CLEVELAND - October 26, 2004) - OverDrive, Inc., the leading digital content vendor, today announced the availability of a next generation platform for distribution and enjoyment of digital audio books. OverDrive Audio Books, built on the framework of Microsoft Windows Media Player, offers unparalleled flexibility and ease-of-use for consumers to download and navigate, listen and enjoy popular audio materials. Publisher, retail, and library websites utilizing the platform will include Fictionwise.com, WHSmith Online, eFollett.com, King County Library System, Cleveland Public Library, and special libraries for the visually impaired, such as the Mid-Illinois Talking Book Center.
OverDrive audio books can be played on PCs and notebooks, burned to CD, or transferred to over 500 portable devices, including Pocket PCs, Smartphones, and MP3 devices that support Windows Media Audio format. Both dial-up and broadband users will enjoy more manageable and convenient downloading. The platform was also designed to provide improved accessibility to audio materials for the sight impaired.
A growing collection of over 1000 unabridged titles will be available for retail distribution and for libraries to lend to their patrons. Best selling authors available in the format include Nora Roberts, Tom Clancy, Stephen Coonts, P.J. O'Rourke, Elizabeth Lowell, Amy Tan, Catherine Coulter, and many more. OverDrive uses Windows Media Tools for copyright protection.
Highlights of the new platform include:
- OverDrive Media Console -- a free, Windows-based software application for organizing and using OverDrive Audio Books titles.
- OverDrive Media Explorer-- a useful on-screen index which displays information and direct links to available parts, chapters, and pages within an audio book.
- OverDrive MediaMarkers -- navigational cues embedded within each track. Users can jump directly to a specific location within an audio book.
Michael Snodgrass, President of Brilliance Audio, said, "OverDrive has raised the standard for the distribution of downloadable audio books by making digital titles available through a variety of channels. We're very pleased to be supplying titles for this exciting new platform, which should help increase the marketplace, consumer adoption, and overall enjoyment for this type of reading material."
Lori Bell, Director of the Mid-Illinois Talking Book Center, said, "We're delighted to be working with OverDrive, whose technology will provide the visually impaired community with convenient 24/7 access to best-selling audio book content using popular screen reader software."