DRM-Free OverDrive Audiobooks Compatible with MP3 Players, Cell Phones, and iPods


America Library Association National Conference, Anaheim, CA – June 25, 2008 – OverDrive, the leading provider of download media in libraries and schools, announced today that the District of Columbia Public Library went live this morning with a new service to become the first public library in the nation to offer popular audiobook titles in MP3 download format.   The new DRM-free format, OverDrive MP3 Audiobook, is compatible with Apple iPod® players as well as thousands of other MP3 players including those from Creative, Sony, Samsung, Rio, SanDisk, and most cell phones.  The service is available for library users at http://overdrive.dclibrary.org.

The District of Columbia Public Library download media collection, featuring the new OverDrive MP3 Audiobook format, will be demonstrated throughout the American Library Association National Conference, June 28-July 1 in Anaheim, CA, at OverDrive booth #1280.

“Thousands of public libraries are preparing to follow the DC Public Library and add MP3 download audiobooks alongside their Windows Media Audio format audiobooks,” according to Erica Lazzaro, OverDrive licensing counsel and Audio Publishers Association board member. “The OverDrive MP3 Audiobook is an additional format option that will attract millions of new listeners to discover, download, and enjoy the benefits of spoken work audio.”

The initial OverDrive MP3 Audiobooks catalog for public libraries features more than 3,000 popular novels, children’s books, foreign language learning titles, and classic works and is growing rapidly as publishers join the program.  Participating publishers currently include Books In Motion, Blackstone Audio, L.A. Theatre Works, Gildan Media, Audio Realms, CSA Word, plus others. The new catalog of OverDrive MP3 Audiobook titles will complement OverDrive’s catalog of approximately 20,000 DRM-protected digital audiobooks (WMA format) and over 80,000 eBooks in popular formats.  Other libraries adding OverDrive MP3 Audiobooks into their download catalogs include New York Public Library, Cleveland Public Library, King County Library System (WA), and Hamilton Public Library (Ontario), as well as hundreds more throughout the end of 2008.

In order to download OverDrive MP3 Audiobooks, users must install the free OverDrive Media Console version 3.0.  OverDrive Media Console provides users with a superior audiobook listening and navigation experience with newly added support for easy transferring of OverDrive MP3 Audiobooks to iPod®, iPhone™, and iPod® touch.  This new release also includes a Burn Wizard feature for creating standard audio CDs from download audiobooks. Library users can obtain the free software at http://overdrive.com/software/omc.

To enable the DRM-free format, OverDrive is working with participating audio publishers and OverDrive library partners to reinforce the copyrights and permissions associated with download lending of OverDrive MP3 Audiobooks.  These include new download steps for users seeking to borrow the new format.  Library users are required to acknowledge and agree to specific terms of use to the borrowed MP3 files before they can download from their library’s ‘Virtual Branch’ website.  After the lending period expires, the OverDrive Media Console software disables access to the expired title.  OverDrive Media Console then prompts the user to delete all OverDrive MP3 Audiobook files from their PC and any and all transferred copies.

OverDrive powers popular download media catalogs offering eBooks, audiobooks, music, and video at thousands of libraries, including institutions in New York City, Singapore, Boston, and Toronto. To see if your public library is a member of the OverDrive network, visit http://search.overdrive.com.


About OverDrive, Inc.

OverDrive is a leading full-service digital distributor and supplier of eBooks, audio books, music, and video. We deliver secure management, DRM protection, and download fulfillment services for hundreds of publishers and institutions (rights holders) and thousands of libraries, schools, retailers, and aggregators serving millions of end users. Founded in 1986, OverDrive is based in Cleveland, OH.  www.overdrive.com

About District of Columbia Public Library

The District of Columbia Public Library is a vibrant center of activity for residents and visitors to the nation’s capital.  Located throughout Washington, D.C., the Library provides environments that invite reading, learning, and community discussion.  The D.C. Public Library is proud to be a recognized force in the community for engaging the mind, expanding opportunities, and elevating the quality of life.

Media Contact:
David Burleigh
Director of Marketing
OverDrive, Inc.
216-573-6886 Ext 218