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Old 06-16-2011, 12:43 AM   #1
RockdaMan
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Under new Overdrive model users will no longer choose a file format, just 'ebook'

Wonderful!

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"This is going to be so good for customer service," said Clyde Scoles, director of the Toledo Public Library.
So what's going on? Overdrive has

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devised a streamlined lending platform as well as an expanded collection that the company is calling OverDrive Win.
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Among other things, the new model will eliminate the need for librarians to deal with various ebook file formats. Currently, OverDrive provides ebooks in three formats: EPUB, PDF and Mobipocket; and audiobooks in two: MP3 and WMA...Under the new system, librarians and patrons will not face this clutter and have to select only "ebook" or "audiobook."

It was not clear whether this would eliminate the need to purchase different versions separately for each format. Nor was it clear whether this implied that all formats will be available for all titles.
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Kindle Library Lending will soon be supported, as previously announced.
http://www.libraryjournal.com/lj/hom...m_and.html.csp
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Old 06-16-2011, 01:12 AM   #2
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"Following a series of meetings with the Ohio Metro Library Directors, OverDrive will address these challenges by announcing a series of platform enhancements at the American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference (booth #3326) in New Orleans, June 24-27, 2011."

It will be interesting to hear exactly what the "platform enhancements" will be.

http://www.overdrive.com/News/getArt...cleID=20110615
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Old 06-16-2011, 01:16 AM   #3
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Oh this isn't going to end well.

"Hrm, that's an interesting book, and it's available immediately. Okay, check it out ..." Surprise! PDF. Blech. I can handle epub or mobi, but PDF is not a valid ebook format.
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Old 06-16-2011, 01:17 AM   #4
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I don't see how they can 'eliminate the need to deal with various ebook formats.'

Many titles are only available in PDF because the layout is very significant (computer books, art books etc.), or because they use scripts that are not supported well by the current ePub/mobi reading systems (e.g. Chinese, Arabic, Hindi).

Conversely, many titles are not available as PDF because there's no business case for creating them for sale, much less for lending. So librarians still need to take format into account, they can't just order titles blindly.

There will be a high degree of parity between ePub and Kindle, because nearly all of the former are available in the latter (at least among the participating publishers). I think it's already been established that they won't have to purchase separate licenses for each format.

The Patron Driven Acquisition thing sounds good, though.
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Old 06-16-2011, 01:18 AM   #5
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Oh this isn't going to end well.

"Hrm, that's an interesting book, and it's available immediately. Okay, check it out ..." Surprise! PDF. Blech. I can handle epub or mobi, but PDF is not a valid ebook format.
If you read the article, they aren't talking about the enduser experience, but rather the library acquisitions people.
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Old 06-16-2011, 01:34 AM   #6
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If you read the article, they aren't talking about the enduser experience, but rather the library acquisitions people.
As far as file formats, it says "librarians and patrons".

I'd imagine some would get an error that says "this ebook not available for your device."
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Old 06-16-2011, 01:54 AM   #7
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My take on it is that libraries will just order the books they want and not worry about the format. Then it will be up to the patrons to choose the format upon checkout.

Let's say book A is available in ePub and PDF. Instead of currently ordering 2 ePubs and 1 PDF, under the new system, they just order 2 copies and the patron chooses the format. This will definitely make it much easier and cheaper for the libraries by taking the guess work out of how to divide funds over which formats.

It doesn't mean that books will now be available in all formats. They'll only be available in the formats that OverDrive has them in.
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Old 06-16-2011, 02:23 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by RockdaMan View Post
As far as file formats, it says "librarians and patrons".

I'd imagine some would get an error that says "this ebook not available for your device."
But what if "my device" is a PC that can read mobi, epub, and pdf? Unless I can set an option to only give me epub, this is going to be a disaster.
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Old 06-16-2011, 02:38 AM   #9
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But what if "my device" is a PC that can read mobi, epub, and pdf? Unless I can set an option to only give me epub, this is going to be a disaster.
Why? All you need to do is pick one of the formats available.
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Old 06-16-2011, 07:05 AM   #10
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I think that it was pointed out in other threads that many people don't know, and don't want to find out about file formats. So for the majority this is a good thing.
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Old 06-16-2011, 07:43 AM   #11
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I think that it was pointed out in other threads that many people don't know, and don't want to find out about file formats. So for the majority this is a good thing.
It's only a good thing if the unknown file format actually works well on your choice of reader. As stated above, if I borrow a book for my Kindle, or phone, and they send down a PDF I'm not going to be happy.
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Old 06-16-2011, 07:52 AM   #12
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What they are doing is that instead of brokering ebook files they will now be brokering ebook licenses, focusing on the content instead of the delivery medium. Long overdue.

As to how it'll work there's lots of ways they could simplify things; they could just ask the patron what device they have or what format the can use and only show files they can handle.

Too early to say it'll be a disaster or heaven.
All they're saying is ebooks are ebooks regardless of format.
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Old 06-16-2011, 07:56 AM   #13
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If there's an option for "No PDFs," I'll be happy.
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Old 06-16-2011, 08:00 AM   #14
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It's only a good thing if the unknown file format actually works well on your choice of reader. As stated above, if I borrow a book for my Kindle, or phone, and they send down a PDF I'm not going to be happy.
For a Kindle, the previous Overdrive announcement specifically said any library book that your library has will also be available as a Kindle book. This announcement seems to more generally say that ebooks/audiobooks should be platform agnostic...they will be available in the format you need. However, the number of licenses is still a restriction...if you only have 3 licenses for a particular book, you can only have three checkouts at a time.
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Old 06-16-2011, 08:02 AM   #15
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Too early to say it'll be a disaster or heaven.
Thank you. We already had the "it's the end of the world!" threads when this was touched upon when the announcement was made that Amazon was joining the library/overdrive game.

They'll be plenty of time for panic and general gnashing of teeth even after all the details are public knowledge. No need to waste a good rant this early in the game.
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