OverDrive: Free Audio Books, eBooks, Music and Video

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Audio books are great to listen to while in the car, working out, doing chores or just lounging around; but they are even better when they are free, right? A great resource for finding free audio book downloads as well as free eBook, video and music downloads is OverDrive.com.

This service is available for patrons of over 9,000 participating libraries worldwide and is compatible with most platforms, including PC or Mac computers, Nook eReader, Sony eReader, iPod and more.

How It Works

OverDrive is pretty similar to how you rent books from a library, except instead of renting the physical book, CD or video, you download a free copy of the title to your computer or other compatible device. This copy will available for a limited time.

When the rental period is up, the titles will expire and automatically be “returned” to the library. At that time, you can choose whether or not to delete the expired file from your computer or other device. You can have up to 6 titles checked out at a time.

Getting Started

To download OverDrive’s free audio books, eBooks, music and videos, you will need to have a valid library card from a participating library near you. Once you have your library card, you can visit OverDrive.com, type in your zip code and click on the link for the name of the library you have a card with.

You will be brought to another web page allowing you to browse available audio books, eBooks, music and video downloads with the option to view the most popular downloads and new arrivals.

Before you can start downloading, you will need to download and install the free OverDrive Media Console. You can find step-by-step instruction by clicking on the “Guided Tour” link or by clicking on the “Quick-Start” link towards the top of the main page.

Once the software is installed and activated, you can select the digital content you would like to download, add it to the cart and check out the title. Begin your download by clicking the “Download” button on the page displayed upon checkout.

Thanks, Money Saving Mom!

Your turn: What other free services do you take advantage of through your local library?


  1. Becky says

    Tabby, if you have a card in any of the metro area libraries, you can use that same card at any of the other metro libraries (you'll just have to have it activated the first time). I have a library card from Anoka county but it works at Hennepin and Ramsey.

  2. Amber says

    We use the free passes to the children's museum, history center, and Murphy's landing. Also use Library Elf, a free reminder service that tells you when your items are coming due/overdue.

  3. Joy says

    I've been using NetLibrary.com from Recorded Books Int'l for a couple years. I got connected with them through Dakota County library using my Scott County card. They have this same scenario for using eAudiobooks and eBooks but contain only this one publisher. I don't know which other counties are connected directly.

  4. Joy says

    Additionally, I don't know how Overdrive works just yet but NetLibrary does let you keep a Favorites list so that if you're browsing and find a book you'd like for the future it's easy to remember.

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