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Old 01-30-2020, 01:30 PM   #1
greentree
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Comparing Overdrive and Adobe Digital Additions

I recently began volunteering for a micro-publishing company that sells books online, including some ebooks that they created in epub format. For some years the company has been using Adobe Digital Additions for customer downloads, but we are considering switching to Overdrive, since it is so widely supported.

I realize this may not be a simple question to answer, but can people here tell me some of the main differences between the two platforms?

Also, one issue we run into is that Adobe Digital Additions has a lot of glitches when when transferring a personal library to a new computer. Is Overdrive better in that regard?
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Old 01-31-2020, 10:28 AM   #2
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Adobe Digital Editions.
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Old 01-31-2020, 11:13 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greentree View Post
I recently began volunteering for a micro-publishing company that sells books online, including some ebooks that they created in epub format. For some years the company has been using Adobe Digital Additions for customer downloads, but we are considering switching to Overdrive, since it is so widely supported.

I realize this may not be a simple question to answer, but can people here tell me some of the main differences between the two platforms?

Also, one issue we run into is that Adobe Digital Additions has a lot of glitches when when transferring a personal library to a new computer. Is Overdrive better in that regard?
If your eBooks have DRM, then switching to Overdrive will still require Adobe Digital Editions. So really, no difference.
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Old 01-31-2020, 12:03 PM   #4
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Agree with the above, they're not exactly equivalent. One is a reading software, they other is a distribution service.

You need to produce EPUB for either.

Adobe Digital Editions is an ebook reader that supports ebooks in PDF and EPUB formats.
Overdrive is a distributor (mainly libraries) that provides ebooks in many formats, including EPUB.

Ebooks can be with or without DRM. There multiple DRM technologies out there.
Adobe Digital Editions only supports DRM'd EPUBs and PDFs that use Adobe Content Server DRM (aka ACS).
Overdrive distributes EPUBs (and PDFs) with and without DRM. For those that require DRM, Overdrive also uses ACS.

Therefore, a DRM EPUB that distributed through OverDrive would be supported in Adobe Digital Editions.


Maybe you're referring to something else...but it's not clear based on your OP.
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Old 01-31-2020, 12:24 PM   #5
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While their customers might be using ADE to download the epubs, the corporate end would be using an Adobe Content Server. Both ACS and Overdrive have costs associated with them and the beancounters would have to decide which is the most cost effective solution.
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Old 01-31-2020, 02:06 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
If your eBooks have DRM, then switching to Overdrive will still require Adobe Digital Editions. So really, no difference.
The way I use my Kobo when I check out a library book that uses Overdrive is it downloads some ADE .acsm file to my PC, which I double click, which downloads the book into ADE, and I then use ADE's Show in Explorer menu item to then drag the book into Calibre.

I've never set it up or used it but my Kobo has something to set up accounts for both ADE and Overdrive. Can I download a library book from Overdrive directly to my Kobo bypassing my PC and Calibre? (That's what it says it's for so obviously I can.) If I were to do that, does it still go through ADE?

Addendum: there's also something called the Libby app for phones; same question there, when using Libby does it need to go through ADE when getting a book from the library?

Last edited by hobnail; 01-31-2020 at 02:20 PM.
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Old 01-31-2020, 03:09 PM   #7
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What you need to research is Overdrive "White Box" ebookstore services.

Also Direct2Digital and Smashwords, plus Ingram Spark and KINDLE DIRECT PUBLISHING.
You may find that separating publishing from distribution/retailing is a far better use of inhouse resources, cheaper and less complicated. And probably more effective with broader reach than running your own store off your website.

The smaller the publisher, the more sense it makes to go through an aggregator or distributor.
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Old 01-31-2020, 03:18 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hobnail View Post
The way I use my Kobo when I check out a library book that uses Overdrive is it downloads some ADE .acsm file to my PC, which I double click, which downloads the book into ADE, and I then use ADE's Show in Explorer menu item to then drag the book into Calibre.

I've never set it up or used it but my Kobo has something to set up accounts for both ADE and Overdrive. Can I download a library book from Overdrive directly to my Kobo bypassing my PC and Calibre? (That's what it says it's for so obviously I can.) If I were to do that, does it still go through ADE?

Addendum: there's also something called the Libby app for phones; same question there, when using Libby does it need to go through ADE when getting a book from the library?
From what I understand of the OP's post, it sounds like they are using an Adobe content server to serve the ePub with DRM (or they would not need to ask as it would just be a standard download without DRM). Overdrive can be contracted to serve ePub with DRM the same as ACS. Then there is Overdrive for libraries which is different and not what we are talking about. Libby is for Overdrive for libraries. So that's out.

To me, it sounds like it's a choice between ACS or Overdrive for serving the ePub with DRM. And in that case, you would still need Adobe Digital Editions to download the ePub no matter if it was being served by ACS or Overdrive. If if the possible switch was to get away from using ADE, then there's no difference as you'll need ADE in either case.
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Old 02-03-2020, 12:01 PM   #9
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Hey everyone. Thanks very much for all your responses! We were considering if it's possible to replace ADE with Overdrive, which it seems pretty clear now is not how it works, so this has been very helpful.
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