MP3 player or burn them to a CD, right there in the store. I think it's pretty interesting and blogged about it: http://www.goblin-cartoons.com/2007/10/14/new-jack-city/

September 03, 2007

What Students Think About the library - Movies at Jönköping University

What a great way to welcome students back to the university library!

Ulf-G Nilsson from the library at Jönköping University writes to TTW via Facebook:

We have taken our first steps on the way to make our university library web site more attractive when it comes to using movies... We have released four movies today (see Movies about the libray on the left at http://www.bibl.hj.se/doc/4549 and we'll see what our users will say about this!

Take a look at the welcome movie: http://www.bibl.hj.se/filmer/eng/valkommen/

Movies at Jönköping University

May 29, 2007

Down With DRM

I can no longer recall the exact date, but at some point in the recent past I stepped over the line and became a criminal. I didn't steal from anyone's home. I certainly didn't cause anyone physical harm. In fact, I didn't even leave my office chair. Nevertheless, my dastardly deed landed me squarely on the wrong side of the law.

So what had I done? Well, I had removed the embedded DRM from a digital music file. A music file I purchased. Legally. Confused? Yeah, me too.

Let me start with a short primer for the unfamiliar. DRM, or Digital Rights Management, is the technology employed by providers of digital content to “protect” their products from copying. Perhaps the most widely known DRM in use today is at the Apple iTunes store. Any content purchased through the store contains embedded DRM limiting its use to your iPod devices and up to five authorized computers running iTunes software. Want to listen on your snazzy new non-iPod music player? Sorry. What about your Ubuntu system without iTunes software? No dice. Well, you could burn a playlist to CD, but isn’t the iTunes store supposedly all about convenience? Now, I've singled out Apple here simply as an illustrative example. They certainly aren't the worst DRM offender. In fact, they may actually lead us out of the long, scary DRM tunnel - but more on that later.

As many of you are certainly aware, copy protection has long been considered a necessity by the entertainment industry. DRM is essentially a digital upgrade to the same technology that made it damn near impossible to make a decent VHS copy in years past. Things just got dialed up a notch when the wrong people realized that Joe Consumer was living more and more of his life in the digital realm with his snazzy new digital toys. In order to sleep at night these folks needed a way to make sure Joe wouldn’t be pirating songs and movies left and right. Trusting Joe with the content he purchased was obviously insane, so DRM became the flawed security blanket under which the industry could hide.

As I mentioned previously, DRM is also what led me to my life of crime. Someone, somewhere was so terrified I might commit one crime that I was actually driven to commit another. Fear driving customer service policy - it doesn’t quite add up.

Now, in order to keep this reasonable, I’ll spare you a laundry list of the technical issues plaguing DRM. As an exercise, you may want to ferret out some of the lowlights or check out what the EFF has to say on the topic. But moving on, that possible light at the end of the tunnel I eluded to earlier.

It seems Steve Jobs has decided that the time may have come to put DRM out to pasture. After publishing his “Thoughts on Music” essay a few months back, Steve has now managed to forge a partnership with major-label EMI to sell their entire music catalog through the iTunes store sans DRM. Shortly after this agreement was made public, Amazon followed suit with the announcement of a DRM-free music store to debut later this year. I honestly think these events may signal the beginning of the end for DRM. Hopefully we’ve finally reached a point where the content providers realize that it pays (quite literally) to trust the consumer and treat them with respect. Let’s just hope Steve’s RDF is working overtime.

Finally, before I go, an example to show this DRM debacle doesn’t just concern Joe Consumer; it also impacts every user at your local library. Take a look at the audio book download section of the Chicago Public Library.

HOT - as someone we know might say. Or perhaps not. No iPod compatibility. Blame DRM. If the most widely used portable music player in the world can’t interoperate at the local library I think we definitively have a usability issue. But be warned, should you try to find a way around this problem on your own you might end up just like me - a fair use fugitive.

