Thanks to new support for OverDrive's Libby app, Sonos speakers can now be used to listen to free audiobooks from your local library, providing a much-needed alternative to the binge of Netflix's full catalog of shows.
Here's how to get started with free library audiobooks on your Sonos speakers:
Sign up for a library pass if you don't already have it
If you already have a valid library pass from your local public library , you can skip this step. If you don't have one, getting one can be tricky in the current situation, as most libraries require you to show up in person with proof of your address to get a card. However, some libraries now issue temporary e-resource maps that can be used instead. Here is an example from the Portland Public Library website.
You also need your PIN for the next steps, so if you don't have one or can't remember it, contact your library and see if they can give you one or reset it for you.
Download the Libby by OverDrive app to your phone
You can find the free Libby app for your mobile device in the App Store or Google Play, or you can use it as a web app in your browser.
After installation, the app asks you to confirm your local public library location. It may also guess which one you use when giving it access to your device's location services. We found that this technique was very accurate.
Add a library card to the Libby app
Once you have selected your local library, the Libby app will ask you to enter your library card number and PIN. Then it verifies this information with your library and if all goes well your card will be confirmed and you can give it a custom name ̵
Choose an audiobook
Once your card has been validated, the Libby app gives you access to browse your library's audiobook selection. Note that each library has a different selection of titles to choose from and the title you want is simply not available. The library we used for testing showed over 93,000 fiction and over 57,000 non-fiction titles.
When you find a title you want to listen to, just tap the Borrow button and it will be downloaded and added to your Libby library. Our titles had a loan period of 21 days, but the loan from your library may differ.
Adding Libby as a Source in the Sonos App
Before you can listen to your borrowed Libby books on your Sonos system, you must have the two systems. Open your Sonos app and tap the Settings button in the bottom right corner.
- Tap Services & Speech
- Under the Music & Content section, scroll to the bottom of the list and tap Add a Service
- From the alphabetical list choose Libby by OverDrive
- . You'll be asked to allow Sonos to use the Libby app by entering an eight-digit code. To get that code:
- Switch back to the Libby app (or go to the web app)
- Scroll all the way up in the Library or Shelf tabs of the app
- Tap and hold the small round menu icon
- Note the eight digit code that is displayed
- If no code is displayed, repeat these steps – remember to tap and hold to see the code
- Switch back to the Sonos app and enter the eight digit code
- You should get a confirmation that Libby has been added and you will be asked to give the account its own name if you want  Find and play your Libby audiobooks in Sonos
Now that you have successfully connected the two apps, you should be able to browse Libby in the Sonos app just like you would with a music service like Apple Music or Spotify.  Sonos shows you all your currently borrowed audiobooks, lets them play on every Sonos speaker in your house, and views a description of the book. Audiobooks can be added to the My Sonos tab for faster access, and your reading (listening) progress is remembered in the Sonos app and the Libby app, meaning you can keep listening outside your home and vice versa.
Regular ebooks too
Remember that the Libby app can also be used to borrow ebooks from your local library. You can read it in the Libby app itself, or – for U.S. residents only. – you can add these books to your Kindle e-reader.