From Gutenburg to Playaway:Technology Takes Another Leap

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Whenever technology improves the ability to circulate literature knowledge improves along with it. The Gutenburg press was instrumental in getting the first printed material into the hands of the public.


Technology made it possible to create the eBook and the MP3 format for digitizing books and audio in a compact and portable format. Today we have the Playaway, a self-contained audio book that is easy to use and portable. Though it has several drawbacks, it is a welcome addition to the field of audio books especially for the sight impaired people who may be a little less than technical savvy.The Playaway has the advantage of being portable and self-contained. The Playaway is a small device about the size of a cassette tape (without the player) that is a self-contained audio book. It is battery operated and has a small set of earplugs to add to its portability. Each Playaway comes with a pre-loaded book and is dedicated to that book. It has no need for an Internet connection, downloading, or changing of CDs or memory cards. The user can scan through the book and play the portion they desire. It is reusable and simple to operate, which makes it attractive for library use. Libraries can change the batteries and have it back on the shelf ready to check out to another patron in a short time. Its small size and ease of operation makes it simple to use, as no other equipment is necessary.The Playaway is a great product that may be on the verge of becoming the "genius idea" that Oprah Magazine has proclaimed it to be. Though it is little more than current technology that has been repackaged for a specific purpose, ...
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