Friday, May 2, 2008

Thing #22 : ListenNJ

Do you know what a digital audio book is?

Digital audio books are similar to the audio books that the library circulates. Instead of picking them up at the library, you can download them on your home computer. Once you have downloaded the audio book it can be listened to on the computer. Some titles can transferred to an MP3 player or burnt onto a CD.

Did you know that Ocean County Library offers its customers through ListenNJ ?

ListenNJ offers a wide variety of audio books for customers to access from their home computers. Topics include fiction, biographies, business, children’s literature, current events, history, mystery, romance, suspense and more.

To access digital books at ListenNJ you will need:

  • A valid Ocean County Library Card
  • Access to the Internet
  • OverDrive Audio Book and Windows Media Player 9.0 software (both are free and available to download from ListenNJ)
  • An MP3 player

Currently, ListenNJ is not compatible with the following devices:

  • Apple Macintosh computers
  • Apple iPod portable media players
  • Microsoft Zune portable media players.

If you have one of these products, fear not. ListenNJ’s parent company OverDrive announced that they are working on supporting these products in the future.

UPDATE for IPod OwnersOctober 3, 2008

Over two hundred titles are now available on ListenNJ's website in MP3 (IPod compatible) format. To see a complete list, choose the advanced search option, then choose "Overdrive MP3 audiobook" as the format. Click search and you'll see the complete list. You can check the box "Only show titles with copies available" if you want to see only what can be downloaded immediately. You can get on the waiting list for titles already checked out.

Discovery Resource
Ocean County Library’s instructions for ListenNJ downloading. You'll need your library card number to use ListenNJ.

Discovery Exercise
If you have a MP3 player already, great. You'll download a book to the player and listen to some of the audio to make sure everything worked. If you don't have a MP3 player (yet) or don't want to download a book to your MP3 player, that's okay. Use the instructions above. Go to ListenNJ and download a book of your choosing onto your computer (use a PC Plus computer at work) and listen to some of the book to make sure everything worked.

Hint: To make it easier to find the downloaded file, download it to the desktop. Once you're done with the exercise, delete the file off the desktop.

Don't forget to blog about your experience downloading a book through ListenNJ.

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