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Guest Post: OverDrive app for the iPhone and iTouch

Hello! This is Trish Priewe, co-director at LDI, and I'm a iTouch geek! I don't have an iPhone (because Verizon coverage is bad in Lodi), but I'm itchy, irritable and distracted if I don't have my iTouch to access email, calendar, music, games, maps, photos, blah, blah, blah... I don't go anywhere without it.

And that's why today I'm guest-posting on TechBits: to tell you about the new OverDrive audiobook app for iPhone (and iTouch).OverDrive Media Console app for iPhone

Previously, those of us who listen to audiobooks on any mp3 player had to 1) download the audiobook into the OverDrive media console on a computer, and then 2) transfer the audiobook from the computer to our player. But on Wednesday, April 22 OverDrive rolled out an iPhone app. It's free - you just go to the App Store, search for OverDrive, and download the app. Once you've got the OverDrive app, you can download directly to the device - no computer! One step!

Here's the process:

  1. Download the app to your iPod
  2. Using your browser (Safari), surf to the library's OverDrive page
  3. Pick out your book and go through the checkout process (you must choose a book for iPod in mp3 format only - wma format will not work)
  4. When it comes time to click to download the book, press the button. Automatically Safari closes and OverDrive media console opens
  5. Touch the book title, and it will tell you it hasn't been downloaded. Say "yes"
  6. Touch the button on the right for any book sections you want to download (you don't have to do the whole book at once)
  7. After download, just touch to begin playback

I think one cool thing is that the app automatically bookmarks your stopping point - no more hunting! You can also add bookmarks where ever you like.

This app is brand-spankin' new, and really I have only begun playing with it. But it's pretty self-explanatory for those who are already using an iPhone or iTouch - and I think your patrons will be really happy this is finally possible. I know I was!


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This did not work for me. If it's already downloaded to the computer - how do you get it to the ipod touch? Even the transfer did not work - or if it did, I can't find the download. Does not appear in iTunes or Overdrive media on the itouch.

When you download a book to a computer and transfer it to an iPhone/iTouch, you must initiate the transfer with OverDrive Media Console on your Windows/Mac. You will also need to change a setting in iTunes on your computer to allow the transfer to work. See the additional requirements listed here: http://dbooks.wplc.info/Help-FAQ-Format25.htm#question-3710. Once the book has been transferred from your computer to the iPod Touch, you should be able to find it in the Music app (look for it under Songs or under More > Audiobooks).

If the OverDrive Media Console App for iPhone is installed on your iPod Touch, books that have been transferred from a computer to the iPod Touch will not show up in the OverDrive Media Console App. The App will only show books in your library that were downloaded directly to the iPod Touch.

If that doesn't answer your question, please let me know by replying to this comment or contacting me directly, http://www.scls.info/about/contact/rz.html.

Hi, I have the same issue. I used the transfer option via the PC, so I downloaded the audiobooks into Overdrive on my PC, then chose to transfer the files to my iPhone. But nothing appears on my iPhone, neither in the Music library nor under Audiobooks, when I press the iPod button on the phone. What could be the problem? I have podcasts synced with it, and those appear just fine, but where did the supposedly successfully transferred Audiobooks go?

Do you use another Apple device (like an iPod or a second iPhone) with the same computer? If so, it may be possible that the wrong device was selected in the Transfer Wizard when you transferred the book and it never made it to your iPhone.

If the book was successfully transferred to the correct device, it should be under either Music (for MP3 audiobooks) or Audiobooks (for WMA Audiobooks).

If that doesn't answer your question, please let me know by replying to this comment or contacting me directly, http://www.scls.info/about/contact/rz.html.

love using the app for my itouch with overdrive audiobooks---one question; since so many of the books are in a WMA format is there any way to get them onto my itouch? will using itunes on my laptop convert them ebfore they go on the touch?

You can transfer iPod-compatible WMA audiobooks to an iPod touch by using OverDrive Media Console on a Windows computer. The required software you'll need on your PC is:

- Windows Media Player 9 Series (or newer) (downloadable at http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows/downloads/windows-media-player)
- iTunes v9.1 (or newer) (downloadable at http://www.apple.com/itunes/download/)
- OverDrive Media Console for Windows (downloadable at http://www.overdrive.com/software/omc/)

In addition to the required software, you'll need to make sure your iPod touch is set to "Manually manage music." The steps are described in this article: "Using iPhone, iPad, or iPod with multiple computers," http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1202.

