Club Admiralty

v7.2 - moving along, a point increase at a time

Club Admiralty Blog

A blog about life in general, in as many languages as I can manage. Ενα ιστολόγιο περι ζωής, πολυγλωσσο - σε όσες γλωσσες εχω μεράκι να γράψω.

Overdrive FAIL

The other day I was curious to see if Overdrive had an iOS app that I could load on my iPod Touch or iPhone so I can take advantage of the service offerings of my local public library.  I often go to the library to get videos or books (and on occasion books on CD), but lately I haven't had much of an opportunity to browse the stacks - and quite honestly my academic library keeps me busy with academic reading.  

One thing that my public library has that my academic library does not is a subscription to overdrive.  They provide eBooks and audiobooks that can be checked out for the same period as any other regular item that your library checks out.  It turns out that there are books on overdrive that I've wanted to read (or listen to) for a while, but I haven't been able to listen to because they are in WMA format (so my old iPod Classic, and N800 Nokia internet tablet would not play back).  

Happy to see that were was an iOS app for overdrive, I downloaded it and thought that I would be able to both read ebooks (through adobe digital editions) and listen to all those WMA books that I could not before! Score!  But it wasn't so...this app has three major fails:

1) You can't search from within the app!  It launches a browser window and from there you browse your library's mobile site to do a book search.  Once you've searched for a book and you've found it, you click (tap) on a link and the link handler opens Overdrive again and links the book loan to that device...FAIL!  This is too much of a roundabout way to get content!

2) No support for adobe digital editions (FAIL), so I can't read eBooks that I get on loan from my library on my iOS devices

3) No support for WMA (FAIL).  If a lot of the books you have are on WMA and I want to listen to them, I don't care that you have OTHER books on MP3!  It's great that you have MP3 offerings that work on my iOS device, but it's not the content I want to listen to! If you're creating an app anyway, why not license WMA plus whatever DRM you are using to make this possible and have your app handle the WMA playback - not is what I call "not rocket science"

After about 3 hours of having the app on my iPhone I removed it from my device.  I would say "nice try", but it seems like the folks at overdrive didn't even give it "the ol' college try."

Overdrive - FAIL
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