Audio Download Frequently Asked Questions

WMA Audio Downloads

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What is an WMA Audiobook?

An WMA Audiobook title is a digitally-protected audiobook that has been optimized for download. WMA Audiobook titles are built using the Microsoft® Windows Media Audio format, which greatly enhances the sound quality for desktop listening, play of CD copies (where permitted by the publisher), and portable device use.

Why can't I use WMA Audiobook titles on the Mac?

WMA Audiobook titles, provided by OverDrive, Inc., use DRM protection technology from Microsoft Corporation. The Mac operating system does not support DRM-protected WMA files.

OverDrive, along with hundreds of online digital media providers, is hopeful that Apple and Microsoft can reach an agreement that would enable support for Microsoft-based DRM-protected materials on the Mac.

Once I have purchased an WMA Audiobook title, how do I download it?

After you have installed OverDrive Media Console, download the title as followsÂ…

  1. After the audiobook has been purchased, click on the 'Download' button.
    Depending on your operating system and settings, you may be prompted to open or save the file. If you choose to save the file, navigate to the saved file and double-click it. Otherwise, choose to open the file.
    OverDrive Media Console opens and the 'Get Media' dialog box is displayed.
  2. In the OverDrive Media Console 'Get Media' dialog box, leave the default file path or specify a download location. Click the 'OK' button.
    The 'Download' dialog box is displayed.
  3. In the 'Download' dialog box, choose which Part(s) you would like to download by placing a checkmark next to the desired Part(s), then click the 'OK' button.
    The 'Download' dialog box closes, and the file download begins. Download progress is displayed for each Part in the OverDrive Media Console Status Bar (when enabled, the status bar is displayed across the bottom of the OverDrive Media Console window).
    When the download is complete, click the 'Play' button to play the title.

The license for the audio title can be downloaded three times from this website. Please note that this restriction only applies to downloading the license from this website. After you have downloaded the license, you may download the audio files as needed using OverDrive Media Console.

How do I download an WMA Audiobook title using Firefox?

After you have installed OverDrive Media Console, download the title as follows…

  1. After purchasing the title, click on the 'Download' button
  2. If prompted, choose option 'Open with', and browse to 'OverDrive Media Console'. You can optionally adjust your settings so that you do not have to repeat this step going forward, check the box next to 'Do this automatically for files like this from now on'.
    OverDrive Media Console opens and prompts you to specify a download location for the file.
  3. In the OverDrive Media Console 'Get Media' dialog box, leave the default file path or specify a download location. Click the 'OK' button.
    The 'Download' dialog box is displayed.
  4. In the 'Download' dialog box, choose which Part(s) you would like to download by placing a checkmark next to the desired Part(s), then click the 'OK' button.
    The 'Download' dialog box closes, and the file download begins. Download progress is displayed for each Part in the OverDrive Media Console Status Bar (when enabled, the status bar is displayed across the bottom of the OverDrive Media Console window).
    When the download is complete, click the 'Play' button to play the title.

Note that the initial download is a small file; you download the actual audiobook file(s) from within OverDrive Media Console.

If you've already downloaded a file with Firefox and are unable to open it, complete the following steps:

If you have Firefox 3.0 (or newer)...

  1. Open Firefox.
  2. Go to Tools > Options.
    The 'Options' dialog box is displayed.
  3. Select 'Applications'.
    The 'Applications' options are displayed.
  4. Search for the 'ODM' file extension.
    The 'ODM file' content type is displayed.
  5. Click the 'Action' column drop down for the 'ODM file' entry and select 'Use Other...'
    The 'Select Helper Application' dialog box is displayed.
  6. In the 'Select Helper Application' dialog box, click the 'Browse' button and navigate to the location at which OverDrive Media Console is installed (by default the application is installed to C:\Program Files\OverDrive Media Console) and select 'MediaConsole.exe'.
  7. Click 'Open' in the 'Select Helper Application' dialog box.
    The 'Select Helper Application' dialog box closes. The 'Options' dialog box is displayed. The 'Action' column for the 'ODM file' entry displays 'Use OverDrive Media Console'.
  8. Click 'OK' to exit the 'Options' dialog box.
  9. Be sure you are connected to the Internet, and browse to the ODM file you were unable to open. Double-click the file.
    OverDrive Media Console launches and prompts you to download the title.

