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Shhhh -- I am listening to the library!

Written by Andrew Druckenbrod on .

There's an "e" in front of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh these day. The eCLP section of its Web site holds a wealth of streaming audio, video and music. This week I stopped by the music department at the main Carnegie Library branch in Oakland to donate some CDs and department head Kathy Logan reminded me of just how many resources the library has via remote access for anyone to access for free. It's worth checking out.

First you go to the Library's home page, (get an account and card if you don't already have one -- it's free) then click on eCLP and you see this:

eCLP: eBooks, eAudio and eVideo

Everything here is worthy of exploring (you can download Hollywood movies and operas in the video section, just like you can with NetFlix or Blockbuster). P-G's Techman wrote about the eBook service here if you want more on that. For me, it is straight to the streaming music section, again all for free and through remote access (the library's descriptions follow):

African American Song: Historical Recordings of African American music

American Song: This site contains over 12,000 tracks (with more added regularly) that illustrate our country’s history through music. Songs by and about American Indians, miners, immigrants, slaves, children and many others are included. Of particular interest is the index by historical event.

Classical Music Online: Listen to classical music online.

Contemporary World Music: A new addition, this site aims to be one that "delivers the sounds of all regions from every continent." Currently this constantly growing site features over 8,000 tracks of music from around the world.

Naxos Music Library: Listen to classical, jazz and world music online.

Naxos Music Library Jazz: Listen to streaming audio of jazz music.

Smithsonian Global Sound: Listen to world, folk and traditional music online.

That's pretty amazing. Add something like free.napster.com for pop and you have a lot of genres covered.

While streaming audio is not the same quality as downloads and sometimes connections are iffy, I find more often that it works well and that it is convenient. Very convenient, actually! Sometimes sitting on the comfy couch at home, mere inches from my CD collection, I still log on the Naxos to hear something. Look, sometimes I am tired after a long day! It's just nice to have a library that offers this much to music lovers.

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