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Pod People

June 23, 2005

Listening to assigned symphonies just became a lot easier for music students at Baylor.

Instead of shuffling through BearCat's online audio files or sifting through a stack of CDs, students now can access a semester's worth of assigned tunes with one click of an iPod navigation button.

In January, the Crouch Music and Fine Art Library purchased a dozen 20-gigabyte iPods with funds from the Library Fellows and began uploading listening assignments from the library's files onto the portable MP3 players. After a brief pilot program, the system, Audio Reserves 2Go, was offered to music majors, who have the heaviest listening load, and students in music appreciation classes. In total, the iPods hold tunes required for 21 courses.

Students scroll down a list of professors' names, find the appropriate class number and access all required songs listed by composer and title. The iPods can be checked out for 12-hour periods -- the length of the player's battery life. Students are not able to load any files onto the iPods, and all copyrights and royalties are handled through the library.

"The pilot group absolutely loved it," said Tim Logan, director of electronic libraries and originator of the iPod idea. He said students appreciated the accessibility and portability of the music. He plans to purchase a dozen more iPods this year.

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