The Rakuten-owned library ebook and audiobook distributor announced on Wednesday the launch of OverDrive Listen, a new web app which lets you listen to audiobooks in your web browser.
Patrons can now browse their libraries catalog on the OverDrive website, check out an audiobook, and (if a publisher allows) immediately stream it in their web browser. OD Listen supports the same basic features as OverDrive Media Console, including bookmarks, jumping between chapters, variable playback speed, and more.
OverDrive Listen works on Windows, OSX, and on Chromebooks, and you can see an example at right.
According to the support pages, the app will also work on Safari on iOS 7 or above, and it works in Chrome on Android 4.1 and above. Curiously, the app is not compatible with either Kindle or Nook devices - not even if you have Chrome installed. (I would double check this detail except Google is being difficult about letting me download Chrome to my Fire HD.)
I've been testing OD Listen this morning on my Windows laptop, and it works pretty well. It doesn't like being stopped frequently, but that is not a defect so much as it is a sign that I should stop fiddling.
All in all this will prove useful on PCs, but not so much on mobile devices. When using OD content on the latter, one is more likely to be browsing and accessing the content from an app. Whereas on a PC, I find that I spend more time in the web browser (I don't even have OverDrive Media Console installed).