Why The Waiting Line For Audiobooks?

In Chicago, I just found out about the access to a service called “Overdrive” which allows you to take out downloadable media via your library card.

A lot of the files are limited though. In otherwords when you go to check it out it says “This item is checked out, please place a hold on the item.”

Now I was wondering, why? It’s a file, it should be able to be downloaded at will. I am guessing the company that makes the audio book (you can also check out videos and music online) only allows so many licenses per item for Overdrive, but could there be any other reason?

There are a few titles that say “always available.” Most of the videos, music and audio books are DRM (digital rights management) so you can’t rip them or copy them. (Well you can easily make an analog copy of them). But they do have mp3 too. It’s the WMA and WMV that are DRM’d.

(That’s aside though)

I was just wondering why the limit on the number of people who can download the file. It must be a marketing thing, though I can’t figure out why.

because if everyone in chicago could borrow it at the same time with no wait, then there would be no incentive for anyone to ever buy it. think about how your book purchase behavior would change if 10,000,000 people could check out a library book at the same time.

We’re a library that subscribes to Overdrive. It’s ridiculous. We have NetLibrary also, which has no limit on the number of “copies”. It’s just a dumbness.

It’s an intellectual property thing. The library still has to purchase a digital copy through Overdrive and that’s why it’s limited in the number that can check it out.

If you’ll notice, 99% of the “Always Available” titles are in the public domain.

It makes perfect sense that this would be the reason. If a library wants to be able to lend out multiple copies of something, it has to buy multiple copies of that thing. If it’s copyrighted, they can’t make their own copies to lend out, or allow their customers to do so.

As stated above, it’s a copyright thing. If you want more info, look into the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

Postin’ “me, too,” like some brain-dead AOLer.

I think it is probably the single biggest complaint I hear, from people who rave about everything else related to Overdrive. (I work in a public library.) They love the convenience, they just hate waiting in line for a digital file.