If you have Firefox 2.0:

  1. Open Firefox.
  2. Go to Tools > Options.
    The 'Options' dialog box is displayed.
  3. Select 'Content'.
    The 'Content' options are displayed.
  4. Under the 'File Types' heading, click the 'Manage:' button.
    The 'Download Actions' dialog box is displayed.
  5. Select the 'ODM' file extension and click the 'Change Action' button.
    The 'Change Action' dialog box is displayed.
  6. Select option 'Open them with this application'.
    The 'Select Helper Application' dialog box is displayed.
  7. In the 'Select Helper Application' dialog box, navigate to the location at which OverDrive Media Console is installed (by default the application is installed to C:\Program Files\OverDrive Media Console) and select 'MediaConsole.exe'.
  8. Click 'Open' in the 'Select Helper Application' dialog box.
    The 'Select Helper Application' dialog box closes.
  9. Click 'OK' in the 'Change Action' dialog box.
  10. Click 'Close' in the 'Download Actions' dialog box.
  11. Click 'OK' to exit the 'Options' dialog box.
  12. Be sure you are connected to the Internet and browse to the ODM file you were unable to open. Double-click the file.
    OverDrive Media Console launches and prompts you to download the title.

How do I listen to an WMA Audiobook?

When the audiobook has finished downloading, click the 'Play' button in OverDrive Media Console. The 'OverDrive Media Explorer™' window is displayed and the file begins playing.

If desired, you can navigate directly to a desired section of the audiobook. For ease of download and use, many OverDrive media titles are divided into Parts, and Parts are then divided into logical sections (such as chapters for audiobooks). The beginning points of these logical sections are MediaMarkers. Click on the desired Part to display associated MediaMarkers. Click the desired MediaMarker to start play at that point in the file.

Where are WMA Audiobooks saved on my computer?

The default download location depends on which operating system you have. WMA Audiobooks are saved to the following locations by default:

On Windows 7 and Windows Vista:
Documents > My Media > WMA Audiobooks

On Windows XP, Windows ME, Windows 2000, Windows 98SE, and Windows Mobile 5 and 6:
My Documents > My Media > WMA Audiobooks

OverDrive Media Console allows you to modify this default location and save WMA Audiobooks to an alternative location.

To which devices can I transfer WMA Audiobook titles?

To review a list of supported portable devices, click here.

Note that many WMA Audiobook titles can be transferred to Apple devices (where permitted by the publisher) using the Transfer Wizard in OverDrive Media Console v3.2 (or newer). For more information on transferring WMA Audiobook titles to Apple devices, click here.

In order to use WMA Audiobook titles on a device other than an iPod or an iPhone, the device must play DRM-protected Windows Media content, and either support the bit rate of 32kbps or be able to transcode 32kbps files to a supported bit rate. You may want to check device documentation to determine if a device supports DRM-protected Windows Media content at 32kbps.

If you intend to transfer WMA Audiobooks to a Zune device using OverDrive Media Console v3.1 (or newer), there are additional requirements you should review before attempting a transfer. To review additional requirements for transferring WMA Audiobook titles to Zune devices, click here.

To which devices can I transfer MP3 Audiobooks?

The devices to which you can transfer MP3 Audiobooks depend on which operating system you have.

If you intend to transfer MP3 Audiobooks to an Apple device on Mac or Windows, there are additional requirements you should review before attempting a transfer. To review additional requirements for transferring MP3 Audiobook titles to Apple devices, click here.

If you intend to transfer MP3 Audiobooks to a Zune device using OverDrive Media Console v3.1 (or newer), there are additional requirements you should review before attempting a transfer. To review additional requirements for transferring MP3 Audiobook titles to Zune devices, click here.

Can I transfer WMA Audiobook titles to Apple® devices?

Most WMA Audiobooks can be transferred to Apple devices (where permitted by the publisher) using OverDrive Media Console v3.2 (or newer). During the process of transferring WMA Audiobooks to Apple devices, OverDrive Media Console converts the WMA Audiobook files to DRM-protected AAC files.

For more information on converting WMA Audiobooks for transfer to Apple devices, click here.

For more information on determining whether a specific WMA Audiobook can be transferred to an Apple device, click here.

For instructions for transferring WMA Audiobooks to portable devices, click here.

To review system requirements and download OverDrive Media Console v3.2 (or newer), click here.

What additional requirements are there for transferring WMA Audiobooks to Apple devices?

