Thursday, September 5, 2013

Solved: that DRM issue in OverDrive

A Library2Go workshop at the Ashland library provided me with the necessary final step to perform a Digital Rights Management (DRM) upgrade to use my OverDrive Media Console. At No. 2 among 60 ways to use a library card for Library Card Sign-Up Month, library workshops explain how to access eBooks on patrons’ personal gadgets.

Here’s how Jessamyn C. West, author of Without a Net: Librarians Bridging the Digital Divide (Libraries Unlimited, 2010), explains the concept of DRM:
“Many things that you can’t do with a computer are things you can’t do because there’s a limitation built into the software. Often this limitation is built in because being able to do the thing you want to do -- usually some variants of making a copy of the file -- will eat into the revenue stream of whoever created the content in the first place.”
According to West, DRM is “at the root of a lot of the tech problems we have in the public library world once we’re beyond the ‘how do I use a mouse’ stage.”

That was certainly the case with my ability to listen to audio book files through my local library.

The Oregon Digital Library Consortium makes Library2Go, an OverDrive-powered lending platform, available to cardholders at member libraries.

Library2Go is pretty cool; I can read eBooks directly through my browser (OverDrive support for streaming audiobooks is supposed to come later this year).

But in order to play audio files through the OverDrive Media Console on my computer, I had to make a one-time security upgrade to a Windows Media Player file. From the console Tools menu, I’d click Windows Media Player Security Upgrade and nothing would happen. I’d go to the Microsoft DRM license website to make a manual update but the “Upgrade” button was grayed out.

Eric Molinsky, tech support for Library2Go, gives regular workshops at Jackson County libraries. I was confident that Molinsky and his son Andrew could help me if anybody could. Sure enough, they instructed me in how to complete that necessary security upgrade.

As I said earlier, the DRM license website displayed an “Upgrade” button that was grayed out. The solution was to change my Internet Explorer browser setting to “Compatibility Mode” (found under Developer Tools). Once that was done and I reloaded the site, the Upgrade button was active and I was able to complete the job.

This lifetime user has plenty of reasons to be grateful for libraries. eLending workshops are one of them. How may ways have you used your library card?

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