-----

I guess a bit of background is in order. My name is Eric Whitfield and I was a student of Michael's at Dominican this past year. I am currently working full-time as a software developer while I continue work on my LIS degree. It was an honor to guest post at TTW and I’m looking forward to joining the conversation with my own blog in the near future. Oh, and of course, I didn’t really do anything mentioned in this post. That would be wrong.

April 13, 2007

Teens Can Make Movies! (Updated!)

Video Contest

George from http://archdale.blogspot.com writes:

Michael, Just wanted to point you to the video editing contest that our Teen Corner is having for National Library Week. We just debuted a Teen area with furniture, shelving and 4 computers with video editing software and dvd burners.

http://rcplteencorner.blogspot.com/2007/03/teen-video-contest.html

Thanks George! I also see that the library had a "Make a Movie Night" presented by the teen advisory board. This is good on many levels:

Make a Movie!

The library has technologies the teens may want to use to create content (remember those Pew numbers?) and a space just for them.

The TAB is actively working to educate their library user peers about what the can create with the technologies.

The librarians have created a space - physical and online where creativity and collaboration can play out.

I'll be using this example at my talk at ALA Annual "Using Technology to Market to Young Adults" with Kimberly Bolan. Hey George - tell us more? What kind of set up? What kind of financial investment?

Update:

Ross writes: There's lots more about the Teen Corner project (including the live band made up of local high school students that we hosted on the kickoff day) starting here on our Flickr pages:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/asheborolibrary/page3/

We combined funding from an LSTA marketing grant with funding and other support from our library foundation, the Friends of the Library, an endowment and the plain old library budget to pull this all together.

Then George responds: Ross is being a little modest. There was a lot of community involvement: a local Friend helped with all of the interior decorating and color choices, a comic book artist (www.gravyboy.com) did our graphics and a local furniture company stepped in to help with furniture.

We designed a new Teen Library Card and started offering monthly programs with our TAB spearheading most everything.

We have been shocked and very pleasantly surprised that the Teens are raving over the space, the Teen Card and the new computers.

We took the attitude that we were doing this for the teens and let them dictate a lot of what we have done. Especially with the new pc's. They asked for video editing software and we got it.

We can wait to see what happens next!

Emphasis in bold mine? Teen departments..YA librarians... what are your teens asking for? Are you listening?

February 08, 2007

Warner & LastFM

http://www.901am.com/2007/warner-music-announces-lastfm-deal.html

Warner Music Group and Last.fm, one of the leading Web 2.0 social music sites, have signed a deal to allow Warner’s entire music catalogue to be played legally on the Last.fm streaming service.

At LastFM, I'm mstephens7: http://www.last.fm/user/mstephens7 And I play a lot of Fleetwood Mac, a Warners band.

January 17, 2007

Public Libraries & DRM at Wired

http://blog.wired.com/music/2007/01/library_media_l.html

Some frank words about Overdrive and the mess that is DRM:

The point of libraries is to make content freely available for the common good, I thought, so these restrictions are a little weird. Physical library cards don't require a certain type of wallet; why should the electronic ones only work on Windows? I asked Chris Pasco-Pranger, a "willfully unemployed librarian" (his words), to explain the system, and he had some choice words for the OverDrive system.

Here's how he responded (edited for clarity and length):

"Any patron of a member library can download titles (eBooks, audio, etc.) available from Overdrive to a home PC for a specified loan period. Typically, one approaches the service through a Public Library's website, for example at Brooklyn Public Library --> eBooks, eVideo & eAudio in the left navbar --> Search the Digital Media Catalog. You can add titles to a cart and then checkout using your library card number. A DRM scheme is applied, so you can only play a given title during the lending period, you can't burn it to disc, etc.

"The biggest problem (by far) with Overdrive ('Our strategic technology partners include Microsoft Corporation, Adobe Systems, Inc., and Mobipocket.') is its lack of support for Macs/iPods. Read the FAQ and weep. Of course, Overdrive would say that it's Apple that doesn't support THEM, because, y'know, Overdrive is SO much bigger of a deal than the iPod. Oh, the DRM headaches...