Another setting to check in iTunes: make sure you have the 'Books' or 'Audiobooks' option checked/selected in the iTunes preferences. This setting is found in Edit > Preferences > General Tab > under Show, check the checkbox for Books or Audiobooks.

Once you have installed the required software, you'll need to go to http://dbooks.wplc.info/ on your PC, download an audiobook to your computer, and use OverDrive Media Console (the one installed on your PC) to transfer it to your iPod. OverDrive Media Console will guide you through the transfer, and the audiobook won't appear in the iTunes library.

You may also be prompted to perform a security upgrade for Windows -- this is normal the first time OverDrive Media Console opens a DRM-protected file. It should take only a few moments by following the prompts.

I have been able to download audiobooks to my ipod thru Ovedrive but i can not get them into itunes library. I don't know how to get an audiobook to download to my itunes Help

If you download an audiobook to your iPod (directly from the web to your iPod), the audiobook will only show up in the OverDrive Media Console app on the iPod. It won't show up in iTunes.

On the other hand, if you download an audiobook to your computer and then use OverDrive Media Console to transfer it to your iPod, the audiobook will appear under either Music (for MP3 audiobooks) or Audiobooks (for WMA Audiobooks). (Note: the audiobook *won't* show up in the iTunes Library on your computer.)

downloaded an audiobook from mylibrary using overdrive - book is on my ipodtouch but after I load a book I can't sync any music I buy or remove book - I had to restore last time and now I have put another book on and have same problem - any suggestion - I am set at manually and I can'tseem to change that without wiping everything off ipod - help

You can't sync an iPod when it's set to manually manage music, but you can add individual songs, videos, and playlists from iTunes to your device. Just drag the item to the iPod icon in the Devices list on the left-hand side of the iTunes Window.

To delete individual titles from your iPod in iTunes, select your iPod in the Devices list. The contents of the iPod will appear in the right panel. Next, in the right panel, select the title you wish to remove and press the Delete or Backspace key.

I have been using the overdrive app with my iPod touch for months with great success. Today I downloaded the routine upgrade and now the app won't launch. I tried to download mp3 audiobook from my library like normal and when I hit the download button the library site hands off to the overdrive media console. The cover page pops up but then closes in a second or two. I also can no longer access the app directly from my iPod directory. It just beeps at me loads the cover page and disappears. What should I do?


For anyone else who might find this thread, if the OverDrive Media Console app for iPod malfunctions (i.e. app won't launch or closes after a few seconds), try deleting the app and downloading it again. (You'll also have to re-download the titles you downloaded via the app.)

A related tip is that sometimes powering the iPod off and on again helps if you downloaded a book using the OverDrive Media Console app and it doesn't show up in the app's Library. When you turn the iPod back on and launch the app again, sometimes the title will be there.

So there is no way to download the WMA Overdrive Audiobooks directly to your iPod touch and play them through the Overdrive app? I would much rather play them in that than the default Music played on the iPod touch so that I can save bookmarks!

Correct -- the OverDrive app for iPod Touch/iPhone/iPad does *not* download WMA audiobooks directly to the device or play from within the app's Library. I keep hoping that OverDrive will find a way to roll these features into a future release of the app, because I know how inconvenient it is!

I'm having trouble finding an mp3 book on my itouch. I downloaded it to my computer via overdrive and transferred it to my itouch. But, I can't find it on my itouch. I know it's there, because when I try to transfer it again, overdrive asks, "overwrite?" I said yes, and transferred it again. Does anyone know where it transferred TO? I haven't had a problem with WMA books; they show up under "Music."

When I transfer an mp3 book to my iTouch using the OverDrive Media Console, it ends up in Music. In my case, I used Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. It ended up in Music->Songs->Pride and Prejudice.


i want to say thank you for a great job you've done on your blog.
I have a software download website and I also write articles for people to help them with their computers and software. Is it possible to place this article on your blog as a guest post?

Andy G.

Thanks for your interest in TechBits. We select our guest authors from the staff and librarians in the South Central Library System community, but we always welcome suggestions for articles that may be relevant to our audience. If you've written an article you'd like to recommend, please provide a link in the comments.

I'm having the same problem here. I downloaded a free ebook from the audiobook community YA Sync announced today. Installed overdrive for pc. Plugged in my iPad. Hit transfer from the Overdrive Console. Both it and iTunes indicated it was transferring, as did my iPad. Cannot find or play the files anywhere. They are not in the Overdrive app. Not in the iPod app under Audiobooks. Not in the iBooks app. Can't find them in the iTunes library on my computer. I'm furious. There's no way to DELETE these files now either and that bothers me the most. This is the second time I've tried to use Overdrive. There is *no* support on their site. I regularly purchase books through the Kindle app and was hoping I could start using my local library and giveaways like this. Overdrive is the most confusing, horrible thing ever. I'm giving up on the entire thing. I'm an avid reader and I even work in publishing. If this is the future of digital, we're in trouble.

