iPhone Audiobook App

It’s a big day for OverDrive and all of our library partners. Today, we released OverDrive’s audiobook app for iPhone, which enables users to wirelessly download MP3 audiobooks from OverDrive-powered library websites directly to iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. If you have a patron who has asked for an iPhone app, just tell them to search for “OverDrive Media Console” in the Apple App Store. And like all OverDrive audiobook apps, the iPhone app is free.

Speaking of our other applications, today we also pushed out updates for OverDrive Media Console for Windows, as well as our BlackBerry and Windows Mobile apps. Here’s what the users can expect from the updates:

  • OverDrive for Windows v3.2.0.5 includes improved support for transfer to OverDrive’s BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, and Android audiobook apps.
  • OverDrive for BlackBerry v1.0 moves the app from beta to official release, with a few fixes to enhance the user experience.
  • OverDrive for Windows Mobile v1.1 updates the user interface to match our other mobile apps. (Required update)

Even with all of today’s updates, we’re already planning the next generation of OverDrive apps. If you visited our PLA booth, you probably saw a very early version of the next gen OverDrive for Android, with support for both eBook and audiobook downloads in a single app. We’re also working to integrate eBook downloads into our apps for other mobile platforms. We’ll have more info on all of our next generation apps as it becomes available.

In the meantime, if you have any questions about OverDrive’s audiobook app for iPhone or any of today’s updates, feel free to leave a comment below or email partnerservices@overdrive.com.

28 Responses to “OverDrive for iPhone, plus other app updates”

  1. Mike

    Does the iPhone app allow users to continue listen to downloaded audiobooks beyond the expiration dates?

  2. Chad Mairn

    I just installed the Overdrive Media Console iPhone Application on my iPod Touch and it installed beautifully. When I launched the application I thought I could browse for titles within the console, but you must first find a library that has Overdrive and then browse/search for titles on their customized Overdrive website. Luckily, I knew the URL to where my library’s Overdrive website is hosted because the console doesn’t provide an easy-to-find "Find my Library" link in their help pages. Once you find your library’s Overdrive website and then some titles, you are asked to login to access your cart.

    For more details visit:
    http://mentalgraffiti.blogspot.com/2010/04/overdrive-media-console-iphone.html

  3. Kelly

    Is there a way or plans to create a way to search your catalog in the app for title selection and then downloading. Right now, it seems I need to go to a browser to search & find a title. Also, any plans to be able to listen to a WMA file on the Overdrive app.?

  4. Dan Stasiewski

    @Chad, no timeline on search within the app, but we are planning to add it to future releases.

    P.S. I’ll let the app development team know you gave it a 4 out of 5. Thanks.

  5. Dan Stasiewski

    @Kelly, unfortunately, there’s no news right now on WMA audiobooks for the app. if anything changes, you’ll read it here first.

  6. Andy

    Windows Mobile update —

    I installed the new windows mobile client, it appears you don’t have any high DPI devices to test with, as everything is even smaller than it was before, and even before everything was not clickable with a modern WVGA device (800×480) such as a TouchPro2 or HD2. It would be great to get larger text in Navigation view, and larger/wider volume slider. Also I lost all my bookmarks in the upgrade

    I do appreciate the new 15 seconds back button!

  7. Sean

    I think it is great and clever how OverDrive was able to address the WMA issue on Apple devices by transcoding and transferring directly to the devices with the OverDrive Media Console. I find that even with a well funded public library with lots of MP3 titles, that the WMA catalog has many more titles in it and those are of more popular interest. I wish that the current WMA catalog was also available for Android (and other devices). Are there any plans by OverDrive to move the WMA catalog to an Android comaptible format or do some sort of transcoding for Android (similar to Apple devices) and is there a time frame for this?

    After several years of experience in selling mostly DRMed music files, the music industry seems to have learned that sales of DRM music didn’t prevent any titles from becoming available on illegal trading networks but only served to frustrate the legal paying customers and create onerous support costs for dealers of the music files (in this case OverDrive and the individual library systems). The publishing/audiobook industry seems to be a few years behind the music industry in this regard. Does OverDrive see any prospects for large, wholesale movement of audiobook downloads to DRM-free formats any time in the near future?

