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Anyone use Overdrive for Digital Library Books?
Old 02-01-2011, 01:34 PM   #1
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Anyone use Overdrive for Digital Library Books?

My county library just signed up with overdrive, which allows me to download digital library books.

However, I've found that the software is so cumbersome and difficult to use and understand that it's hardly worth it.

Also, apparently every single book is already checked out, so at best I can get onto a waiting list, with no estimate of when a book will become available.

It appears that you cannot "return" a book, but must wait for it to be automatically returned at the end of three weeks. So if 10 people are on the waiting list, the book will be out for 30 weeks, even if they decide, once they download it, that they don't want it.

I had considered getting a Nook reader if this system looked good, but at this point I'll just stick with hardcopy books.

Anyone using this system successfully?
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Old 02-01-2011, 02:30 PM   #2
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Our local library is also using Overdrive but maybe a newer version ? It's not to bad, except they're running it as a seperate website from the normal library website ?! (must employ two bureaucrats instead of one....)
It works okay for the download. Our problem is then transferring it onto the Sony ereader since Sony software must have been designed by the anti-intuitive movement.
And I agree about all the books being "out". Ours lets' you borrow the book for 7 or 14 days. The file then becomes inoperative. So far, the wife is plowing down books at the rate of 2 per week (knew I loved her for a reason) but you can't return them early !! Craziness.

And, can someone answer a question for me ? Maybe someone who knows about publishing ? If the book is "only" a file, why can't they loan it to 10 people at once ? Do they buy the e-version just like they would a normal title from the publisher that limits them to one user at a time ? If so, that's just another old fashioned model that doesn't make sense in the digital age.
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Old 02-01-2011, 02:32 PM   #3
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I had horrible problems with Overdrive and even unloaded/reloaded it several times to try to get it to work correctly.
Found the same issues with books being unavailable.
But all that was before my DH purchased a Kindle for my last birthday and I love it, love it, love it!
Kindle now has it's loaning feature up on some books which it great!
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Old 02-01-2011, 02:38 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
My county library just signed up with overdrive, which allows me to download digital library books.

However, I've found that the software is so cumbersome and difficult to use and understand that it's hardly worth it.

Also, apparently every single book is already checked out, so at best I can get onto a waiting list, with no estimate of when a book will become available.

It appears that you cannot "return" a book, but must wait for it to be automatically returned at the end of three weeks. So if 10 people are on the waiting list, the book will be out for 30 weeks, even if they decide, once they download it, that they don't want it.

I had considered getting a Nook reader if this system looked good, but at this point I'll just stick with hardcopy books.

Anyone using this system successfully?
DW is using it, I was the one who had to figure it out (her own personal IT person). It is a little odd and convoluted, but not so bad once I realized what they were doing.

What you DL from through your Library is a 'key' (this is what threw me off at first). Then in the Adobe Digital Editions, you open that key, and it DLs the book, then you copy that to your Nook.

As far as checking books back in - I have the same impression as you, but there might be a workaround. But most people probably wouldn't bother, so I'd count on the 10 people = 30 weeks. There would need to be a mechanism to let you to force it to expire on your Nook, and then a way to link that to the Library to tell them that you checked it back in. I still plan to look for that.

DW likes it, I'm not so impressed. Not many books that interest me anyhow in that format. She likes to read all the pop fiction stuff, and I guess there is enough to that.

-ERD50
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Old 02-01-2011, 02:38 PM   #5
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I use OverDrive for almost all of my reading especially now that there is an ePub, Adobe Digital Editions reader for the iPad (Bluefire reader).

My library has several thousand epub books, but not every book I want to read is digital so I still have to go to the library for some books.

Also, my library lets you select the time period that you want it checked out - from 7 days to 21 days.

It does take a bit of setup, but now that I'm used to the setup I love it.

And an idea on getting more books available, you might ask a close friend or relative in another city if they would mind you borrowing their library card number for electronic checkouts. There is no downside for them because you can never be late returning the book...it checks itself back in automatically.
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Old 02-01-2011, 02:42 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Koogie View Post
Our local library is also using Overdrive but maybe a newer version ? It's not to bad, except they're running it as a seperate website from the normal library website ?! (must employ two bureaucrats instead of one....)
Actually, this makes a lot of sense. I assume Adobe is actually running the site, libraries just subscribe to the service. Otherwise, every single library would have to 'reinvent the wheel' on that system.



Quote:
And, can someone answer a question for me ? Maybe someone who knows about publishing ? If the book is "only" a file, why can't they loan it to 10 people at once ?
I assume this is all just copyright/DRM stuff. The library must have to buy the rights to have X number checked out at a time. But it is crazy that you can't easily check it back in.

-ERD50
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Old 02-01-2011, 03:51 PM   #7
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I use Overdrive thru my local public library. After I download the file to my desktop and double click on it, it automatically imports into my Sony Reader software. Once it's in my Sony Library, I can see the countdown clock showing how many days I have until the book disappears.

If you right-click on the book in the Sony Library, a menu pops up with "Return Borrowed Item" - so yes, those with Sony Readers and Sony software can return books earlier than the checkout period.

Also note - there is an option in Overdrive when you are checking out to change your checkout period to 7, 14 or 21 days.

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Old 02-01-2011, 04:13 PM   #8
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And, can someone answer a question for me ? Maybe someone who knows about publishing ? If the book is "only" a file, why can't they loan it to 10 people at once ?
They could give the file to millions, but the publisher doesn't want that, so the library has to agree to only loan it out for a limited time and to a limited number of people.

I understand the need for the DRM, but it makes what could be a simple thing into a mess. I need to deal with the library site, the adobe site, the overdrive app all at once, with separate logins, passwords. I can't transfer to the ipod without telling I want to manage my stuff manually (though I can download directly to the ipod).

