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



Press Release via: Digital Book World

Harry Potter eBooks to be distributed to Public and School Libraries through OverDrive
Bestselling series available for digital library lending for first time

(London, UK) – February 27, 2012 – Pottermore, the online experience and home of the Harry Potter eBooks created by J.K. Rowling and partnered by Sony, announced today it has entered into an exclusive worldwide eBook and digital audiobook distribution agreement with OverDrive for public and school libraries. Under the terms of the agreement, OverDrive, a leading global distributor of eBooks and digital audiobooks, will manage hosting and digital fulfillment for libraries for the Harry Potter collection of eBooks and digital audiobooks in English and more than 20 other languages to OverDrive’s growing network of over 18,000 public and school libraries worldwide.

Through local public library and school catalogues, OverDrive’s digital book lending service will promote to new and returning readers a popular way to access the official Harry Potter eBooks and digital audiobooks. The Harry Potter series has sold over 400 million copies worldwide and is widely credited with immersing an entire generation of young readers into books and reading. With this agreement, the seven books in the series will be available in digital formats for the first time for lending from public and school libraries.

Charlie Redmayne, Pottermore CEO, said:

“We are keen to support public and school libraries, and OverDrive, as one of the leading suppliers in this market, provides us with a global network that helps us achieve this, as well as encouraging the discovery of these amazing books across the world.”

OverDrive CEO and President Steve Potash said:

“J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter is a once-a-lifetime phenomenon and has been an extremely significant catalyst for reading and literacy for current and future generations. We are honoured to bring this beloved storytelling experience digitally to public and school libraries worldwide.”

In keeping with Harry Potter’s international appeal, OverDrive will provide schools and libraries the ability to offer the official eBooks and digital audiobooks in many different languages – initially English, French, Italian, German and Spanish – with more languages to follow.

Readers will have immediate access to eBooks and digital audiobooks on a wide range of popular computers and reading devices including PC, Mac®, eReaders, tablets and smartphones. Supported devices include Sony® Reader, Kindle® (US only), NOOK™, iPhone®, iPad®, Android™ phones and tablets, BlackBerry®, and Windows® Phone. In addition to the eBook collection, the complete digital audiobooks will be made available for digital borrowing in the MP3 file format on listening devices such as computers, smartphones and iPod®.

To find a participating library or school in the OverDrive network, visit http://search.overdrive.com.

About OverDrive
OverDrive is a leading multichannel digital distributor of eBooks, digital audiobooks, music and video. We deliver secure management, DRM protection, and download fulfillment services for hundreds of publishers and thousands of libraries, schools, and retailers, serving millions of end users. OverDrive has been named to the EContent 100 as a company that matters most in the digital content industry. Founded in 1986, OverDrive is based in Cleveland, OH. http://www.overdrive.com

About Pottermore
Pottermore is a unique online reading experience from J.K. Rowling, built around the Harry Potter books. Share and participate in the stories, showcase your own Potter-related creativity, and discover additional information about the world of Harry Potter from the author herself. The site allows visitors to experience and explore the first Harry Potter story, with subsequent stories unveiled over time. Pottermore is available to users in English, French, German, Italian, and Spanish (Castilian). http://www.pottermore.com

posted by jim

This post has been updated with new information regarding Penguin e-books and e-audiobooks as of today.

This afternoon I received the following information from OverDrive regarding Penguin e-books and e-audiobooks.

Dear Library Partner,

Starting tomorrow (February 10, 2012), Penguin will no longer offer additional copies of eBooks and download audiobooks for library purchase. Additionally, Penguin eBooks loaned for reading on Kindle devices will need to be downloaded to a computer then transferred to the device over USB. For library patrons, this means Penguin eBooks will no longer be available for over-the-air delivery to Kindle devices or to Kindle apps. 

We are continuing to talk to Penguin about their future plans for eBook and digital audiobook availability for library lending.

If you have any questions, please contact Penguin (Erica Glass, Erica.glass@us.penguingroup.com). OverDrive has no additional information to share at this time.


OverDrive’s Library Partner Services team

Since this notice is very short and has implications for the Library District, I’ll save the editorial comments and speculation for another time.  Reading this it would be easy to make the assumption that the big news is cessation of over the air delivery of Kindle devices or apps.  Here’s my best attempt to summarize the statement and it’s impact both short and long term.

Starting tomorrow (February 10, 2012), Penguin will no longer offer additional copies of eBooks and download audiobooks for library purchase.

Impact:  This will affect hold queues on our e-book and e-audiobook collection since we cannot purchase additional copies of this material.


Penguin has completely suspended sale of both e-books and e-audiobooks to libraries.   As of today all of the ebook and e-audiobook hold queues are well within line with our 5 to 1 holds to copy ratio, so we may not see notable delays in wait times for our customers in the short term.

Additionally, Penguin eBooks loaned for reading on Kindle devices will need to be downloaded to a computer then transferred to the device over USB. For library patrons, this means Penguin eBooks will no longer be available for over-the-air delivery to Kindle devices or to Kindle apps.

