How to get free OverDrive audiobooks on your Windows Phone 7

Getting these free OverDrive audiobooks onto the Windows Phone may not be so straightforward, but it might be worth it if free audiobooks are valuable to you too!

Before you get started, make sure you have a library account from your local library.  You should check with your local library to see if they support ebook and audiobook lending via OverDrive.

First, download the OverDrive Media Console from your Windows Phone

Create a new Adobe Account ID if you do not already have one.  You will need this id for the DRM that comes with the audiobooks or e-books.

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From your Windows Phone, open up the OverDrive Media Console to authorize with your Adobe Account ID from the settings.  From OverDrive’s site, there’s a FAQ.

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Search for your library or OverDrive source from within the app.  Then login to the OverDrive site with your library account.

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Next search for audiobooks by filtering only by mp3 audiobooks.  There doesn’t seem to be support for wma audiobooks on Windows Phone at this time, so you will not find a download link.

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Browse and check out the audiobooks you wish, and follow the instructions from there to download your choices.

Rumors have it that Audible should release their Windows Phone app shortly too!  

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2011 Retrospective in e-books

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Image via CrunchBase

Via Shelfari, I’ve been tracking my information diet for a few years now.  Per usual, I am spending the majority of my time on my favorites: fantasy and literature.  I’d say that in retrospect, 2011 was a very good year in that I read 8 very good books out of the 35, of which I highly recommend!

Year 2011 was also the reading year in which I made a full conversion to reading digitally.  Between reading books on the Kindle 3, Safaribooksonline on the PC/mac/iPad, I found that my reading speed and comprehension are greatly enhanced.

I’ve also discovered the great joy of audiobooks to help me trudge through difficult parts of books or to give some reprieve for my eyes.  Audible’s introductory message of “audio books on tape” always makes me smirk.  It seems neither mediums “books” nor “tape” are relevant any longer!

I read 35 books this yearedit

Goal Completed (12/18/11) delete goal

Hide books that count towards this goal «

 

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My Week of Consumption and Reviews

Poke the Box by Seth Godin — 3/5 

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via amazon.com

I tolerated reading Godin’s latest motivational booklet, “Poke the Box,” which deserved the $1 I paid for it.  Unlike the other books I’ve hated so far, this book keeps the anecdotal to a minimum and keeps the wisdom pithy.  Though this book may have been much too short at 97 pages to be even considered a book at all, it makes sense.  There is simply not enough content to stretch across hundreds of pages for this genre.  

Anyway, my lukewarm endorsement is already a phenomenal statement coming from someone who has had a fairly negative reaction to the self-help genre of books.  The other book I attempted to read this week was Never Eat Alone, but I had to stop due to an allergic reaction to Ferrazzi’s purely marketing driven strategies.  The point I had to stop was when Ferrazzi claimed that the return on investment of amassing a finite personal network was infinite.  How on earth can any businessman legitimize the idea that a return was infinite?  Has any businessman ever learned math?  How is this not the birth of a Ponzi scheme?

Has no business school ever taught the idea that a finite resource is a zero sum game?

Well, my internal dialogue supposes that maybe it’s because I’ve never gone to business school that I can’t seem to grasp the ideas that are behind business.  This leads me nicely to the next sensational, storytelling/journalistic piece, The Big Short.  The Big Short profiles some men betting on systemic failure of the banking industry and some ideas behind the collapse of it.

 

Michael Lewis has an ability to tell real world events as if it were not a real world event.  Maybe this surrealism serves a literary purpose?  What struck me most, if Lewis’ facts are straight, is that the banking industry is run by incompetent management who are duped by the most “clever” of the dunces, all of whom are surrounded by mindless yes-men.  Lewis seems to indicate the 2008 collapse started a decade ago when these banking institutions began to lend money out like crazy and then towering bad investments on top of it.  But Lewis’ earlier book about the collapse of savings and loans in the 1980’s seems to indicate an identical problem going just a bit further back.  It appears as if no one in the banking institution had any self-awareness or ability to think critically about what they were doing, ever.  

 

And here is my fucking theory: a towering institution of incompetence can do nothing but generate more incompetence.  Going back to Ferrazzi again, I wonder how could it be possible that businessmen are taught hard facts about something being lead and then be expected to sell it as pure gold?  How can a businessman learn that the his goods are finite but sell it as infinite?  I think the only way to maintain this illusion, for the institution of business to perpetuate itself, is to maintain the level of stupidity.  No critical thinking means business runs smoothly, and the money must flow.

 

I don’t believe I have an entirely pessimistic perspective on the business world.  I admire entreprenuers as if they were some kind of superheroes.  I picked up Never Eat Alone because it was recommended reading for the entreprenuerial type by the entreprenuerial type.  Now, that I have questioned this book, I have to question the list as well.