Update: OK, I just figured this out but it's not obvious. The book appeared in my iPod Music, simply under the book title (Shiver). I finally saw it when scrolling through all music. It doesn't appear in audiobooks, but it will also show up under 'Album' view in the iPod. I have a jailbroken, highly customized iPad and iPhone 4. I am extremely savvy with iOS. This shouldn't be this hard. I know it's not all Overdrive's fault; the process is complicated as well by publishers and the various DRM issues. However, I too long for the day when you can easily download anything from the Overdrive app straight into the Overdrive app, especially since I'm much more interested in audiobooks than regular books at the moment. OK, end mini-rant, but I wanted to update my comment to reflect that if it doesn't seem that an audiobook transferred properly, either look under "Album" view in the iPod music or scroll through the full playlist *on the device" because it won't show up in your computer iTunes library or on any playlists.

I'm trying to delete Overdrive audiobooks from my IPHONE 4. They do not show in ITunes under Books or music. How do I delete??? Help!

Here are the steps to delete a title from your iPhone or iPod Touch:

1. Connect your iPod to your computer and run the iTunes application.

2. Click on your iPod's name under 'Devices' on the left hand side of the iTunes interface.

3. Click on the 'Summary' tab and under 'Options', make sure you have checked the 'Manually manage music' check box.

4. Click the arrow to left of your iPod device to expand the contents view. The list expands to display the 'Music' and 'Books' categories on your iPod.

5. Select 'Music' or 'Books' (depending on the title), and select the titles you want to delete and press the 'delete' key on your keyboard. (Note: MP3 Audiobooks will always be stored under Music; WMA Audiobooks will always be stored under either Books or Audiobooks.)

6. Once you have deleted your tiles, safely remove your iPod by clicking the 'eject' button to right of your 'iPod's name'.

If you cannot see the title on your iPhone in iTunes, it is possible that the audiobook did not transfer properly and never made it to your iPhone. Your iPhone must be set to 'Manually manage music' in iTunes, and when you are transferring the title in OverDrive Media Console, be sure to select your device in the Transfer Wizard. If the Transfer Wizard detects multiple devices, DO NOT select any labeled "device driver."

I hope you can help me. I'm trying to transfer a WMA audiobook from my PC to my iPhone4, but the app simply will not find my iPhone. I had the same issue before. That time, after a week of frustration and hundreds of attempts, my husband figured out that by running both iTunes as administrator, it finally found my device and allowed the transfer. However, this time even that isn't working. Have you any ideas?

Here are some tips if OverDrive Media Console on your PC will not recognize your iPhone as a device that can receive WMA audiobook transfers:

- Make sure your iPhone or cable is properly inserted into the appropriate slot of this computer, and that the iPhone is set to 'Manually manage music' in iTunes on the PC.

- Uninstall and reinstall OverDrive Media Console on your PC, then attempt to transfer the audiobook to your iPhone.

- Check for a compatibility issue with iTunes. Go to Start > Computer > Program Files > iTunes and locate iTunes.exe. Right-click iTunes.exe, select Properties, and click the 'Compatibility' tab. Make sure the 'Run this program in compatibility mode for:' box is NOT checked. If it is checked, un-check it. Then attempt to transfer the audiobook to your iPhone again.

- If the other suggestions fail, you may need to uninstall and reinstall OverDrive Media Console and iTunes on the PC and on the iPhone, and clear the "run as administrator" setting from all programs and devices.

Anyone had any luck transferring Overdrive mwa audio books once you upgrade to iOS 5? The upgrade lost all of my audio books and trying to transfer new ones is failing. Overdrive thinks it is working but error messages show up on my iPod Touch saying it couldn't sync and to see iTunes for further info. iTunes says nothing.

I have the latest version of Overdrive and iTunes. In iTunes, it says it is converting some arbitrarily files with numbers for names. Those numbered files show up under devices/books in iTunes but can't be played. The files don't show up on the Touch anywhere.

Help please! Audio books are 90% of what I use my Touch for.

There is an issue with OverDrive Media Console for Windows v3.2 not being able to transfer WMA audiobooks to iPods/iPhones with the recent iOS5 update.

