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Overdrive Media Console (App Review)
March 16, 2013 | 1:20 pm

Overdrive At the end of January, I wrote an article on the Overdrive overhaul, and how users weren't completely happy with the new interface. To follow up on that, I decided to try the Overdrive Media Console app and see how it fares as an e-reading app. My verdict? I want to like it. I really do. But I can't quite warm up to it. Why do I want to like it so much? Because it's an easy way to get library books on my Nexus 7. The more I use the Android Kindle app, the less I like it, so EPUB is a...

New OverDrive Site Not Meeting User Expectations?
January 30, 2013 | 2:49 pm

Late last year, OverDrive began rolling out a new look to their site. My own library in Fairfax County had a "New Look Coming" banner up for several weeks. When I tried it out for the first time, my reaction was, "Not great, but I can live with it." I wasn't crazy about the new thumbnail view of the catalog. Maybe it's just me, but I find it easiest to process information in lists, not in blocks of images. I also missed the feature that told me exactly where I was in the hold line. The old site would tell me,...

OverDrive Announces Streaming Video and Audio Services
January 26, 2013 | 12:15 pm

  Earlier this week, OverDrive announced that it will enhance its industry-leading library service platform with streaming video and audio technology. The new services will improve ease of use and device compatibility for OverDrive-hosted video, audiobook and music collections at libraries and schools around the world. OverDrive will demonstrate its streaming technology this weekend (Jan. 25- 28) at the American Library Association Midwinter Meeting at Seattle’s Washington State Convention Center, Booth 1115. Scheduled for launch later this year, OverDrive’s streaming services are secure and will extend the reach of libraries’ digital collections thanks to virtually unlimited device compatibility. Users will enjoy quick...

Kindle Fire-usable version of OverDrive is now available in Amazon’s app store
October 16, 2012 | 12:27 pm

A Kindle Fire-usable version of the OverDrive e-library app has now reached the Amazon app store. That could give the app’s Android version a nice boost—the Fire is essentially an Android machine turned into an Amazon cash register. Fire owners earlier had to go to the OverDrive site to download the app unofficially. But for me personally, the big news is optional all-text bolding in the OverDrive app for iPads, iPhones and Touches. So many library fans have their own wish lists of accessibility features, and full bolding led mine, since I cherish an extra-high-contrast view for reading e-books, even on LCD displays. Earlier in 2012 OverDrive obliged with optional...

Morning Roundup — Links to start your day
September 25, 2012 | 9:18 am

StoryBundle Second Bundle Available (The Digital Reader) Overdrive Releases New Statistics on Book Lending (Good E-Reader) Newsprint Joins the Internet of Things (Paid Content) Kindle Daily Deal: (2) Richard Castle mystery novels (and) Zombie-Kids...

In Texas, even the e-books are big
August 1, 2012 | 1:39 am

Regardless of how the writers at Gawker may feel about the Sunday Styles section, I've always been a big fan of trend stories. And as a long-time freelance journalist, I've learned to keep a eye out for articles in small-town newspapers, for instance, that might be hinting at a trend-in-progress, but without even necessarily intending to. Case in point: This story from last week's Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, which discusses the surprisingly rapid growth of the circulation of e-books at the small Texas town's public library. In the span of just three years, according to the story, the library's e-book circulation has risen approximately 200 percent, "from 15,000 to...

Publishers and libraries still trying to work out e-book lending
July 29, 2012 | 10:37 pm

The Economist has an article which summarizes the current state of affairs around e-book library lending. Publishers have an awkward relationship with libraries when it comes to allowing books to be lent, since someone who borrows a book may not have any need to buy it after reading it, which could account (at least in the publishers’ minds) for lost revenue. Publishers were also upset when Overdrive began partnering with Amazon for Kindle library lending, including an offer to “buy this book” after the checkout expired. It also mentions Amazon’s Kindle Lending Library for Prime subscribers. ...

Douglas County Libraries in Colorado builds its own e-book lending system
May 11, 2012 | 12:04 am

DCLtogo150BoingBoing has a brief but interesting piece from a representative of Douglas County Libraries in Colorado (which we mentioned in March), which has created its own e-book lending system by dealing directly with publishers, rather than relying on a third party such as Overdrive to mediate between them. DCL has cut deals with over 800 publishers to have their works lent through DCL’s system. The library doesn’t rely only on its own system, however; it also offers books from the Overdrive and 3M platforms, as well as Freegal music. The books are available through the physical branch locations, or...

3M launches library e-book and e-reader program
April 29, 2012 | 4:15 pm

0426_3m_660Is there room in the library e-book field for a competitor to Overdrive? Wired reports that tape and media manufacturer 3M thinks so, and is launching a library e-book lending initiative called the 3M Cloud Library with 40 publishers (including Random House, HarperCollins, Harlequin, and Wiley) and over 100,000 titles. (Last year we covered 3M’s investment in the txtr e-book company and its plans to create a library program.) The biggest difference to the Overdrive model is that it will also be producing its own e-ink e-reader devices that libraries can buy and lend out to patrons with the...

OverDrive suspends library pre-sales of Harry Potter e-books
March 21, 2012 | 12:56 am

Found via eBookNewser: OverDrive has temporarily postponed library pre-sales of the forthcoming Harry Potter e-books. Overdrive Public Relations and Social Media Specialist Michael Lovett writes: We’re excited about the forthcoming launch of Harry Potter eBooks and digital audiobooks for library lending. We’re working with Pottermore to introduce this compelling series, and as part of the process of coordinating launch plans with Pottermore, we have temporarily suspended pre-sales and display of these titles at library websites. This is only a postponement, and libraries will soon be able to resume pre-ordering the titles in preparation for launch in...

E-book checkouts from libraries takes off
January 20, 2012 | 10:15 pm

We lately mentioned the popularity of Amazon’s Kindle owner lending library rogram, but iPads and Kindles have another popular lending option that is also exploding. OverDrive reported that traffic to its “virtual branch” websites more than doubled last year, seeing a 130% increase. While much of that increase can be attributed to e-readers, OverDrive also saw a 22% rise in traffic from smartphones and tablets. The increase in lending might be good news for libraries, but it is unclear whether publishers will find it so. If a lent e-book displaces a sale, as some publishers seem to believe, that...

Penguin extends library e-book restrictions to downloadable audiobooks
January 19, 2012 | 2:30 am

We previously mentioned Penguin’s decision to stop making new e-book titles available to libraries in the USA and the UK. The Digital Shift reports that decision extends to downloadable digital audiobooks as well. A message from Overdrive yesterday explains this applies to audiobook titles released after 11/14/2011. In an apparently unrelated move, Amazon-owned BrillianceAudio will also stop offering downloadable audiobook titles. It’s not clear exactly why Penguin is doing this. The reason the company gave for its e-book restrictions was “concerns about the security of the copyright of its authors.” It has not given any explanation for this audiobook restriction. As...

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