January 04, 2007

Telling Stories

Via The M Word Blog comes another example of libraries doing interesting things with video:

Storypalooza

We love stories at the library and have discovered a wonderful new way to tell them. Millions of others have discovered it too: YouTube. YouTube hosts videos from throughout the world…at no charge.

I love stories too, especially those that share with users, staff and governing bodies how important libraries can be in the lives of users. And here's the part I really like:

At the library web site www.gailborden.info/videoextras.html, we are using YouTube to help us tell stories about the library and reading.

And a bit about the contest:

This January and February, with sponsorship from First Community Bank, we're asking everybody in our library community to pick up their cameras and join the visual storytelling fun. People of all ages are invited to upload a 4-minute (or shorter) video to YouTube. Then send a link to us, for entry into one of two categories: “My Favorite Book,” will be for those who want to tell about their favorite book; or “Community Favorites,” about supporting the art of verbal storytelling. This should involve filming a short, uplifting piece about a person, organization or event that has made a difference in the community. Videos can be funny, poignant, clever or cool, and they must be library-appropriate.

This is a perfect example of what David King calls invited participation. (Make sure you read yet another excellent Web 2.0 post from Mr. King) It's also a perfect example of building community with users via technology.

December 11, 2006

Denver Public Library YouTube Contest


Denver Public Library YouTube Contest

Some things to note:

Use of YouTube is not only encouraged by DPL but the site is used as an extension of the library's presence within its community of teens

The same goes for the library's Teen MySpace page at http://myspace.com/denver_evolver -- where the videos that meet contest criteria will be highlighted!

On so many levels, this gets the library "out there" and in the minds of young people. They'll market the content, the MySpace page and more by word of mouth.

How open, participatory and decentralized is this? Wowza!

(Thanks to Michael Sauers for the heads up via his most cool Flickr stream.)

Originally uploaded by travelinlibrarian.


November 24, 2006

CBS has 30 million YouTube Downloads

http://www.hackingnetflix.com/2006/11/cbs_30_million_.html

Via the Hacking Netflix blog come this from Cinematech:

CBS has uploaded more than 300 clips that have a total of 29.2 million views on YouTube, averaging 857,000 views per day, since the service launched on October 18. CBS has three of the top 25 most viewed videos this month (Nov.1–17), including clips from CBS’s Tuesday night hit drama “NCIS,” “Late Show with David Letterman,” “The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson” and “The Early Show.” The CBS Brand Channel is also one of the most subscribed channels of all time with more than 20,000 users subscribing to CBS programming on YouTube since the channel launch last month.

Fascinating! Balance that with the Pew Podcast stats. What an intriguing picture. Is YouTube more engaging? More fun? It's certainly more social!

November 07, 2006

YouTube: One of Time's Best Inventions

YouTube

Why we should be taking user-created content, social spaces and content as conversation so seriously:

http://www.time.com/time/2006/techguide/bestinventions/inventions/youtube.html

November 04, 2006

Keynote at KMWorld & Intranets -- David Weinberger on the New Self


Via Nicole (who is blogging up a storm these days, grab her feed if you haven't already):

Our blogs are a new self, we’re writing ourselves into existence on the web with each post and populating the online world. Your blog is your new public self in the new public space of the web.

October 10, 2006

Videocasting at Delft PL

Delft Public Library

Jaap van de Geer, Delft Public Library (www.dok.info) and blogger at www.oblog.nl reports on his library's work with videocasting. A recent trip to Ireland/Dublin/Trinity College for a music festival was not only a great experience but an opportunity to create some videocasts for the library Web site at http://www.dok.info, see the bottom right of the page. He reported via email: "We also organized an amazing summercamp. That video is also online (no dutch, pure expressions), the response of the kids and their parents was heartwarming. I think videocasting is a tool we should use much much more to appeal to our customers."

I agree. I call this category here at TTW "Content (is Conversation) because of the shift in content creation we're seeing right now. Libraries can tap into this trend and create some wonderful, and yes heartwarming, connections with users. Thanks Jaap!

Some Flickr pics of Jaap and the Festival: http://www.flickr.com/photos/39841872@N00/

TTW Mailbox: Sharing iTunes & Copyright

iTunes Macs: 49,000 songs -- Every CD ripped!

