Friday, May 2, 2008
Digital audio books are similar to the audio books that the library circulates. Instead of picking them up at the library, you can download them on your home computer. Once you have downloaded the audio book it can be listened to on the computer. Some titles can transferred to an MP3 player or burnt onto a CD.
Did you know that Ocean County Library offers its customers through ListenNJ ?
ListenNJ offers a wide variety of audio books for customers to access from their home computers. Topics include fiction, biographies, business, children’s literature, current events, history, mystery, romance, suspense and more.
To access digital books at ListenNJ you will need:
- A valid Ocean County Library Card
- Access to the Internet
- OverDrive Audio Book and Windows Media Player 9.0 software (both are free and available to download from ListenNJ)
- An MP3 player
Currently, ListenNJ is not compatible with the following devices:
- Apple Macintosh computers
- Apple iPod portable media players
- Microsoft Zune portable media players.
If you have one of these products, fear not. ListenNJ’s parent company OverDrive announced that they are working on supporting these products in the future.
UPDATE for IPod OwnersOctober 3, 2008
Over two hundred titles are now available on ListenNJ's website in MP3 (IPod compatible) format. To see a complete list, choose the advanced search option, then choose "Overdrive MP3 audiobook" as the format. Click search and you'll see the complete list. You can check the box "Only show titles with copies available" if you want to see only what can be downloaded immediately. You can get on the waiting list for titles already checked out.
Ocean County Library’s instructions for ListenNJ downloading. You'll need your library card number to use ListenNJ.
If you have a MP3 player already, great. You'll download a book to the player and listen to some of the audio to make sure everything worked. If you don't have a MP3 player (yet) or don't want to download a book to your MP3 player, that's okay. Use the instructions above. Go to ListenNJ and download a book of your choosing onto your computer (use a PC Plus computer at work) and listen to some of the book to make sure everything worked.
Hint: To make it easier to find the downloaded file, download it to the desktop. Once you're done with the exercise, delete the file off the desktop.
Don't forget to blog about your experience downloading a book through ListenNJ.
One of the greatest buzzwords in the Web 2.0 world is podcast. We've had quite a few podcasts for you to listen to throughout this challenge. But you may still be wondering, what is a podcast?
Podcasts are download-able audio programming that you can listen to on a variety of topics. They are created by your neighbor, your coworker or large media companies like ESPN, CBS and the New York Times. Best of all, the majority of podcasts are free.
When we said that anyone can create a podcast, we mean anyone. All you need is a microphone, a computer and some simple recording software to create a podcast. The number of podcasts grows daily and there are podcasts on virtually every subject. From sports to cooking to gardening to video games, you can probably find a podcast about anything you can imagine.
So how do you listen to a podcast?
The old way to get podcasts was to check the website of your favorite podcast frequently for updates. Once there was an announcement that a new podcast was available, you could then listen from the website or download it to your computer.
Web 2.0 made listening to podcasts easier. A few weeks ago you learned about RSS? Podcasters now use RSS feeds to distribute their podcasts. People use programs called podcatchers to subscribe to their favorite podcasts. Once they subscribe to a podcast, the podcatcher will automatically download new podcasts for you.
There are a variety of podcatcher programs available. The most popular is Apple’s iTunes. Below is a video that shows how simple it is to maintain your podcast subscriptions with iTunes. Most other podcatchers work similarly.
Doesn’t that look easy?
Once you have downloaded a podcast, you can listen to it on your computer or transfer it to your portable media device, like your iPod, Zune or other mp3 player.
With newer portable media devices like the iPod and Zune having video features and home digital video editing equipment becoming easier and more affordable, some podcasters have stepped up their game and gotten into video podcasting. It works just like regular podcasting, but instead of producing audio they are making video programming, or vodcasting.
To help promote their Ratatouille movie last summer, Pixar produced a series of vodcasts about the film. These “rat” casts were free and distributed through podcast listings.
there are several videos of him speaking at this program.