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Variations Retirement FAQ

What is Media Collections Online?

Media Collections Online is a service that provides online access to audio and video collections held in IU libraries and archives. It provides a web-based, easy to use interface for playback of online content.

Sound recordings from the Cook Music Library that were previously available only through Variations are now also available for playback through Media Collections Online, and Variations will eventually be decommissioned.

Note that Cook Music Library sound recordings in Media Collections Online may be searched through the Media Collections Online search interface in a limited fashion. More complete records are available by searching IUCAT or browsing the Cook Music Library's Course Reserves pages.

Why is Variations going away?

The current version of Variations was originally built with the support of grant funding during the period 2001-2005 and is no longer being actively developed or maintained, making it difficult for the application to keep up with current standards and security concerns. It relies on several technologies that are increasingly hard to run on modern desktops and that UITS and the original developers will no longer be providing or supporting.

Why Media Collections Online instead of Variations?

Media Collections Online is based on Avalon, an open source system for managing and providing access to large collections of digital audio and video that is co-developed by the Indiana University Libraries and Northwestern University Library. Avalon is a follow-on product to Variations, and is being actively designed to succeed it in features and functionality. All library audio and video content from older services at IU such as Variations will eventually be migrated to Media Collections Online.

Can I still use Variations? When will it go away completely?

The Variations web player and iOS application are no longer available as of Summer 2016.

We expect that the Variations MacOS/Windows client application will still be available through the Fall 2016 semester, but access and support will be increasingly limited. QuickTime, the platform Variations uses for media playback, is now unsupported on Microsoft Windows and contains critical security vulnerabilities that have prompted its removal from University workstations. Efforts are being made to ensure that Variations will still be available at the Cook Music Library and other campus libraries and student computing centers during the Fall semester before it is shut down completely.

What tools in Variations are not currently available in Media Collections Online?

Media Collections Online does not currently provide the following Variations features:

  • Listening Drills
  • Annotated Scores
  • Timeline Tool
  • Score Viewer

Where can I get help with Media Collections Online?

Help requests can be submitted via the Contact Us page in Media Collections Online or by emailing iuavalonsupp@dlib.indiana.edu.