Joshua Zehner, Assistant System Administrator at the Fulton County Public Library in Rochester, IN, writes:

Hey, I was surfing you flickr account and I found those pictures from Cherry Hill Public Library in NJ. I was really interested in the three or four photos of their "Listen Before You Borrow" station. Our library would love to do this expect there is one issue my boss has with it, copyrights. Is it legal to rip your collection onto a pc for everyone to listen to, but yet allow those same CD's to be checked out at the same time? We would love to implement this station into our library, as long as we can get past this one hurdle. Any information about this would be very helpful and appreciated. Thank you.

Thanks Joshus for writing! It seems that Cherry hill has been doing this service a while, it's very friendly and no one seems to be complaining. That said, i'm really at a loss about whether or not this violates copyright. As a try before you borrow service, it just make the process easier than getting a CD off the shelf, popping it into a listening station player and trying it out. I think iTunes actually protects the music more than haviung folks bring their laptops into the library for a massive ripping session into itunes from CDs in the collection.

I confess: copyright confuses me. I am learning more as I prep for classes and Dr. Kate Marek is guesting in my class in a few weeks to present on the topic (I'll be all ears), but in my mind, it seems ok. I'd love to hear from others who might help my thinking...

Some links:

Chris Kupec uses iTunes at his library: http://tametheweb.com/2005/03/ttw_mailbox_chelmsford_public.html

John Blyberg on making iTunes work in networked settings: http://www.blyberg.net/2006/09/12/sharing-music-with-itunes-and-mt-daapd/

And Chris Kupec also reports this week: I discovered that the Windows version of my iTunes to OPAC script works with info from the iTunes Store too, not just your own personal library. The AppleScript version doesn't allow me to get info out of the store. Very strange, but a plus for PC-centric public libraries! Might be a way to push teens to use the library more, if they could play with iTunes at home, and order up the CDs from the library. I also have a version of the script that I modified to help me with CD and movie ordering. Check out Chris' blog at http://homepage.mac.com/ckupec/iblog/index.html

September 13, 2006

iTunes 7 adds Movie Downloads and More


iTunes 7
Originally uploaded by mstephens7.
Read about it here:

http://playlistmag.com/features/2006/09/itunes7fl/index.php

September 07, 2006

amazon unbox Goes Live


amazon unbox
Originally uploaded by mstephens7.
AV Librarians...what do you think? I think it's an important moment to mark, as we begin the shift toward less DVD and CD releases and more online, download-style models.... I'll be interested in the first reviews of his product.

September 01, 2006

BIG NEWS

http://www.techcrunch.com/2006/09/01/itunes-to-have-movie-downloads-this-month/

Via Tech Crunch:

Rumors have been swirling for weeks (see here and here) that Apple will soon be selling full length movie downloads on the iTunes service. This morning, Business Week is stating, based on unnamed sources, that the the service will launch by mid-September.

And adding color to the story: WalMart is pissed off.

Apple is pushing for, and apparently getting, $14 wholesale movie prices on new releases. They plan to retail new releases for $14.99 and older movies for $9.99. Normal wholesale DVD prices are $17. Walmart pays that normal wholesale rate, and now anticipates losing a significant share of their 40% market share in the $17 billion annual DVD market. Given that it will be trivial for iTunes users to simply burn a DVD of these movie downloads, Walmart has good reason to be worried. Netflix should be nervous, too.

Look for the initial announcement to only include movies from Walt Disney (Apple’s Steve Jobs is Disney’s largest shareholder), and possibly Fox and Lions Gate.

Note that Amazon may also soon have its own movie download service.

There's a liot to think about here in relation to what we do in public library AV departments!

August 16, 2006

Telling the Story of a Life

Many others have linked but this is incredible:

http://blog.ryaneby.com/archives/telling-a-lifes-story/

How could anyone want to block this type of content and conversation?

August 06, 2006

Are You Watching YouTube?

