The Shifted Librarian - Shifting Libraries at the speed of byte
 Sunday, January 25, 2004

New Project for Cataloging Personal Collections

From time to time, somone will email or IM me and ask for a recommendation for software to catalog their personal library. I'm happy to report that there is a new solution called LibDB on the horizon.

"This is the development wiki of LibDB, an open-sourced Perl/MySQL library and asset management system based on and inspired by the Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records (pdf), triples from the semantic web, and "the end-user doesn't, and shouldn't, need to know this stuff". In English, this means that you'll be able to smartly and easily catalog your movies, books, magazines, comics, etc. into your own computerized "personal library".

Further information is available under ProjectGoals (including user profiles).

LibDB is still in the very early planning stages, and we're currently focusing on movie-related cataloguing. As such, most initial concrete and forward movement will be catered to movies, but realize that the final versions will be far more than just movies. The LibDB database is defined in such a way that you could describe books and other forms of media, even if the interface assumed you were entering film."

There are lots of reasons to note this project. I don't pretend to fully understand the intricacies of this, but it's "based around the Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records" (FRBR), but it will be very extensible and will allow librarians and other anal-retentive types to slice and dice their collections in multiple ways. Oh, and it will be free!

Brought to you be the ever resourceful Morbus Iff, creator of AmphetaDesk.

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Yet Another Format to Start Thinking about for the Future

Music CDs: Dinosaurs

"Music downloads will render compact discs all but obsolete in the next five years, yet half of all companies that begin selling digital songs online will fail by year-end, a researcher warned Saturday.

By 2008, about a third of music sales in the United States and nearly 20 percent in Europe will come in the form of downloads and streaming music over the Internet, building a multi-billion dollar business for the battered music industry, according to a new study by the consulting firm Forrester Research.

'The industry is going through a complete change in the way people consume music,' Josh Bernoff, a Forrester Research analyst told a gathering of music and technology executives at the annual MidemNet conference.

He said the U.S. market alone for downloads and subscriptions to online music stores will top $300 million this year from a virtual standing start a year ago.

'By 2007 or 2008, CDs will be something only old people have,' Bernoff said." [CNN Money, via JD's New Media Musings]

Even if you think that's an optimistic timeline, digital downloads are going to catch on as fast as DVDs did. The question for librarians is when to jump in, how to circulate them, and whether we'll even get the chance.

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The 1GB SD card is beginning to appear on web sites as available for order, even though I can't find a firm ship date. $384!

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