I sync I have a problem.
June 20, 2013 9:42 PM   Subscribe

I'm absolutely bumfoozled about how to manage my PC and my iPhone to be able to download library books. Confusion inside.

How can I download a library book to my PC, then sync the book to my iPhone?

I've got Overdrive set up on my iPhone and can download and read eBooks from my local library just fine. The aggro comes in because I only have 300MB of download--the cheapest plan available through my carrier. I've been using more than that to access the library and for other internet queries.

What I'd like to do is be able to use my PC to download the books, then sync them with the iPhone. I can access https://secure44.libraryreserve.com/ for my library, and choose a book, but when I try to download an Epub, it comes in as an unaccessable ACSM file. I've tried to open the ACSM file in iTunes and Adobe, but obviously I don't know what I'm doing. Do I need another program?

In words of no more than two syllables, can someone explain how to set this up?

posted by BlueHorse to Computers & Internet (11 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I can't help with much besides letting you know that if your iPhone is connected to wifi, you aren't touching the 300 MB in your data plan.
posted by oceanjesse at 9:50 PM on June 20, 2013

You need Adobe Digital Editions on your computer - http://www.adobe.com/products/digitaleditions/

The ACSM file is the DRM file that Adobe Digital Editions (ADE) will use to download the authorize the epub. You can probably transfer directly to your iPhone from ADE, it's worked on all my Android devices but I do not have an i-anything to test.
posted by jopasm at 10:01 PM on June 20, 2013

No idea, but +1 for use of 'bumfoozled'
posted by fonetik at 12:21 AM on June 21, 2013

My understanding is that Overdrive uses DRM that is designed to lock a file to one device, so I'm not sure it's possible to do the two-step process you're describing. The wifi suggestion should take care of the download limit.
posted by peanut_mcgillicuty at 1:23 AM on June 21, 2013

Actually, I might not have been that far off in my suggestion after re-reading. What you've been doing successfully over iPhone is what you're trying to do over PC, no? Just keep doing what you've been doing over iPhone while connected to wifi and forget about your PC. Problem solved, no?
posted by oceanjesse at 4:01 AM on June 21, 2013

If you don't have wifi at home, grab coffee from a place that does and surf your brain off
posted by oceanjesse at 4:05 AM on June 21, 2013

Assuming that your problem is that you don't have access to WiFi (only a wired connection for your PC I guess?) could you maybe set up a wireless hotspot from your PC, connect your phone to that hotspot, and download the books that way? But if you can already connect to the internet wirelessly, just do use the iPhone on WiFi and download that way.

Pretty sure Overdrive will not allow you to download to the PC and then transfer to the phone. They use insane levels of anti-piracy protection (DRM). I find Overdrive incredibly frustrating and I'm 1) fairly tech-savvy and 2) a librarian, ferchrissakes.
posted by mskyle at 4:50 AM on June 21, 2013

Hi, Librarian and Overdrive advanced trainer here!

The problem isn't that Overdrive will only allow one book to one device. Quite the opposite - you can download one book to many devices, as long as they're all registered with Adobe Digital Editions with the same email address. In fact, the download to computer and sync is the way you get books to a non-color Nook or other eReader that doesn't have apps and isn't a Kindle.

The problem is that, in order to transfer any ePub book to any device from a computer, you do have to go through Adobe Digital Editions. And, as of right now ADE is not compatible with iOS devices. So, the only way to get Overdrive ePubs to your phone is to download them through the Overdrive app.

Long answer just to n-th that this isn't something you can do (legally. You miiiight be able to download it in to ADE and strip the DRM, but, like others have mentioned, Overdrive has crazy DRM). Best bet is definitely just download over WiFi.
posted by itsamermaid at 5:46 AM on June 21, 2013

Can you convert the *.ascm file to epub (with Adobe Digital Editions) and then transfer the epub to iBooks with iTunes?
posted by Lucinda at 6:19 AM on June 21, 2013

If you're talking about epub books, no, you can't transfer those from a PC to an iPhone. Like others have said, you should connect to wifi and use the app to get them directly on your phone.

You can, however, download audiobooks to your PC and transfer those to your iPhone. Instructions here.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 7:41 AM on June 21, 2013

Response by poster: Arrrgh! If that isn't one of the dumbest things ever. As long as everything's registered under your library card number, why does it even matter what hardware you read a book on?

Since I live in a Black Hole, I don't have access to WiFi, but I suppose I can hang out in a coffee shop once in a while and download till I reach max bookshelf limit.

Thanks everyone for your answers.
posted by BlueHorse at 1:10 PM on June 23, 2013

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