databases: July 2008 Archives

OverDrive and iPod

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Many of you may have heard that OverDrive will soon begin offering iPod compatible audiobooks in MP3 format (see http://www.libraryjournal.com/article/CA6542329.html). Current OverDrive AudioBooks are in Windows Media Audio (WMA) format and cannot be played on iPods.  While OverDrive will begin offering some books in MP3 format, the truth, as is often the case, is not so simple. The over 3000 audio books currently in the OverDrive collection will remain in WMA format and will remain incompatible with iPods. In September OverDrive will begin selling a separate collection of audio book titles in MP3 format. As of now, only a few publishers have signed on to allow MP3 downloads through OverDrive. Since MP3 files will not have any digital rights management (DRM) attached, publishers remain concerned about the ease of copying and distributing audio books in MP3 format. It will be interesting to see how this all sorts out. What this means in the short term is that if/when MP3 files are added to our OverDrive collection, the selection likely will be missing titles from many of the major audiobook publishers.  To see some of the titles currently available in MP3 format, you can look at the District of Columbia Public Library which is the first OverDrive MP3 test site.

Another thing to note is that OverDrive has somewhat jumped the gun and has already posted iPhones and iPods as compatible digital devices.  There is a small disclaimer and and small icons denoting that iPods are not WMA compatible, but this is likely to be lost amid the colorful pictures of Apple products and the big recently added starburst icon. I hope OverDrive will do a better job of clarifying the iPod compatibility issue and modify this page. Until then just remember that we do not currently have any OverDrive MP3 titles, they likely will not be available until the fall, and when available will probably be limited in scope. Besides that, it's great news :)

> contributed by Evan

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This page is a archive of entries in the databases category from July 2008.

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