OverDrive Media Console – Library eBooks and Audiobooks

Category: 

Description of App: 

Download eBooks and audiobooks from your library directly to your iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch!

OverDrive Media Console gives you on-the-go access to eBooks and audiobooks from your public, school, or college library. More than 15,000 libraries worldwide offer best-selling and classic titles via OverDrive, so use the ‘Get Books’ feature in the app to find a library near you.

How do library eBooks and audiobooks work?

Digital titles from your library are borrowed just like print material. Once you find your library using ‘Get Books,’ you can browse your library’s digital collection on the web, check out a title with a valid library card, and download the title directly to your iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch.
While borrowing the digital title, you can enjoy it using the app’s eBook reader or audiobook player. Each EPUB eBook and MP3 audiobook that you check out has a lending period. The title automatically expires in the app at the end of the lending period, so there’s never a late fee. There’s even a handy countdown clock built into the app so you know how long you have to read or listen before the title expires.

What happens if a digital title is already checked out?

Just like with physical material from the library, you can join a waiting list. All you need to do is enter your email address and you’ll receive an alert when the title is available for check out.

Don’t want to wait? Many libraries offer thousands of EPUB eBook downloads that are always available. Just check for the ‘Additional eBooks’ link at the bottom of the digital collection homepage and you can get a free eBook from your library that’s yours to keep—without a lending period. You’ll discover timeless books and find yourself reading more than ever before with this diverse collection.

You can also download DRM-free EPUB eBooks from other online sources and read them in the OverDrive Media Console app.

Want more books?

Each library builds a custom digital collection of eBooks and audiobooks specifically for their local community. Contact your library and let them know that you are using OverDrive on your iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch and would like to see additional titles in the digital collection.

Version: 

2.6.4

Free or Paid: 

Free

Device(s) App Was Tested On: 

iPhone 4

Accessibility Comments: 

Apart from a couple of buttons that could be more clearly labelled, this app appears to be fully accessible to VoiceOver users.

Unfortunately I have not been able to fully test the app, as my local library does not support the OverDrive service. This means that I was only able to test the app with a single audiobook (which was only a short introduction to OverDrive). There was no problem with accessing the file or using the playback controls. I wasn't able to test the app with an eBook.

When viewing items in your library, there is a button after each title labelled 'Disclosure Arrow', which when double-tapped takes you to more information on that title.

Searching for a library that supports OverDrive was easy, as was marking a library as a favorite. When you want to browse the books available at a library, the app opens the library page in Safari. Browsing the books available from that library was accessible, although I could not test how accessible it would be to actually borrow a book.

When you run the app for the first time, you receive a pop-up alert. Unfortunately the text from this alert is not read by VoiceOver, so it is not immediately clear what you are being asked to do. The alert is asking that you provide an Adobe ID, so that the app can be authorized to view Adobe ePub files.

I wouldn't normally post an app to this site if I hadn't been able to fully test it for accessibility. However, I think it's worth making an exception in this case, as this could be a tremendously useful app for the blind. Hopefully somebody can give the app a more thorough testing, and post their findings.

VoiceOver Performance: 

VoiceOver reads all page elements.

Button Labeling: 

Most buttons are clearly labeled.

Usability: 

The app is fully accessible with VoiceOver and is easy to navigate and use.