Thursday, June 28, 2007

Last.FM (

What the heck is it?

-Service that keeps track of music you listen to, and then produces a large number of personalized features.

-Founded in 2002, over 15 million active users. Bought by CBS on May 30th, 2007.

-How does it work?
--Install the plug-in to your music player (iTunes, WinAmp, etc.) or listen to any of the artists on their site
--Last.FM then “scrobbles,” or logs the music playing to your account as its being listened to.
--You can influence how the songs are logged by adding tags or choosing between “love” and “ban”

What is the site for, generally?

-Discovering new music, learning about the “old”
--The music page has top artists, top tracks, a “hype list” (featuring artists who’ve experienced huge upswings of play), and free (legal) downloads
--Each artist page contains:
---30 second samples of tracks
---radio station of songs by similar artists, based on users’ listening habits (unlike Pandora)
---a list of those artists
---a picture and bio (if available)
---profiles of top listeners
---user journals that reference the band
--Dashboard page contains:
---links to bands that Last.FM calculates you’ll like
---a radio station of songs based on your overall listening habits

-Participating in a community of listeners (through “Users” tab)
---Find friends
----Browse users
----Get friends by importing e-mail contacts via Google, Hotmail, AOL, or MSN or inviting people
---Recommend music to friends, get recommendations
----In real time, while scrobbling
---Listen to your friend’s radio stations
---A way for people to get together for any reason (similar taste, geographic location, real-life friends, etc.)
---Search for groups, make one
---Group charts created by an aggregate of all group members’ scrobbling habits
---Group journal, forums for discussion
---Neighbours are users who listened to a similar collection of music

How could it help promote a teen music collection to the Internet Community?

-Teen departments can build a Last.FM profile by letting their music players scrobble MP3 collections at random.

--Personal radio
---Songs from top scrobbled artists
---Also group playlists
---Build from songs collected from artist pages
--Album quilt
---Rotating cover art of top albums
---Recent tracks as well as top tracks or artists

How can it help connect teens to new music (aka listener’s advisory)?

-Browse around artist pages

-Build friends amongst teens, see what they’re interested in, and use the recommendation system to give them direct recommendations in their profiles.

-Create a group for your library teens.
--Share recommendations amongst the group

How can it be integrated with other services?

--Group scrobbling
--Help build Last.FM artist pages
---Groups made out of other programming (Garageband, “Instant Recordings,” etc.)
---Local bands & artists
---National bands
---Pages can be edited by anyone

Tuesday, June 26, 2007


What is it?

-“ MySpace for Music Lovers”
--a combination music blog, social networking site, and music discovery tool

-Music Blog
--users can write blog posts that display on their mog
--can be focused on aspect of music, but not required
--can upload 1 song/video and/or photo to accompany each post
--the song/video then appears as a streaming player at bottom of post

-social networking aspects
--easy to find MOGgers with similar interests
--can use tags on posts/songs
--share your MOGentries or others via email, facebook, or dig

-music discovery
--driven by user recommendations
--30-second sound samples of songs
--direct links to iTunes and Amazon
--Dedicated pages for every artist, album, and song
--section devoted to music news

-Going through substantial growing pains
--A slew of new users, most through facebook
--Significant slowdowns
---page loads, players, and played song updates all run noticeably slow
---blog widgets are particularly glacial
--Adding additional server capacity, expect problems to be resolved soon
--supported by ad revenue

What is the site for, generally?

-comprised of various widgets
--mog automated widgets
---rely on information uploaded from mog-o-matic/your music collection
----last song played
----top artist this month
--user input widgets
---Information is added and deleted by the user
----My best live recordings
----Artists you should know
--Custom widgets
---User created
----Top soundtrack songs
----Favorite songs of the summer
----What I’m reading now

--tool downloaded from mog
--indexes your digital music collection
---from folders you specify
--keeps track of what songs you play and uses the info in various functions
---updating of played songs is not instantaneous
--technical requirements
---pc – 14 different players recognized media, real, & itunes
---mac – itunes is required
--downloading mog-o-matic is not required to use mog
---not downloading limits experience severely
----many widgets won’t work
----recommendations won’t work
----limits social functions

-blog posts
--can be about music, life, anything
--upload an mp3
--embed a youtube or google video

-your music collections
--after mogifying you collection, mog will be an online record of your music

How could it help promote a teen music collection to the Internet Community?

