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OverDrive Audio Books FAQs

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What is an OverDrive® audio book?

An OverDrive audio book is a digital copy of a digitally-protected audio book optimized for download. OverDrive audio book titles are built using the Microsoft® Windows Media Audio format, which greatly enhances the quality of the audio book during desktop listening, play of CD copies, and portable device use.

 

What is the OverDrive Media Console™?

A free, fully-integrated, and easy-to-use application, the OverDrive Media Console allows you to download and listen to OverDrive audio books in high-quality Windows Media Audio format on any Windows computer. OverDrive Media Console also permits you to create and burn CDs of your audio books for use in your car, home stereo, or portable CD player. OverDrive Media Console grants you the added functionality to transfer your audio books to over 500 supported portable devices.

OverDrive Media Console offers a flexible and intuitive user interface, allowing audio book users to easily navigate, play, and enjoy popular audio materials.

What are the features of OverDrive Media Console?

Features of OverDrive Media Console include:

  • Multi-part download management

    Audio books typically include multiple parts; OverDrive Media Console allows you the flexibility to specify parts for download. This enables you to begin listening to an audio book and return to download the remaining parts later. Alternatively, if only a given part of a file is of interest, you can simply download that desired part.

  • Audio book library management

    OverDrive Media Console automatically creates, maintains, and displays a comprehensive library of audio books in a logical folder hierarchy. As titles are added to your collection, they are automatically moved into the appropriate folder(s). The organization system is also customizable, allowing you to create and name new folders to suit your needs. Within each folder, titles can be sorted by title, author, date acquired, expiration date, and date last played. If a title expires, OverDrive Media Console will prompt you to delete the unusable file from your library, allowing you to keep your audio collection tidy and up-to-date.

  • Navigating the audio file with MediaMarkers™

    Each OverDrive audio book is divided into parts, and parts are then sub-divided into logical sections (such as chapters). The beginning points of these logical sections are MediaMarkers, which are displayed as hyperlinks.

    When you click on a 'Part', the MediaMarkers associated with that Part are displayed in the right-hand portion of the 'OverDrive Media Explorer' window. Simply click on a MediaMarker to jump directly to, and begin playing, the desired section of an audio book. OverDrive audio books also include the conveniences of skipping back 15 seconds and advancing to the point furthest played.

  • Copy to CD or device

    OverDrive Media Console optimizes Microsoft's industry-standard media player, Windows Media Player to support CD burning and the transfer of audio book files to over 500 portable devices. There is no need to get other software to burn your audio books to CD; everything you need is simply and easily incorporated into OverDrive Media Console

How can I get a copy of OverDrive Media Console?

To review system requirements and download OverDrive Media Console, click here.

How much does OverDrive Media Console cost?

OverDrive Media Console is a free download. To download OverDrive Media Console, click here.

On what platforms does OverDrive Media Console run?

OverDrive Media Console supports the following platforms:

  • Microsoft Windows 98 Second Edition (SE)
  • Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition (ME)
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 (Professional or Server®)
  • Microsoft Windows XP (Professional, Home, or Tablet PC edition)

What other software do I need in order to use OverDrive Media Console?

To use OverDrive Media Console, you will need to have Windows Media Player (9 Series or newer). OverDrive Media Console takes advantage of Windows Media Player support for burning audio books to CD and transferring files to supported portable devices.

How can I get a copy of Windows® Media Player®?

Microsoft Windows Media Player is a free download. To review system requirements and download Windows Media Player, click here. Please remember that Windows Media Player 9 Series or newer is required in order to use OverDrive Media Console.

How much does Windows Media Player cost?

Windows Media Player is a free download. To download Windows Media Player, click here.

I came across a reference to 'Windows Media Player Security Upgrade'. What is this, and will I have to do it?

The Windows Media Security Upgrade is a one-time process that must be performed before Microsoft Windows Media Player will allow any copyright-protected files to be played. A security measure, the security update identifies the copy of Windows Media Player with the computer on which the Player is being used.

The first time that Windows Media Player attempts to open a protected file, it will alert the user that a Security Update must be performed before the file may be opened. The update takes just a few moments. To review instructions on completing the Windows Media Player Security Upgrade, see the bottom of this page.

