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WCPL DL: Formats Chart

Download Library Overview: eBook Formats: List

Overdrive READ

Definition: Overdrive READ is a means of loading and reading eBooks in your Internet Browser without having to download any software or files. There is also no need to authorize with an Adobe ID. Once you load the title in your browser and bookmark it, you can read it without signing back in to Overdrive and without even being connected to the Internet.
NOTE:Not all eBook titles are compatible with Overdrive READ, depending on the publisher. Check the "Available Formats" section of a title's record to see if READ is available.

Compatible Devices:

  • Overdrive READ should work in most modern web browsers, including those for desktops and laptops
  • iPads, iPod Touches/iPhones
  • Android phones and tablets
  • Kindle Fire/Fire HD tablets
  • eReaders with very basic browsers--such as those devices with black and white screens--are not likely to work with Overdrive READ. For more detail, see the Overdrive READ compatibility page.
  • Downloading/Transferring: There is no downloading or transferring required for Overdrive READ. Once you've borrowed the title, just touch the "READ" button next to the cover to load it in your browser. Once it has loaded, bookmark it for offline reading.

    Returning: Overdrive READ compatible titles usually also come in ePub and PDF format, which can be returned as indicated in the relevant format categories on this list. If you read a title in your browser and never choose another format, it can be returned from your account at Overdrive using the "return" button next to the cover.

    ePub

    Definition: ePub is short for "Electronic Publication." It is a free and open eBook standard used commonly by most publishers (though not by all, ex. Amazon). It is designed to adjust itself fluidly for different screens, which makes it preferable to PDF, which is a fixed format.

    Compatible Devices:

  • Windows or Macintosh computers
  • Nooks and other non-Kindle dedicated eReaders (i.e. non-tablets with black and white screens).
  • iPads, iPod Touches/iPhones
  • Android phones and tablets
  • Kindle Fire/Fire HD tablets
  • Downloading/Transferring: To transfer to basic Nooks and non-Kindle eReaders, check it out, then download into Adobe Digital Editions on PC, and then transfer to device over USB. For mobile devices, you can download directly using the Overdrive Media Console App. You will need Adobe Digital Editions on a computer, or the Overdrive Media Console for a mobile device.

    Returning: ePub titles can be returned early from Adobe Digital Editions (on a PC), or from the Overdrive Media Console App on a Mobile Device.
    NOTE: Before you choose a format for download, any title can be returned from your account at Overdrive using the "return" button next to the cover.

    PDF

    Definition: PDF is short for Portable Document Format. It is a common publication standard intended for sharing documents independent of device or operating system. It is fairly useful for sharing documents in general, but not as flexible and dynamic in adjusting to different screen sizes, so not as preferred as ePub for eBooks.

    Compatible Devices:*

  • Windows or Macintosh computers
  • Nooks and other non-Kindle dedicated eReaders (i.e. non-tablets with black and white screens).
  • Downloading/Transferring: To transfer to basic Nooks and non-Kindle eReaders, check it out, then download into Adobe Digital Editions on PC, and then transfer to device over USB. You will need Adobe Digital Editions.

    *NOTE re: Mobile Devices: You cannot download PDF directly to a mobile device using the Overdrive Media Console App.

    Returning: PDF titles can be returned early from Adobe Digital Editions (on a PC).
    NOTE: Before you choose a format for download, any title can be returned from your account at Overdrive using the "return" button next to the cover.

    Open ePub & Open PDF

    Definition: Open ePub and Open PDF are similar in display function to their counterparts, but are purported to be usable on a wider variety of devices. This is because the formats do not require Authorization with an Adobe ID. While this makes them more technically "Open," there are some drawbacks. Downloading into Adobe Digital Editions is not as direct (link to instructions), and they cannot be returned early.

    Compatible Devices:*

  • Windows or Macintosh computers
  • Nooks and other non-Kindle dedicated eReaders (i.e. non-tablets with black and white screens).
  • iPads, iPod Touches/iPhones
  • Android phones and tablets
  • Kindle Fire/Fire HD tablets
  • Downloading/Transferring: To transfer to basic Nooks and non-Kindle eReaders, check it out, save the file using the "Right-Click-to-Save" button, and then open it in into Adobe Digital Editions on PC. You can then transfer to device over USB.

