15 July 2008

Online audio books

What do these all have in common?
They are the new releases on Librivox, which champions "the acoustical liberation of books in the public domain". LibriVox volunteers record chapters of books in the public domain and release the audio files back onto the net. Their goal is to make all public domain books available as free audio books.

I'm currently listening to the 8 short stories that make up RAFFLES THE AMATEUR CRACKSMAN by E. W. Hornung.

The Amateur Cracksman is the first collection of stories about A. J. Raffles, gentleman, cricketer, and thief. After stopping his old school friend, Bunny Manders, from a desperate attempt at suicide, Raffles introduces the unsuspecting Bunny to a new way of earning a living, burglary. Though frequently horrified by Raffles’s actions, the conscience-stricken Bunny stands by him through all their adventures, firm to his promise, “When you want me, I’m your man!” (Summary by Kristin Hughes)

I was able to download the 8 mp3 files to my computer, and then burn to a set of CDs (hopefully that does not break any sort of copyright) so I can listen to them to and from work in the car. Kristin Hughes appears to be the reader of all 8 stories. The recording is a bit over 5 hours.

Librivox say they are always looking for volunteer readers.

They have a number of different types of projects:

  • collaborative: many volunteers contribute chapters of a long text
  • solo: one volunteer reads an entire book
  • short works (prose and poetry): short works and poetry!
  • dramatic works: “actors” record parts, all edited together.
  • other languages: projects in languages other than English.

Practically, here is how things work:

  1. a book coordinator posts a book in the Readers Wanted Section.
  2. volunteers “claim” chapters to read.
  3. the readers record their chapters in digital format.
  4. the book coordinator collects all the files of all the chapters.
  5. the book coordinator sends the collected files to a meta coordinator.
  6. we check the files for technical problems in the Listeners Wanted section.
  7. the book coordinator sends the collected, corrected files to a meta coordinator..
  8. another public domain audiobook is made available for free.


Anonymous said...

You can burn as many cds of LibriVox recordings as you like, there's no copyright on them so nothing to break.

I hope you enjoy The Amateur Cracksman.

Kerrie said...

Thanks Kristin. Are you the reader in the Amateur Cracksman?

Anonymous said...

Yes, I am. If you like this one you might be interested to know I'm working on the second collection now. It's been lingering a while but I hope to have it done soon. I promise the audio quality will be better on the second one.


Blog Widget by LinkWithin