Public Libraries Gone Digital – MP3 World Music Downloads from the Boston Public Library
Now up to this point, I have concentrated solely on our wonderful collection of world music cds here at the Boston Public Library, as far as our music to take home with you goes. However, I certainly don’t want to neglect to tell you about our OverDrive digital audio collection which is available for download 24 hours a day, seven days a week with your library card. How convenient is that? Furthermore, you don’t even have to bother returning the music. When your check out period has ended, the downloaded file’s availability will simply automatically cease on its own.
There are basically three ways you can enjoy listening to your digital selections. You can download them to your computer, burn a cd, or transfer them to a portable MP3 player which is compatible with the system. Some of these options are limited, however, with respect to some items in the collection. I, myself, am the proud owner of an iPod shuffle and would advise the rest of you out there who own one as well, that you can indeed use this device to access the library’s music files, but you may have to transfer them indirectly through iTune’s software first, before they can be downloaded onto your player. You can get to our OverDrive collection via our homepage by looking under the heading BPL Catalogs at the top of your screen and selecting Downloadable Media from the drop down menu. Once you have downloaded the OverDrive Media Console and the security upgrade you’re ready to go. You can take a general guided tour of the system from the left-hand sidebar of your screen, and for answers to those all important FAQs, click on the Help icon in the upper right-hand corner and scroll down the page to the OverDrive Music section.
There are two basic ways to browse the digital music collection from the left-hand side of your screen. For our purposes here, there is a World Music category, however I would caution you to also check out the Ambient/New Age, and Electronica/Pop/Rock categories, as not all of the global music selections can be found under the main category. I’ve even located a stray gem or two in the Instrumetal category that were not listed elsewhere. Then there’s the New Music section where you will find the latest additions to the collection. Once you have located a title that interests you, just click on it for further details. I really like the fact that an audio except is provided for each item, so that you can get a pretty good idea of what the music sounds like. If you want an even better idea, just go to Amazon or some other digital music store and look up the same title there, as these companies often provide excerpts from all the pieces on a particular album. Customer reviews are available for some items in the collection, and of course, you can write one yourself, if you so choose, or email a suggested title to a friend. The checkout period is for 7 days. If an item is not currently available, you can place a reserve on it just as you would a book. So go ahead and explore the conveniences that our OverDrive collection has to offer and at the same time expand your world music repertoire.
Entry filed under: Digital Music.