• By Mara Lynn Newman
  • Posted Thursday, December 8, 2011

Downloading Devices for eBooks & Audiobooks Holiday Help

Interested in downloading library ebooks or audiobooks, but don’t have a portable device? Start with us and see what’s compatible with our FREE titles BEFORE you scour the retail ads and go shopping. All you need to download to your home computer or smart device is your Library Card (and free software).

Begin with a review of the Downloadable Media page, then click the question: What portable devices are compatible? Notice that Downloading Directions are available when you're ready to try.

OverDrive lists all devices tested for downloading library titles in their Device Resource Center. Decide if you want an ebook reader or portable device for audiobooks, or a tablet or smart device that will do lots more, such as take photos or browse the web. Many devices handle both ebooks and audiobooks, and here’s where you can check. (Digital media from the library check out with temporary-use licenses, and not all devices work with that requirement.)

FCPL participates in a consortium known as the North Carolina Digital Library. Our ebook and audiobook collection has grown exponentially as technologies make it easier to share books online. Over 24,000 copies of titles are available in a variety of formats. Some are bound to be your favorites (or soon will be)!

Devices for eBooks
Sony Readers, Barnes & Noble Nooks, and Kobos have been supported since the beginning, as have others. Kindles have been compatible since September and use your Amazon account to process a checked-out ebook. EPUB-format titles can be read on Apple iPads, iPhones, and iPod Touches. Many, many more ereaders are compatible, but a few are not. To know for sure before you make a purchase, check the link on the Device Resource Center for Incompatible Devices. Kindles are incompatible with EPUB and PDF formats, but almost all titles in our ebook collection offer a Kindle Book option.

FCPL also offers B&N Nooks and Sony Readers for checkout. Visit your favorite branch to place a hold and try out one of these ereaders.

Devices for Audiobooks
Many MP3 players are in the sales ads this holiday season and prices are good. Check the Device Resource Center before you buy on impulse to avoid disappointment. If the device’s specifications are visible on the packaging, look for “supported formats” that list MP3, WMA, and “WMA-DRM” or “Secure WMA.” An 8GB MP3 player holds approximately 50 audiobooks of various sizes. Downloaded audiobooks act like songs in most cases, where the author/title display like artist/song. You will recognize the brand names for compatible devices, such as SanDisk, Creative, Coby, Sony, and most Apple products. Most of our titles are WMA format with DRM (digital rights management) requirements. Scroll to the botton of the OverDrive list of devices, and you will see a test to try on your audio player.

Downloading Workshops
FCPL offers downloading classes as needed. Because we know lots of you will be getting new devices as holiday gifts (how lucky!), we’re here to help. Classes are listed under Computer Skill Building on the Computer Training Bridge website. Just click View Classes and look for “Downloading Media – Exploring Your Virtual Library.” Classes are being scheduled at several locations for 2012.

If you have questions, you can Ask Your Librarian anytime via email. Call your favorite branch and speak to a friendly librarian. We’re here to help, even over the holidays!

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