A few years ago I discovered that my local public library had access to a whole bunch of audio books through netlibrary and I got all excited. I was a little less excited when I discovered that they came as one massive DRM’d file. When listening at work, I had to mark down the time stamp each time I stopped (they were WMA files, and I don’t know of a way to make WMP remember where you stopped, like itunes can); listening on my mp3 player was even worse, because the one I had at the time didn’t pick up where you’d stopped when you restarted it, it just remembered which file you’d been listening to… you try sitting with your finger on the fast forward button for ten minutes trying to get three hours into a file, and woe betide you if your finger slips and you accidentally advance to the next track, because then you have to start ALL over. Ugh. And of course, since the files are DRM’d, I couldn’t import them into Audacity or some such to break them into more manageable chunks. So, I mostly listened at work, and got used to jotting down the time stamp (oh, also, you can only listen to a given file on the computer on which you originally downloaded it, you can’t transfer rights from your work computer to your home one, for example).
Anyway, I’d been working my way through the Amelia Peabody series on audiobook. Netlibrary had the first few, but most of the rest I’d borrowed as discs, so I hadn’t been to netlibrary in a while. Imagine my delight when I went back and found that they’d insituted a new software to manage and listen to the books, and that this software downloads the books in approximately hour long chunks, rather than one massive one, AND remembers where you left off listening if you turn it off! Add to this the fact that I have also bought a new mp3 player (a sansa fuze, last November), that not only remembers where you left off, but has individual file recall for any file with an audiobook genre. I’m suddenly back on netlibrary with a vengeance! Yes, you can still only listen on the computer on which you downloaded it, but having an mp3 player that plays well with audio books, I no longer care! Thank you netlibrary for improving the interface, and thank you WMC Library for continuing to subscribe to the service!