Thursday, May 11, 2006

When is audio not audio?

At Computers in Libraries in March, I ordered the CD of the audio of all of the presentations. Waiting for it to arrive, I began to plan "when" I would have time to listen to it and realized that I could listen to it while I drive, especially on business trips that take me across New York State. Well, the CD came last week and today I popped one of the CDs into the CD player in my SUV. Nothing happened. So I looked at the case and realized that what I have is an interactive CD-ROM (with audio and PDFs) that is meant to be played in a PC or Mac. That is not a bad thing, but it limits the devices I can use in order to hear the audio of presentations that I missed.

As our screens change, people are changing where they expect to view information. Can they view information on a cell phone, rather than a computer screen? This means that we have to create web sites and content so that it will display correctly on whatever screen someone is using. This change not only applies to text, but to images, audio and video. And when we think of audio, we also need to think of those other devices people are used to using for displaying audio. We need to break down barriers and ensure that people can use the information on their preferred devices.

Since it is for personal use, can I find a way of moving the audio to a CD that I can play in my SUV or even put it on my iPod? mmm.... sounds like a challenge!

Addendum 5/18/2006: I was able to use my iPod software to copy the audio from the CDs to my iPod Shuffle. The process was easier than I thought it would be. The CD had no digital rights management (DRM) on it. A surprise. At any rate, last night I listened to two sessions on taxonomies while watch the NBA (basketball) playoffs!

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