SOURCE: OverDrive, Inc.

March 07, 2006 08:45 ET

Download Audiobook and Music Stations Move Into the Library

Patrons Are invited Into the library to Load Their MP3 Players, Pocket PCs, and Smartphones With Premium Audio

CLEVELAND, OH -- (MARKET WIRE) -- March 7, 2006 -- Running into the library to download your next novel may soon be a common practice for audiobook listeners as a result of a new software application. Digital media vendor OverDrive® announced today that Internet-connected PCs now serve as self-checkout stations for download audiobooks at two branches of the Cuyahoga County Public Library in Ohio. Using OverDrive Download Station software, patrons are heading into the library to load up their portable audio devices with spoken word titles from award-winning narrators provided by Brilliance Audio, Blackstone Audiobooks, HarperAudio, Time Warner Audiobooks, BBC Audiobooks and many others.

"Download audiobooks are very popular at hundreds of library," stated Claudia Weissman, Director of Business Development for OverDrive. "Soon patrons will be able to take advantage of the free high-speed networks to download unabridged novels, foreign language learning titles, and self-help material inside the library in addition to the convenience of downloading from home, the office, or a coffee house," she added.

OverDrive Download Station Software prompts users to search the catalog, select a title, and connect a player to the PC using a USB port or cable. The application performs a quick device test to confirm a player is compatible with copy-protected audiobooks and music. Once the patron checks-out a selected title, it is transferred directly to the patron's portable player. Supported devices include popular MP3 players from Creative Labs, Rio, Toshiba, Sandisk, Dell, and Pocket PCs and Smartphones. The application does not support iPod.

OverDrive is working with several MP3/WMA player manufacturers to provide affordable portable players to libraries to lend to their patrons. OverDrive audiobooks have been adopted by over 3,000 public libraries and include award-winning titles and New York Times Bestsellers including, "5th Horseman" by James Patterson, "At First Sight" by Nicholas Sparks, "Memory in Death" by J.D. Robb, Oprah's Book Club pick, "Night" by Elie Wiesel, and the best-selling children's title "Leon and the Champion Chip."

OverDrive developed the application with testing support from the Cuyahoga County Public Library (www.cuyahogalibrary.org). The library has 28 branches serving 47 suburban communities and is one of the 10 busiest library systems in the United States.

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