-----------------

Another big drawback is that page turns on the epub reader on my ipod touch are very slow -- much slower than stanza or kindle.

Quote:
there is an option in Overdrive when you are checking out to change your checkout period to 7, 14 or 21 days.
Thanks. I found that now -- only 7 or 14 for me.

----------------------

Is there any way to say "show me only those books that are available to check out now"?
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Old 02-01-2011, 05:39 PM   #9
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My library uses Overdrive for both digital books and audiobooks. I've only used it for audiobooks. Those also sometimes have a wait list too; but I have had one audiobook on an iPod for well over a year despite the 2-week checkout period and it is still live (I just checked the iPod). That would suck if someone has been waiting for it.
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Old 02-01-2011, 09:35 PM   #10
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Is there any way to say "show me only those books that are available to check out now"?
Yes. Go to Advanced Search and check "Only show titles with copies available" check box.
And you can return the book earlier in most readers. For example in Adobe Digital Editions, go to Library View, click on Item Options (looks like "Play" button) and choose "Return Borrowed Item"
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Old 02-03-2011, 09:53 AM   #11
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OK, thanks, Sailor.

Looks like there are only six books available now. But that includes Justin Bieber's autobiography!

I'm on the waiting list for three books (the max): The Confession, Drive, and At Home. It tells me where I stand (e.g. 4 out of 7 on the The Confession list) in my waiting list.
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Old 02-03-2011, 11:03 AM   #12
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I was using Overdrive, but then I got a Sony Reader so now I only use that software. But I liked Overdrive ok. And yes, as someone mentioned, to return the item early you right-click on it and choose that option from the menu. I've actually found that I get items more quickly than I expected with the e-books, seems faster than when I request regular books.
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Old 02-03-2011, 12:46 PM   #13
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And yes, as someone mentioned, to return the item early you right-click on it and choose that option from the menu.
I think mine doesn't have that option. Here's a screenshot showing the menu that pops up when I right click an item -- is yours different?

overdrive.jpg
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Old 02-03-2011, 02:01 PM   #14
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with my iPad, early check-in is done from my device.
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Old 02-03-2011, 05:39 PM   #15
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I don't think it is OverDrive that is complicated in any way. Pretty straight forward in my opinion. It is each individual library. I belong to two. One here in Florida which is great. Most things are either in or come in within a couple of weeks. Very easy to download from -1,2,3. On the other hand, I also belong to the Phoenix, Az. library. That is a complicated mess, and most everything is out and you have to wait sometimes a couple of months before you get your book. I prefer to download mostly audio books from Overdrive however, as once you put it on your mp3 player (or CD) it will not expire. It only expires on your computer. I can not download e-pub from Overdrive on my Kindle. But I have soooooooo many books on my Kindle now, that it would take me a couple of years to get through them. I get a lot of them free or for maybe $3.00 at most. See my other post asking about Kindle on same page.

Only time I am compelled to pay more (my limit is $9.99) is if one of the latest Political Books I just can't wait to read comes out that I must read now and can't wait. But what I have done in some cases with more recent books that I am anxious to read - I order them Used from Amazon. Have always received "like new" books from this category. I like the ease of use of the Kindle though, and the clarity of screen is the best of all the e-readers so far (of it's type).
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Old 02-03-2011, 10:34 PM   #16
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I think mine doesn't have that option. Here's a screenshot showing the menu that pops up when I right click an item -- is yours different?

Attachment 11171
Hmmm... yes, the whole interface looked different. Is this what you see online, from the library's website? I should have been more clear. I meant that when I have the software open on my computer (like I would if I were going to read a book), and I see the books I've downloaded, I can right-click on a book and get an option to Return Borrowed Item.
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Old 02-03-2011, 10:39 PM   #17
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Ohhhh.... you know what? Overdrive is the one for audio books, not e-books. Sorry, I keep screwing that up when I try to get stuff from the library. What you want is the Adobe Digital Editions for E-books, which I see a link for in your screenshot on the left-hand side.

I have downloaded Overdrive (by mistake), but I haven't used it.
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Old 02-04-2011, 07:43 AM   #18
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with my iPad, early check-in is done from my device.
Do you get the full ipad screen? or is it only set up for the ipod?
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Old 02-04-2011, 09:35 AM   #19
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Ohhhh.... you know what? Overdrive is the one for audio books, not e-books. Sorry, I keep screwing that up when I try to get stuff from the library. What you want is the Adobe Digital Editions for E-books, which I see a link for in your screenshot on the left-hand side.

I have downloaded Overdrive (by mistake), but I haven't used it.
I didn't realize that -- that's true on the PC, but on my iPod, it's Overdrive that lets me read the downloaded books. No wonder I was confused.

I'm only allowed a 7 or 14 day lending period. If I choose 7, I might not finish my book in time, if I choose 14, I might decide I don't like a book, and will have to wait 14 days until I have another slot available.

Fortunately you can circumvent all this DRM nonsense:

http://e-bookvine.com/bn-nook%E2%80%99s-epub-drm-hacked-and-cracked/
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Old 02-04-2011, 09:38 AM   #20
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I'm only allowed a 7 or 14 day lending period. If I choose 7, I might not finish my book in time, if I choose 14, I might decide I don't like a book, and will have to wait 14 days until I have another slot available.
T-Al, DW says she now knows how to 'return' a book on the Nook w/Adobe Digital Editions. I don't know the exact steps, but it can be done. I think you need to have your Nook connected with ADE when you do it. Maybe someone else has specifics.

edit/add - here you go:

http://forums.adobe.com/thread/670870?tstart=-1

-ERD50
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