Monday, March 24, 2008

The Greater Phoenix Digital Library Meets the Digital Divide

You might imagine that someone who is an avid podcast listener would also enjoy listening to audio books. Absolutely! I check out audio books on CD and transfer them onto my iPod shuffle, which I listen to while I'm commuting.

Unfortunately, I'm on the wrong side of the digital divide when it comes to downloading audio books from the Greater Phoenix Digital Library.

The Overdrive console is Windows-only and my family are die-hard Mac users. "Yes, but Mac users are such a small segment of the computer market," you might reply. Look again. Windows Vista and the popularity of the Apple iPod have doubled Mac's market share during the past year.

The books will not play on iPods, which have cornered approximately 75% of the market for MP3 players.

I don't understand how libraries and many librarians have been wooed and won by Overdrive when we are the people who have been spanning the digital divide.

If it's any consolation, I'm going to help a friend learn how to download books from the GPDL on her Plays for Sure MP3 player next week. Maybe some day I'll be able to do the same from the library's public computers!

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