N.Y. library audio book project snubs iPod
Published: June 14, 2005, 3:35 PM PDT
Kafka novels, the Bible and hundreds of other audio books will be
available for digital download at the New York Public Library's Web
site this week, but none of the files will work with an iPod.
In one of the biggest projects of its kind, 700 fiction and
nonfiction audio book titles from "Wuthering Heights" to "Moby-Dick"
will be available for downloading to computers and digital music
players, the New York Public Library said.
But while they can be played on hundreds of different digital music
players and burned on compact discs, none of the books will work on
the top U.S. digital player, Apple Computer's iPod.
The digital books files are based on Microsoft copyright protection
software, which automatically expire after 21 days when stored on a
computer. The files stored on players or burned onto CDs do not.
Microsoft and Apple have been battling for several years for
dominance in the market for software that runs digital audio players.
The debut follows on the heels of the library's electronic books
launch last year and is part of its effort to appeal to readers and
listeners who turn increasingly to the Internet as their primary
source of information.
"We're trying to anticipate and stay ahead of the curve," said
Michael Ciccone, the library's head of acquisitions.
The library has been offering electronic text versions of some 3,000
books since last year. These have been borrowed more than 23,000
times, making it one of the biggest tests of its kind, said Steve
Potash, chief executive of OverDrive, the company that provides the
technology behind the project.
Those files could be read on e-book or handheld computer devices.
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