I Gave Up on OverDrive’s Audiobooks

I have a Nook Color–which is amazing! This weekend I decided to listen to an audiobook while sewing and since we lack portable CD players in my house, a downloadable audiobook is just what circumstances ordered. I have been making my way through a physical copy of The Night Circus so I logged in through the OverDrive Media Console app on my Nook to check out the audiobook version. That process went smoothly. Then a message popped up telling me that I would need to download the title on my PC and then transfer to the Nook. Okay.

I get on my PC and pull out my library card again as I log back into my OverDrive account. I click the Checked Out Items link and go to download my book. A proprietary OverDrive file downloads. Not knowing what to do with the file, I click through and discover that I have to install Windows Media Player, then run security checks, and then it looks like I’ll still need to convert the files once they download through Windows Media Player into MP3 format. That’s a lot of steps and I’m not alone in my frustration. The OverDrive FAQ was also unhelpful. I have a custom built rig and try to keep undesirable programs like Windows Media Player off my machine.

In the end, I gave up on listening to a story about star-crossed lovers and instead listened to Pandora. Instead of magic and mystery, I got to think about questions such as why does the Little Lion Man (by Mumford & Sons) station bring up exclusively 90s music?

The Problem with OverDrive and Kindle’s Deal for Libraries

OverDrive launched the ability for patrons to check out OverDrive library books on their Kindles today. Word flew fast on Twitter which I was absently monitoring while doing other tasks at work. A few hours after the initial tweets I noticed that my library’s OverDrive ebook collection had indeed been Kindlized. As soon I had a chance, I hurried to set up equipment to record a tutorial video for our patrons so they would know how to get OverDrive ebooks on their Kindles. That’s when I ran into problems.

First, my library owns multiple Kindles which are registered to the Library. We lend these and other ereaders out to our patrons. The instructions from OverDrive’s blog are pretty thin about explaining the actual multiple step process which looks like this:

  1. Go to your library’s OverDrive website.
  2. Select a book which has a Kindle format and add that format to your cart/bag.
  3. Enter your library card number.
  4. Continue reading →