Monday, January 29, 2007

Can Customers Use Public Computers to Download Music to Their Portable Media Player?

Pamela at Raleigh took advantage of the Ask the Technical Trainer service to ask this question:

Kevin, many of our customers want to download music to their portable devices. We can't figure out how to do it. It seems like there should be an easy/free way. (This is from free legal music sites. Moving files from a CD to their device is another story, but if that's possible, tell us how to do that, too. Thanks, Pamela at Raleigh
So we have two scenarios, but they are similar. One involves how to move files from the Web to a portable media player. The other involves how to move files from a CD to a portable media player.

A trip from the Web or CD into a portable media player MUST make a stop on the "non-portable" media player which resides on the computer (Our public computers use Windows Media Player 9). To remove possible security risks, we do not allow customers to save files onto our public computers. Therefore, this "stop" on a "non-portable" media player is not possible.

On top of the security risk, music files are very large files and I imagine our public computers would fill up rather quickly, not to mention the difficulty involved if a customer ever wanted to change or edit the music on their player. They would have to find the exact computer that they originally used and hope that no one altered their playlist.

It sounds like we have several customers who received Portable Media Players as gifts during the holidays, but do not have a computer. What do we tell them to do, since they cannot use our computers?

I know someone who received an iPod from a friend. The only problem is that he does not (and does not want to) own a computer. I offered some space on my hard drive for him to rip some of his CDs, but he turned down my offer.

That is what these customers need. The need someone with a computer who is willing to let them borrow several Gigabytes. And those type of friends are few a far between...

Does anyone out their at other libraries have any suggestions? How do you assist these customers?

NOTE: A version of this post was added to Computer HELP!.

1 comment:

Robert said...

Thanks for the info, Kevin, and the question, Pamela. Now I can better explain the situation to customers at Randolph.