Impact:  This affects Kindle devices but also Kindle apps, so if a customer uses a Kindle app on their mobile device (iPhone, iPad) they will now have to connect that device to a computer and download the book. 

This announcement is effective  tomorrow, so in the interest of communicating this as widely as possible, I’ve sent this same information via email

posted by jim.

OverDrive announced in an email to library partners  last week that Brilliance Audio is suspending availability of its audiobooks for purchase as downloads across all vendors.  Here’s their official statement:

For U.S. libraries only at this time. 


Changes to BrillianceAudio library lending
Effective January 31, 2012, as instructed by the publisher, BrillianceAudio will suspend the availability of all download audiobook titles for library purchase across all vendors. This change does not affect any titles currently in your library’s catalog. You will not, however, be able to add any additional copies.
If you have questions or comments, you can reach BrillianceAudio directly at AskSales@brillianceaudio.com or 800.648.2312.

Gary Price at INFOdocket  noted connections with Amazon that may indicate this isn’t a brinkmanship move by Brilliance Audio that might end in a compromise solution as the Penguin Group ebook did in November.

Price notes that:

“Brilliance Audio was acquired by Amazon.com in May, 2007. Amazon also owns Audible.com, the popular audiobook download service.

A Few of the Many Possibilities That Quickly Come to Mind

  • Brilliance Sells Access to Titles via Audible, No Need To Lend
  • Amazon Will Add Some/All Brilliance Titles to the Their Amazon Prime Program”

Practicalities — what does this mean for the library today?

  1. Brilliance Audio talking books on CD aren’t affected by this development.
  2. Fewer audiobook offerings by popular authors such as Sandra Brown, Nora Roberts, Dean Koontz and others.
  3. Our current Brilliance Audio download titles will remain in the collection.
  4. We may have difficulty maintaining our holds to copy ratio of 5 to 1 for Brilliance Audio downloads.

Let’s hope this doesn’t become a trend.

posted by jim

Oh happy day!

From OverDrive’s  digitallibrary blog:

OverDrive apps for iPhone and Android now support eBooks

“OverDrive Media Console v2.0 for iPhone and Android provides two major enhancements that improve the end user experience. First, the apps now enable users to download and enjoy EPUB eBooks on their devices (in addition to the existing ability to download MP3 audiobooks). The eBook reading experience includes user-inspired features for bookmarking and adjusting brightness and font size. Additional features will be added as the apps develop, including highlighting, annotation, in-app text-to-speech, and more.”

This morning I went in and gave the app a whirl on my iPhone, here are a couple quick thoughts.

Reading ebooks on your mobile device requires that you have an Adobe ID and that you activate your phone.  I strongly  recommend going to Adobe and doing this BEFORE you download the app and start browsing for titles, since you won’t be able to download anything until you get an Adobe ID.  Getting an ADOBE ID is free and doesn’t require anything other than creating a username and password and just takes a few moments. Once you have an ID, and have checked out an ebook, you can activate your phone with your Adobe ID, in the settings for the OverDrive app.

The OverDrive app will work the iPad with IOS 4 an optimized version of the app coming soon according the OverDrive blog.  Apps for Blackberry and other mobile devices are promised for the near future  as well.

The library has a large collection of ebooks.  Enjoy!

posting by jim

coda download stations

March 18, 2009

Late last year I wrote quite a bit about the download station trial that was occurring in 5 Sno-Isle libraries.  Recently it was pointed out to me that I hadn’t posted anything about the status of this trial.

Sno-Isle has decided to not add download stations to community libraries in 2009.  This decision was based upon usage statistics, as well as reports from community libraries.  Not surprisingly, the current state of the economy influenced the decision as well. It’s possible that download stations may be revisited in 2010.

Thanks to the staff at the Lynnwood, Monroe, Mukilteo, Oak Harbor and Snohomish libraries for your willingness to participate in this trial.

posting by jim

Well, kinda new anyway….  When I purchase downloadable music, audio books, or video the items are added to the OverDrive site almost instantly ( 1 or at the most 2 hours after I submit the order).   However, records aren’t added to CARL until sometime later, perhaps 2 or 3 weeks is my guess.  This is because CARL needs the records from OCLC to provide more complete access than what appears in the downloadable collection, and those records have to be ordered by OverDrive-then OCLC-sends the OverDrive-who in turns sends them to Sno-Isle.

The e-music collection is not compatible with iPods, iPhones, or Zune devices, because of DRM incompatibilities.

Here’s what the brief record looks like in CARL.

Here’s the full record in CARL.

The solid blue arrow points to the link for the item in our downloadable collection.  Clicking it will take you to to the music so it can be checked out and then downloaded.  The dotted arrow points to the status of the item.

CARL and the download collection are two separate systems so the status for ALL download materials will ALWAYS READ AS “NOT CHECKED OUT”. Do not rely on the CARL record as an indicator of the status of the title since it is in most cases incorrect.  Also for the same reason mentioned above you cannot place a  hold in CARL for an item in the download collection.  For downloads CARL records are simply another access point to lead them to the material.