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Friday, May 30, 2008
New iTunes Music Listening Stations
After years of visiting book and music stores like Borders, Virgin Records, and FYE and having an opportunity to listen to any CD’s tracks before making a purchasing decision has been a luxury that I certainly have taken for granted. Libraries usually do not have this luxury, but why? Right outside my office is a monolithic filing cabinet where all of our CDs are hidden. That’s right, they are hidden! I have heard first hand the cries of many library users who have become so frustrated when trying to find a CD. It is true that these CDs are difficult to find because they have stickers and other “library stuff” stuck all over them. And it doesn’t help that they are tightly squeezed into this filing cabinet.
So, I asked myself wouldn’t it be nice if we could open up our CD collection for people to browse and listen to these CDs before they decided to check them out or not? There are several libraries doing just that, so I decided to take it seriously and set up a system. Luckily, I was able to get my hands on 2 old PCs and set them up to become our music listening stations by using iTunes. Although 2,000 songs have been digitized, not all of our collection is digitized yet. That will come very soon. So, please visit the West St. Petersburg Community Library at St. Petersburg College and try it out!
Also, I have been working on creating a web page based on the XML data that iTunes creates. This web page is still a work in progress, but you can check it out at: http://www.spcollege.edu/SPG/WSPCL/iTunes%20Music%20Library.xml. Firefox doesn’t like it yet, but I am working on it. The links should open up the iTunes application so that you can listen to a 30 second clip. I will have the call number links going to our library catalog very soon.
If you are interested in the process, I am working on a document that explains the process of setting up this system. Just send me an email or comment on this blog post and I’ll forward you a copy.