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Monday, November 30, 2009

Described Video Now on Select Sony Box Office Films

In an article in Home Video Magazine, Chris Tribbey notes that Sony Pictures Home Entertainment is the latest studio to release DVDs with described video, or Descriptive Video Service (DVS)¹.  DVS—pioneered by WGBH Media Access Group—provides audio descriptions of key visual elements within such visual media formats as TV and film to visually impaired and blind audiences².  WGBH, the Public Broadcasting Station in Boston, Massachusetts, developed its Media Access Group roughly 30 years ago with the mission of creating and delivering captioned and described media “to people in their homes, classrooms, at work, and in the community”³.  With over 20 million people in the U.S.—12 million of them movie watchers—possessing some form of significant visual impairment, major studios are stepping up to enhance the public’s media-viewing experience⁴.

Such studios as PBS Home Video and Universal Studios Home Entertainment provide described video on select DVD titles.  Now Sony Pictures Home Entertainment will provide described video on select DVD and Blu-ray Disc™ releases of box office feature films, starting with The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 and followed by such hits as District 9, The Ugly Truth, and Julie & Julia⁴.

According to Home Video Magazine, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment lists the described video feature as an audio option in the languages menu of their DVDs and Blu-rays¹.  And while some studios simply state “Described Video Services” or “SAP” on the packaging of any titles that feature described video, others note the option on their packaging with symbols (examples below).

When looking for titles that feature described video on the Midwest Tape website, search via SmartBrowse™ keyword “described video” to view the DVD (and now Blu-ray) titles we’ve categorized as having the described video feature.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Year End is Around the Corner and Midwest Tape is Standing By

Our superior customer service is free.
We understand your needs as a library, and it is our goal to make this process as manageable as possible. We are offering assistance to make your year end experience successful and stress-free.

Here's how we can help:
  • We can provide product in hand and invoiced by a specified date.
  • We can offer the necessary information to reconcile what you’ve already spent.
  • Our collection development team can aid you in fulfilling remaining budgets.
Let us help you. Call ahead and speak to one of our customer service representatives. It is important to give your representative time to handle your inquiries and requests.

Contact us today at 800.875.2785.  Thanks, and Happy Holidays!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Incorrect October Billing Statements Issued

It has come to our attention that customers received an incorrect billing statement for the month of October (dated November 1, 2009). Unfortunately, our vendor processed the prior month’s file which caused them to send a duplication of all September statements.

For those who receive their invoices from us via email, these invoices were issued correctly. If you would like to receive your invoice via email or would like to receive an updated copy, please call 800.875.2785 or e-mail your request to Heidi McGaha at We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.

Friday, November 13, 2009

“Above and Beyoncé” Shifts to DVD Format and Becomes a Retail Exclusive

According to the distributor, the upcoming release for Beyoncé’s “Above and Beyoncé: Video Collection & Dance Mixes” (CMM679126C) is now a retail exclusive. Additionally, Columbia is no longer soliciting this title as a music CD but rather a DVD with a bonus CD. Its price has been adjusted to reflect this format change.

As a courtesy to our customers, Midwest Tape will carry this title despite it being an exclusive. In light of the aforementioned changes, however, we’ve canceled all orders for this title. If you would like to order the new version of this title (EONSON214766D), please contact Customer Service at 1.800.875.2785 or visit us online at  Additionally, you can post any feedback or questions here as comments.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Midwest Tape Introduces Customers to the New SmartCart™

In an effort to increase usability and functionality, Midwest Tape has developed a revolutionary new SmartCart™.  This new cart will serve as the quintessential selection and acquisition function for Midwest Tape customers.


On Saturday November 7th, 2009, Midwest Tape will transition all current SmartCart users to the new SmartCart.  As one of these users, when you view your cart, you’ll receive an informational pop-up (see below) that introduces users to the new SmartCart and also details where users can find a helpful PDF guide and video tutorial.  (Please note that through this transition all your current carts and data will remain intact.)

Following this initial transition, we’ll work in stages to shift all users over to the new SmartCart.  If you’re a Normal Cart user and you’d like to transition to the new SmartCart yourself, simply click the icon shown below, which is now located in the upper right-hand corner of your Normal Cart. (All your current cart data will remain intact when you make the switch.)

With the new SmartCart, you’ll be able to:

Customize your columns
You can select which columns you want to see and which ones you don’t.  Additionally, we’ve added new columns: Artist/Author, Fund, Shopper, MARC Brief, Subtotal, etc.

Transition titles to different carts
We’ve added a column of check boxes that allows users to manipulate more than one item at a time. Previously, a user had to change titles one at a time or all at once. This column will now allow a user to delete, move, or copy (with more utilities to come) any number of titles in an easy-to-use grid interface.

Arrow through titles on your keyboard
With this function, you can key through titles using the up and down arrow keys without having to click on each individual product line.

Select from a wide array of options in the Menu Toolbar
We’ve organized art, product, and cataloging options into structured dropdown menus, so you can make changes to your cart efficiently.

Complete your Selection and Acquisition process more quickly
We’ve increased the speed of the SmartCart feature and also eliminated restrictions on the size of your carts.  The new SmartCart allows for any size cart.

We invite you to log onto our website today to see how these changes create a more efficient and effective online shopping experience.  As always, please share your thoughts with us and other libraries by posting your feedback here as comments.  You may also contact our Customer Service department with any comments or questions (1.800.875.2785).

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Midwest Tape Offers New Customized Standing Order Plans for Audiobooks

To better serve our customers, we’re now offering three new Customized Standing Order plans for audiobooks.  In addition to our popular New York Times Best Selling Titles and Critics' Picks Titles plans, libraries are now able to select three new Hot New Genre Fiction plans: Romance (featuring such top selling authors as Johanna Lindsey, Julie Garwood, and Christina Dodd), Mystery (featuring such hit authors as Kate Wilhelm, Jim Stovall, and Ruth Downie), and African-American (featuring such groundbreaking authors Sonny F. Black, Sapphire, and Hassan Johnson).

The Romance and Mystery plans both feature ten titles per month, while the African American plan offers five per month.  All three plans contain a mixture of new, new-to-audio, and simultaneous releases.

For more information on these audiobook standing order plans or others, please reference the PDF brochure here, or contact Kate Krisjanis at 1.800.875.2785 to sign up.

We developed these new plans in response to suggestions from customers like you.  What new standing order programs would you like to see?  Leave your comments here.