Recommended Devices for Libraries
The Washington State Library tested a number of devices in order to find those that offered the best usability at the best price. It is not our policy to promote specific products, but we hope that this information will be useful in helping libraries save money and make wise purchasing decisions.
The Washington State Library recommends:
SanDisk Sansa Clip+ 2GB MP3 Player
Item Model #: SDMX18R-002GK-A57
PROS: Available for under $40, this budget device works with OverDrive and NetLibrary, and is supported both by the OverDrive Media Console and the NetLibrary Media Center. It supports .mp3 and .wma playback, and allows for auto-resume of all audiobook files. Files may be moved to the device using the proprietary vendor software, or by a simple drag-and-drop on your computer. Has a built-in microphone and FM radio tuner.
CONS: Auto-resume only works on files with the proper internal "audiobook" tag, or on files that are in the "Audiobooks" folder on your device. All other files are treated like music, and do not support auto-resume. There is no manual bookmarking feature, so while you can easily resume where you left off, you can't bookmark your favorite spots, or multiple sections in the same audiobook.
Note: MP3 files transferred via the NetLibrary Media Center will not currently work on this device. If you transfer via Windows Media Player or simply dragging and dropping to your device, they should play normally. This is only true for MP3 files, and only those transferred to your device using the "Transfer to Portable" option in NetLibrary Media Center. WMA files, and files transferred using other methods, will play as normal.
AVAILABILITY: Widely available from multiple stores and online vendors.
Creative Labs ZEN Mozaic 16GB MP3 Player
Item Model #: ZM16GBBK
PROS: Available for about $90, this device works with OverDrive and NetLibrary, and is supported both by the OverDrive Media Console and the NetLibrary Media Center. It supports .mp3 and .wma playback, and supports bookmarking for all audio files. Files may be moved to the device using the proprietary vendor software, or by a simple drag-and-drop on your computer. Manual bookmarking means you can save as many spots of a given audiobook as you like, and return to them as desired. Has a built-in speaker, microphone, and FM radio tuner.
CONS: Over twice as expensive as the Sansa device; cheaper, smaller versions of this device are occassionally available (but avoid the EZ300 models!), but 16GB is now the smallest that is regularly in stock. No auto-resume means you have to make sure to manually bookmark or risk losing your place. Limited number of bookmarks require cleaning out older bookmarks to place new ones.
AVAILABILITY: Available online via the manufacturer website.
Want to look at other devices?
Both OverDrive and Recorded Books have lists of "compatible devices." These lists are not exhaustive, and are not always completely up-to-date, but represent the devices that have been tested and shown to work with those vendors.
OverDrive: Compatible Devices
Recorded Books OneClickdigital Compatible Devices
To access the list of devices supported by the Recorded Books OneClickdigital platform, follow your library's link to OneClickdigital, select the Help tab, and then the Devices tab: