“But it doesn’t work on iPods,” has been our refrain ever since we introduced Downloadable Audiobooks. Traditionally, iPod devices have not worked with our Netlibrary or Overdrive services because they use the Apple copy-protection format .AAC instead of the Windows codec, .WMA.

Now, both services have introduced books that are compatible with iPod, but each works differently.

mp3MP3 files have no copy-protection, so they are compatible with any MP3 player (Creative, Archos, SanDisk, etc.), including iPods. Many MP3 audiobooks are now available from both Overdrive and Netlibrary.

In addition, Overdrive now allows some of the WMA books to be converted to the iPod-friendly AAC format.

overdrive

To access this feature, you must download the latest version of Overdrive Media Console 3.2 from the library web site:

http://www.library.nashville.org » Books Movies Music » Audiobook Help » OverDrive Media Console

Tips:

  • Check the icon chart to see if your book is compatible (see images above for examples).
  • Plug in your iPod to your PC before you download the book.
  • iPod-friendly WMA books do not work with Overdrive on the Mac OS, only Windows XP or Vista.
Your mission, should you choose to accept it:

1. Use NetLibrary or OverDrive to find an iPod-friendly audiobook.

2. Download the book to your computer. Or, if you’ve already downloaded audiobooks, find a colleague who needs help.

If you have any problems, ask for help in the comments.

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Last week we had a refresher course on using NetLibrary with Windows Media Center. This week, we’re going to learn how to use a different software program to find and download NetLibrary audiobooks.

NetLibrary Media Center is free software that will allow you to browse, download and transfer NetLibrary audiobooks all in one program. Once you’ve downloaded the software, you do not have to visit netlibrary.com again.

Here’s how it works:

Your mission, should you choose to accept it:

1. Download and install NetLibrary Media Center. If you are unable to complete this, please contact ITS.

2. Use NetLibrary Media Center to find an audiobook.

3. Download an audiobook. If you have an mp3 player, transfer the book to your player.

4. If you have any problems, ask for help in the comments.

Maybe you’ve successfully downloaded an audiobook from NetLibrary. Maybe using NetLibrary drives you mad. If it makes you feel any better, your friendly web-team members fall into both camps. Some days it is a breeze and other days you want to bang your head on the wall.

NetLibrary has made some changes recently, so this week is a refresher course on downloading audiobooks. Here’s the skinny:

NetLibrary offers WMA and MP3 audiobooks.

  • WMA means they cannot be played on an iPod.
  • MP3 books can be played on an iPod.

You will need software to use NetLibrary.

  • Windows Media Player
  • NetLibrary Media Center

You must register for an account with NetLibrary before you can check out a book.

NetLibrary how-to: step by step

Your mission, should you choose to accept it:

1. Download a NetLibrary audiobook.

2. If you have an mp3 player, transfer the book to your player.

3. If you have any problems, ask for help in the comments.

New in Overdrive: Video and iPod-friendly audiobooks!

Overdrive has recently added mp3 audiobooks to its lineup. These mp3 audiobooks do not have the Digital Rights Management encoding (DRM) that made them incompatible with  iPods.

You’ll also find full-length movies and short films available for download! If you have a Windows computer and a Windows device, you can download movies and watch them on the go. Or, if you have an iPod like us, you can download movies and watch them on your Windows computer.

In case you missed the Intranet post, here’s a quick list of must-know information:

If you have a Windows computer and an iPod, iPhone, or iSomething-else, you will need:

  • Overdrive Media Player for Windows (version 3 or higher)
  • iTunes (turn on “manually manage music” in the settings)
  • QuickTime (version 7.4.5 or newer)
  • Windows Vista or Windows XP

If you have a Mac computer and an iPod, iPhone, or iAnything, you will need:

  • Overdrive Media Player for Mac (version 1 or higher)
  • iTunes (turn on “manually manage music” in the settings)
  • QuickTime (version 7.4.5 or newer)
  • Mac computers do not have to have Windows installed

Library members who already use Overdrive will probably be asked to download a new version of the software in order to use mp3 audiobooks. That prompt will appear once they click on the downloaded file saved to the desktop.

Last but not least, you’ll need to know the name of your book because it is listed under Songs by title.

Did you hear there are also Downloadable Movies?

First, an apology to iPod users. DRM is still encoded on each video, so you cannot download or play videos with Apple devices.

If you have a Windows computer and a Windows device, you can download movies and watch them on the go. Or, if you have an iPod like us, you can download movies and watch them on your Windows computer not on the go.

To download and watch videos, you will need:

  • Windows computer
  • OverDrive Media Player for Windows v2.0 (or newer) – longtime users may need to upgrade to version 2
  • Windows Media® Player 9 Series (or newer)
  • DRM friendly mobile device (optional) – see compatible players list for details

How will I know if my device will play audiobooks? Or movies?

If you want to know if your device is compatible with audio/video content, view the list of compatible devices. You can sort by device or by format to quickly find out if your device is compatible.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it:
1. Go to Overdrive and find a book or video.
2. Checkout the item and download it to your computer. Play a little bit of the book/video.
3. Leave any questions in the comments section of the blog.
4. Take the survey.