Tendwatching? Checkout:

http://nomansblog.typepad.com/no_mans_blog/2006/07/youtube_trends_.html

To start with some figures, the all times #1 has been viewed 28,643,691 times to date. Closing this list #100 has been viewed 1,543,402 times.

28 million views!!! A few thoughs:

Let's make sure we are offering access and instruction on how to get user content up to this most thriving community.

Let's get some library content up there as well!

July 31, 2006

Shifts (TV Ratings)

http://weblogg-ed.com/2006/the-shifts-cont/

Will Richardson points to a post about TV:

In case you didn’t hear, two weeks ago marked the single worst ratings week for network television in history....Interestingly (to me, at least) is that of the Top 100 videos ever at YouTube, 58 of them were user created content. And I wonder how many of those were created by kids. Even more, how many were created by teachers???

And were any created in libraries...with librarians? Content creation, folks! It's huge and only going to grow.


"Can't We Just Start Blogging Back at Them?"

http://www.longtail.com/the_long_tail/2006/07/the_audience_is.html

Chris Anderson links to a video he uses in his talks:

For the past year or so, I've been ending many of my speeches with this brilliant video by Peter Hirshberg of Technorati, and Michel Markman. They showed it first at at the D conference last year and a few times since then, such as the EG conference earlier this year. Now Michel's uploaded it to YouTube for everyone to enjoy. Some of the lines, such as "There are a lot more of them than there are of us" and title of this post, are now permanently lodged in my brain. Thanks Peter and Michel!

Take a look!

July 26, 2006

You Tube & the Ubiquitous Librarian

More innovations from the Ubiquitous Librarian:

http://theubiquitouslibrarian.typepad.com/the_ubiquitous_librarian/2006/07/do_you_youtube_.html

On the benefits of using You Tube's channels:

I wanted to experiment with creating a video community, rather than just a listing of tutorials on the library web site. From observation, students don't use or know how to navigate the library site, so why bury video clips on there?

February 24, 2006

Rumours: Apple iTunes and Feature Films

http://www.macrumors.com/pages/2006/02/20060224073037.shtml

American Technology Research expects Apple to announce "its first, full-length films available for download on iTunes". This would expand iTunes content beyond the music, music videos and television episodes currently available.

Watch this very closely. With the news out of Colorado concerning downloadable video and resources such as the Future of Music still on my mind, something big may happen to our AV Departments pretty darn soon.

February 17, 2006

The Audio Visual Department is Changing!

I wrote this piece, entitled Crystal Visions at TechSource a few weeks ago. Today, we get this news out of Colorado via LISNews:

In mid-March, members will be able to start downloading documentaries and IMAX movies, travel and concert films, do-it-yourself remodeling flicks and exercise videos. "It will be very cool, because you could take it on your laptop on a business trip and have your yoga program right there in your hotel room," Jeske said.

Eventually, the library expects to also offer feature films. Like audio books, Jeske said, patrons will be able to keep a video download about a week before it automatically erases.

The library hopes to some day have computer kiosks where members without fast Internet service - or no service - can download films onto their portable video players.

The library Web site has become a film forum where people can read movie recommendations by the library staff, post their own film critiques or read ones by newspaper critics. You can even check local movie listings.

"This is the way that audio-visual material is moving," Jeske said.

This model intrigues me. As more and more content comes to our libraries digitally, and iPods in Libraries slowly become commonplace, what does the next generation AV area look like?

From ALA TechSource:

This will be a slow change. Early adopters will pave the way, just as it took years for the VHS cassette to come and be on the way out. Collections will remain, for those folks who keep their players, probably as long as there is demand. Will the product be available on CD or DVD? Doubtful.

So, what's the "Crystal Vision?" The Audio Visual Department of 2015 may be two spaces: 1) a vibrant space for digital creation and mashing up all of our content and room to gather and pursue our hearts' interests and 2) a space with a bunch of servers that serve out library-licensed content to library users, wherever they happen to be.

