Thursday, October 9, 2008

Exciting iPod news!

I know a lot of people have been grumpy that they haven't been able to access the library's eMedia on their Apple computers, and they haven't been able to listen to eBooks on their iPods.

The great news is one of our suppliers, Overdrive (aka eBooks to Go) has been able to develop some iPod/Apple compatible content with Apple's blessing! The content is still pretty thin, and there are still a lot of limitations, but the situation is getting better.

Right now, today, you can download Overdrive's MP3 eBook files to your iPod, but only if your iPod is formatted for use with Microsoft Windows. (Overdrive is working on a Mac-Compatible system, with Apple's blessing! The rumor is it will be live sometime in the next 12 months, if all goes well.)

Overdrive has the most amazing Help files I've ever seen. They are actually written in real English (not some tech-head variant!), and they give you ALL the steps you need to follow.

Not all the Overdrive content is MP3. What's the difference? MP3 is a particular way of storing information. That's why DVDs and CDs are different - they store the information differently. Think of it as the difference between books and microfilm. They store the information differently, and we look at them using different equipment. It's the same information, it's just stored differently.

Most of the Overdrive content is stored in WMA, not MP3. (Remember, you don't have to know the details of the letters - it's just a storage method!) WMA files are smaller than MP3 files, so you can fit more of them on your MP3 player.

Overdrive is working diligently to get the copyright permission to convert the books to MP3 format, and adding more files every day.

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