Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Basic Audiobook Troubleshooting Tips

Install the free software:

You must install the OverDrive Media Console software prior to downloading your first audiobook. This free software manages your audiobook downloads and allows the WMA audiobooks to be opened and enjoyed on your PC.

Troubleshooting Tip:

Look at slide 24. If the patron is attempting to download the audiobook but does not get the option to open the file in the OMC, one of two errors is possible. First, perhaps the software was not completely installed. If someone is not use to installing software on a PC, they might think that downloading the installer means they have installed the OMC. They have not. They need to run the installer and the wizard to fully install the OMC.

Perform a Windows Media Player Security Upgrade:

In order to listen to the protected WMA (Windows Media Audio) audiobook files, you will need to obtain a small audio file via Windows Media Player.

Troubleshooting Tip:

This step only takes a moment to complete, but it is easy to overlook and tends to be the source of many initial problems in using the service. On occasion WMP is unable to obtain the security upgrade file. I have seen this happen more on PCs running the Vista operating system. Please have your patron follow the instructions on this page to manually obtain the upgrade.


Get a Library Card:

Obtain a library card and, if necessary, a library code to log into the service. If a prefix is assigned, do not put any spaces, dashes, or extra zeros between the prefix and your library number.

Troubleshooting Tip:

Be sure to tell your patron if they need to add a four or five-digit prefix to their card numbers. If newly issued numbers do not work, check your enrollment form to see the range of active numbers. If you’ve exceeded the range of numbers, contact NHSL to increase the range of patron numbers. New numbers can typically be activated by the next workday.

Listen on a Player:

The collection of popular WMA audiobooks can only be enjoyed on compatible players. Not any portable player can handle the protected WMA audiobooks. Find a list of approved players from the following Website.


Troubleshooting Tip:

The list of WMA and MP3 compatible players can be found at the bottom of the left sidebar on the audiobook site. Before purchasing a player for the library or for personal use, talk to other audiobook listeners and see which players they recommend. Typically, a player with the capability to resume playback or with a bookmarking feature is preferred.

Install iTunes, if you are using an iPod:

If you have both a PC and an iPod, you’ll need to install the free iTunes software in addition to the OMC. The iPod requires iTunes to transfer all of the content to the player.

Troubleshooting Tip:

Be sure that the iTunes software is up to date (from the Help menu >> Check for Updates). When transferring the WMA audiobook file to an iPod, the WMA file is converted to an iPod-friendly AAC file. This transfer can take quite a while to finish. The OMC software prompts the patron to change the iTunes import settings from “High Quality” to “Spoken Podcast.” Doing so will significantly reduce the transfer time.

Enjoy the Audiobooks on CD

Some of the audiobooks can be burned to CDs. Not all publishers allow their titles to be burned. View the Digital Rights Information at the bottom of each audiobook record to see if burning is permitted.

Troubleshooting Tip:

Be sure to use CD-Rs, not CD-RW, when burning audiobooks to CD. Many car stereos don’t have the ability to read the CD-RW disks. Be sure to use the OverDrive Media Console to burn the CDs. The OMC “Burn Wizard” was added to the software in one of the more recent upgrades. It is no longer necessary to use the WMP to burn CDs.