We have already subscribed to the Naxos Music Library and Classical Music Library services that stream audio to authorized users. We have options to subscribe to more music services, and of course our students are accessing far more via services like iTunes.
Video is coming up close behind. Obviously on the open web services like YouTube are making video content much more accessible than it used to be and Neilsen is reporting that, while traditional TV still dwarfs video viewed over the Internet, Internet viewing is growing fast.
The question facing libraries is how do we participate in this move to multimedia content over the Internet with the particular issues that face information providers like libraries? These include:
- We provide content free to authorized end users.
- Instructors rely on the library to make scheduling of content for classroom use convenient.
- The content we want to distribute includes far more high-value content (professional films, movies, documentaries, etc. ) than the open web. Content that is usually subject to copyright and access restrictions.
- We are very concerned about the cost structures (annual subscriptions, purchase, etc.) and how sustainable these are.
- We are very concerned about preservation over the very long term and the corollary: migration of previously collected content to new formats and platforms.
- We are concerned about description, discovery, and retrieval of content.