This is the response that OverDrive Support has given: "We are aware of the issue and our developers are working to correct it as soon as possible. Unfortunately, we do not have an estimated time of when it will be completed. Please check the following page for an update to OverDrive Media Console for Windows once an update is made available. http://www.overdrive.com/Software/omc/ "

There is a new version of OverDrive Media Console available that should allow WMA audiobooks to be transferred to iOS 5 devices. To resolve this issue, please download the latest version of OverDrive Media Console for Windows from http://overdrive.com/Software/omc/

Once you have transferred a WMA audiobook to your iOS 5 device, a playlist will be created for the audiobook. Please note that WMA audiobooks will not be listed in 'Audiobooks' on your iOS 5 device. You may need to take the following steps to move parts of the audiobook to your playlist:

1. Connect your device to your computer.
2. Open iTunes.
3. Click on 'Books' located under your device name in the left column of iTunes.
4. Drag the parts over to the playlist created for the audiobook, which is also located under your device name in iTunes.
5. Verify that the parts are in the correct order.

I have loaded the new version of Overdrive and have version 10 of itunes installed. I have downloaded an audiobook to my computer and then transfered it to my iphone, but now I cannot find it anywhere on my iphone. Any help would be appreciated.

If you downloaded an audiobook to your computer and then used OverDrive Media Console to transfer it to your iPhone, the audiobook will appear in your iPhone's Music/iTunes app under either Music (for MP3 audiobooks) or Books/Audiobooks (for WMA Audiobooks).

Other commenters have suggested looking for the book's title in Album view or in the song list. You could also connect the iPhone to your computer again and view the contents via iTunes to see if the title is easier to locate that way.

I have tried to transfer a WMA audiobook to my IOS5 ipod through overdrive media. It creates a playlist but the playlist is empty. What is going on?

If your iOS5 device creates an empty playlist when you try to transfer a WMA audiobook, please follow the steps I posted above (Posted by: Rose | 11/07/2011 at 03:52 PM) to resolve the issue.

I had been listening to WMA audiobook files from OverDrive quite happily on my I-Touch (from my book section) up until the time I succumbed to the latest apple update. Now, when using the same method as before, my audiobooks only show up as a playlist! So of course if I ever play music or anything else I have no bookmark anymore and have to search back through endlessly just to find my place! I hardly have any time to read anymore, I waste all of my time trying to find where I left off!! I can't find ANY customer support from Overdrive and the Genius Bar is oblivious also! Where can we get help? How do we reach OverDrive and Apple to beg them to fix this?

Please take the following steps to attempt the transfer again:

1. Delete the playlist from your iPod Touch.
2. Open OverDrive Media Console on your PC.
3. Click the transfer button and follow the steps advised by the Transfer Wizard.
4. Do not close iTunes or disconnect your iPod Touch yet. Once you have transferred a WMA audiobook to your device, a playlist will be created for the audiobook. Please note that WMA audiobooks will not be listed in 'Audiobooks' on your iOS 5 device. You may need to take the following steps to move parts of the audiobook to your playlist:
1. Connect the device to your computer and run the iTunes application.
2. Under the 'Devices' sections, click the arrow to left of your device to expand the contents view. The list expands to display the 'Music' and 'Books' categories on your device.
3. Click on the 'Books' category under your device.
4. Drag the parts over to the playlist created for the audiobook, which is also located under your device name in iTunes.
5. Verify that the parts are in the correct order.

Help for many problems is also available by contacting your local library or using the OverDrive Help website: http://help.overdrive.com/

I followed the instructions above and found the files in Book but when I dragged it into the playlist, it wouldn't work. I get a forbidden sign. Any ideas what I need to do next?

Same here... it creates a playlist on my iphone but there are no files in it.

These steps are recommended if iTunes will not let you drag the parts into the playlist:

Please verify the settings in iTunes are correct by following the steps below. Also, in the second set of steps, only transfer a couple parts at a time. It appears as though the transfer process may be timing out, and transferring only a couple parts at a time will help to determine where the issue may be.

Please verify the following settings in iTunes:

1. In iTunes, go to Edit | Preferences….
2. On the 'General' tab, select the 'Import Settings…' button.
3. In the 'Import Using' field, select 'AAC Encoder'.
4. In the 'Setting' field, select 'Spoken Podcast'.
5. Click the 'OK' button to apply changes and close the 'Import Settings' dialog box.
6. Click the 'OK' button to close the iTunes Preferences dialog box.