If you intend to transfer WMA Audiobooks to an Apple device using OverDrive Media Console v3.2 (or newer), please note the following:

  • Many WMA Audiobooks can be transferred to Apple devices (where permitted by the publisher) using the Transfer Wizard in OverDrive Media Console v3.2 (or newer).
  • Before you begin, make sure that the desired title supports transfer to Apple devices. The publisher of each title decides whether or not to allow the title to be transferred to an Apple device. For more information on determining whether an WMA Audiobook can be transferred to an Apple device, click here.
  • iTunes v9.0.2 (or newer) must be installed.
  • The Apple device must be formatted for use with Microsoft Windows.
  • If you want to use the OverDrive Media Console Transfer Wizard to transfer content to an Apple device, the setting 'Manually manage music:' must be enabled in iTunes before you can complete the transfer. Adjust this setting as follows:
    1. Connect your device to your computer.
    2. If it does not launch automatically, open iTunes (v9.0.2 or newer).
    3. In iTunes, locate your device in the left vertical navigation panel (under heading 'DEVICES'), and click your device.
      The 'Summary' screen is displayed.
    4. If it is not already checked, place a checkmark next to option 'Manually manage music:'.
    5. Click the 'Apply' button.
      The iTunes 'Summary' screen refreshes, and your changes are saved.
    6. If desired, close iTunes.
  • When WMA Audiobooks are transferred to Apple devices, the DRM-protected WMA files that make up the audiobook must be converted. The conversion process typically takes a few minutes per Part, resulting in transfer times that are longer than what you typically see on your Apple device. For information on minimizing the time it takes to transfer WMA Audiobook titles to Apple devices, click here.

Why do I have to turn on 'Manually manage music…' in order to transfer WMA Audiobook to an Apple device?

By default, Apple devices have the option 'Manually manage music:' disabled. This works well when users want to automatically synch the iTunes Library on a single computer with the device whenever it is connected to that computer. However, an Apple device can only be automatically synched with iTunes on a single computer. For people who want to allow their Apple device to work with software other than iTunes and/or to receive content from multiple computers, the option 'Manually manage music:' must be enabled.

Why can some WMA Audiobook titles be transferred to an Apple device, but others cannot?

By default, Apple devices have the option 'Manually manage music:' disabled. This works well when users want to automatically synch the iTunes Library on a single computer with the device whenever it is connected to that computer. However, an Apple device can only be automatically synched with iTunes on a single computer. For people who want to allow their Apple device to work with software other than iTunes and/or to receive content from multiple computers, the option 'Manually manage music:' must be enabled.

How can I tell if an WMA Audiobook title can be transferred to an Apple device?

There are two places you can check to see if an WMA Audiobook title can be transferred to an Apple device. You can check at this website or, if you have already downloaded the title, you can use OverDrive Media Console.

At this website, check whether an WMA Audiobook title can be transferred to an Apple device as follows…

Search for the desired title, and click the title to bring up the page displaying details about the title. At this page, look for the heading 'Digital Rights Information'. The information listed here will clearly indicate whether or not the publisher has enabled transfer to Apple device functionality.

In OverDrive Media Console v3.2 (or newer), check whether a title that you have already downloaded can be converted for and transferred to an Apple device as follows…

  1. In OverDrive Media Console, highlight the desired title and click the 'Properties' button.
    The 'Properties' dialog box is displayed.
  2. Click the 'License' tab.
    'License details' for the selected title are displayed. The 'Transfer to Apple® device' field indicates whether the title can be transferred to an Apple device.
  3. Click the 'Cancel' button to close the 'Properties' dialog box.

How do I get the best experience when transferring WMA Audiobook titles to Apple devices?

Before transferring WMA Audiobooks to Apple devices, the OverDrive Media Console Transfer Wizard detects the iTunes settings that affect transfer time and sound quality. If your iTunes settings do not match OverDrive Media Console's recommended settings, the Transfer Wizard displays a prompt that shows both the current iTunes settings and the recommended settings. At this prompt, you can press the F1 key to access detailed instructions for updating iTunes settings. After the files are transferred to the device, the Transfer Wizard displays your previous iTunes settings so that you can, if desired, restore the original settings.

What additional requirements are there for transferring WMA Audiobook titles to Zune devices?

If you intend to transfer WMA Audiobook titles to a Zune device using OverDrive Media Console v3.1 (or newer), please note the following:

Can I use WMA Audiobook titles with a Palm device??

WMA Audiobook titles may be transferred to certain Palm devices with the help of a third party application called Pocket Tunes. For a list of supported Palm devices, see the Pocket Tunes website at http://www.pocket-tunes.com. For instructions on installing and using Pocket Tunes with WMA Audiobook titles, please see http://www.overdrive.com/resources/drc/pockettunes.asp.

For more information on purchasing Pocket Tunes, see the Pocket Tunes website at http://www.pocket-tunes.com.