Thursday, March 03, 2005

Library loans books on iPod

Wired News reports that the South Huntington Public Library on Long Island, New York, has become one of the first public libraries in the country to loan out iPod shuffles. 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.

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. The library now stocks both the 1GB and 512MB iPod shuffle which easily store their audio books 150 to 350 MB MP3 files.

Joseph Latini, the library's assistant director, said that most titles on CDs cost the library around $75, whereas in MP3 format, they range from $15 to $25. "In the end, obviously, we're literally saving money," he said. "The units are paying for themselves."

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