“It seems you can’t listen to everything on your iPod. The Apple Computer devices account for more than 21 million of the 28 million total portable music systems, and they are finding plenty of other uses beside music. Just not books: many U.S. libraries are now lending audiobooks available only in Bill Gates’ Windows Media Audio format,” Danit Lidor reports for Forbes.
“Many of the library audiobooks are coming from Cleveland, Ohio-based OverDrive, a privately held company that has partnered with both Microsoft and Adobe,” Lidor reports. “But at least one library has chosen not to abandon the potentially huge Apple audience. Librarians at California’s Newport Beach Public Library load audiobooks directly onto 15 iPod Shuffle players and make them available for rental. Apple CEO Steve Jobs can always rely on his fiercely loyal Apple customer base to take niche bites in every market.”
Full article here.
Why would libraries offer audiobooks for devices that so few people have and not offer audiobooks for the iPod, which the majority of people use? Very shortsighted. Or perhaps libraries don’t want people to listen to audiobooks? It sounds like librarians need to get out from the dusty bookshelves more often. Don’t libraries “lend,” not “rent?” If so, why not use good old unprotected MPEG-4 Audio (AAC) or MP3 – those formats will work on most players, including iPods.
As for taking “niche bites,” the reality is that non-iPod device makers are the niche in the market dominated by Apple’s iPod+iTunes+iTunes Music Store.
iPod users, of course, can still download thousands of audiobooks via Apple’s iTunes Music Store.
Related MacDailyNews articles:
Analyst: Apple will sell 7.1 million iPods this quarter – August 26, 2005
The de facto standard for legal digital online music files: Apple’s protected MPEG-4 Audio (.m4p) – December 15, 2004