Once I have checked out a digital audio book, how do I download it?

  1. After the book has been checked out, in your browser, click on the 'Download' button next to the cover image of the book.
    OverDrive Media Console opens and prompts for the folder to which the files should be downloaded.
  2. From the OverDrive Media Console prompt screen, specify a download location (or leave the default file path) and click 'OK'.
    The 'Download Part(s)' dialog box is displayed.
  3. In the 'Download Part(s)' dialog box, choose which part(s) you would like to download by placing a checkmark next to the desired part(s), then click the 'OK' button.
    Download progress is displayed for each part. When the download is complete, the title is ready for listening.

How do I listen to my audio book?

When the book has finished downloading, click the 'Play' button in OverDrive Media Console. The 'OverDrive Media Explorer™' window is displayed and the file begins playing.

If desired, you can click the 'Stop' button and navigate directly to a desired section of the audio book using MediaMarkers. Each OverDrive audio book is divided into parts, and parts are then divided into logical sections (such as chapters). The beginning point of these logical sections are MediaMarkers, which are displayed as hyperlinks.

When you click on a 'Part', the MediaMarkers associated with that Part are displayed in the right-hand portion of the 'OverDrive Media Explorer' window. Click on a MediaMarker to jump directly to, and begin playing, the desired section of the audio book.

I am only interested in one of the chapters of the audio book I downloaded. Can I just play that chapter?

You can navigate directly to a desired portion of an audio book using OverDrive MediaMarkers. Each OverDrive audio book is divided into parts, and parts are then divided into logical sections (such as chapters). The beginning point of these logical sections are MediaMarkers, which are displayed as hyperlinks.

To display MediaMarkers in OverDrive Media Console, click the 'Play' button. The 'OverDrive Media Explorer' window is displayed and the file begins playing.

Click the 'Stop' button, then click on the 'Part' associated with the desired chapter. The list of MediaMarkers associated with the Part you have selected is displayed. Click on the desired MediaMarker, and the audio book will begin to play at the point you have indicated.

To which devices can I transfer Windows Media files?

Microsoft has announced support for the following portable device companies: Casio, Cirrus Logic, Creative, CVC Networks, Diamond, Digisette, DnC Tech, e.Digital, Hewlett Packard (Compaq), Hitachi, I-Jam, Iomega, Intel, MIPS Technologies , Nike, NTT DoCoMo, Olympus, Panasonic, Sanyo, Sensory Science, Sigmatel, Sonic Blue, Sony, Texas Instruments, and Thomson/RCA.

To review a complete and current list of supported portable devices, click here. Alternatively, check your device documentation to determine if your device supports protected Windows Media content.

Note: If you are using a Pocket PC, you need to have a memory card with sufficient memory space installed in order to transfer audio book files from your PC to your PDA.

How do I transfer an audio book to my portable device using Windows Media Player 9?

  1. In OverDrive Media Console, highlight a book and click the 'Transfer/burn' button.
    Windows Media Player opens.
  2. Turn off skin mode, if necessary, and click the 'Copy to CD or Device' button.
    The 'Copy to CD or Device' screen will appear.
  3. Select the part(s) you want transferred to the portable device by checking the box next to the part name.
  4. Connect your portable media device and ensure that it is selected in the right hand pane of Windows Media Player.
  5. Click the 'Copy' button in the upper right hand corner of Windows Media Player to copy the part(s) to the portable device.
    Windows Media Player will inspect and copy the file(s) to the device. This process should take less than a minute, depending on how many files you transfer. You may follow the Player's progress by monitoring the 'Status' field in Windows Media Player.
  6. When the transfer is complete, the status field in Windows Media Player will indicate 'Complete'.
    You may now disconnect your portable device and enjoy your OverDrive Audio Book.

Note: If you are using a Pocket PC, you need to have a memory card with sufficient memory space installed in order to transfer audio book files from your PC to your PDA.

How do I transfer an audio book to my portable device using Windows Media Player 10?

