26 November 2008

Troubleshooting: uncooperative devices

Using a PC and having trouble getting your device recognized by the OverDrive Media Console? You may need to reformat it. These steps will clear all information from the device, so be sure back up all the information you wish to keep before beginning.

1. Connect your device to your PC.
2. Open My Computer.
3. Locate your device in the list of devices.
4. Right click the device and ‘Quick Format’.
5. Click Start.
**Please note, this will clear all data from your device, please back up
anything you wish to save before completing this step.**
6. When the format is complete, click Close.

20 November 2008

A present for Mac users

Hoorah! The OverDrive Media Console (OMC) is now Mac-compatible!

Read the press release here:
http://www.overdrive.com/aboutus/getArticle.aspx?newsArticleID=20081119

A great sum-up on the EarlyWord blog, geared towards libraries:
http://www.earlyword.com/2008/11/19/overdrive-debuts-media-console-for-mac/

And, finally, download your version here:
http://overdrive.com/software/omc/

This is sooner than we hoped, and, with our mp3 files now available, Listen Up! Vermont can serve our Mac patrons (including me!).

19 November 2008

Listen Up! Vermont reactions

Sue Webster from the Georgia Public Library posted a great question on the public library listserv about helping justify buying in to the Listen Up! project, and asking for patron reactions. I'll post them as I see them -- those stories are helpful for all of us -- and feel free to post some in the comments below.

I offered Sue some more practical advice (after all, it's hard to create a feel good story from numbers):
  • This Round, Round Three, is the last open round of sign ups. Following Rounds will have an additional administrative fee.
  • I've heard nothing but positive comments from participants -- and I know from my own experience that I am serving patrons I didn't see in the library, and that I am providing them with a service that they can access anytime (and often do -- you can look at the times titles are downloaded).
  • This type of service is not even the future of public library service: it is the present. It is what patrons want now -- convenience, accessibility, simplicity.
  • It is extremely cost-effective. A library looking to enter into a contract with OverDrive alone is looking at a minimum investment of tens of thousands of dollars. Your annual fee gives you access to a collection and service worth nearly $50,000 -- and worth much more in January, with the new round of signups, when we can purchase many more additional titles. Stowe paid $2000 into the GMLC last year (through a combination of materials budget and grant), and even with the collection at 500 titles, it is as though I increased my audio book collection for only $4 a title. You can't do that anywhere else.
  • Imagine an audio collection that takes up no shelf space... requires no repairs... can work with any type of audio player... is available anytime. Pretty nice!
Other thoughts for Sue and other members? At the VLTA conference, Lawrence Webster told us to collect stories -- here's a great opportunity!

17 November 2008

Times-Argus Between the Lines

Thanks to the wonderful Ruth Hare for mentioning the Listen Up! Vermont mp3 compatibility in her Sunday column, "Between the Lines":

http://www.timesargus.com/article/20081116/FEATURES07/811160339/1016

12 November 2008

mp3 questions

Thanks to our Project Manager, Simon, for giving me a better link to the new mp3s:

http://www.listenupvermont.org/NewMP3Additions.htm

I have also had a couple of questions regarding the new mp3 format audio books. Here's the popular one:

"If it says WMA, but not MP3, can it still play on the Zen mp3 players we have been using all along?"

Yes -- the WMA files will play on your Zen/Sansa/Coby/etc players that you've been using up to this point. The mp3 files will play on these players as well. The only hitch is that, in order to transfer an audio book directly to an iPod, the audio book must be in the mp3 format. WMA format audio books will not play on an iPod.

11 November 2008

It's here! It's finally here!

What's here, you ask?

iPod compatibility!

As the Selection Committee noted back at the very end of September, we have been able to purchase audiobooks in the mp3 format, which is a format compatible with
all players, whether it is those little $30 ones you've been circulating or your iPod. Compatibility with Macs is coming, and we hope it will be here by the end of the year.

Check out the collection at

http://www.listenupvermont.org/44B0C862-DC72-4BBA-A841-685A8402A47D/10/434/en/SearchResultsmp3.htm?SearchID=12118618


The collection is starting out small, of course, but the Selection Committee is on the job putting together new orders, and the number of participating publishers, and therefore the titles available to purchase, continues to grow. As Kip Roberson mentioned, the selections to date are mainly classics (so don't expect
American Wife or the newest James Patterson quite yet).

Take a few minutes to look at the redesigned informational pages on each title. You'll see that the format for the title is listed, as well as several icons that are highlighted to let you know the permissions for that title -- whether it works on an iPod, whether you can burn it to cd, etc. For example, to the left is a screen shot of Anna Karenina. It's available as both an mp3 file (top) and a WMA file (bottom); you need a PC to download it; you can burn either format to cd; the mp3 file is WMA, iPod, and mp3 compatible while the WMA file is only able to be played on WMA compatible devices. Most of your patrons will not have trouble, as the titles available to them will continue to be available -- only now, your iPod users can easily download too!

05 November 2008

Reports Training Notes

Missed the reports training today? Drop me an email at schase[at]stowelibrary.org and give me a non-VALS email, and I will send you the slides and a recording of the training. There are so many great reports -- if only I could remember them all!

03 November 2008

Reports Trainings

Don't forget: Wednesday, November 5, we have reports trainings scheduled at 10am and 3pm to help libraries needing to access their statistics for their annual and/or state reports. Look for an email from Stephanie with the log in information.

The trainings are conducted using ReadyTalk, which allows you to do training from wherever you have an Internet connection and a phone you can use at the same time... maybe even at home, cup of coffee in hand, in pjs?