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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Savvy Researcher: Finding Music Materials: Audio and Video Formats

Learn how to effectively use the library's online catalog to find recordings and printed music at the Music and Performing Arts Library. Also looks at online tools that provide printed music and audio.

Audio and Video Formats

The Music and Performing Arts Library has recordings in all formats: VHS, laser disc, and DVD and audio cassettes, LPs, and CDs, and online streaming audio and video. The online library catalog's description of these items and their call numbers will let you know the item's format.

Our CDs and DVDs can be borrowed and we also have equipment in the library to listen to/watch all of the formats we have in our collections. Ask at the Service Desk for help!

Online Audio

If you want to limit your search to tracks from our online streaming audio resources, you can use the Available Online filter under Tweak your results. This will not search all of our streaming collections since some, like Naxos Music Library, are not included in our catalog. 

You can also search our online streaming resources directly. A list of collections specific to dance, music, and theatre can be found here:

Finding Audio Format Information

Tip: The Music & Performing Arts Library has audio recordings in many different formats. The catalog records will tell you more information about the format of the item. There is also listening rooms with equipment for all of these formats in MPAL, and you can borrow USB CD/DVD drives from the Library as well. 

CDs

The CDISC in the call number tells you the item is a CD, as does the Format information in the Details section. 

screenshot of catalog record for CD highlighting CDISC in call number

screenshot of catalog record highlighting format information for CD

Online Streaming Audio

Two of our online streaming audio providers (Classical Music Library and DRAM) have information about their recordings in our catalog. Here is what a catalog result looks like when online audio is available for that item.

screenshot of streaming audio

LPs

The DISC in the call number tells you the item is a LP, as does the Format information in the Details section. 

screenshot of catalog record highlighting LP call number

Cassettes

The CASS in the call number tells you the item is a cassette, as does the Format information in the Details section. 

screenshot of catalog record highlighting cassette call number

 

Finding Video Format Information

Similar to audio recordings, the call number tells you the format of the item, as does the Format information in the Details section.

DVDs

screenshot of catalog record for DVD highlighting DVD in call number

VHS tapes

screenshot highlighting VHS call number

screenshot of VHS Details

Laserdiscs

screenshot highlighting LASERDISC in call number