Transfer only a couple parts of the audiobook at a time. Once you have transferred a WMA audiobook to your device, a playlist will be created for the audiobook. Please note that WMA audiobooks will not be listed in 'Audiobooks' on your device. You may need to take the following steps to move parts of the audiobook to your playlist:

1. Connect the device to your computer and run the iTunes application.
2. Under the 'Devices' sections, click the arrow to left of your device to expand the contents view. The list expands to display the 'Music' and 'Books' categories on your device.
3. Click on the 'Books' category under your device.
4. Drag the parts over to the playlist created for the audiobook, which is also located under your device name in iTunes.
5. Verify that the parts are in the correct order.

I have an iPhone 4. I downloaded the Overdrive app and attempted to use it to download an audio book directly from my library, but my library does not support that. I downloaded the WMA file to my computer, opened Overdrive, and transferred the audiobook. At the end, it said it had transferred all files to my iPhone successfully. I can see them under my device library in iTunes on my PC, and I can listen to them from there on my PC speakers, but I cannot find them anywhere on the iPhone. I've looked in Music, Books, Audiobooks, everyplace you've suggested. Do you have any ideas?

Once a title is transferred to the iPhone, you'll be able to find your audiobook in the Music application. Select Playlists at the bottom of the screen and your audiobook will be listed.

Thank you, Rose. I touched "Music" on the iPhone and "Playlists." The two selections on the screen are "Add Playlist" and "Purchased." I don't see my audiobook in there anywhere. Any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Andrea, please try the transfer again by following the steps in this guide:

At Step 4, when the transfer wizard prompts you to select your device, be sure to pick the one that shows up as 'Apple device' followed by the name of your device. This is the only selection that will work.

Thanks very much Rose! First I updated my Overdrive software to the latest version, then I followed the instructions in the article. It worked!! I can now happily listen to audiobooks on my iPhone. Thanks again! :)

Hi Rose! You were so helpful with the Overdrive issue on my iPhone, I thought I would ask you one more question. I purchased a ringtone through iTunes and downloaded it to my phone just fine. I synced my phone with iTunes on my PC, so the ringtone shows up there. I had to get a replacement phone yesterday due to a malfunctioning headphone jack. When I synced up the new phone, all my apps are there but no ringtone. I have Googled and cannot figure out how to get the ringtone from iTunes in my computer over to my new iPhone. Do you have any suggestions? Thank you so much!

I'm sorry I can't advise you on that issue. I hope Apple's support will know what to do for you!

I have an iPhone 3gs. I have downloaded the OverDrive console onto my PC and have transfered the book onto my iPhone. The book shows up in my playlist, but there are no files under it. When I tried the transfer again,it says the files are already there. I overwrote them (just in case I screwed up the first time) and I still see no files (just the playlist name of the book). Any ideas?

If you have an empty playlist, and you've tried all the suggestions above, and you still can't move the parts into the playlist via iTunes, check the following:

- There is sufficient storage space on the device.
- Check that the conversion is to spoken podcast. This can be
done by going to iTunes and then Edit > Preferences. On the General
tab go to the 3rd section and there is an import settings button.
Click on that and then verify that it is set to AAC Encoder and spoken

I like the iphone overdrive app but it keeps forgetting where I left off in my audiobook. I guess I will try to figure out how to use the bookmarks but I was under the impression that it should remember where I left off, and, sometimes it does. Usually though it will remember where I left off the time before the last time I was listening. I did upgrade to iOS6 recently so maybe it is a bug. I'm not sure but I would love if they could fix it.

After the upgrade to iOS6, some people have experienced problems with the app not "remembering" where a book left off. OverDrive's developers are trying to solve this problem. In the meantime, the solution is to set bookmarks manually. The "Add Bookmark" button is shown in Step 2 of OverDrive's guide to using audiobooks with iOS: http://help.overdrive.com/article/0008/How-to-enjoy-audiobooks-with-OverDrives-mobile-app-for-iOS

Rose - If you are not on the Overdrive payroll, you should be. Finding you brought an end to hours of frustration. And I experienced joy.

Thanks for your help.

I've tried all the above but the darned thing won't show up ANYWHERE... the only way I can find it is by doing a search on the phone. Then it comes up fine and plays, but I have no idea where it is playing from. This completely rubbish.

This is the latest advice I have gotten from OverDrive Support on finding titles that have been successfully transferred:

"The file location will depend on the type of audiobook: MP3 or WMA.

Once a title is transferred, you'll find your transferred WMA audiobooks under 'Playlist' on your device, and MP3 audiobooks under Music > Albums."

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