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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Music 133: Introduction to World Music

This guide can help you begin research into world music. Especially helpful for students in Music 133.

Introduction to Audio & Video Formats

The Music & 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. Consult the catalog description and call numbers in an item record to verify an item's format.

Navigate the boxes below using the tabs to see an example of how each format is indicated differently in an item record.

Library Tip: Did you know that we have equipment in the library to listen to and watch all of the formats we have in our collections? This includes record players, DVD players, etc. Ask at the Service Desk for more information if you want to learn about using any of the equipment we have available!

Distinguishing Audio Formats

The CDISC prefix in the call number tells you the item is a CD. You can also verify this by checking 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

The DISC prefix 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

The CASS prefix 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

Two of our online streaming audio providers (Classical Music Library and DRAM) have information about their recordings in our catalog. A catalog result for streaming audio will say "Available Online" rather than providing a call number and location.

screenshot of a catalog record for streaming audio

Distinguishing Video Formats

Similar to audio recordings, the call number tells you the format of our video items, as does the Format information in the Details section. In this case, the prefix DVD in the call number lets you know that this is a DVD.

screenshot of catalog record for DVD highlighting DVD in call number

The prefix VIDREC in the call number lets you know that an item is a VHS. You can also verify this by consulting the Format and Details sections of the item record.

screenshot highlighting VHS call number

screenshot of the Details section in an item record for a VHS tape

The prefix LASERDISC in the call number lets you know that an item is a LASERDISC. You can also verify this by consulting the Format and Details sections of the item record.

screenshot highlighting LASERDISC in call number