    * NOTE re: Mobile Devices: You cannot download Open PDF directly to a mobile device using the Overdrive Media Console App. Open ePub, however, can be directly downloaded to the App.

    Returning: Open ePub and Open PDF cannot be returned early.

    Always Available (Gutenberg)

    Definition: Always Available eBooks are provided by the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation, whose mission is to preserve and make available digital copies of out-of-copyright literature/reading material free of charge and for unrestricted use on all devices and platforms. The ePub versions of these titles can be accessed via the Overdrive catalog where you find the other materials. The Project Gutenberg website (http://www.gutenberg.org) makes these same titles available in various formats, including HTML, ePub, Kindle, Text, and others, free to download, distribute, and even edit as you desire.

    Compatible Devices:

  • Windows or Macintosh computers
  • Nooks and other non-Kindle dedicated eReaders (i.e. non-tablets with black and white screens).
  • iPads, iPod Touches/iPhones
  • Android phones and tablets
  • Kindle Fire/Fire HD tablets (via the Gutenberg website, http://www.gutenberg.org)
  • Downloading/Transferring: To transfer to basic Nooks and non-Kindle eReaders, save the file (no checkout necessary) using the "Download" button, and then open it in into Adobe Digital Editions on PC. You can then transfer to device over USB. You can also download these titles directly into the Overdrive Media Console app on mobile devices. Kindle Fire models can access the same titles directly via the Gutenberg website, http://www.gutenberg.org.

    Returning: Always Available/Gutenberg titles do not need to be returned and do not count against your limit of 5 checked out items.

    MP3

    Definition: MP3 is an audio format designed to be lightweight, i.e. not take up as much data storage space. It is a common format for distributing music to consumers, and is widely used in distributing audiobooks, along with the WMA format discussed above. The main different in Overdrive WMA and Overdrive MP3 is that WMA has stronger licensing protection and is Windows specific, which limits the platforms that can use it. MP3 is more widely compatible.

    Compatible Devices:

  • Windows or Macintosh computers
  • iPads, iPod Touches/iPhones
  • Android phones and tablets
  • Kindle Fire/Fire HD tablets
  • Downloading/Transferring: Check out the MP3, download it into Overdrive Media Console, and then you can either listen on the PC or transfer to a device over USB. You will need Overdrive Media Console, and--if you are transferring to an iOS device--iTunes. Or you can download MP3 audiobooks directly to a mobile device using the Overdrive Media Console App

    Returning: Overdrive MP3 can be returned from Overdrive Media Console on a computer or from the Overdrive Media Console App on a mobile device.
    NOTE: Before you choose a format for download, any title can be returned from your account at Overdrive using the "return" button next to the cover.

    WMA

    Definition: WMA, or Windows Media Audio, is a proprietary audio format developed by Microsoft. Note that Overdrive WMA titles contain strong DRM (Digital Rights Management) options and as such can lead to some extreme restrictions on how those titles can be transferred and used.
    NOTE: You will see that most of our Overdrive Audiobooks are in WMA format. This is because most publishers choose to publish in this format because of its strong Digital Rights Management component that allows great control of Licensing and Distribution.

    Compatible Devices:*

  • Windows computers (but NOT to Macintosh)
  • Can be transferred from Windows computer to an iPod Touch/iPhone/iPad.
  • Downloading/Transferring: Check out the WMA, download it into Overdrive Media Console, and then you can either listen on the PC or transfer to a device over USB.

    *You will need the Overdrive Media Consoles software for PC, a recent version of Windows Media Player, and--if you are transferring to an iOS device--iTunes, with the "Manually Manage Music" setting enabled.

    Android devices will NOT accept Overdrive WMA Audiobooks. Many non-iOS devices seem to have trouble with Overdrive WMA, so please check the compatibility list at Overdrive for your specific device.

    Returning: WMA Audiobooks cannot be returned early once downloaded.
    NOTE: Before you choose a format for download, any title can be returned from your account at Overdrive using the "return" button next to the cover.