I'm here in New Orleans for another night, finishing up a visit to ALA. I was here primarily to participate on the Summon Advisory Board, but also spent today in the exhibits hall. If you're reading this in time to take advantage, here are a couple booths you should hit while here, depending of course on what you're looking for :-)
More generally, I was very impressed with what I saw of Springshare's new Mobile Site Builder and LibAnalytics modules. Yes, I know I can do both of those things myself, or with open source tools, but damn they make it easy and affordable. So much less hassle just to use their tools. Mango Languages just released an iOS app, which is the full content from the website. A no-brainer if you subscribe to their service already. There was one other vendor that I wanted to post something about, but it's completely slipped my mind. :-(
So I guess with that I'll just leave you with this NSFW summary of the weather here over the past few days:
When I recently posted a summary of Jane Burke's posts on the InfoViews blog, I hadn't realized InfoViews was owned by a ProQuest employee. Mike does point out that the views posted are his, and not those of ProQuest, but it's something to be aware of, and explains why he's collecting so many guest posts from ProQuest employees! :-)
Which brings us to the latest post, How Individual Book Buying Experiences are Reshaping Academic Library User Expectations for Ebooks, written by Leslie Lees, Vice President of Content Development at ebrary (recently acquired by ProQuest). She points out how Amazon and iTunes have influenced the way the general public expects to purchase information generally, and possibly non-fiction books as well:
As compared to journals and other forms of academic literature, books are purchased much more widely by individuals for personal use. If academic monographs in libraries had continued to be the only game in town, libraries would have retained more of their influence, but the explosion in the purchase of books for individual use has had a major impact on user expectations.
She also references a fascinating-sounding book (not available on ebrary) which I now have on hold at my library: Blair, Ann. Too Much to Know: Managing Scholarly Information before the Modern Age. New Haven [Conn.]: Yale UP, 2010. Print.
Rumour time! I see that Mike posted an interview with Slavin Zivkovic, CEO of Springshare, makers of the wonderful LibGuides product. I wonder if ProQuest is going to acquire Springshare? :-)
Know what? I pirated two ebooks yesterday. My wife purchased two titles from the B&N Nook store, and after we collectively spent nearly two hours attempting to get them to transfer to her Sony PRS-350 ereader I gave up and grabbed them via bittorrent, and had them installed in a matter of minutes. That included finding, downloading, and then moving over to the ereader. I even did a fair amount of research trying to get Calibre plugins to help me strip the DRM, and was unsuccessful there before I went rogue.
What's that saying about DRM? Damn, I can't find the one about how DRM only works against law-abiding citizens, but I did find this one that says the same thing: Every time DRM prevents legitimate playback, a pirate gets his wings.
Stupid DRM. Wasted my time, didn't accomplish what it was supposed to.
Just ran across a link to an in-development iPad app called ShowMe, which acts as a whiteboard, recording whatever happens within the app, including audio, and then exports that to a website. I would SO love to have an app like this that can record whatever is happening on the iPad rather than just itself, but it's a start.
I haven't seen a press release or anything, but someone mentioned it on Twitter last night, so I went looking and found that EBSCO has just released an iPhone app. It'll also work on an iPad, but not at full screen.
So how does it work? Log in to one of your EBSCO databasese and scroll alllllll the way down to the bottom. There you should find a new link that says EBSCOHost iPhone/iPod Touch Application:
Click that and enter an email address, and you will receive a link to the App Store (yes, you can search and find it there w/o that link), and also a link to click that will marry the app to your specific institution. Very seamless and straightforward process. The only glitch is that the authentication code seems to work for anyone; I forwarded it to some folks in the States who corroborated that they were now seen as University of Calgary users.
I do notice that part of what that authorization does is include my institution's ezproxy prefix, so I suspect at some point it's still secure enough. Oh, and I do see in the Help file within the app that you'll need to regenerate that code every 9 months. Even w/o a code, the app gives you an option to search as a guest. You're limited to searching GreenFILE at that point.
There's just a basic search box, no option for "advanced search". Limiters such as Full Text, Peer Reviewed, date etc, appear under the Settings tab, but all the way at the bottom of the screen, below the list of databases. All databases appear to be checked by default.
The app helpfully remembers recent searches, and you can save both searches and articles for later viewing. Individual articles can be emailed, with full text, though I don't see an option to select multiple records. PDFs are available within the app. Results can be sorted by date or relevance.
