Loudoun Library reaches out to minorities

Well, technology minorities anyway.

Note the money quote at the bottom there: (Please note that books cannot be downloaded onto iPods or Zune players) Too bad that iPods and Zunes combined comprise over 65% of the MP3 player market. So, if you’re that one in three then we’ve got something for you!

Snark and annoying limitations aside, Loudoun has a fantastic selection of audiobooks and you can download and listen to them without ever leaving your home – just enter your library card number on the website. You’re restricted to a few Windows media devices in the portable arena – which doesn’t include the Zune – but you can always listen with Windows Media Player on your PC if you’re a Windows user. A good selection of ebooks too – there’s no available physical copies of Michael Crichton’s turd/screed novel Next anywhere in the LCPL system and clicking request (the things I do for you people….) tells me I’m in position FIFTY-FIVE in the queue.

If you’re willing to read it on your screen instead you can just download it and read it on your computer in this Mobireader format which is available on the Mac as well as Windows and Linux. It took about sixty seconds to install the application and download Next. Ready to read if my sense of self-loathing swells up later tonight…

2 Comments so far

  1. wayan (unregistered) on January 18th, 2007 @ 3:06 pm

    This may shock you, but iPod and Zune have amazingly restrictive DRM that encodes on anything you put on either. DRM that you have to pay to record in. And so kudos to th library for not sponsoring digital handcuffs.


  2. Don (unregistered) on January 18th, 2007 @ 4:51 pm

    I cannot speak about the Zune, but you could not have less idea what you’re talking about with regards to the iPod. The iPod plays plain old MP3 files just fine. It ALSO plays the Apple DRM format which songs purchased on iTunes come with, however there are few portable players that don’t support one DRM format or another.

    The reason the audioBooks that Loudoun has available won’t play on the iPod or Zune isn’t because those platforms have DRM support, it’s that they don’t have the PARTICULAR DRM support that the audiobooks utilize. So those “audio handcuffs” you speak of are there – they’re just not there in the most common format supported.

    Instead they’re using the format Microsoft introduced and then jettisoned with the introduction of the Zune.



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