MP3 Players for Downloadable Audiobooks

by Meditatinglibrarian@evpl on Monday, September 8 2008, 8:16am. Viewed 1,184 times.

As the Library moves towards providing more materials as downloadables, questions about devices to play them on arise.  We can't recommend devices, but we can point folks towards reviews and recommendations by others.  On our OverDrive site, you can find a list of compatible devices.  The editors at also recently (August 18, 2008) had an article, Library-worthy MP3 players and review dates.  Because publishers have concerns about pirating downloadable files, most insist upon Digital Rights Management (DRM) as part of any downloadable files available through the Library.  This means that any device you use for these downloads needs to be Windows Media DRM compatible.  Recently a few publishers have loosened their rules and a few MP3 format audiobooks are now available, so long as one agrees to follow copyright rules in using them.  Those titles can be used on the non-DRM-compatible devices, such as Mac computers and Apple iPods.  The Library has purchased a number of these MP3-format audiobooks, and they will be available as soon as our OverDrive site is redesigned.  We'll also be adding some video downloads and a few music downloads at that time.

The OverDrive Digital Bookmobile will be at Central Library October 10, 2008, from 10 a.m. till 5 p.m.  See a demonstration of how to download materials, test the compatibility of your MP3-player(s), browse the Library's downloadable holdings, and actually check-out and download something.

Comments (5)

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on Monday, September 8 2008, 5:49pm

I had a Creative Zen Vision M for a while, and it worked very nicely with Overdrive.  I've since upgraded to a Zune, so I'm awaiting the MP3 titles. wrote
on Wednesday, September 10 2008, 7:23pm

I love my Creative Zen Vision M 30 gb. and am never without it.   It always has 4 or 5 Overdrive audiobooks and a plethora of favorite albums.  Recently I loaned it to my husband so he could listen to a book while on the road and I am literally going through "withdrawal symptoms."  I have used one of the circulating mp3 players that the library has for checking out.  I'm always anxious to know the latest techy information ....So, professor.knowsitall, exactly how is a Zune an upgrade from a Creative Zen Vision M?    

on Thursday, September 11 2008, 1:32pm Don't get me wrong, I loved my 30gb Creative Zen Vision M; it's a great lil player!  However, I felt like going to an 80gb Zune for the following reasons:

* As my music collection is about ~55gb, I had to pick & choose what to put on the 30gb Zen.  I now have my entire music collection, along with my entire digital photo collection (~10gb), on my Zune (w/plenty of space leftover for videos).

* Zune software: When I had the Zen, I had a montly subscription to Rhapsody ($15/month for unlimited downloads).  The Rhapsody software is extremely buggy, and I got fed up with it.  The Zune software is more stable, and they offer an identical subscription service (Zune Pass).

* Wi-Fi syncing: I simply plug in my player into the wall outlet to charge, it connects to computer via my home Wi-Fi, and it synchronizes that way.  Never do I have to connect it to a computer.  No other player manufacturer, Apple included, has implemented this awesome feature.

* Navigation improvements: On the Zen, up and down buttons are your only means of navigating the menus.  Zune has left right navigation and a much improved menu system.

The only drawback was that the Zune does not support Overdrive's WMA audiobooks.  However, a firmware update coming out next Tuesday will add support for these titles.

All in all, couldn't be happier with my Zune! wrote
on Thursday, September 11 2008, 3:24pm

Good to know all this.  I would be willing to change to a Zune for the increase to 80gb alone. I'm also willing to bet it's smaller and lighter weight. I never used the Rhapsody software so that wouldn't matter to me.  Is the Zune software itunes?  Does the Zune itself plug into the wall or does it have a cord with a plug on the end?  Also when you say Wi-Fi I assume you aren't referring to a router.  I connect to both my laptops and a desktop with a router.  I know I probably sound like I'm coming from the "stone age" but I'm always trying to reeducate myself with the latest technical information.....   And what better way than with people like professor.knowsitall and meditating.librarian.  Meditating.librarian, you introduced me to mp3 players way back when.  

on Thursday, September 18 2008, 10:34am MS has just released a 120gb unit as well, but the 80gb is still available w/a reduced price.

The Zune may actually be a bit taller than the Zen Vision M, but it's considerably thinner & lighter weight.  It comes with a USB cable to sync and charge it via your computer.  An AC adapter (to charge it quicker via a wall outlet) is available separately.

As long as your router is wireless (i.e. you don't have to plug your computer/laptop directly into it), you have all the equipment you need to sync wirelessly!