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iPods are imPure, Too

Just a brief ten minute mid-morning break to note that though I respect my colleague Michael Stephens, I disagree with his comments and conclusions in his post about iPods in libraries.

I am working on a longer post about audiobooks and DRM, inspired by my jaw-dropping Moment of Zen last Friday when I downloaded audiobooks purchased by my library but was unable to play them on my Treo (though I could see them, and I have Pocket Tunes, a WMA player) because of the stringent digital rights management (DRM) used by the ebook vendor.

It’s a book. I’m a patron. I want to read it. “Books are for use.”

But though I’m going to say some pointed things about libraries providing books that only one operating system can play, and it is absolutely true that without some gymnastics you can’t put an Overdrive or Recorded Books audiobook on an iPod any more than you can on a WMA player, Apple is not a hero in this discussion, and Apple’s greedily monopolistic tactics will get their due as well. Michael says he has “lamented that some of the big names in recorded e-content don’t recognize the iPod.” Ask Real about recognizing iPods; Apple went after Real for enabling Realplayer to import Apple’s proprietary AAC format.

More on this next week; I’m gathering information. My ten minutes are up; gotta finish making sure the lunches get ordered for tomorrow’s board meeting. (I love my board, they are the coolest, but that’s another post.)

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