  1. In OverDrive Media Console, highlight your book and click the 'Transfer/burn' button.
    Windows Media Player opens and begins playing the title.
  2. You may stop playback at this point if you choose. In the 'Now Playing' screen, click the 'Restore the Video and Visualization Pane' button.
    This will display the Now Playing information and the 'Now Playing List'.
  3. Click the 'Library' tab.
    The media Library will be displayed but the 'Now Playing List' should remain.
  4. If you wish to transfer all parts, ensure that your portable device is connected and click the 'Start Sync' button.
    Windows Media Player will transfer the files to your device in the order that they appear in the 'Now Playing List'.
  5. If you wish to transfer a specific part(s) to your device, you may remove parts from the Sync List. Simply click on them and press the 'Delete' key. Alternately, you may right-click an unwanted part and select 'Remove from List' from the menu. When the Sync List is ready, ensure that your device is connected and click the 'Start Sync' button.
    You may follow the Player's progress by monitoring the 'Status' field next to the part name in the Sync List.
  6. When the transfer is complete, the status field will indicate 'Complete'.
    You many now disconnect your portable device and enjoy your OverDrive Audio Book.

 

Note: If you are using a Pocket PC, you need to have a memory card with sufficient memory space installed in order to transfer audio book files from your PC to your PDA.


How do I burn an audio book to CD using Windows Media Player 9?

  1. In OverDrive Media Console, highlight a book and click the 'Transfer/burn' button.
    Windows Media Player opens.
  2. Turn off skin mode if necessary, and click the 'Copy to CD or Device' button.
    The 'Copy to CD or Device' screen will appear.
  3. Select the part(s) to be burned to CD by checking the box next to the part name.
  4. Place a blank CDR in your CD-ROM drive and ensure that your CD drive is selected in the right hand pane of Windows Media Player.
  5. Click the 'Copy' button in the upper right hand corner of Windows Media Player to add the part(s) to the list of files to be burned to disc.
    Windows Media Player will inspect, convert, and temporarily copy the file in preparation for burning. This process may take a few minutes. You may follow the Player's progress by monitoring the 'Status' field in Windows Media Player.
  6. When the burning process is complete, Windows Media Player will eject the disc and the status field will indicate 'Complete'.
    You may now enjoy your OverDrive Audio Book CD on your home stereo CD player, car stereo CD player, or on your portable CD player.

How do I burn an audio book to CD using Windows Media Player 10?

  1. In OverDrive Media Console, highlight your book and click the 'Transfer/burn' button.
    Windows Media Player opens and begins playing the title.
  2. You may stop playback at this point if you choose. If you're running Windows Media Player in 'Skin Mode', be sure to switch to 'Full Mode' before proceeding.
  3. In the 'Now Playing' screen, ensure that the 'Now Playing List' is displayed on the right-hand side of the player. If it is not displayed, click the 'Restore the Video and Visualization Pane' button.
    The 'Now Playing' information and the 'Now Playing List' are displayed.
  4. Click the 'Library' tab.
    The media library will be displayed but the 'Now Playing List' should remain.
  5. Depending on the number of parts you want to burn to CD, do one of the following:
    If you wish to burn all parts to CD, insert a blank CDR in your CD-RW drive and click the 'Start Burn' button. Windows Media Player will burn the parts to CD in the order that they appear in the 'Now Playing List'. The Player will prompt you when it requires a new CD.

    -Or-

    If you wish to burn only specific part(s) to CD, you may remove parts from the Burn List. Just click on them and press the 'Delete' key. Alternately, you may right-click an unwanted part and select 'Remove from List' from the menu. When the Burn List is ready, insert a blank CDR in your CD-RW drive and click the 'Start Burn' button.

  6. Windows Media Player will inspect, convert, and temporarily copy the part(s) in preparation for burning.
    This process may take a few minutes. You may follow the Player's progress by monitoring the 'Status' field next to the part name in the Burn List.
  7. When the burning process is complete, the status field will indicate 'Complete'.
    You may now eject the disc and play your OverDrive Audio book on your home stereo CD player, your car stereo CD player, or on your portable CD player.

I came across a reference to 'licenses'. What are licenses and why do I need them?

Licenses are files that allow protected content to be played with Windows Media Player. Before Windows Media Player will open a protected file, it verifies that the user has the appropriate license. If the user does not have a license for the content, the file will not open. Licenses are automatically managed by OverDrive Media Console when audio books are downloaded.