Archive for the ‘ebooks’ category

Overdrive Media Console

September 18th, 2012

If you have a smartphone/tablet and haven’t downloaded the Overdrive Media Console, you need to. I hadn’t until last night because I’ve been researching ways for our campus to incorporate ebooks with what we already have. Yesterday, though, I decided to try out the public library’s catalog for MP3 audio books. I was wondering how the library could deliver an MP3 to a user’s device and still respect copyrights.

The Overdrive Media Console reminds me a lot of the TED Air app that streams TED Talks near seamlessly. (It’s a beautiful app and the content is always intriguing if you needed my recommendation.) Overdrive downloads a buffer file that is then played through the app. The big plus to using the app versus downloading a straight MP3 file is that you can add bookmarks to the audio file. This was a huge feature for me. The app creates a data file that says how many minutes and seconds the player was into the MP3 file. When you click on that bookmark, you can skip straight to where you were.

Another great perk is that you can set the player to rewind a few seconds automatically the next time you open the app so that you get a quick review of the last sentence or two. That saves some of the jarring “where was I?” that I’ve experienced with straight MP3s.

The app works well for ebooks, too, in much the same manner as the Kindle or nook apps do.

The biggest perk is that all of this content was free. I only needed a library card. I found my library in the app, typed in my login information, and then had access to the catalog. The only drawback was that the catalog ran in the browser instead of the app, so the interface was a little clunkier and took longer to load, but I guess that’s a trade-off. I would rather have that than have to wait while thousands of books were re-registered/catalogued each time I opened the app.

The NY Times on ebooks in the library

April 13th, 2012

The New York Times has an article about the status of ebooks in the library, both in the limitations that publishers are putting on circulations and a how-to for getting the books to your devices.

The author of the article talks about one trilogy having 193 holds. For a physical book, like the Hunger Games or the Gallagher Girls, that doesn’t seem like an insane wait list (when those first came out, my library had at least that many holds). It’s a long wait, but not insane. What makes it more interesting is that the article is talking about digital copies. There are no physical limitations here, just policy that the publishers are dictating.

Current publisher opinions of ebooks in libraries

March 8th, 2012

I’m working with other librarians in the district to find the best way to work ebooks into our district catalogs. It’s interesting that some publishers don’t want libraries to circulate ebooks at all, some want circulations but set a limit, and some have no limit. Check out the opinions here.

The big debate revolves around the fact that ebooks don’t wear down like a physical copy does. My issue is that when I have a physical copy of a book, it’s unlikely that the publisher will come to my doorstep and pull the physical copy out of my hands if any distribution policies change. I’ve already had a digital book removed without my permission on my phone because of distribution changes and it was frustrating because I wasn’t done reading the book. I had to go into the bookseller’s site and download it differently as a PDF and now it’s ugly to try and scroll through on my phone.