Wednesday, November 24, 2010

NetLibrary Downloadable Audiobooks Training Notes


Much about our NetLibrary downloadable audiobooks has stayed the same, but there have been changes. These notes are a mix of reminders of things you might have forgotten and new information. If something's not talked about, it should work the same as it ever has.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about these notes or the training.

Melissa @ Central
651-266-7000 x5

Types of books:

Multi-access - Always available. No holds necessary. Unlimited use. Multiple patrons can use it at the same time.

Single-access - One patron per book at a time. Works the same way as a physical product. Patrons are put on hold and will be emailed when book is available.

WMA - Windows media audio - no iPods. Has Digital Rights Management (DRM). Refers to access control used by publishers which limits usage of digital media or devices. Publisher insists on the license that corrupts in 3 weeks. It enforces limitations on the usage.

MP3 - compatible with everything including iPods. No DRM. The limitations here are a function of the way the system works, instead of being imposed from the outside, as with DRM. There is no license.

Titles are segmented (tracks) by the hour.

We have the Adult Core Collection (purchased by MELSA).

2340+ titles to start (includes Modern Scholar, Coach in the Box, The Bible, and other specialty imprint titles).

Of those, 1180+ are MP3.

Every month 30 titles added at no additional cost. At least 20 of those are MP3s.

All titles in or added to this collection are Multi-Access.

Some of the WMAs will be retrospectively converted to iPod.

SPPL occasionally purchases additional titles. Those are single-access.

Whether a title is WMA or MP3 depends on what the author and publisher want. It’s a security and access issue. With DRM you have more security from pirating and misuse. With MP3 you have more access.

Downloading & Syncing:
To sync – to load onto your portable device.

Click on Download Options banner and it will analyze your machine and tell you which download method to use. There are 4 possible methods.

1. Media Center

This will be the recommended option most of the time. Still does not work with Macs.

Media Center doesn’t take too long to download - 3 minutes? But it does need to run Microsoft updates for the Windows Media Player (WMP), if the patron does not update regularly. This can take a little bit of time.

Automatically connects with the NetLibrary database. This program won’t work if you’re offline. Your books are stored on your hard drive, and it’s integrated with WMP, which is why WMP has to be properly updated.

It still works pretty much the same way. You can use it as a stand-alone utility that will allow you to search for books and download them with one click (after you attach your device to the computer). You don’t need to go to the NetLibrary website. However, you can still start your session and do your searching on the website, if you prefer, and then NetLibrary will launch Media Center when it’s time for you to do the One-Click downloading. (It’s One-Click because it downloads the book and the license, and syncs to your portable device in one step.)

Media Center can recommence interrupted downloads. Patron can choose to interrupt a download if they don’t have enough time, or just want the first 2 tracks, etc.

If there’s a problem with Media Center – patron gets lost or confused, etc. hit the Home button and it’ll reset.

Note: Some people have trouble with Media Center if they’re running a 64 bit computer and don’t have the latest Windows 7 update. They should try running Windows Update, and see if that helps.

2. Download manager

This is a simplified version of Media Center. It allows you to manage your collection from your desktop.

You can download a book to your portable device, play it on your computer, and delete the file, all while being offline. Recommended for those with no or very slow internet connections, for instance if you have a laptop with WiFi but no home internet connection, or dial-up. You can take your laptop to someplace with WiFi and check out and download the book and then listen to it or sync it offline at home. This takes the place of putting your books on a flash and taking them home and using them there. With this process the license downloads automatically.

First go to the NetLibrary website and find and check out the book. Then go to Download Manager to complete the download.

Once it’s been checked out and downloaded - you don’t need an internet connection to use the manager. The files are stored on your hard drive.

Download Manager is also good for those who are new to computers or who are having issues with Media Center.

3. Manual Download

This is the basic download method using the NetLibrary website. It involves downloading the book and the license, and then using WMP or iTunes to sync the book to your portable device. Tip: Drag file from desktop or file into the WMP sync list instead of from within WMP.

This is the method that works with Macs.

For the iPad and iPhone 4 you should download and sync with iTunes.

Sometimes the license does not download correctly. First try playing the book on your computer and see if that gets the license to download. If that doesn’t work, then renew the book and that should trigger a license download. (For WMAs renewal means downloading a new license.)

Media Center and Download Manager don’t play well together – Media Center takes over. Can’t have both downloaded on one computer.

4. Smart Phones.

These devices mostly use MP3s, but not exclusively.

Media Center and Download Manager don’t automatically download to the device.

You can do a manual download and sync.

The process automatically creates a folder in Documents called NetLibrary.


You can change setting for connection to computer from “charge only” to “disk drive.“ Generally defaults to charge only. You can then literally drag and drop the files into the smart phone, just like you would onto a flash drive.

The mobile app’s coming. Right now the app stores are holding it for approval.

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