-blog posts/uploaded mp3’s
--highlight a recent acquisition
--ask a opinion of an up and coming artist

-tracking plays of library’s digital music collection
--show what is available
--show you what genres/artists are popular to help better focus budget

How can it help connect teens to new music (aka listener’s advisory)?

-Magic Button
--makes all suggestions and displays be based on your music collection
--must have installed and ran mog-o-matic

-Trusted MOGS
--users can mark Mogs of people whose taste is music they trust

-MOGS like Me
--MOG analyzes your collection to suggest songs that mesh with your taste

-Recommendations page
--highlights what’s most popular that day

-Celebrity Moggers
--see what their favorite artists are listening to
---Ben Gibbard

How can it be integrated with other services?

-can use a music library that the library has already imported into itunes

-widgets to display information to blogs/facebook
-RSS feeds

Monday, June 25, 2007

FineTune (

What is it?

-online custom playlist/mixtape experience
--allows users to create customized playlists
--allows users to listen to pre-compiled "stations,"
--provides aspects of social networking
---tag songs
---become a “fan” of artists
---playlists are shareable with everyone

-comprehensive music library
--over 2 million songs from all the major labels
--selections have albums covers, reviews, metadata
--selections cover broad spectrum of time periods and genres

-proprietary recommendation engine compiles form a number of sources
--over 7 years of accumulated data
--100 million listener hours
--13,000 user generated playlists

--no installations required, though an optional desktop player is available
--works in all browsers on all operating systems

What is the site for, generally?

-create custom playlists
--create playlists track by track that will be randomized by finetune
--can be streamed/embedded
--user playlists subject to licensing restrictions
---lists must contain minimum of 45 songs
---no more than 3 songs per artist per list
-- “I’m lazy” button
---completes playlists if a user doesn’t want to select all 45 songs
---finishes it with track similar to what’s already in the list

-listen to one of over 400 professionally programmed playlists
--professional playlists not subject to license restrictions

-artist radio
--Plays songs by a selected artist and other similar artists

-social music
--find songs by tags
--find users that share similar tastes
--13,000 user generated playlists

-music information/purchase
--search for music or artists
--30 second sample
--Links to iTunes or Amazon available.

How could it help promote a teen music collection to the Internet Community?

-ability to select each song allows for creation of promotional playlists
--songs from albums recently purchased by the library
--songs that tie-in to a book display
--songs that fit a theme
---rainy day music
---summer music, songs contain words like “summer” “beach” or sun”
---teen choice mix
----allow teens to submit a song to be included in the mix

How can it help connect teens to new music (aka listener’s advisory)?

-“I’m lazy” button can help them fill a playlist with artists they might like

-Artist radio
--mixes songs by a chosen artists with songs are similar in style

-Professional mixes/stations
--vast variety allows for great exposure to different genres and time periods

--can be used for school assignments or for reference questions
---“I need music from the 60’s”
---“What’s disco?”

How can it be integrated with other services?

-Players that stream created playlists
--can be embedded in tools libraries may already use
---traditional websites

-Fully Nintendo Wii compatible
---optimized for Wii’s Opera web browser
---can log in to your and access and play already created playlists

---How to make the most of Finetune
---integrate into existing “pimp my MySpace/Blog program”

Pandora (

What the heck is it?

-Free Internet Radio (named after the Greek goddess, rewarding curiosity)
--Great way to find a new favorite song or artist
--Rate songs and artists to create stations
--Very popular among teens and college students
---Easy to transport/no downloading
---Intuitive, easy to sign up.

-Music Genome Project
--Born in 2000
--Comprehensive Music Analysis
---50 music analysts
---Study and collect details of songs, listening one by one
20 to 30 minutes per song
---Melody, harmony, vocals, rhythm, lyrics (400 attributes)

-How does it work?
--Plug in a song or an artist in the little box.
--Pandora fetches recommendations
--Rate as you go: like it, don’t like it, tired of it (play next month)

What is the site for, generally?

-Music Discovery
--Using the 400 song attributes (political lyrics, use of marimba)
--User rating system

-Find music you already love, find music you’re going to love.

-Share your “discovered” music, create stations and share with patrons.
--Send stations to a friend’s email.
--Get basic info on a song, artist, or album.
--Want to buy it? Links to iTunes or Amazon available.

How could it help promote a teen music collection to the Internet Community?

-Potentially, a library could make a station (or up to 100 stations)

-The stations could bookmark songs and albums or MP3s owned by library.
--Devoted librarian would periodically update the station and monitor.
--Bookmarked albums would be promoted and highlighted to end user.

