using itunes as a cheap and easy music preview tool

While we’re talking about social software, let’s talk about libraries using the tools that their students and patrons are already using. Union College in Schenectaty NY takes advantage of iTunes’ feature allowing other people on the same network to listen to each other’s music. So, if I’m at the library using the wireless and someone else is at the library using the wireless and has decided to make their music available, I can listen to it as if it were my music. The library uses their own copy of iTunes to offer tracks of new music that is available for checkout at the library. Innovative, free and clever!

some great DRM examples

Two examples of how smart people who are good with technology have gotten setbacks from doing perfectly legal things with digital media saddled with DRM. Read: Jenny the Shifted Librarian tries to watch a movie and Hilary, Rosen, former head of the RIAA tries to listen to music.

You can’t have it both ways Miss Rosen. If you want DRM, someone is going to have to control that DRM. And if you don’t think they won’t use that control to their ultimate advantage, you obviously didn’t learn anything from your association with the music industry.

[thanks alan]

DRM – why do libraries care?

From the DRM Blog: Rent, Lease, or Buy – Which Model Is Right For You? No one is saying there’s something wrong with any case, but you don’t want to think your library is buying something when you’re really just renting the right to use it.

I have half a dozen songs from one service and three songs from another service and about 100 songs from a subscription service. I try the services because I cannot give my readers good advice if I do not try the various schemes for selling/renting digital content. But, because I am no longer paying the monthly subscription, I do not have access to those 100 songs I downloaded. The other songs have to be played through “authorized” players and so again I feel constrained. I have some open source software that I like for playing music but cannot use it with any of the content I downloaded.