OverDrive Media audiobooks - Do they expire?

OverDrive Media audiobooks from your local library are in DRM’d WMA format and are set to expire 10 days after checkout.  They expire on the PC and on many newer players, but not on most older players (e.g., they don’t expire on the Sansa e200-series nor the Connect).  It’s probably because older players have no calendar/clock function.

The Fuze seems great for audiobook listening, but before buying, I’d like to know if it expires OverDrive Media audiobooks. 

Both the E200 and connect have a calandar/clock function.  Such a requirement is required for DRM WMA to function properly.


If OverDrive Media audiobooks are designed to expire 10 days after checkout, then I would expect them to expire on the newer players that have “official” audiobook support.

If you don’t want the book to expire, purchase it. 

So… you want to know if it lets you circumvent the legal restriction placed on you by your local library?  Why not just use FairUse4WM or something then?

Yow.  I was just asking.  I think my behavior is totally within the spirit of how my library operates.

I personally have no pirated music, for example.  I can always redownload the expired audiobooks from the library.  It’s just that sometimes it takes me more than 10 days to listen, and I want to save the hassle, especially when someone else has checked out the audiobook after me.  The library’s policy for paper books is to let me extend for another two weeks.  They’re just stuck with the audiobook policies that allow another to come in and check out the audiobook because that’s what software allows today.  

Good suggestion about the converter.  I have a free converter that strips DRM, but prefer not to use it because I feel that would be against the spirit of the library’s intentions, creating illegal audiobooks that would be transferrable to other players.

The following MTP players have been shown to not expire OverDrive Media audiobooks, at least in some combinations of OverDrive software and player firmware:

  • Sandisk Sansa e150 (not good for audiobooks because no resume function), Connect, e200-series, M200-series.

  • Creative Jukebox 3, Muvo Slim, Muvo TX FM, Nano Plus, Zen Micro, Zen V and V Plus.

  • Rio Forge (Terrific firmware for the time, or even for now, with bookmarks, resume, integrated SD card.  But somewhat buggy.)

and probably others. 

I have found that Overdrive content expires on your pc.  On the device I have seen content to last over a month without expiring.  You can always renew the license using your library card.

Message Edited by sansafix on 07-02-2008 11:57 AM

I want to save the hassle, especially when someone else has checked out the audiobook after me.

You have just hilighted the reason why it’s pirating, under the current laws. If you make a photocopy of a book from the library so that you can keep using it after someone else checks it out, is that better?

I don’t agree with the current laws, but that’s why it expires at the moment.  The library owns one copy, which they can transfer temporary usage to to one user.

Thanks.  Sandisk apparently has gone to a lot of work to please us spoken word listeners, in both the Fuze and the new Clip firmware, making this possibly the perfect audiobook and podcast player (ok, only ranked fifth in podcasts per MP3 Insider, but the Zune and iPod need a full software-firmware sync’ing infrastructure to get that top ranking, not drag-and-drop). 

Sandisk might as well leave this DRM hole there, or else they’ll possibly lose some of the OverDrive audiobook audience they have worked so hard to attract–some OverDrive listeners already know of, and appreciate this hole, and are beginning to look for it.  It’s not like we could be doing anything bad–book listening is a one-time thing.  No one’s going to leave a book on their player afterwards to needlessly take up space.  Or lend out their player to someone else.

Add me to the list of buyers, thanks to that final bit of unpublicized information.  Will also be recommending this to spoken word fans, after I get it and verify it’s as good as it seems.


OK, I see your point.  That makes sense, I missed that viewpoint.  Thanks for explaining it. 

If you enjoy Audiobooks as I do, give Audible.com a try.  Their subscription is quite reasonable, and the discounts on audio books are very good indeed.

They have a huge library as well. 

I had a stroke when I realized how expensive audiobooks from other sources are!

Bob  :smileyvery-happy:

Yea, I have an Audible subscription also;  the $7.50/1 credit for the first three months thing got me in.

It’s dissapointing how many books aren’t represented on Audible, though. :frowning:

Free is good, too.

Search to see if your library offers free OverDrive Media audiobooks.   (Under “SEARCH LIBRARIES” on the right.)  If not, then ask your local library, because they may have a tie-in with NetLibrary, also free.  The selection is considerably less than what Audible offers.  But so is the price.

Free is indeed nice, but I’m a bookworm.

I like to have a solid hardcover edition in the hand, but I’ve grown accustomed to a warm Sansa as well.  I love to go back and listen to favorite passages again, so I prefer to own a copy, digital or hardcover.

Paperbacks?  Cool for travel, but manhandling the spine on those wee beasties is a pain.

Bob  :stuck_out_tongue: 

Hi jj2me,

I use Overdrive.com and download Audio books from the local library all the time.  They only expired at the library-Overdrive level. Once you download them to your Sansa Fuze—they will remain there until you delete them.  I apologize for some of the inaccurate messages posted to you regarding this relatively simple question. Obviously the posters are not acquainted with the wonderful FREE audiobook systems that some county libraries are now offering via Overdrive.com    I just finished listening to “Firefly Lane”—a long book from our local library system. It’s been on my Fuze for weeks…

The library and Overdrive.com is a wonderful thing that is very helpful to low income and handicapped people whose family members can assist with so they can “Listen” to books without any cost.

I hope this helps answer your question


Thanks.  sansafix had answered my question.  And RomZombie had suggested a converter program in case the Fuze did expire OverDrive audiobooks. 

I agree with you about audiobook listeners generally not reacting like I expect when I introduce them to the wonderful free OverDrive audiobooks.  I guess they like the greater audiobook availability (though I’ll never be able to listen to all the OverDrive offerings) and better checkout accessability (never any waiting) of a paid subscription.  They must not mind spending for this added convenience.  Personally, once I discovered OverDrive, I thought for sure that Audible would be out of business by now.

I have been having trouble with both NetLibrary books and Overdrive with the Fuze. I load to the PC and can listen to them on the PC. I can then sync with the Fuze and see the files there. But when I try to play, I get a message telling me to re-sync to listen. I tried changing the genre to audiobooks. Then the file shows up as an audio book, but now it tells me to connect to the PC to listen.

Any ideas? 

Just checking, but you do use the OverDrive Media PC software’s “Transfer” button as your means of sync’ing, right?

The Overdrive Media console “Transfer” button launches Windows Media Player, which does the transfer. I admit that I have not always gone through the Overdrive console, but I just tried it again, no Luck. ALso I have trouble with downloading through NetLibrary. I am just wondering if I have a bad Fuze or if I need to reload the software. (I do have version V01.01.11A.)

I have WMP 11.0.6001.7000 installed on each of a Vista and XP PC, and version of OverDrive Media on each, and when I click the “Transfer” button, WMP doesn’t launch on either PC.  I don’t know if the launching of WMP is a problem or not.

jj2me, Thanks for the suggestions. I was using an older version of Overdrive media. I loaded the latest version (3.0) and was able to download directly to the Fuze. Unfortunately, the two books I downloaded still had problems with the licensing. In both cases one or two of the sections play OK, while the others give me a message “Synchronize to continue your music subscription.” I’ll keep working on it!

For anyone inerested, my inability to play audio books on the Fuze appears to be PC related. When I loaded the books from another PC (Vista) it worked OK. I’ll post back if I can find the specific cause of the problem…