 

I also played Dinner Date, winner of the Indie Game Fest 2011:

 

This perhaps the first ever First Person Subconscious game, where the player acts as a mere subconscious to the real consciousness running throughout the game.  It is somewhat pricey for about half an hour of entertainment but definitely worth it for the ingenuity. 

E-reader app cornucopia on the iPad!

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As a dedicated reading device the iPad does not disappoint on content, formatting and features. The only major drawback, the battery life, might negate all the enthusiasm which follows. I will keep this ipad for a week longer to see if I can get by without it and with just my e-ink kindle.

The Dream Come True: 

The Kobo app is a very cute e-reader with an achievement system. The achievements won me over immediately (because I’m a raging achievement whore and ) for being completely unique among all other reading apps. Kobo also has a reading statistics page that now seems like a grossly overlooked feature by all other apps. There is also a built in sync to Instapaper, without the document type limitation of the Kindle-Instapaper syncing. This app would make me more receptive to the Kobo e-ink reader if the device were cheaper than the Kindle’s $139 reader. The Kobo device, based on the gadgety blogs, is unfortunately only a bare minimum reader that has a slightly smaller form factor than Kindle 3.

My next favorite, the iBooks app, allows me to breeze through my PDFs. No other reader really lets me view my own documents, let along PDFs.  The missing feature is that i cannot annotate my documents.

The other reader which comes close to allowing some sort of open-ish platform is the Bluefire reader for allowing library book borrowing.  Bluefire also has a good built in book store that promotes free indie books. This app claims it gives you a choice between EPUB and PDF, but I found that the PDFs would not load.

Stanza has a great built in book store and has a section for downloading sheet music.

Flipboard is absolutely amazing. Screenshots do no justice.

The Kindle app is cool because it syncs my activities between my iPad and kindle e-ink device.

Gourmet live is among the few free and useful magazine apps.

The Underappreciated:

The Nook app was underwhelming, but that was mostly because I didn’t want to give them my credit card information just to sample a free book.  I never got far enough to read anything on this app so I can’t even pass judgement.  I also do not like going to Safari browser to do my shopping, but that is probably Safari’s fault.

SafariBooksOnline.com‘s mobile site was my only alternative to their reneged ipad app.  The formatting is tolerable but there is a notably missing swipe-to-turn-the-page feature.

The Google books seems to be something like a clone of Kindle free collection and a poor clone of the rest of Kindle’s collection.  Google also does not have an in-app store, but instead has a web store that borders on ugly and spartan.  Their free books usually starts out with a few scanned pages and then switches to OCR, which is interesting but not really aesthetically or functionally valuable.  

Conclusion?

Every app has something very outstanding about it, and there isn’t one app that rules them all. It would take that fully featured app to make iPad indispensable. Who will be crowned champion?

Sent from my iPad

Visualizing the History of the Usage of 500 Billion Words – Google Books Ngram

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Link: http://ngrams.googlelabs.com/

Free pulp fiction ebook: The Great Secret

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This is a rare case of quality, classic pulp fiction combined in a free digital package. While fans of physical media can purchase this book for under $10, the digital version is free as it should be. This is a collection of four individual, galactic adventure stories from early era of science fiction, reminiscent of early BattleStar Galactica and Star Trek. This is a quick read, packed with action, and not heavy on the didactic.

Google plays follow the leader into the crowded ebook space

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Great, just what I needed: another e-book platform to distract me from reading. Since I don’t have a reading tablet and I don’t read on my PC, I guess Google’s foray into this space hardly affects me.  I highly doubt I would do actual reading on a tablet, since it offers so many distractions!  It will take a significant amount of innovative excellence to sway the likes of me over to yet another gadget.  I am close though.

Some of the biggest bummers for me:

  • Google e-books won’t be compatible with the Kindle
  • Google books uses Adobe DRM
  • The iphone app is wickedly sluggish and the app doesn’t have an in-app store.  I do not like going to Safari for anything.  There must be an app for it!
  • When are they going to bring an app to the Windows 7 Phone (even though I have an iphone)?

Things I like:

  • I am excited to have easier access to Google’s free books.  I’m a big reader of the freebies, so I’ll take it.
  • Cross platform bookmark memory (which does not work according to other blogs)

Things I want:

  • A better social reading experience than what Copia is attempting at.  Allowing easy “online book club” experience for a social group
  • Better access to scholarly annotations or allowing educators to create teaching editions
  • Syncronized notes across platform even for books that are not distributed by the e-book provider.
  • Better aesthetics, like fonts, spacings, decorations that are typical to print editions. 

iPad Dominates as multipurpose e-reader

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Ipad definitely fills the gap that Kindle lacks for the full spectrum of e-reading. For a dedicated, upgrade of the paperback, Kindle cannot be beat. I wager that the majority of people reading e-books on the ipad are the casual crowd rather than the serious serial reader.

Kindle Owners by Age Group

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If there’s any correlation between reading, buying books, and intelligence, does this chart indicate that my age group is the dumbest among all age groups?

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