Playaways Info and Form

Playaways are available for check out to 4th and 5th grade students who bring in a SIGNED PERMISSION FORM (forms are available at the bottom of this page).

What is a playaway?
A Playaway is a self-playing digital audio book that comes pre-loaded on a small storage device. Each Playaway can hold up to 80 hours of content. They are a palm-sized digital audio book which comes pre-loaded with a complete audio book. Using a Playaway is as easy as 1, 2, 3!
into universal headjack
Press the power button Press Playaway button and enjoy! 

Playaway is the newest format of audio, combining a wide variety of content with an easy-to-use player all in one small unit. When you receive your Playaway, all you have to do is press play to start listening immediately – there is no need for a separate player, and it comes with a battery to make it play. 

For detailed instructions on the function keys, download and print this User's Guide (300 kb .pdf file)

What makes Playaway unique?

  • Playaway is the easiest way to listen to a book or music – the only thing you need to do is press play!
  • Each Playaway contains an entire book or music compilation, regardless of length (up to 80 hours!).
  • A Playaway weighs only 2 ounces and can easily fit in a pocket for ultimate portability and multitasking.
  • They come with an automatic bookmark function that remembers where you left off.
  • Playaways have a universal headphone jack that can be used with a number of mobility accessories including portable speakers, FM transmitters, and audio cables to listen in virtually any environment.


1. Do I need anything special to listen?
No, just headphones or earbuds (not provided by the library). Everything you need for a single book is all in one package. You will receive one complimentary battery, but it may not be enough for the entire book. For hygiene reasons, earbuds are not circulated along with the Playaway. However, earbuds are available for purchase at the circulation desk for a nominal charge of $1.00.

2. How do I change the batteries?

To change the battery, hold the PLAYAWAY so that the smooth side is facing you and locate the battery cover at the wide base of the player. Find the slot in the middle of the base and use your thumb or small tool, like a screw driver, to carefully lift up and unsnap the plastic battery cover. Remove the old battery and replace with a fully charged battery, putting the positive side of the battery (side with protrusion) to the right. Snap the cover back into place and continue listening. Discard the used battery. 

3. What do I do if the Playaway locks up?

First, turn it on and off. if that doesn't solve the problems, remove and reinsert the battery.

4. What does the audio sound like on a Playaway?

Playaway audio is of equal or greater quality to digital downloads available today.

5.  How does Playaway compare to audio on cassette or CD? 

Playaway is more convenient and easier to enjoy than juggling multiple CDs, cassettes or a separate player. Playaway also offers various enhanced digital features, including the ability to control the speed of the narrator's voice and digitally bookmark up to 50 favorite spots.

6. How does Playaway compare to digital downloads and other forms of on-the-go downloading like cell phones?

Playaway comes pre-loaded with digital content, so it does not require information transfer fees, subscriptions, memberships, or even an Internet connection. Just plug-in your headphones and listen wherever you go.

7. Why can't I add, delete or transfer content to or from a Playaway?

In order to protect the copyrighted works of authors and publishers as traditional books do, you are unable to make copies of Playaway.

8. Can I use the Playaway in my car?

Yes, each PLAYAWAY has a universal headphone jack that can be used with most of the commonly available car adapters on the market, including cassette adapters and FM transmitters.

9. Is the Playaway waterproof?

While the Playaway should not be harmed if it gets splashed, it should not be used under water.

10. What happens if the Playaway gets damaged or lost?

The borrower is responsible for replacing the Playaway.  Most cost between $40.00 - $70.00 so please take care of this device so that it can be loaned out again.

Anne Brusca,
Sep 21, 2009, 3:58 PM
Anne Brusca,
Sep 21, 2009, 3:58 PM
Karen Kliegman,
Sep 1, 2009, 10:46 AM
Mary Ellen Guarini,
Sep 23, 2009, 5:55 AM
Mary Ellen Guarini,
Sep 23, 2009, 5:55 AM