Staff Blog

OverDrive Read and Listen

The Idaho Falls Public Library recently received the following message from OverDrive:

“Last week, OverDrive released an update within the app related to OverDrive Read and OverDrive Listen. … We want to provide more explanation about why this change was made to assist you in responding to questions.

“OverDrive Read and OverDrive Listen are browser-based formats which are intended to be enjoyed via a device browser. In our continued efforts to simplify the user experience and reduce confusion around formats, we removed OverDrive Read and OverDrive Listen within the app to provide the best in-app experience, which is to download titles in EPUB or MP3 formats.

“Note: the only exception to this is if a title is only available in OverDrive Read or OverDrive Listen (for example, a read-along); those titles will continue to display in the app in their respective format.”

For those currently using these features

For those who are currently reading or listening to a title using OverDrive Read or Listen, the message continues:

“For app users who were reading or listening to a title using OverDrive Read or OverDrive Listen, they can switch to their device’s web browser and access the title from their Loans page at your digital library website. This will allow them to continue reading or listening from where they left off previously. Once their current checkouts expire and they return to the app, they’ll be able to borrow and enjoy titles again within the app.”

In other words, OverDrive users who were previously reading or streaming audio within the OverDrive app (not having downloaded the epub or mp3 file to their devices) can no longer do this. They need to read or listen using a computer or mobile device internet browser (.e.g., Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Safari, Silk, etc.)

Here are two pictures that demonstrate the difference. I borrowed an available audiobook this morning and opened my account within the OverDrive app (first picture). You’ll notice that I have only one option: download the book. Then I opened the same loan in my mobile internet browser (second picture). You’ll notice here that I can download or stream the audiobook.

Screen shot of an OverDrive loan taken from the Overdrive app

View of an audiobook loan from within the OverDrive app

Screen shot of an OverDrive loan taken from a mobile browser

View of an audiobook loan from within a mobile internet app

For those who want to stream an audiobook (listen in browser), our digital library website link is:

Library staff, please be aware of this change so you can help patrons as questions arise. Thank you!