Friday, May 4, 2007

mp3 players for downloadable audiobooks

If you're looking for players that can be used with OverDrive and/or NetLibrary, I think OverDrive requires a bit more caution because the players have to be able to work with the OverDrive console. I'd thought that I read a while back that if a player was Plays for Sure compatible, it would work with OverDrive. Now they claim that's not always true. Sigh...

But they do have a list on their website of compatible

and incompatible devices

It looks to me like NetLibrary should work with any MP3 players that play WMA (Windows Media copy-protected files).

But they do have a very helpful list of tested players - pdf file.

I did a little browsing on the internet and came up with a list of possibilities that met my criteria:
  1. Had at least 1GB of flash memory
  2. Used replaceable batteries instead of internal rechargeables - I really don't think libraries want to deal with recharging batteries. Do you check out the cords and adapters along with the devices? No thanks.
  3. Worked with WMA copy protection.
This was the list of possibilities I came up with. I looked up prices on Amazon to get an idea of what they would cost. You can probably find them cheaper elsewhere.
  • Creative Zen Nano Plus 1 GB - $49.99

  • Creative Muvo V100 1GB - $39.99

  • Creative Muvo V100 2GB - $66.34

  • iriver T30 1GB - $109.45

  • iriver T10 1GB - $83.98

    There is a note on the OverDrive Device Resource Center page that the iriver players require a firmware update. I don't know whether or not this would resolve Robert's complaint in the comments. I suspect that the T series is being phased out because they are not currently offered for sale on the iriver website aside from refurbished models.

  • SanDisk Sansa c140 1GB - $69.98 - listed as compatible with OverDrive

  • SanDisk Sansa M240 1GB - $49.63

  • SanDisk Sansa M260 4GB - $154.92

  • SanDisk Sansa M250 2GB - $69.63

    Only the M230 is listed as compatible by OverDrive. That model has a 512 MB flash drive. The others in the M series would have to be tested.

  • Samsung YP-U2J 1GB - $45.83
For personal use, I'd be very interested in trying out Creative Zen Stone 1 GB - $39.99. But it's a rechargeable so I wouldn't recommend it for patron check out.

At any rate, I'd try to look at the device and try it out before I committed to buying several for my library to check out. If you hate it and can't use it, you can't expect your patrons to embrace it. One caveat, most of these are small with very small screens and controls.

For my own use, I prefer the slightly more upscale devices better. I find them easier to use. But most of these come up with internal rechargeable batteries. I haven't found any with bookmarking capabilities.


robert said...

I do not recommend the iRiver MP3 players for netllbrary audiobooks. They simply do not work - I spent few hours with their tech support - very helpful and all that but their products are not designed to play tracks longer than 4 or so minutes.

Anonymous said...

The Zen V/Zen V Plus have 10 bookmarks and work with netlibrary . With the firmware update on the creative site they also handle over 250 MB netlibrary files, which many players don't.