Digital Audiobooks Are Now Easier Than Ever

By Jamie W. RSS Thu, May 21, 2015

Frequent visitors to our Overdrive site may have noticed a few changes this week. After months of planning, Overdrive has discontinued the much maligned WMA and WMV formats for audiobooks, videos, and music. These restrictive formats previously caused headaches for those of us using Apple or Android mobile devices or Mac computers since they were only compatible with Windows. Overdrive now exclusively offers its full selection of audiobooks and movies in MP3 or streaming mode. These formats are compatible with a much wider range of devices and easier to use! 

And while we've got audiobooks on the brain, don't forget to take a look at the great selection of digital audio titles available to stream from Hoopla as well as the many titles you'll find on OneClick Digital (access via our Digital Media page). Many of the titles offered through these platforms are not available from Overdrive and are a great alternative for those of us who just can't get enough audiobooks. 

Need some suggestions for what audiobooks to listen to and when? Why not try...

What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murukami when you're headed out for a run?

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins while you're riding the train?

The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo while you're cleaning the house?

The Science of Skinny by Dee McCaffrey while you're eating an enormous piece of chocolate cake?

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Digital Audiobooks are NOT easier as the change over limits the books available. It seems you cannot search by author but must view the whole selection until you find the author you are looking for because sometimes you would like to see what is available by that author.
I. Cavanaugh
Thursday, May 21, 2015

Hello I. Cavanaugh - you can still search by author in Overdrive by using the search box at the top left of the page or the advanced search option. Once you've completed an author search you can then limit by format on the right of the screen to see only audiobooks by that author. I worry I am misunderstanding your comment though. If you like, please email us using the 'Contact Us' link at the top of this page and send a specific example of what's not working for you.
Jamie W - Philadelphia
Thursday, May 21, 2015

Are the WMA title just gone? I know that Brilliance stopped providing new titles a few years ago, but now the entire back library is gone too and they were all WMA. Some of us *do* have devices that play both MP3 and WMA without problems.
Jane - Phila
Friday, May 22, 2015

Hi Jane - That is correct. Overdrive made the decision that the limited compatibility of WMA was no longer working for them - it caused a lot of confusion among listeners who were unsure of which titles were compatible with their device. With MP3, all titles are compatible with a much wider range of devices. However, as you point out, this means we have lost some content. We will work to replenish the audiobook selection over the coming weeks.
Jamie W - Philadelphia
Friday, May 22, 2015

I hope you do replenish the audiobook selection, nothing new has been added to Overdrive in a long time. It is sad to see so many WMA titles disappear as some of us used them, and they are not swapped for MP3 format for the same title. It would have been nice to know about the "months of planning" by Overdrive to remove these titles completely, I would have checked them out more frequently while they were still in the library. I know titles are replaced as new ones get added, but this was a large number of books all at once suddenly (ex: the Nora Roberts collection which were almost all WMA only format). I see the Agatha Christie WMAs are still available, does this mean that they will all be disappearing very soon as well?
Doug - MI
Sunday, May 24, 2015

I hope you add new ebooks as well very soon. No new books have been added in over a month.
CJ - Pennsylvania
Thursday, May 28, 2015

I often try to get the latest audiobooks as they come on to the Overdrive platform. I check the availablity everyday. Most times when i find one that im interested in, i end up being on a waiting list (sometimes as many as 50-75 people are ahead of me). I often wonder if there is a newsletter, or update letting people know the newest books to come on to Overdrive. If there is any such mailing list, could you provide the information? Thank you Dianne-Romelle Nashville, TN
Dianne-Romelle Fay - Nashville, TN
Tuesday, June 2, 2015

The updating seems to be hiatus. As summer beach-reading season is nearly upon us, I wonder when we'll see some new titles. Is there a day when new books get added? I wonder if they wait until the first of the month? I'd love an announcement. Thanks. I love the service. I just hope it continues to get new titles!
Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Thanks for your comments TJ and CJ. The Free Library's new fiscal year begins on July 1st. So you can look forward to many new titles then!
Jamie W - Philadelphia
Wednesday, June 10, 2015