early returns for mp3 audiobooks comes with new OMC release

May 10, 2012

Happy news appeared in my email inbox this morning.

From the OverDrive Digital Library Blog:

OMC For Windows Now Features MP3 Return

“With the latest version of OverDrive Media Console for Windows, library patrons now have the option to early-return MP3 audiobooks.

We recently released a new version of OverDrive Media Console for Windows computers. In addition to the usual navigation and playback features enabling users to download and enjoy OverDrive audiobooks, music, and video on Windows computers,  the updated desktop application—OMC v3.2.2—allows users to return MP3 audiobooks before the end of the specified lending period. The early-return feature is sure to please your library’s audiobook enthusiasts.

For OMC v3.2.3, the system requirements have not changed. Readers can install the free app on computers running Windows XP (or newer); users with OverDrive Media Console already installed will receive notification upon opening the application that an update is available for download.

Find the updated app at www.overdrive.com/Software/omc

Mobile users have been able to return mp3 audiobooks for a few months, but now the majority of PC users are able to return them also.   Yay!  But before we get too giddy here’s the good and the less good–there’s really no bad here.


  • Windows users and mobile platform users are able to return mp3 audiobooks before their checkout period ends.
  • Mp3 format audiobooks are in high demand with our customers so early returns should reduce wait times for library customers.  🙂


  • Early audiobook returns apply to mp3 format only.
  • WMA format audiobooks which make up the majority of the library collection are NOT ELIGIBLE for early returns. 😦


The reason why WMA format audiobooks cannot be returned early can be summed up in three letters,  DRM (insert Darth Vader music here).  Publishers who sell libraries mp3 audiobooks are to be applauded, it was their willingness to take a risk and strip out DRM from their audiobooks in 2009 that made it possible for iPod users to finally download library audiobook titles.  Libraries have been asking for early returns for audiobooks for years, and for years we’ve been told that this was an issue that publishers weren’t willing to budge on.

Now once again publishers are testing the waters by enabling mp3 format early returns.

SIDE NOTE:  the neighbor’s great dane barked, howled, and whined off and on between 10 pm and 5 am this morning so i’m a bit sleep deprived…

Perhaps its the sleep deprivation, but this morning I’m thinking of these folks within the publishing industry as the rebel forces from Star Wars battling against the Empire and their Death Star powered by DRM.  So this morning I raise my cup of joe in salute to these courageous people and say, “Let’s blow this thing and go home.”








posted by jim



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