Friday, March 6, 2009

Adobe Digital Editions & OverDrive Media Console

I recently found the site for British Columbia Online Library, where members of BC library can borrow the electronic versions of books. These do not include CD or DVD, but includes a sizable selection of ebooks (in DRM'ed PDF format) and audiobooks (in DRM'ed mp3/wma). The DRM is there to ensure that the files "expire" after the checkout duration (21 days for ebooks; 14 days for audiobooks).

Because the e-books and audiobooks are DRM-ladden, special softwares are needed before enjoying them.

The e-books require Adobe Reader version 6 or 7 with Adobe Digital Editions. This is quite troublesome, since my computer has the latest version of Adobe Reader (version 9), and it wouldn't work with version 9. I cannot install previous version without removing version 9.

So I need to take these steps:
1. Uninstall Reader 9
2. Install Reader 7
3. Install Adobe Digital Editions
4. Authorizing my computer to read the DRM books (by registering and logging in with Adobe username/password)
5. To enable reading those books on my PRS-505, I authorized my device as well (via Digital Editions, while connected to the computer).

This process is quite straight-forward and error-free. Oh, and I need to add that afterwards, I re-install Reader 9, and it doesn't affect the functionalities of the Digital Editions. I am still able to download/transfer the ebook files.

The audiobooks require OverDrive Media Console. Installing it is quite easy. But then it gives me an error everytime I try to download the audiobooks. "A problem has occured in retrieving the digital rights management machine identification," the pop-up window says. How frustrating!!

After googling around, I find a solution to this problem:
1. Open “Control Panel”.
2. Open “Folder Options” and select the “View” tab.
3. Select “Show hidden files and folders”.
4. Un-check “Hide protected operating system files”.
5. In the warning message you receive, click “Yes”.
6. Click “OK”.
7. Close the Control Panel.
8. Rename the DRM folder to DRM.old
Depending on your OS, it can be found in different locations:
- Windows 2000 and XP: C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\ DRM
- Windows 98: C:\Windows\All Users\DRM
- Windows ME: C:\Windows\DRM
9. Close this window and open OverDrive Media Console.
10. Go to “Tools > Windows Media Player Security Upgrade”.
11. Attempt to download an OverDrive Audio Book.

Now I can download the audiobooks and transfer them to my MUVO MP3 player.

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