On Tue, Dec 12, 2006 at 11:59:19PM -0500, Steven C. Barr(x) wrote:
> If this implies what I suspect it may...it gets me thinking about a
> further possibility! Since sound files for the most part start out in
> digital form...and image files (as well as possibly text files, such
> as books...!) can be converted to digital files by scanning... how
> long will it be before libraries are converted to institutions with
> huge multi-disc servers, and clients can access the contents either
> using monitors at the "library" or by downloading (onto a digital
> medium...possibly DVD-R...?) the desired item, in digital form, for
> later use. There would be a lot of monetary details to be worked out
> (or special short-lifespan media would have to be used...?)...but
> think of how much space would be saved, as well as an end to worrying
> about the lifespan of the artifacts themselves!
Something that has been interesting me recently is the MythTV
<http://www.mythtv.org/> open source DVR project and the possibility for
setting up a centralized media server in a reference library with their
audio and video collections stored on a disk array. Patrons could sit
at viewing stations like you mention and view their media "on-demand."
However, what is really interesting is the bootable Linux CDs that
are designed to act as MythTV clients. With these, the library could
provide discs for checkout which would allow clients to boot their
laptops to a customized media client application without installing
anything on their own machines. These discs could even be configured to
deal with some of the licensing and access issues that would come up in
such an environment.
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