Overdrive Media and iPods | iLounge Article


Overdrive Media and iPods

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Q: My local library uses Overdrive Media for their audio books, which isn’t compatible with the iPod. I am sure there must be a way to get around this, but I don’t really know how. Could you give me some information on how I could do this?

- Patti

A: Unfortunately, there is not an easy way around this with the current implementation of the Overdrive Media format. This format is basically a copy-protected Windows Media Audio (WMA) format, and therefore cannot be played on the iPod or even converted to a more iPod-friendly format due to the Digital Rights Management (DRM) copy protection.

There is a somewhat time-consuming workaround for this that might work for some content, depending entirely on whether or not the DRM license allows that content to be burned to a CD. Whether or not this is permitted is based entirely on the policy of the content publisher themselves, and if you cannot burn a specific audio book to a CD, it is because the publisher has chosen to specifically prohibit this as part of the DRM policy/license on that particular audio book.

You should be able to tell whether or not a title can be burned to CD by looking at the content restrictions on your local library’s web site, or by viewing the “Properties/Licenses” option in the Overdrive Media Console for content that you have already checked out.

If the content you are using can be burned to a CD, you will need to do this via either the Overdrive Media Console or Windows Media Player, using the instructions provided with these applications. Once you have burned the audio CD, you can then import it into iTunes as you would any other music CD.

The good news is that Overdrive Media has recently announced that they plan to begin supporting the MP3 format in the near future. MP3 is a more open format compatible with a much wider variety of devices, and will likely not include any form of Digital Rights Management (DRM) restrictions. Note, however, that it may likely still be up to individual audio book publishers whether they choose to distribute in the MP3 format or the DRM-protected WMA format that they are presently using.



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I have downloaded some of Oprah’s podcasts.  I am able to download and copy them to my ipod - except for the ones with the blue dot next to the checked box in my podcast section of my library.  What’s up with the blue dot?  How do I get rid of it so I can move these to my ipod?


Posted by Roleen Johnson in Toronto on May 17, 2008 at 10:20 AM (CDT)


My classic was stolen and i was wondering if there was a way to track it if someone had downloaded updates or software.
I wasnt sure if my Ipod could be found this way or not. Is my serial # traceable??

Posted by Stacy in Toronto on May 18, 2008 at 3:27 PM (CDT)


Roleen:  The blue dot simply means you haven’t listened to or watched the podcast, and this should go away as soon as you start watching it, either in iTunes or on the iPod itself.  This should not prevent you from syncing podcasts to your iPod, although if these are older episodes, you may want to ensure that your sync settings on the “Podcasts” tab in iTunes are set correctly.  By default, I believe iTunes only transfers the most recent few podcasts to your iPod.  To check this, connect your iPod, select it in iTunes, and choose the “Podcasts” tab from the main screen.

Stacy:  Sadly, Apple does not provide any tracking for lost or stolen iPods.  The serial number is not traceable in that sense.  The most you can do is report the theft to your local authorities, with as much information as possible, including the serial number, and hope that it may be recovered that way.

Posted by Jesse Hollington in Toronto on May 20, 2008 at 9:37 AM (CDT)


Please can you tell me how to configure an ipod touch for hotmail email ?

I got it for my daughter and would like to set it up for her!


Posted by Jon in Toronto on May 23, 2008 at 3:26 PM (CDT)


I want to keep the music already added to my my ipod from another computer before purchasing an IMAC of my own. I want do add music that I have downloaded from to Itunes, without losing the existing music?

please advise


Posted by Sylvia Rodriguez in Toronto on September 30, 2008 at 4:55 PM (CDT)


I have an iPod Classic 120GB from 2008 and i want to watch my videos in my tv. I know there is a trick about how plug the A/V cable (those apple guys are genious, anoying genious sometimes)

Basicly, i want to know how build one.

How safe is store my computer data in my ipod? I don’t use iTunes as the ‘SyncMaster’ but i don’t feel safe keeping files on it

Posted by chepe263 in Toronto on January 13, 2010 at 6:36 PM (CST)


I have an Ipod formatted for Mac, however I want to reformat it so that I can use it on a Windows PC. How can I reformat it without losing all the data stored on it? I dont have a Mac on which to connect it to. Only a Windows PC. Please help!!!

Posted by Candice in Toronto on January 15, 2010 at 7:51 AM (CST)

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