Thursday, March 4, 2010

An Update to an Unpublished Post

I started writing this post on 11/13/2009...I was excited after hearing about my library's participation in a program that allowed you to borrow audio by downloading them.  Before I published the post, I wanted to test it out and see how well it really works...I ran into problems, problems which I still haven't been able to fix properly.  I let the draft languish, hoping that it would work, trying several times over the past month on a couple different machines.  I still can't get it to work right.  I was just going to delete the post when I was pointed to this comic by Boing Boing.  It is my exact experience with this system (although I didn't end up downloading the torrent, I definitely thought about it)...and it makes me sad.

Click the link in the caption to see the entirety to properly understand the frustration.  Congrats to The Brads for capturing this perfectly.

Click me to see the full thing at

I understand the "need" (more of a want than a need for audiobook producers) for DRM but it is things like this that punish the people who are trying to do the right thing and do it legally that really frustrates me.  You are just blocking out your customers...the people who were going to steal it are going to steal it anyways.  I want to be the good and honest person here but it doesn't work!  Downloaded pirated files always work.  It is not the first time that type of thing has happened to me...just one of the more recent.

Great idea library...poor execution.

Original Post Draft:

Hooray Library!

I love the library - any place that has lots of books, whether it be bookstore, library, or personal collection is always good at drawing my attention. I can just skim through racks of books all day. But, I consider reading to be a form of recreation and rest so I will often pick fiction as my reading material. It just helps me feel more relaxed than reading history or science books. I like those too, but they don't give me the sense of relaxation that I am usually looking for when reading.

That has always been a difficult decision for me though because, I really do like learning and engaging my mind. I think this is some of the reason that I find hard sci-fi (the kind with very detailed and probable scenarios and usually a bunch of equations) so fascinating. I get the relaxation of the story but the academics of the math and science. However, I still sometimes feel like I am missing out on history and the real world. This is where audiobooks come in handy. Pop in a CD while driving or working and some of my need for history is fulfilled. I admit that it is not as good as reading a book, but it is much better than listening to the radio while driving or listening to nothing at work.

Audio books can be expensive though and for me they are not like books to be kept and treasured (if I liked it). Once listened to, my probability of ever listening to it again is pretty much zero.  If I do like the book...I will probably go buy the book to read myself in the future.  My local library also always had a poor selection, yes I could have them order me some through the inter-library lending system but that always been a hassle for me (out of 20+ times getting something through inter-library loan, I have had issues with more than half my orders - sure they always fix it, but still it is annoying). That is why I was very happy when I discovered that my library is final taking part in the WILBOR system. This is a system that lends audiobooks. No, not like heading down to the library and getting an armful of download them at your convenience. They are still building their selection but there is a little something for everyone. I plan on taking full advantage of this.

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