-Library’s Profile Page has a persistent link that can market music collection

-Teens can be sent stations via email, according to their musical tastes.

-Bookmarked songs and artists could be requested via the Internet.

How can it help connect teens to new music (aka listener’s advisory)?

-Exposure to new music via the 400 attributes.
--Helps teen patron find ways to describe musical preferences.
--Quick “Novelist” style appeal. Listen-alikes are usually 6 per song.

-Teens can post comments which can promote discussion.

-Also able to get RSS feeds for library website or Newsreader (HTML friendly)
--Bookmarked Songs
--Bookmarked Artists
--Stations Galore!

-Podcasting also available (more to come, should think more about this one.)

How can it be integrated with other services?

-Podcast series is very educational. Trance vs. Techno/Recording Vocals, etc.

-Fairly reliable collection development tool.

-Programming possibilities

-Not just for teens, but for adults, too.

Developing MP3 Collections through iTunes

MP3 Collections

Why have an MP3 collection?

-It’s how teens are listening to music
--CD sales are in a 7-year long decline.
---Down 20% from last year.
--MP3 sales up 54%
--85 percent of 12-24-year-olds prefer MP3 players over traditional radio as their preferred option for music
--54 percent of U.S. teens now own an MP3 player (more than double from 2003)
---highest concentrated demographic

-Money, time, and space-saving
--Costs are roughly $10.00/album, rather than $14.00 (average Baker & Taylor price, with discount)
--Do not need to be replaced due to use
--Fits on the hard-drive of a computer.
---500 GB of space (8533 albums) costs about $150.
---The same amount of space in CD library furniture might run up to $22,000.
--Easy and fast processing

--Purchase new singles while popular and complete the album later, if need be.
--Rich collection of free, creative-commons licensed music online.

Challenges with MP3 collections

--Digital rights management (DRM) – technologies embedded in media such as music files and MP3 players that are designed to restrict their use
---iTunes Music Store purchases (AAC) only work on iPods
Most other purchases (WMA) work on nearly every player but iPods
---While a terrible option for consumers, DRM is still necessary for libraries to ensure fair use
--File systems on MP3 players and hard-drives
---FAT32 (Windows, Mac, & Linux-compatible)
---HFS+ (Mac compatible only)

-Sound quality
--Lossy audio compression greatly cuts the amount of data used in sound frequencies and volumes that aren’t expected to be heard (MP3 or AAC)
---Numbers such as 96, 128, or 192 kb/s include how much information is contained within each second of an audio file
---In comparison, audio stored on a CD has 1411.2 kb/s
--Reduces both space on a hard drive or MP3 player and the sound quality
--Lossless audio compression algorithms (like FLAC [Free Lossless Audio Codec]) are not available through these services
--However, most teenagers don’t care about the difference

-Services constantly changing
--Many providers adding subscription-based service
--Untangling new features and price structures difficult
---Services often obscure purchase options they are not promoting

-Technical Services
---Largely require payment by credit card
---While downloading is almost immediate, cataloging is not.
---Catalogers may be without any access to information about the material or downloadable MARC records.
----Who will supply necessary information concerning the record?
---Requires advance planning and procedures with cataloging
----Granting them access to music store interface so that they can “see what you see” when ordering
---Coordinating with cataloging to ensure that the ID3 metadata is updated (with “barcode” information or other necessary information)

--Ensuring MP3 collections are accessible at multiple points in your library
--Ensuring MP3 collections are accessible at multiple libraries in your system
--Networking and syncing your MP3 collections across multiple computers over a network is possible, albeit convoluted
---Likely requires IT involvement
--Barriers to online access—currently no online delivery mechanisms for libraries

MP3 collections and copyright

-Section 109, the “first sale” doctrine, doesn’t apply to loaning MP3s.
--Superceded by contract and license law enacted upon purchase.
Important to verify that the license provides room for libraries to circulate materials.
--While “first sale” doctrine doesn’t apply, using the “first sale” doctrine is still helpful as a general guide to ensuring fair use for MP3s with liberal enough licenses for library use
---“What if this were a CD?”

--Circumventing technical copyright protection measures such as DRM is illegal
--Exemptions related to libraries:
---Audiovisual works included in the educational library of a college or university’s film or media studies department, when circumvention is accomplished for the purpose of making compilations of portions of those works for educational use in the classroom by media studies or film professors.

The iTunes Solution

Why iTunes?

