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Update on the Overdrive reading app

I stopped by the Overdrive booth at the National Book Festival yesterday and the Overdrive folks were kind enough to show me their new app. I couldn’t shoot a video, unfortunately, because the app is still in private beta. But they are still on schedule to be released this year, with Android coming first and iPhone, iPad coming later. And yes, the iPad will be getting its own app.

The new apps will support both ebooks and MP3 audiobooks checked out of your local library (they’re going to replace the existing Overdrive Media Console). I’m glad OMC is being replaced, actually; it was not a good experience.

They showed me the Android app (almost everyone in the booth had it on their Android smartphone).  It has a decent set of ebook options: 7 font sizes, several font types, brightness, and a night reading mode. There was also a CSS option that I didn’t quite understand. It looked like you could uncheck a box and ignore the CSS in the ebook.

That last one could be interesting; it’s one step away from letting the user control all formatting.

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Pat Montgomery September 27, 2010 um 2:33 am

You mentioned not liking the existing Overdrive Media Console. If you ever tried NetLibrary’s Media Manager, you would consider the OMC to be like gold in comparison.

What I want is the Overdrive DRM on eBooks to allow us to finish the book without having to check it out from the library again. Let us decide when to remove it from our readers. Sometimes, I just don’t have the time to finish the book within the check out period.

Pat Montgomery September 27, 2010 um 2:48 am

I just posted about the Overdrive Media Console (OMC) and I had another thought. You must be talking about the new OMC App for the iPad or Android. I am talking about the OMC for my computer for current Overdrive audiobooks. I would love the new app for iPad to be more like the original. Yes, the OMC App for my iPad is a piece of trash in its current form. I sure hope they improve it.

Fbone September 27, 2010 um 8:53 am

I forgot to have you ask them if they knew anything about Macmillan and S&S and if/when their books will be available.

Nate the great September 27, 2010 um 10:13 am

I believe the head of Macmillan has publicly stated that they will not do library ebooks – EVER.

Fbone September 27, 2010 um 1:04 pm

Yes, he has been very upfront about it. I was hoping Overdrive and John Sargent the CEO could have reached some type of NEW business model that he likes. He has said that a subscription system or per download royalty may be possible. In the end he said print editions have priority.

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