OverDrive Listen

OverDrive recently revealed a new way to listen to audiobooks that requires little effort of the user outside of trying to figure out which audiobook to listen to next.

OverDrive Listen is the audiobook answer to OverDrive Read. In browser listening.

When you’re logged onto your NIDL/OverDrive account you can see what items you have checked out. It’s as easy as clicking on the icon named “Account” at the top of the page.

You can see in the image below there’s a button to download the audiobook, which can take some time. There’s also a button for Listen.Capture

When you click the button for Listen your browser opens a new tab with the audiobook so you can start listening right away. Just click the play button!   3

If you’re like me, you want to find out all the little details about how to use the new format. In the upper left corner of the item there’s three little bars (menu bars). If you click them you’re given some options. Tips & Secrets has a lot of great information in there. Going through that before anything else really helped me get a feel for Listen.   4

If you’re used to the app for devices like smartphones and tablets it looks like there’s not a way to change the speed that the narrator reads, but if you click on the option that reads Audio Settings the menu below reveals that it is possible, just not on the front of the screen. You can also play with the volume if you don’t want to play with your computer volume.5

OverDrive has been great in their advancements about helping patrons keep their place in a book among multiple devices. If you’ve read listened to your audiobook on another computer or device when you open the book up you should see a message similar to the one below. If you click OK, your book will sync to the last page you read. If you click Cancel the book will start at the beginning. If you hit cancel on accident don’t worry. It’s easy to skip forward in OverDrive’s new Listen format.2

Two things to keep in mind when using OverDrive’s new Listen format.

1. If you’re using a mobile device with data, Listen does eat into the data as it is a streaming service.

2. If you’re using a device where you don’t have Wi-Fi and the device doesn’t have data (for instance, most laptops), Listen will not work because this is a streaming feature.

Still have questions about OverDrive Listen or the library’s downloadable material? Contact us. We offer free one-on-one Technology Tutoring.

OverDrive has has some great help links for getting started and for more detail on how to use OverDrive Listen.

Heather: While OverDrive Listen hasn’t been out that long I’m already thrilled with it. As someone who listens to background noise while cleaning being able to play through my Wi-Fi connection instead of downloading the item is wonderful and I still have the OverDrive app if I want to leave Wi-Fi areas. I think Listen is going to be a great thing for audiobook patrons who have been using a computer while entirely in Wi-Fi areas.


About Heather

I often go by Razor as my nickname based on my maiden name. I work at a library and also write. I write anything from novels to poetry and I live for the written word.
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