“See Book, Read Book. For the past several weeks that’s been the mantra at OverDrive. It’s a vision of simplicity—an idea that drove us to develop easier ways to get more readers in front of the books they love to read and want to buy. Later this year, we’ll be delivering two new services that will extend publisher catalogs to more readers on a wide range of devices: OverDrive Read and streaming audiobooks.”
“Several companies have been specializing in the downloadable content of audio books that fit easily on any mobile device that music is stored on. One such company, Audiobook.com, is setting up an all-you-can stream option starting Wednesday for a flat fee of $25 per month.
… Audiobooks.com’s major competitor Audible, which is integrated into iTunes, has similar monthly plans, but you are limited to a set number of books — one title for $15 a month, two titles for $23 a month.”
“Generations of young people have thrilled to the crackling wit of Holden Caulfield, the teenage narrator of The Catcher in the Rye. But if you want to hear an authorized audiobook of J.D. Salinger’s seminal 1951 novel, you’ll need what amounts to a doctor’s prescription.
Salinger died in 2010, without relinquishing the rights for an audio recording. But U.S. copyright law grants the Library of Congress permission to produce an audio recording or Braille edition of any published work for the blind and physically handicapped, provided the book is distributed free, unabridged and, in the case of recordings, on special digital playback equipment.”
In June, we concluded a survey, linked on 10 of our highest traffic websites, with more than 5,000 responses from patrons around urban and rural America. The survey included questions regarding demographics, computer/device usage, borrowing habits, general feedback on user experience, and suggestions for collection development.
74% of users are female, between the ages of 30-59.
Nearly 70% have a college and/or postgraduate degree.
60% learned about the download service from the library’s website (if our past blog posts and training sessions weren’t enough to get you to promote on your website, hopefully this is!)
87% listen to audiobooks on an MP3 player, 44% of which are iPod users.
33% of users own an eBook reader (e.g., Sony Reader, Barnes & Noble nook)
Quietly rolled out for public testing, audiobook service Audible has a free beta of its Android app that some users have been describing as the last iPhone-to-Android gap. As you’d expect, it downloads, plays, and maintains your audiobook collection.
This might be a great alternative for audiobook fans, especially those who are frustrated enough with OverDrive to pay $7.49 a month. With the disappointing Android app, limited selection, and restricted checkouts currently ruining the OverDrive experience, it might not be a bad idea. (Thanks to Erin for the link.)
“Aspiro Music normally has its finger in the streaming music pie, but this year will aim to launch a streaming audiobook service with Norwegian book publisherCappelen Damm. Not only will audiobooks be streamable from various platforms, but they’ll also work in harmony so you can pick up at the same point you left off, but on your phone instead of computer.”
There’s a free OverDrive app for Android, too. Unfortunately, the comments in the Market discouraged me from even experimenting with it. I think it’s going to be a while before these applications run smoothly for users. There are still complaints about OverDrive on PCs, and mobile technology hasn’t even caught up to that yet.