The Sun Goes Down on WMA and WMV

As you may remember, OverDrive previously announced their intention to retire the WMA (audio book) and WMV (downloadable video) formats from all OverDrive collections.  The good news is that despite this change almost all of our audio book collection will still be available in the MP3 format and many of our videos will continue to be available as streaming video.

The original drop dead date was set for early March.  However, OverDrive is still working to gain the permissions to convert as much of the remaining WMA and WMV content to MP3 and streaming video formats as possible.  As a result, WMA and WMV files will remain in our collection until May 2015, though no new titles will be available in these formats.

When the formats are retired there will be titles previously part of our collection that will still not be available in MP3 or streaming video format.  These titles will automatically be removed from our collection.  We will also remove the catalog records so they do not appear in our online catalog or Sierra.  OverDrive will update all related articles in the OverDrive Help section in time for the May 2015 change.

This change should not result in undue complications or frustrations for our patrons. The MP3 file format has much greater compatibility than WMA and our downloadable video collection was not well used. In fact, we’ve already seen a modest increase in OverDrive video check-outs since some titles became available to stream so it seems likely that the change’s impact will be positive overall.

Lisa – CLP



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New Details About the Zinio Update

Today we learned a few new details about the March 10th update to Zinio, as well as some future enhancements to look forward to.

As you hopefully all know by now, the major change will be the elimination of the two-account sign-in process. Patrons will no longer need to login twice or access the Zinio consumer site to complete the check-out process and read their titles. All of their browsing and check-out activity will take place on our Zinio for Libraries site.Here are the details that are new (or clarified):

  • Our Zinio site will have messaging notifying patrons about the new app. (This is a completely different app from the current Zinio app, so there will not be an update notification for people who have already downloaded the existing app.)
  • The first time patrons sign in using the new app they will be prompted to select their country, state, and library.  We will be listed as “Pittsburgh Area Libraries (Allegheny County).”  After that step they will be prompted to select their specific library.  Users will only need to do this the first time they log in.
  • According to our rep, the iPad app is also for iPhone. However, the test site for the new Zinio for Libraries page lists the newly available apps as iPad and Android.  Hopefully they will change the wording to add iPhone to the list before the March 10th launch date, but we wanted to let you know, just in case.

Here’s what else we already shared about the update:

And finally, here’s what near-future enhancements we can look forward to:

  • By the end of March online reading should be possible on iOS, Android, and Windows 8 tablets.  Patrons will be able to immediately start reading their magazines in their browsers as long as they are connected to the internet. For offline reading they will still need to download the magazines.
  • A device detector will also be added at the end of the month, making it even easier for patrons to complete the check-out, downloading, and reading process.
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eResource Challenge Lite #5

Truly, spring is on the way! The calendar – and don’t forget Phil – said it will be so. Spring is associated with “renewal” – this may be your time to renew your commitment to the eResource Challenge Lite!

We congratulate Whitney W., February’s eResource Challenge Lite winner. Give us your response to March’s challenge in the comment box below – respond by March 17 – St. Patrick’s Day! – and you might be the lucky winner of our fabulous prizes.

This month’s challenge:

A patron comes in expecting your library to have old city directories. You don’t have physical copies but many are available elsewhere. Where?

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