February 13, 2006

Stevie Nicks on Releasing Music

http://www.theage.com.au/news/music/a-magical-life/2006/02/09/1139465789637.html

Little surprise, then, that she feels no pressure to produce new material. "It's like, does it really matter at this point?" she says when asked if she is working on a follow-up to her last solo album, 2001's Trouble In Shangri-La. "Do people really want to hear a whole other solo record, when you can get one or two songs for I-Tunes? I'm thinking about a way you could just put out a few songs once in a while, maybe four songs that you loved, instead of having to figure out 16 songs, many of which you might not love."

Fascinating bit from Stevie on how artists might produce future songs -- bypasses "Big Music" for the fans.

February 10, 2006

Roadshow #1: Burr Ridge Illinois

Roadshow #1: Metropolitan Library System Burr Ridge, IL

http://www.flickr.com/photos/metropolitanlibrarysystem/sets/72057594062333746/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/michaelsphotos/sets/72057594062400931/

What a great day at Metropolitan Library System! Thanks to the folks who attended. Above are the links to the flickr sets we discussed in the session!

November 30, 2005

And so it begins: Video and Creation of Content

VEOH

http://www.veoh.com/

I got a note in my Mac feeds this morning about Veoh.

Veoh Networks today made available more than 3,000 videos for download and transfer to Apple's latest iPod. Veoh allows anyone with a computer and an Internet connection to broadcast their own TV show, or channel of shows, in full-screen television quality. Individuals and companies are broadcasting compelling content -- from original cartoons, like Superman and Popeye, to comedies like The Three Stooges, feature-length films, and more than 10,000 user-produced videos.

10,000 user-produced videos! This is coming on fast, dear readers. Are we ready for the users that might look to us to help them develop content? Can we give them a place to do so?

Jenny sends an email called "HOT" that points to this: http://www.weblogg-ed.com/2005/11/29#a4305

Teaching 2.0

Teaching 1.0--information retrieval
Teaching 2.0--information creation
Hmmm...

Huge libraries of video, some created by just plain folks. A valued voice for educators and the future of teaching ponders "information creation." Two things....synchronicity. This should not be ignored.

November 22, 2005

David King Talks to Rhapsody

http://daweed.blogspot.com/2005/11/music-access-and-libraries-still-long.html

David King outlines what he'd like from music providers for libraries:

  • digital music for library patrons
  • ability to listen in the library
  • ability to listen at home, using the library's authentication
  • ability to download to a portable device
  • We need all this to be an annual library system subscription, rather than a normal, individual subscription

Excellent list. I'm glad he started this conversation and it's intriguing the Rhapsody rep "stated that they "probably haven't considered" that type of model." I'd be interested in what the other providers (especially Apple's iTunes) have to say about this model.

It's nice to see librarians seeking out what role we will play in The Future of Music.

October 17, 2005

Video iPod & the Future

Video iPod

Please read jenny's excellent post at ALA TechSource!

Texting with Jenny from the UK, I said I just wanted to post a big "DITTO" next to this post.

"All very interesting, but it worries me all the more when all of this is sold directly to the consumer and bypasses libraries. It's times like this I re-light a candle that Audible will wake up from its coma and bridge the Digital Rights Management (DRM) gap between libraries and iPods. Right now, I believe OverDrive is the only company that lets libraries circulate copyright-protected videos, but of course Overdrive's Windows-Media-encrypted files don't work on iPods."

This is a huge step toward the future of digital entertainment. Years from now, we may look up from our devices (whatever they are) and remember when DVDs ruled and new release days on Tuesdays meant motoring to a big box store or the local library...

(PS: Tag this post --- LUST X 1000000)

August 20, 2005

PluggedIn: Portable media players may struggle to find market

"In many ways, I do view portable media players as a technology in search of a market," said Van Baker, an analyst at industry research firm Gartner. "If I'm carrying music with me, chances are I want to carry something that's a little smaller than a personal music player."

Informative piece on the next wave of media devices. It hints that Apple may be prepping a video iPod as well as highlighting the fact that we have all kinds of technology coming at us and folks are still trying to figure out what to do with it.

