• By Mara Lynn Newman
  • Posted Friday, October 12, 2012

Downloading Devices — Updates to Know About

Interested in downloading ebooks or audiobooks from the Library? Before you get a portable device, start with us and see what’s compatible with our FREE titles BEFORE you scour the retail ads, go shopping, or make a purchase. All you need to download to your home computer and/or smart device is your Library Card (and free software). Be sure you get the gear that works! It's hard to do a return to Santa Claus, Aunt Lottie in Arizona, or the guy at the yard sale, right?

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 in the Device Resource Center. Decide if you want an ebook reader or portable device for audiobooks, or a tablet or smart device that will do both and lots more, such as take photos or browse the web. Many devices handle both ebooks and audiobooks, and this is where you can check. (Digital media from the library check out with temporary-use licenses, and not all devices work with that requirement. For example, Polaroid products are incompatible as of now.)

Announcement! The OverDrive Media Console App is now available for Nook Color and Nook Tablet! It's free from the Barnes & Noble App store. With it, you can checkout and download to these Nooks without using a computer.

Devices for eBooks
Sony Readers, Barnes & Noble Nooks, Kobos, Kindles — and don't forget Apple iPads, iPhones, and iPod Touches — all work beautifully. 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. We want you to avoid the disappointment of finding out your new gadget doesn't work!

Here's a current list from OverDrive of Library Compatible eBook Devices.

FCPL also offers B&N Nooks, Sony Readers, and Kindle Touches for you to test drive. Visit your favorite branch to checkout and try one of these ereaders.

Devices for Audiobooks
Many MP3 players are in the sales ads and prices are good, lower than last year for more capacity. 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, Phillips, and most Apple products. Most of our titles are WMA (Windows Media Audio) format with DRM (Digital Rights Management) requirements. Apple products need an iTunes account to complete a transfer. 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 training on an as-needed basis. We know lots of you will be getting new devices as holiday gifts (how lucky!). Classes are listed under Computer Skill Building on the Computer Training Bridge website. Just click View Classes and look for “Downloading.” Classes and open help labs will be scheduled at several locations for 2013, and a few are lined up between now and then.

FCPL participates in a consortium known as the North Carolina Digital Library with 19 other library systems in our state. The ebook and audiobook collection has grown exponentially as technologies made it easier to share digital books online. Some much-needed grant funds helped the collection grow, too. Over 40,000 copies of titles are available in a variety of formats. Some are bound to be your favorites (or soon will be)!

The Library's Catalog displays titles as [Downloadable eBook] or [Downloadable Audiobook] if we can offer them — in addition to books, CDs, movies, and other formats physically in our collection. To see if a title is available for downloading, use the link icon to go to the North Carolina Digital Library. Downloadable media are cataloged there, and you checkout and manage your account from that website. Kindle users will also use Amazon.com for Kindle Books.

If you have questions, you can Ask Your Librarian anytime via email. Call or visit your favorite branch and speak to a friendly librarian. We’re here to help, even over the upcoming holidays! Enjoy an ebook or audiobook — and a new gadget — very soon!

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