How to Borrow and Listen to OverDrive Audiobooks

Posted by on .

Do you love listening to audiobooks to kill time or to acquire knowledge? Audiobooks often cost more than eBooks. If you are an enthusiastic audiobook listener, you may find that you have spent a lot in buying audiobooks. Today I want to share OverDrive library with you, which is one of the greatest online library allowing you to easily borrow digital audiobooks from a public library and listen to them for free on any device. Here is the complete guide for you on how to borrow and listen to OverDrive audiobooks.

See Also: How to Read Overdrive eBooks on Kindle Paperwhite?

1. What is OverDrive?

OverDrive, a global distributor of digital contents for libraries and schools, provides you with a free service that lets you borrow library ebooks and audiobooks anytime and anywhere. Having cooperated with over 43,000 libraries and schools in 75 countries, it has become the leading digital reading platform for people to borrow a large catalog of digital media. If you love audiobooks, OverDrive is absolutely a perfect place you can't miss. As long as you have a library card or Student ID, you can get quick access to audiobooks you want from any libraries for free.


2. How to Borrow and Listen to Audiobooks Using OverDrive App

OverDrive library Audiobooks are available on all major devices including Android, iPhone, iPad, Kindle Fire, Windows and Mac. There are four choices for you to get started with OverDrive library.

• New Libby app (recommended for public library users)

• New Sora app (available for students in most school libraries)

• The original OverDrive app (for all other library or school users)


2.1 How to Use OverDrive App for Android/iPhone

Libby and OverDrive app actually do the same thing in book reading and audiobook listening. The only difference lies in the interface styling and user-friendliness. In short, Libby makes it much easier to find, borrow and enjoy audiobooks from your public library when OverDrive is little clunky for beginners. All you have to do is to download the Libby app to your Android or iPhone phones and then follow the setup prompts.

listen to overdrive audiobooks on android/iphone

Step 1. Download and install Libby app from Google Play Store or Apple App Store on your mobile phones.

Step 2. In Libby, you can follow the prompts to find your library and sign in with your library card.

Step 3. Search your library's collection and borrow a title. If some audiobook is not available, Libby will tell you how long you'll be in a queue before you can borrow it.

Step 4. After you borrow an audiobook, it will appear on the shelf. You can tab Shelf > Loans, and download it to start listening. Or you can tap the due date to see options like "Renew" and "Return".

2.2 How to Use OverDrive App for Kindle

If you're keeping a Kindle Fire, Fire HD or Fire HDX tablet, you can listen to library audiobooks using the OverDrive app. Note that Kindle eReaders are only compatible with library eBooks. Here is a guide for you to learn how to get started with the OverDrive app on your Kindle Fire tablets.

use OverDrive app for kindle

Step 1. Install the OverDrive app from the Amazon app store or from app.overdrive.com.

Step 2. Open the OverDrive app and follow the prompts to sign in using your library card or a free OverDrive account.

Step 3. In the OverDrive app, tap the icon in the top-left corner to open the Home Menu > Manage Libraries to search for your library and save its OverDrive collection to your library list. Saved libraries will then appear in the "Home Menu" above "Manage Libraries".

Step 4. Sign into your library with your library card and borrow a title.

Step 5. After you borrow an audiobook, you can select "Add to app" to add audiobooks directly to the OverDrive app, or select "listen" to open and play OverDrive audiobooks right in your web browser without downloading.

Step 6. To open all the titles you downloaded or added to the app, go to the "Bookshelf".

2.3 How to Use OverDrive App for Windows/Mac

You can also borrow and listen to OverDrive Audiobooks on your Windows/Mac computer. If you are using Windows 10, you can also install Libby app for Windows 10 on Microsoft Store; If you're on Windows 8/10, you can install OverDrive app for Windows 8/10.

listen to overdrive audiobooks on Windows/Mac

<1>These instructions are for Windows 8/10 users. Here take the OverDrive app for Windows 8/10 as an example.

Step 1. Install the OverDrive app for Windows 8/10 from Microsoft Store and sign in with your OverDrive account.

Step 2. Add a library to the app and open its digital collection.

Step 3. Find an available title in your library's collection and click "Borrow".

Step 4. Choose a lending period for the audiobook.

Step 5. After you borrow the title, you can download MP3 audiobooks to your app "Bookshelf".

<2>These instructions are for library users on Mac and Windows 7 (or older) computers.

Step 1. Download and install OverDrive Media Console for Windows/Mac.

OD Media Console for Windows OD Media Console for Mac

Step 2. Search a public library and find your library's collection on overdrive.com. Sign in (or sign up) using your OverDrive account and password.

Step 3. Find an available title in your library's collection and click "Borrow"

Step 4. Choose a lending period for the audiobook.