August 04, 2005

Yahoo Searches Audio Content

Take a look at this tech piece at USAToday:

http://www.usatoday.com/tech/news/2005-08-03-yahoo-music-search_x.htm?csp=34

Then take a look at the search page here:

http://audio.search.yahoo.com/

I was able to locate some tracks I didn't know were available - at Rhapsody, where I think I need to get a membership...! I also found some Fleetwood Mac tracks stored on a server for download... It looks as though this is a free for all: music services, podcasts, MP3 sharing sites. Let the debate and discussion begin!

July 26, 2005

Discs are so Dead - Future of Media in Our Libraries

http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/13.04/start.html?pg=2

Nice article at WIRED that validates the thinking going on right now about CDs and DVDs. What will our Audio Visual areas look like in the next 5-7 years when we are hurtling toward streaming versions of high-def movies and episodes of "Entourage?" How will we participate in what becomes a transcation between users at home and the vast network of content and community out there?

Eventually, someone will build the sophisticated business plan and technology that will make getting hi-def movies online even easier. The possibilities are myriad. Users, for example, could log onto Amazon, shop for movies, and instead of having them shipped, simply download the title - to own or to rent for a few days - directly to their hard drive. A high-quality piece of streaming-video hardware, developed by some consumer electronics company with foresight (and either built into a television or sitting on top) would then pull the file to the TV. It's not crazy to envision future TiVos or cable DVRs with access to every movie ever made - complete with a community of viewers generating ratings and recommendations - allowing consumers to rent a flick from the couch with a remote. At first there will be download delays, but it will still be faster than renting via US Mail. Service will get better every year, and at some point Hollywood and the major gear makers are going to notice. And then they're going to feel awfully stupid about having stepped into the Thunderdome for yet another format war.

Maybe libraries can hook up with content providers and stream movies and more to card holders. Maybe our presence as SERVER will grow as more people connect to the library for their content. So many obstacles there and not a friendly model to businesses.

Pondering... any thoughts?

June 22, 2005

Video on Demand via OverDrive

http://www.econtentmag.com/Articles/ArticleReader.aspx?ArticleID=8155

"OverDrive, a provider of download audio books and ebooks for libraries, has announced the addition of Video on Demand services and materials to its Digital Library Reserve network. With the new VoD service library patrons will be able to access digital video from anywhere in the world via an Internet connected PC."

I'll say just this for now: "Music & Video...like water...raining down..."

May 23, 2005

Music Like Water...Reigning Down*


On the way back from Indy Friday, I finished up the David Allen book David King suggested. It was incredible! Then I switched the iPod over to The Future of Music : Manifesto for the Digital Music Revolution by Dave Kusek, Gerd Leonhard. I only made it through the first hour or so but let me recommend this title to all librarians who want a glimpse of what the future of music and content dlelivery might be! The more I think about it, the more I discuss it with my colleague Joe Sipocz (who gets stuff like this) and the more I read articles like this one about Yahoo! Music: http://playlistmag.com/weblogs/todayatplaylist/2005/05/yahoodamn/index.php? -- and how music services might meet folks' needs.

Then, I discover this: http://www.stretta.com/~matthew/resources/music_server/. A music server for the whole house, most cool! To take it further, then, Kusek and Leonard propose by 2015 a huge jukebox of all music..available anytime and virtually anywhere as an inexpensive monthly subscription... music flows to ear phones, receivers, everywhere...like water!

In their vision of 2015, Music streams to you via wifi wherever you are... your "TasteMate" remembers your favorites and keeps those songs in rotation in your personal playlists...news and entertainment are available as well...and the music companies have a model of business that is fair and profitable!

Where do libraries fall in this mix of the ubiquitous jukebox connected to subscribers? For one thing, the CD collections will slowly fade away like VHS is now. I wonder if the next step will be vendors of digital content offering a subscription to libraries -- like many vendors do now. In this vague "Music like Water" future, will the public library pay yearly for streams or downloads of stuff to their patrons devices and home media servers? I want to see this future!

WOWZA! I need to contnue listening. Please let me knowhat you think if you have read the book!

More about Yahoo! Music here: http://playlistmag.com/features/2005/05/yahoomusicunlimit/index.php

(*paraphrase of a Moby lyric..)