New York library loans out audio books on Apple iPod shuffles

“Checking out a new iPod now applies to more than shopping trips or web browsing. This week the South Huntington Public Library on Long Island, New York, became one of the first public libraries in the country to loan out iPod shuffles,” Cyrus Farivar reports for Wired News. “For the past three weeks, the library ran a pilot program using the portable MP3 devices to store audio books downloaded from the Apple iTunes Music Store. They started with six shuffles, and now are up to a total of 10. Each device holds a single audio book.”

“The few library patrons that have checked them out seem to have had positive experiences… Ken Weil, the library’s director, said that the library had been looking for a way to share digital audio content with its patrons for some time, and that until recently, the existing iPods were far too expensive. ‘It’s the right product with the right price,” he said. “We said that this is a great way of getting these out to the public.’ The library currently offers several titles, including Grisham’s The Broker and Azar Nafisi’s Reading Lolita in Tehran. ‘If patrons want a title that we own that we don’t have on an iPod, they could request it,’ said Joe Latini, the library’s assistant director,” Farivar reports. “Instead of having an entire book take up several CDs, one book fits within several MP3 files, usually ranging from 150 MB to 350 MB, he said. The library currently stocks both of the two versions of the iPod shuffle — six of the 1-GB model, and four of the 512-MB model.”

Full article here.

18 Comments

  1. just set the play mode to sequential order instead of the shuffle mode, and u can jump from one chapter to the next with every click of the rew/ff buttons.

  2. Wow, all of this time, having come from Huntington (Croley St.) I never knew that it was an upscale type place. Perhap Lloyd’s Neck or some of the other neighboring areas, but Huntington????

  3. Eric,
    I was kinda thinking about if a book had like 50 or so chapters and you turn it off without knowing which chapter you are on, you would have to listen to the beginning of each chatpter and hope you don’t skip a chapter. Or if you pause it, but then plug it in to your computer to recharge it, you would then probably also lose your place. It’s a neat idea, but maybe not the best solution for audio books.

  4. “Where the hell did they get enough iPod Shuffle’s? “

    They may have gotten lucky at the Apple Store a few miles away in the Walt Whitman mall.

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