Listen to library audiobooks on Apple Watch

tcuprof

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I listen to audiobooks at least an hour a day while walking or running. I've usually had to carry my phone to do this because while you can transfer Audible or Apple-purchased audiobooks to your watch, I didn't know how to get a library audiobook onto the watch. And since I get the vast majority of my audiobooks from the library, I really wanted to be able to do this. After extensive research, I found a couple of articles that give me the advice I needed to be able to do this. Apologies to the author of a VERY useful article on this topic that I cannot find now and so can't give him or her credit.

Here's how you can listen to free library audiobooks on your Apple Watch:

1. Download and install OverDrive 3.8 for Windows PC from the Microsoft Store. (Two notes. 1. I could not get any other version of OverDrive to do what I wanted. 2. I have a Windows PC, but surely there is a mac version of OverDrive that will work.)
2. Using OverDrive, connect to your local library and download an audiobook to your PC.
3. Connect your iPhone to your PC and open iTunes.
4. In OverDrive, click on the audiobook. In the upper righthand corner of the screen it opens, there will be a Transfer button. When you click on Transfer, it opens the OverDrive Transfer Wizard.
5. In the OverDrive Transfer Wizard, click on Next. Under player, you will have the option to transfer the book to any device connected to your PC via USB (e.g., your iPhone, a USB drive, etc.) or to iTunes. To transfer directly to the iPhone, you must have the option "Manually manage music and videos" selected under Summary/Options. This option is a little flaky and sometimes takes multiple tries. You may find it easier to just transfer direct to iTunes.
6. If you chose the transfer to iTunes option, select the mp3 tracks of the book and transfer them to your iPhone. (NOTE: The book will appear as an album, i.e. music, on your iPhone.)
7. Add the audiobook album to your Apple Watch using these instructions:
https://support.apple.com/guide/watch/add-music-apd483798d11/watchos
8. To play the audiobook on your watch, use the music app. Unfortunately, you won't have some controls you're used to such as 15 second skip/reverse, or bookmarks, or chapter selection. BUT hey, free audiobooks! :)

I realize this sounds long and complicated, but after you've done it once, you'll find you can do it quite easily. The only somewhat lengthy step is transferring the book from phone to watch. And by the way, if you have two Apple Watches, turn the one you won't be listening to OFF before attempting the transfer (that was a painful lesson!).

Enjoy listening to free audiobooks without having to carry your phone!
 

tcuprof

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Thanks guys. I’m hoping others can benefit. Actually, I’m hoping it will show up on a Google search because I spent a lot of time looking for ideas on how to do this.
 

tcuprof

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I'm reviving this two year-old thread because, if you use OverDrive, you know it was replaced with Libby. The GOOD news is that putting a library audiobook on your watch is now easier!

1. Install the Chrome extension: Libby Audiobook exporter. (I don't know if a similar extension exists for other browsers. Maybe someone can comment on that.)
2. Go to Libby.com on your pc, download an audiobook, and open the book.
3. Click on the Libby extension icon and export the audio files. They will be in your download folder.
4. Add the book to your iPhone using iTunes (yes, I know, it's awful), and then from your iPhone to your watch using the instructions in the first post.
 
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Annie_M

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I'm reviving this two year-old thread because, if you use OverDrive, you know it was replaced with Libby. The GOOD news is that putting a library audiobook on your watch is now easier!

1. Install the Chrome extension: Libby Audiobook exporter. (I don't know if a similar extension exists for other browsers. Maybe someone can comment on that.)
2. Go to Libby.com on your pc, download an audiobook, and open the book.
3. Click on the Libby extension icon and export the audio files. They will be in your download folder.
4. Add the book to your iPhone using iTunes (yes, I know, it's awful), and then from your iPhone to your watch using the instructions in the first post.
Thanks for the update!!!
 

tcuprof

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Thanks Annie. On the one hand, the number of replies suggest no one cares, on the other hand the stats show 17000 people have viewed it so I guess it is interesting to someone.
 

Wotchered

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I don't like audiobooks at all, somehow those that make them make a mess of the right voice, get accents horribly wrong or hack the prose about. Not for me.