Although I am a professional writer and blogger, keep up with the latest tech trends and consider myself something of a geek, there is one thing I do not do – use Apple products. I don’t own an iPod or iPhone and have no desire to do so. However, this is not a political or religious decision but simply a personal preference.
When Microsoft released the Zune, I was initially skeptical. However, the Brown Zune caught my eye due to its ugliness and unique design. Despite its appearance, the Zune is a good media player with great sound and video quality and a good interface. My only issue with it is that although a firmware update added audiobook functionality to the Zune, Microsoft did not add it to the desktop software. This means that users need to use third-party software to transfer audiobooks onto the device.
Audiobooks are a popular way for individuals with busy lifestyles to enjoy books. However, it can be difficult to get audiobooks from non-Audible and non-Overdrive sources onto a Zune. One option is to rip the files and install them like any other music file. However, this technique has its limitations – if you don’t listen to the entire audiobook in one sitting, you won’t be able to resume playing from where you left off. Editing the ID3 tags can help, setting the genre as ‘Podcast.’ This will put all the files onto your Zune as a podcast, allowing you to stop and resume at any point. However, this technique can be frustrating because the files often come out in a random order that is useless.
Fortunately, there is a solution to this problem – using Overdrive with Overdrive Audiobooks. The Overdrive Media Console is often used by libraries for handling DRM’ed, time-limited audiobook downloads for their clients. When you check out an Overdrive book, you download an ODM file to your hard drive. This file is opened with the Overdrive Media Console, which downloads the actual book. Once the book is on your computer, you can listen to it in Overdrive or transfer it to your device.
To install the audiobook onto your Zune, connect it to your PC and close the Zune software. Select the book you want to transfer and hit the ‘Transfer’ button, which will open the Overdrive Transfer Wizard. This will find the Zune and then ask you which parts you want to transfer over. Usually, you’ll select ‘All’ and wait until the files are transferred over. You can then click ‘Finish’ to return to the Overdrive Manager.
Deleting audiobooks from your Zune can be tricky. Instead of deleting the book from the Overdrive Media Console window, which will delete it from your hard drive but not from your Zune, select the book and click ‘Transfer’ as if you were going to put the book on your Zune. Deselect all the parts of the audiobook in the Transfer Wizard, hit ‘Next,’ and wait for the Transfer Wizard to replace the files that are already on your Zune with no files.
If you have your own audiobook that you’d like to listen to on your Zune, you’ll need to do a little prep-work. Firstly, you need to rip the audiobook using a ripper, such as CDex. To save space on your Zune, reduce the bitrate from what you’d use for music. 128k is more than adequate for most audiobooks. You can also rip in mono, cutting the file size in half. After ripping the audiobook, merge the files into one giant mp3 file using an mp3 merging program, such as Mergemp3. Select the folder where your files are and hit ‘Merge.’ Create a guide file using the Zune Overdrive Wax Creator. Save it in the same folder as your ripped audiobook and include a picture of the book’s cover in JPG format. Run the Wax Creator and choose the folder where your audiobook files are stored. The Zune will recognize the audiobook as a WAX file.
Although it can be difficult to get audiobooks onto a Zune, using Overdrive with Overdrive Audiobooks makes the process easier. By following these steps, you can rip audiobooks to your Zune and remove them quickly and easily. Now, you can enjoy all your favorite books on your Zune – and you won’t miss out on any of the action.