First, I apologize for cross-posting.

We're working on developing a multimedia station that will include audio
excerpts and image slide shows for those who visit the The Vermont
Folklife Center and wish to get their feet wet in a kiddie pool version
of our holdings, but don't want to dive head long in to the deep end of
the archive.

Our plan right now involves making selections of audio and images in
thematic bundles (e.g. ethnicity, occupation, biographical, etc.) and
making the digital files available to users via an HTML interface that
is served off of either DVD/CD or HDD.  The hardware would involve a
computer, monitor and a manual interface of some sort (right now I'm
thinking about a track ball) and either speakers or a headphone amp and

I am curious to know what approaches others have employed to do such
things.  To me a PC, digital files and HTML make a lot of sense for this
application (especially since the content provided on the multimedia
station can be easily derived from or spun out to our website), but then
again, I don't always make a lot of sense to other people.

Specific questions outside of the general approach are--what have/would
others used/use as the manual interface?  I want to avoid a keyboard for
several reasons--1) for security, I'd rather not give people the ability
to muck about too much in the PC and 2) we want it to seem as
"non-computerish" as possible.

In the case of speakers, does anyone have a recommendation for decent,
low-cost powered monitors?  For headphones, are there any headphone amps
  one would suggest for this application?

Hardware-wise I'm leaning toward the Mac Mini, based on cost and size.
However, are the audio outs any good?  Do others have any recommendations?



Andy Kolovos
Vermont Folklife Center
P.O. Box 442
Middlebury, VT 05753
(802) 388-4964
akolovos @