Libraries, Patrons Clash Over Audiobooks

Yo, Libraries: say No to DRM – Excellent article by Doc Searls about the mess libraries are getting into trying to distribute audio books. In a nutshell, libraries are trying to offer audio books for download, but the major vendor in this area only offers the works in WMA format so patrons cannot use their iPods.  This leads to a lot of frustration.  

Providing a service that allows patrons to downlaod and listen to audiobooks is a very good idea.  Getting locked into a format battle between closed systems is not.  Librarians need to take a closer look ath the technology involved in these sorts of decisions before committing.  Audiobooks in a format that allows use by the greatest number of patrons while protecting the author’s rights would be ideal here.