Digital Audio Book News

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I haven’t used this blog in months, but I’m not at my usual computer (which runs Radio, my usual blogging engine), and want to save these links, and my Berkman Interloper credentials seem as valid as ever. Besides, at least one person at Harvard who subscribes to this feed may be interested:

I’ll have to stop at the library to get a PIN for my library card (or find out what I set it to when I signed up for the card). Unfortunately, there is some fine print at the end of the library’s downloadable book announcement:

Access to Downloadable Audiobooks is available outside Library facilities only. Library computers cannot be used for this purpose as we do not accommodate file storage on Library PCs or the transfer of digital audio files to personal digital media players.

NetLibrary Audiobooks are WMA files and are only compatible with Windows Media Player 9 and above. This service is not compatible with Apple products, including the iPod. NetLibrary is exploring options to provide this service for Apple products in the future.

So much for my iPod download-and-listen plan… or the idea of playing “bedtime reading” books on that old OS-9 Powerbook that I keep by the side of the bed. (I tried to use it with a book-on-CD copy of Tony Hillerman’s autobiography last week and discovered that either the library’s CDs and the Powerbook’s CD-ROM reader didn’t get along well.) I poked around and found more background about the technology NetLibrary is using, including WMA-compatible MP3 players. I’d actually been looking at a few of them for digital audio recording anyhow.

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