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Atlanta Library: No iPods

Good news for Atlanta-area audio book lovers: the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System has announced the upcoming availability of downloadable audiobooks.

Bad news though: the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System has chosen a system that ignores the huge percentage of portable audio device owners, as it requires “any desktop or portable device supporting Windows Media Player version 9.0 and above.” What’s not said in that quote, nor explicitly anywhere else on their website, but apparently true nonetheless based on what is said, is that what’s really required is adherence to WMP 9’s DRM.

The number of people owning portable media devices is growing but if the AFPLS thinks they’re going to ride this wave they’re mistaken by ignoring the fact that over 80% of those people are using iPods and therefore will not be able to use the new service.

1 Comment

  1. there were three comments on this post on the old site.


    The Shifted Librarian said…

    In all fairness, they didn’t ignore an option for iPod owners. There isn’t one. Seriously. At least, not one that is legal and can be used by patrons from home. A couple of libraries have been able to sneak under the radar and load titles on patron iPods in the library by purchasing directly from iTunes, but doing so wipes out the user’s library on their iPod, and the titles are not simultaneous use, so only one patron can have the file checked out at a time.

    Unfortunately, this is a case where libraries are caught in the middle between Microsoft and Apple. AFPL chose to serve the users they could. I’m sure they’d serve the other 80% of the market if they could. :-\

    24/12/06 12:22 AM


    I replied that… I’d be very surprised if indeed the Fairplay DRM system doesn’t have the same sort of abilities that WMP9’s does, though it may very well be that iTunes doesn’t expose them in a way that third parties can use, which would make things more difficult.

    24/12/06 12:07 PM


    Mike said…

    AFPL isn’t alone. yYour ‘home” Howard Couunty Public Library (Md) also offers audio books for download some of them are

    Download e-books and digital audiobooks to a computer or your MP3 player. (Note: This product is not compatible with IPOD or other Apple products. Click here for more information.)

    I tried a few years ago but the process was too painful to continue.

    As I see it, to keep to their Terms of Use (I guess they have some with the producers of Audio Books) they have to limit the time one can use the book – same as they have for “dead tree books”. They limit the use to 2 or 3 weeks. Otherwise they could be thought of as giving away the book- forever. In the attempt I tried, the book was limited to a 3 week use, and I could only download a limited number – 4 or 5(?). I haen’t tried since so the procedure may have changed.

    24/12/06 6:25 PM

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