Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Downloadable Audiobooks

Kudos to Distant Shoreline for reminding me to post this.

I get a call from the reference desk, "Hey Blue, there's a patron here who'd like to talk about downloadable audiobooks with someone, have you got time?"

At first I grumbled. I've got a project that's been delayed forever and day due to small interruptions and other more massive projects, but since it's for the public, my internal law is always, "Yeah, I'll be right out."

I don my name badge and head on out.

I meet with the librarian at the desk. "Blue, it's this couple right here." I start to head over and she stops me. "Once I told them I'd call you, they asked if you were a teenager." We both chuckled. "I told them, "Well, he's not 19, probably closer to 30, but I'm sure I'll be able to help you out." We chuckled again and I head over to the table the were hovering next too.

I walked over and introduced myself, "Hi, I'm Blue, Training Specialist for the Library, and as much as I wish I was still 19, I'm confident I'll be able to help you with your audiobooks." The three of us laughed and I motioned to the table and we all sat down.

While the husband was there, I could tell he wasn't too tech savvy because the wife was the one wanting to get in on the action. Her first question was about her Media Player, and I went through the usual speech about DRM, syncing them to the device, and storage capacity. She had a 512 megabyte audiobook, which is enough for at least one audiobook.

The came the hard question.

"I've got this cell phone here, (a T-mobile Sidekick)...

[While I never have enough money to afford these phones, I'm impressed I actually knew the name. Curse marketing!]

...and I'm wondering if I can put downloadable audiobooks on here."

What a doozy of a question. So, I could go the technological aspect, but I decide to answer her question with a question of my own.

"Have you downloaded music from your PC to the Sidekick?"

She confirmed that she had. She had taken the memory stick out of the sidekick, put it in a card reader, and transferred them to the stick, thus to the Sidekick.

"Then you've got a glimmer of hope. I don't know what type of media player the Sidekick uses, but if it'll play music, it might be using Windows Media Player. I don't want to fiddle with your phone to check because I might break it, but you should be able to sync the audiobook to the memory stick, then put it into your Sidekick."

"So I can't just copy it over like I did the music?"

"Nope. If you've got a minute, I can run back and get you a copy of the step by step and show you how to sync it over."

I dashed back to my desk and didn't have any available, so I printed one off real quick and brought it back out. I showed her on paper how to sync it to both her media device and to her memory stick. Reminding her of the DRM issues, it may or may not play.

In the end, they came in clueless, and after a 10 minute meeting, they were confident they could at least get it to work.

Despite my training 15+ staff on timecards yesterday, I considered that my moment of triumph yesterday.

Barely bested by first time cooking bone in pork chops that Pink and Little Blue gobbled up. :)

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