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.

Google site search (48)

October 20, 2008

Let’s face it, websites can be big. Really big. And sometimes even the best planned websites make it hard to find what we want.

If you use Google, and I know you do, there’s a simple way to take control and search a site for the information you want.

It’s called Google Site Search

It’s most basic use is to search a site. Let’s say you want to know which library in our system has Spanish language materials. You could look through each branch page until you find the answer. Or you could search in the catalog to see what comes up. Or, you could do a Site Search in Google.

That search would look like this:

Take a look at the results and you’ll see how helpful site search is. One quick search tells me which branches have a Spanish language collection (Thompson Lane and Southeast). It also reveals that there are Spanish language books available in the Tumblebooks database!
How does it work?
Type your search terms in the Google search box, then type site: and the web address you want to search in. We searched for: spanish collection site:library.nashville.org
But wait, there’s more…
Site search can help with narrowing your results list. Why wade through tons of useless sites when you can better target the kind of information you’re looking for? Let’s take a look at an example.
Say you’re looking for information vaccinations. You could do a basic Google search and you’d probably find some good websites, but you’d probably have to wade through a bunch of not-so-great sites too. Sites that end in .gov or .edu might give you more accurate medical information. So why not narrow your search from the start?
Let’s search for information on vaccinations and ask for results ONLY from government information sites. That search would look like this:
This search will exclude .com, .edu, .org, and any other site that doesn’t end in .gov. This can be useful when doing research and you know what kind of information you’re looking for. But, beware that you may be excluding useful information.
If you need help remembering this and other search tips for Google, you can print out this cheat sheet (pdf), shown at left, and stash it by your computer.

And if you have any search tips, please share them in the comments!

Your mission, should you choose to accept it:

1. Do a search in Google for Disaster Preparedness.

2. Do a search in Google for Disaster Preparedness and limit to sites that end in .org.

3. Compare.