OverDrive Basics

The Smyth County Public Library now offers downloadable WMA and MP3 Audiobooks and Ebooks in cooperation with other Southwest Virginia Public Libraries. Depending upon the title and your hardware, you'll be able to listen to these Audiobooks or read the Ebooks on your computer, from a CD, or on your portable device.

In order to check out items you will need your Library Card Number and PIN. If you do not know your PIN, bring your card into the Library and ask at the Circulation desk. For your security we can not give out PINs over the phone.


Let's Go! Or, What Do I Need to Start?

Before you begin downloading OverDrive titles, you’ll need to install or update a couple of programs. These will be one-time operations:
OverDrive Media Console This is required to download titles to your computer. It can also assist in burning titles to CD and transferring titles to your MP3 player (if applicable), but you can use your own methods to do these tasks if you wish. You can also listen to the titles through the OMC, utilizing its special features like creating "bookmarks". However, you can also use Windows Media Player to listen to most titles if you wish.

Download OverDrive Media Console for Windows or for Mac
OverDrive Media Console's Information Page

Update Windows Media Player 9 (or newer) Even if you already have WMP, you likely will need to upgrade its security component. To download the upgrade, open the OverDrive Media Console, go to Tools --> WMP Security Upgrade. Follow the License Acquisition steps, and play Overdrive’s jingle to complete the upgrade.

You are now ready to start downloading! Visit the links to the right for more help and information.


Can I play titles on my MP3 Player?

Most portable devices can play OverDrive MP3 titles, but WMA titles can only be transferred to portable devices that support DRM-protected WMA files. Check your manufacturer’s website, or search the internet, to see if your player supports DRM-WMA. If you are still unsure, follow these steps to test your unit for compatibility:

  1. OverDrive Media Console must be installed on your computer.
  2. Download this DRM-WMA test file.
  3. Transfer the test file to a portable device. For best results, it is recommended that you use the OverDrive Media Console to perform the transfer.
  4. Play the test file on the portable device.

If the file plays without issue, the device supports OverDrive WMA titles. If the device will not play the test file, or if playback is erratic, the device may not support the playback of DRM-WMA.

Click here to see what you can do if your device is not supported.

Apple devices support OverDrive MP3 titles only. OverDrive MP3 titles should play on the iPod Shuffle, but you must use iTunes to transfer OverDrive MP3 files to the device rather than using the OverDrive Media Console Transfer Wizard.

Click here for a partial list of known incompatible devices.


OverDrive Catalog Circulation Policies

Patrons can have four items checked out at a time. Patrons can place up to four OverDrive holds at a time. OverDrive holds do not affect regular catalog hold limits, and vice versa. Once the title you have placed on hold becomes available for check out, you will receive an email indicating the title is available. You will then have three days to check out the title before it is returned to the collection.

OverDrive titles check out for two or three weeks and cannot be returned early. They will automatically be returned at the end of the lending period. OverDrive items can not be renewed, but they can be checked out again if no other patron has a hold on the item. 

Click here to go to the Overdrive catalog