  8. Rachel Martin

    Hi – could you make clear in the Help file that users need to checkout titles from the OverDrive website, not the app itself? Also, in the mobile version of the website can you allow users to limit the results to titles that are currently checked in?
    Thanks! Rachel

  9. Dan Stasiewski

    @Sean, right now there’s no timeline for WMA to Android, but we know the demand exists. If anything changes, I’ll let you know.

    On your second question, that’s something that’s not easy to answer in a comment, but I’m making a note to address the issue in a blog post.

  10. Angela Kille

    I second what @Rachel said. It took me awhile to figure out that I needed to go to my library’s overdrive website to browse/check out titles. Would love to see this built in to the app or at least a Find my library’s overdrive site feature.

  11. Linda

    Rachel, you can already search for checked in things, by using "Advanced Search." The last field is "Only show titles with copies available."

  12. Amy

    Thirding Rachel Martin’s request–I’m very familiar with Overdrive and it took me a while to figure out how to download audiobooks. Being able to use the Overdrive "Find a Library" feature and have the app save the patron’s local library would be an improvement. But if directions on how to download books were added to the app, that would be a good first step. Thanks!

  13. David

    I second the request to develop the UI for WVGA screens such as the 480×800 screen of my samsung omnia II. I just installed overdrive and dl’d my first book and am impressed. But I am severely visually impaired and NEED a product like this to read. Please make this product accessible to the VI community. I am willing to alpha/beta test the UI design.
    Also, I’ve discovered a bug on my omnia where the audio continues to play even though the overdrive app has shut down. I even shut down the overdrive process in the WM task manager to no avail. I had to power cycle the omnia to get it to shut up! You might want to look into this. Contact me if you want further details and I could try to reproduce the bug.
    As a developer myself, I have a keen interest in improving these kinds of products.

  14. KB

    Seriously guys – I was soo happy to see this app but its a disaster. Can someone provide me step by step how I can download things from this app. How do I connect the app to my library? I am member of Santa Clara county library system. where do I add the URL to the iPhone app that people keep talking about? any help would be very much appreciated.
    Thanks
    KB

  15. kim

    That’s great….except…..WHY can’t you carry more audiobooks that are compatible with Mac/ iphone? As long as your MP3 selection is so limited, this doesn’t help much.

  16. Dan Stasiewski

    @KB, currently, the app is designed much like the OverDrive Media Console for your desktop computer. You browse for your library’s download website using your iPhone browser and check out an MP3 audiobook with your library card. When you hit the ‘download’ button after the checking out a title, the app launches and manages the download to your iPhone.

  17. Mike

    So I cannot continue to listen to an audiobook after it expires in the app? My library has a one-week checkout period, and it is very difficult to listen to a 20-hour audiobook in one week. This has not been a problem, though, because audiobooks downloaded and transferred via iTunes never expire. I can keep listening to those indefinitely.

  18. Sam

    I downloaded a book using the website, and I have the OverDrive Ap on my iPhone, but when I transfer the book to my phone using the Console, it goes to my iTunes and doesn’t go to the Ap. If I stop listening in iTunes, I loose my place. How do I get the book on the OverDrive Ap?

  19. Dan Stasiewski

    Hi Sam, unfortunately the app doesn’t support transfers. It’s just for direct downloading at the moment. If functionality changes with new versions, we’ll post about it here.

  20. Julia

    Can you lock the screen in landscape so it will not flip? I can’t read while lying down as the screen keeps flipping. Alternatively, can I read library books in Stanza?

  21. Dan Stasiewski

    @Julia Orientation lock is on the feature list for an upcoming update. Keep an eye out for changes.

    On Stanza,right now, you cannot read library eBooks in that app.

  22. Andrea

    I hope someone is still reading this thread – I have iPhone 3GS, I have Overdrive on my PC, which is supposed to one-click transfer to iTunes and then to the phone. It transfers to a playlist rather than an audiobook folder in iTunes, then I can’t play it at all anywhere. I also installed the app on my phone, I was able to re-check out the ebook I wanted to try, but the audiobook, not so much. HELP! Want to use the audiobooks!

    • Michael Lovett

      Hi Pat- You can find instructions on transferring WMA audiobooks to iPhone on your library’s Help pages, which include email based support. Best, Mike