Step 5. After you borrow the title, you can listen to the audiobook in your web browser or download it to OverDrive Media Console to play. From there you can also transfer your audiobooks to MP3 players or any mobile device to keep them longer.

3. How to Download and Transfer OverDrive MP3 Audiobooks to any Mobile Device

Besides using the OverDrive app to listen to library audiobooks, you can also download the MP3 audiobooks and transfer them to an MP3 player or any mobile device. This works well on both Windows and Mac computers. If you want to listen to OverDrive Audiobooks using any other third-party app, you can follow these steps.

transfer overdrive audiobooks to an mp3 player

Step 1. Download and install OverDrive Media Console for Windows or OverDrive Media Console for Mac.

Step 2. Connect your phone/MP3 player/iPod/any other mobile device to your computer with a USB cable.

Step 3. For iPod only: Open iTunes, turn on the "Manually manage music" setting (or "Enable disk use" if you're using an iPod shuffle). This is a one-time step that is required to transfer audiobooks to your iPod from OverDrive Media Console.

Step 4. Open OverDrive Media Console, go to the Media Library > View All Media, Select an audiobook and click on Transfer.

Step 5. When your device is detected, make sure it's selected under "Player". Then you can select the parts you want and start to transfer by following the screen instructions.

4. How to Burn OverDrive Audiobooks to CDs

In addition, you can also burn OverDrive audiobooks to CDs using OverDrive Media Console for Windows or Mac.

burn OverDrive Audiobooks to CDs

Step 1. Download and install OverDrive Media Console for Windows or OverDrive Media Console for Mac.

Step 2. Open OverDrive Media Console. Select an audiobook and click the Burn button. The burn wizard will open

Step 3. Insert a blank CD into the CD drive on your computer.

Step 4. When the burn wizard detects your CD drive, you'll see the "Confirm" screen. Select the parts to burn. You'll need one CD for each part.

Step 5. When the burn finishes, you'll see the "Success". Click  "Finish" to close the wizard.

Frequently Asked Questions
Q1: How long can I borrow an audiobook?

A1: The lending period is 21 days for an audiobook. You can also adjust it to 7 or 14 days if you don't need the full 21 days.

Q2: How many titles can I check out at once?

A2: You can check out up to 20 titles at one time.

Q3: Can I Keep OverDrive audiobooks forever after I download the MP3 audiobooks?

A3: OverDrive says users will be prompted to delete MP3 files when the lending period ends. But MP3s are DRM-free, which makes that requirement hard to enforce. They’ll expire in the OverDrive app, but there’s nothing stopping you from saving copies. However, it might be more polite to delete the audiobooks when you finish it or buy some titles from the author in the future if you really like it.

5. OverDrive vs. Audible

OverDrive does offer you a free service to borrow and listen to a wide variety of audiobooks, as long as you have a library card or student ID. It won't cost a penny. However, there are not enough audiobooks on OverDrive library. Also you must queue for it if the audiobook is not available on the bookshelf, which may take a long time before you can truly get it. Such restrictions of library audiobooks might be a little annoying for most people. If you also meet this problem, you'd better buy audiobooks from Audible.

Compared with OverDrive, Audible contains much more audiobooks with more than 180,000+ titles available. It provides a better selection of audiobooks, and you don’t have to wait in line for popular books. One thing you must know is that Audible stands on the top of the audiobook industry and has the largest audiobook collections for you to buy. Besides, Audible offers a free trial which gives you 30 days of membership to get a free book and a credit. After that, the membership costs $14.95 per month. What's better, you are allowed to return or exchange Audible audiobook to get a refund if you don't like it.

Although there are many advantages we can find in Audible, there exists a drawback to audiobooks downloaded from Audible, that is the DRM protections which restrict you to playing them on limited devices and players. The Audible audiobooks are all aax/aa formats that can only opened via Audible app, which means that you cannot play them on any MP3 player app. This can be much troubling.

Anyway, you can download Epubor Audible Converter, the best Audible DRM removal and converter. With the help of Epubor Audible Converter, you can not only easily remove Audible DRM and convert Audible AAX/AA to MP3 in a few seconds with 100% lossless output quality, but also split your large audiobooks into several chapters. Just download it and give it a try.

Detailed Guide: The Official Guide to Convert Audible to MP3.

Download Epubor Audible Converter for Free


audible drm removal mac


loves technology & reading very much. She seeks the methods to enjoy eBooks and audiobooks more freely and wants to share everything new she has got with you.

Leave a comment
YourName *
Comments UBB Editor
Home > Guide >How to Borrow and Listen to OverDrive Audiobooks
mcafee badgenorton badge