Being a fan of Audio books, I decided to give the digital media service Overdrive a try.
Overdrive is a program that allows libraries across the nation to provide digital media, online to their customers. With this software, libraries are able to make digital content like audio books, ebooks, music, and videos available to their customers online, with just a click of a button.
The way overdrive does this is through licenses. Each file, accessible through your local libraries Overdrive program, comes with a license. Each time you check out a file online, Overdrive will download the media and license, allowing you to enjoy the content almost instantly. Once the license period expires you will have to recheck out the book for a new license to continue to listen to the file or the file stops working.
This feature allows their digital library to function almost exactly like a real Library, without having to deal with the lines and traffic at your local library. The downside, however, is that most of the content have a limited amount of licenses Overdrive can grant at one time. So that means if you check out a audio book from Overdrive, the next person wanting that book will have to wait until you are done to check it out, much like a normal library. But unlike actual libraries, customers no longer have to wait until the previous borrower returns the book, because the license becomes immediately available at the end of the leasing period for the next customer. So no longer are you stuck waiting on someone who decided they did not want to return the book they borrowed.
The thing I like the most about Overdrive, is simply the portability. Overdrive is compatible with many digital media players, which offers a portability that CDs and audiocassettes simply cannot. With overdrive I was able to download and copy 3 books onto my Phillips Go Gear Mp3 player. So this Mp3 player, which can fit comfortably in my pocket, has the equivalent of about 30 CDs. So with Overdrive, no longer am I forced to lug around CDs and fumble around while I am driving to try and put the next CD in. I can simply hook up my Mp3 player, hit play and enjoy my audio book until I reach my destination.
Overdrive has even provided options for those without digital media players. Overdrive does allow some books to be wrote to CD, and all of them can be listened to at your computer. But I found that the cost of a Mp3 player is well worth the investment, when you look at the price of CD’s and/or the cost of gas to get to the Library.
For anyone interested in the services Overdrive offers, I suggest checking their local libraries to see if they are partnered with overdrive. Or if you would rather you can go directly to Overdrive’s website at http://www.overdrive.com/ to see if your library is a participant.