Tuesday, July 20, 2004

iPod Goes to School: Duke University Encourages Experimentation with Academic Content

Apple's iPod is of course popular amongst college-age young adults for its entertainment capabilities, but in the broader scheme of things it's a processor with an operating system, rights managment and storage. No wonder Duke University has announced that this popular platform has been selected for a major experiment in providing administrative and academic content to incoming students this fall, including content typically distributed on CD-ROMs and DVDs. The ability of devices like iPods and Microsoft's new Portable Media Center to manage rights-protected content from any number of sources on a platform that individuals can use in any number of professional or personal environments places yet more emphasis on content providers having strategies that are oriented towards delivering useful content objects to multiple platform environments. As noted on today's New York Times (REGISTRATION), there are also numerous chubby multifunctional handhelds developing out of mobile phones and PDAs that are competing for more content than ever before. Platform profligation adds many wrinkles to the "workflow" approach to content integration, wrinkles that are likely to make it increasingly difficult for the content providers themselves to enable workflow solutions cost-effectively across a wide range of content presentations. Best to make sure that your content object strategy is solid before hanging you hat on software solutions that may be left behind as platforms of choice change rapidly.
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