Monthly Archives: September 2010

Ypsilanti library still wrong on downloadable audio books

Several years ago the Ypsilanti Public Library starting offering its users access to downloadable audio books through a service called  Unfortunately that service was riddled with DRM that wasn’t compatible with anything but Windows computers and PlaysForSure media players. Anyone using an iPod or a Mac was out of luck.  At least that service offered a choice of a couple of thousand titles and with a bit of tweaking the DRM could be stripped so that the files could be played on any device.

The library has now switched to different service that is apparently compatible with all platforms including iPods. Unfortunately, it is even less useful than the Netlibrary system. The service offers a grand total of 64 titles. That’s not a typo, it’s 64 titles. Loans are only available for one week at time and each title is only available to one user at a time. These are digital files, why are they only accessible to one person at a time? This is absolutely ridiculous.  Why even bother to offer a download service with so few titles? It seems like a complete waste of time and money.  If the library is not going to get serious about actually making downloadable content useful to patrons, it should just quit trying.

Newsday’s iPad commercial more successful than paywall

Last fall Long Island newspaper Newsday decided it had enough of giving away its product online for free and put up a $5/week paywall. Given the plethora of free news sources, readers decided that Newsday didn’t need their money and went elsewhere.  Three months after the paywall went up a grand total of 35 people had subscribed.

Now Newsday is apparently hoping that Apple’s iPad will help it gain some more digital subscribers. It remains to be seen if the iPad will be enough to get people to subscribe, but the ad above is definitely amusing.