Download audio eBooks to your iPhone -- without a computer!

OverDrive iPhone app and Denver Public Library audio books -- at last!

I just discovered the OverDrive Media Console application for my iPhone! Now it's possible to find, download and listen to audio books without plugging your phone into a computer. This is nice if you're like me and don't want to haul around a laptop everywhere you go. Awesome. It's available at the iTunes Store for free! Add the OverDrive application to your iPhone or iTouch first, then start shopping!

To find libraries and stores that have mp3 audio book downloads, go to from your iPhone or iTouch browser. You can also get there by selecting "Help," the question mark icon at the bottom of your Overdrive Media iPhone app, which takes you out of the app, and into the "Getting Started" page. I use 80204, the Central Library's zip code to start my searches.

Unfortunately, you must choose an mp3 audio book if you're going to listen on your iPhone or iTouch, and the selection isn't too big yet. Don't try to download a WMA. It just won't work. If you do an advanced search, you can limit the list to mp3 files, which really simplifies things. You may have to place an item on hold if there are no available copies for checkout. Otherwise, proceed through the checkout steps.

Once you select the title you want to download, follow prompts to check it out, and then touch the download button. This automatically puts the title in your OverDrive Media library. Click the title of the book in the library, and then the "Download All" button. You're on your way! Depending on the speed of your connection, the download could take some time. I usually download one or two parts at a time, because that's all I have the patience for. Typically WiFi is faster than 3G.

Need more help? Visit the OverDrive Media Console site at iTunes, and happy listening!

Written by Melanie on August 24, 2010



You may also download the Media Console in various mobile platforms directly from OverDrive at

At this time, it is not possible to download eBooks to your mobile device unless it is an eReader that supports digital rights management (DRM), like the Barnes & Noble Nook, Sony Reader and Kobo eReader. DRM-protected eBooks from OverDrive are currently incompatible with the Amazon Kindle and Apple iPad. Hopefully in the future, book publishers and electronic device companies will reach an agreement that would allow eBook downloads to currently unsupported devices.


 I have been experimenting with Stanza, a free application available through the iTunes store.  Unfortunately, I have not been able to find any application that will allow you to read Denver Public Library titles on the iPhone, but Stanza does have several options for selecting free books that are no longer subject to copyright via Project Gutenberg, Random House and other online libraries.  You'll mostly find classics here, which doesn't appeal to everyone, but there is a fairly large selection.

You can also purchase more recently published books through sites like Fictionwise using the Stanza app.  
The free iBooks application for iPhone also features both free books and books that can be purchased.  Two recent bestsellers, Eat, Pray, Love, by Elizabeth Gilbert, and The Help, by Kathryn Stockett, each cost $12.99 to download, just to give you an idea.

A new app called "Bluefire Reader" allows you to download and read public library titles on an iPhone. It seems to be the only reader to allow the DRM files to work on an iPhone. Check it out!

Bill Starr on December 24, 2012


I use the Aldiko e-book reader on my Droid phone.

In order to read books from Overdrive, I select the book in Overdrive and tell it to download. It downloads a file with a ".acsm" extension to the "/mnt/sdcard/download" folder.

I use the free Astro file manager app to go to that folder and click on the ".acsm" file. This causes the actual ".epub" file to download to the phone and then I can import it into Aldiko and read it until the due date.

Bill Starr
Mon, 24 Dec 2012, 11:13 am EST

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