Here are some screenshots for you. Overall it's a pretty nice app - well done EBSCOHost!
ebrary is developing new ways to support an offline/download model and reading on hand-held devices. We are conducting this survey to better understand your needs, and we would very much appreciate your comments and suggestions.
Please feel free to share the survey with any interested colleagues. We ask that you respond by Friday, March 4.
Aw man, I *so* wanted this to be a way to view a live iPhone, iPod or iPad screen remotely, but alas, it's the other way around. Install this free app and you can watch a computer screen shared with you by another user. Very cool, and works very well in my limited testing - almost no lag. Someone let me know if you know of a way to go the other way round w/o jailbreaking...
Join.me desktop screen sharing app now available for iOS - from MobiPuting
Tiffini has a great post on her blog about the importance of a mobile website for libraries, along with a couple of excellent suggestions for how YOU can do this for your library with little to no cost at all: Edupunk goes mobile: Mobile library sites with zero budget. In a nutshell, she suggests using LibGuides or WordPress to create a mobile version of your site, but her argument is well thought-out and she provides several examples and screen shots. Go check it out if you're looking for a quick win to start the year.
A recent newsletter from Techsmith alerted me to a handful of updates to their screencasting product line - Camtasia Studio 7.1 for Windows is out, and while I haven't tried it, it promises "Now you can create searchable videos (even the audio!), and automatically generate 508-compliant captions. Plus, you can import caption files in foreign languages." Here's the full list of changes. Camtasia:mac is up to version 1.2 (downloading now...) with some similar enhancements (full list). Also, "now videos hosted on Screencast.com can be watched on mobile devices that don't support Flash, like iPhones and iPads." Looks like that doesn't happen automatically with previously-published content though, as I just visited on my iPhone and was told to go get Flash. :-(
Finally, you may be interested in sprucing up your title slides for some of your screencasts, and Techsmith first links to the free Juicer 3 program which allows you to make your own (or buy theirs) to import into Camtasia (I hadn't realized there was a version for OSX, so I'm downloading that right now too), but they also point to their page of downloadable assets, which should make things easy. Hmm, should, but I've just spent the last 8-9 minutes trying to figure out how to import some of the assets I just downloaded into either Camtasia:mac or Juicer3 for the Mac with no success. I'll let you know how that goes :-/
Update: Well, I couldn't get Juicer 3 to do anything on the Mac, so feel free to explore on your own, but I don't think you're going to get it to do much without buying DVDs from them - I'm uninstalling. I did have some success with Techsmith's downloadable assets though. The download page warns that they'll only work with Camtasia Studio 7, but I simply renamed the downloaded file from WidescreenAssets.libzip (which apparently will be opened by Camtasia Studio 7) to WidescreenAssetslib.zip, at which point it acted just like a zipped file, and created several nice folders with mp4 animated files, mp3 music files, and png image files which can then be imported into the Camtasia:mac media folder and Bob's your uncle!
I received an email the other day letting me know I hadn't been selected to participate as a beta tester for SafariBooks Online iPad app. I exchanged a couple of emails with the Mobile Product Manager, letting him know that our users want to be able to access our institutional subscription, and he responded that while it won't be ready when the iPad app launches, it is something they're working on, hopefully for release later this year. No promises, but fingers crossed!
After teasing you about the Kobo several months ago, one actually did show up in my house; my wife bought one a month or so ago, and really likes it. I've compared it to reading on an iPad (which I don't own either), and find the Kobo a much better form factor for what it's doing. The iPad is just too heavy for me to want to read with it. I'll wait until the iPad is lighter before getting one. Don't care at all for the flicker of e-ink though.
Anyhoo, here are some other, more in-depth reviews of the Kobo and other eReaders:
AdMob (recently acquired by Google) has an interesting report out this month in which they compare iPhone and Android unique devices across the world for the month of April, 2010. What *I* found very interesting is that Canada is the only country in the world where there are more iPod Touch users than iPhone users!
What's up with that? Why is that? Could it be that Canada charges too much for smart phone data plans? Or that people don't like being locked in to frickin' 3-year contracts?
Oooh, Dan D'Agostino, Collection Development Librarian at the University of Toronto, has an excellent guest post at TeleRead where he starts to nail the current problem with academic ebooks; namely that they're not downloadable. This is the first in a two? part post that examines the strange case of academic libraries and e-books nobody reads. Go check it out - what do you think?