-Market share leader amongst teens
--82% replied that they owned some variation of Apple's iPod
--73% said they would purchase some form of iPod in the next year
-Flexible purchase options
--Libraries can pay by credit card
--Libraries can also pay for iTunes gift certificates with a purchase order

-Flexible terms of sale
--“You shall be authorized to use the Products only for personal, noncommercial use.”
--“You shall be authorized to use the Products on five Apple-authorized devices at any time.”
---For a library to fully exercise this agreement establishes “commercial advantage” and is in violation of fair use.

-Excellent selection


-Download, install, and configure iTunes
--Install on both public access and staff computers or network profile
---Public computers can use default settings, while staff computers will need reconfiguration
--Set the location of your music folder
---A folder on a closed network drive provides access to all public access desks that are accessible to the network
---If additional departments are interested in MP3 collections, you might wish to have your collections folder in separate subfolders and open different libraries on start-up as access needs dictate
--Create your account
---Acquisitions might wish to do this for you, as an account can not be created without a credit card on file
---Credit cards do not have to be used to purchase material
---If necessary, set your budget with an iTunes Gift Certificate
----Fax a purchase order on company letterhead to 1-866-821-7947
-----Phone number & e-mail
-----Ship-to address
-----Bill-to address
-----Products and quantity
------iTunes Gift Certificate ($10-500)
------iTunes Gift Card ($15, $25, $50)
-----Calculated total (no tax)
---If applicable, redeem your Gift Certificate
--Set your store preferences
---Store preferences should be set to shopping cart, so that purchases can be reviewed before purchase.
--Install on patron computers, turning off auto-sync off if the option presents itself

-Consider purchasing Mediafour’s XPlay (
--Allows transfer of music to Mac-formatted iPod

-Develop sign-up sheet/waiver
--Summarize collection
--Explain technical needs
---Require connecting patron’s iPod to a computer
---iPod shuffles require all files to be deleted when being used (or “linked”) with a new computer
---If using Windows
----Music must be transferred with third-party software (i.e., XPlay)
----Otherwise must get a firmware update on Windows, which deletes all files, converts to FAT32, and slows the functionality of the iPod on the Mac
--Loan period
--Fine information
--Return info
--Waiver for any damages or lost files on iPod
--Collecting serial # important to verify that files were removed!
---Add as note in patron record

Collection development

-30 second previews

-Customer reviews

-Front page
--New releases
--Top songs
--Top albums

-Album view
-- “Listeners also bought”
-- “Alert me”
---Sends e-mail when new releases by purchased artists become available.


Acquisitions & processing


-Submit to cataloging
--Easiest way to see when a file is available is to have its “Grouping” tag updated with the barcode or item ID.
---Set the “View” options of your iTunes to include grouping for easy access
Circulation – it’s easy!

-Open iTunes.
--If you need to select a specific library file:
---Hold the shift key while opening in Windows
---Hold the option key while opening in Mac OS

-Insert patron’s iPod
--You must keep the iPod from auto-syncing, or your patron’s files will be deleted!
---Immediately press and hold the Shift + Alt + Ctrl keys (if on a Mac it's Command + Option)
---If you forget, iPod will open a dialog box asking if you want to sync; say “no” or “do not sync”
---If your patron has an iPod Shuffle, syncing is necessary to use the iPod
----choose “yes” or “sync”
----warn patron that syncing with their home computer will erase their library files
---For any other iPod go to the iPod settings window
----make sure that “Manually manage music and videos” is checked

-Upload and check out
--Drag and drop!
--Use “barcode” or other information from the files to link the files with the patron’s account

-Delete and check in
--In the settings panel, verify that the serial # is that which is linked to the patron’s account
--Delete the files which are being “returned”
--Remove the records from the patrons account


--iMixes are widgets that share iTunes playlists with the world wide web
--While signed into the iTunes music store, simply click on the arrow to the right of your playlist and follow the easy instructions

-Network streaming
--This allows computers on your network (the same subnet) to play the songs in your music library.
---Only five users can connect over the course of a day.
---Computers must be “authorized” to access the protected files
----Only five computers can be authorized at a time—so choose wisely
--On the computer which contains the files to share, make sure that “Share my library on my local network” is selected
--On computers which are going to be playing the files, make sure “Look for shared libraries” is selected
---Your files will show up in the sidebar, ready to play.

Have fun!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Welcome ALA librarians from Washington D.C. "and beyond"!

We want to thank everybody for their time and consideration in attending our program.  We will be putting up all content soon.  In the meantime, please feel free to demo any of the services on our sidebar!