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LibriVox
LibriVox logo.png
Established August 2005
Location Worldwide (USA based)
Collection
Size 3,000 free audiobooks (December 2009)
Access and use
Circulation 60-100 new audiobooks produced per month
Members World-wide volunteers
Other information
Budget $0.00
Director Directorless - community shared
Staff 3132 contributing volunteers
Website http://librivox.org

LibriVox is an online digital library of free public domain audiobooks, read by volunteers. In December 2009, it had a catalog of 3,000 unabridged books and shorter works available to download.[1] Around nine-tenths of the collection is in English, although LibriVox recordings are available in 26 languages altogether.

Tending to produce between 60 and 100 audiobooks per month,[2] LibriVox claims to be the world's most prolific audiobook publisher.

Contents

History

LibriVox was started in August 2005 by Montreal-based writer Hugh McGuire, who set up a blog posing the question: "can the net harness a bunch of volunteers to help bring books in the public domain to life through podcasting?".[3]

The initial response to this question was positive enough that the first LibriVox recording was made available in MP3 format within a month of the blog going live. It was a recording of Joseph Conrad's The Secret Agent, with chapters recorded by McGuire and eleven volunteers who had been attracted by the blog.

In October 2005, LibriVox acquired its own URL (librivox.org), on which McGuire set up a web forum, and the number of volunteers and works made available began steadily to grow. A total of 30 books were recorded and released through the website by the end of the year.

By late 2006, the site was releasing around 30 books per month, and coverage of the project on the Internet and in the traditional press saw the number of volunteers recording for the site move into the hundreds.

By January 2009, over 2,000 Librivox books and short works had been published, using the voices of 2,400 volunteers. By December 2009, another 1,000 had been published, bringing the total to 3,000 LibriVox books and short works, using the voices of over 3,300 volunteers from around the world.

The main features of the way LibriVox works have changed little since its inception, although the technology that supports it has been improved by the efforts of those of its volunteers with web-development skills.

Production process

LibriVox is a volunteer-run, open source, free content, Public Domain project. It has no budget or legal personality. The development of projects is managed through an Internet forum, supported by an admin team, who also maintain a searchable catalog database of completed works.

Volunteers can choose new projects to start, either recording on their own or inviting others to join them, or they can contribute to projects that have been started by others. Once a volunteer has recorded his or her contribution, it is uploaded to the site, and proof-listened by members of the LibriVox community.

Finished audiobooks are available from the LibriVox website, and MP3 and Ogg Vorbis files are hosted separately by the Internet Archive. Recordings are also available through other means, such as iTunes, and, being free of copyright, they are frequently distributed independently of LibriVox on the Internet and otherwise.

Content

LibriVox only records material that is in the Public Domain in the United States, and all LibriVox books are released with a Public Domain dedication. The stated goal of the project is: "...to make all public domain books available, for free, in audio format on the Internet".[4]

The LibriVox catalog is varied. It contains much popular classic fiction (in January 2009, the most downloaded recording was of Thomas Hardy's The Return of the Native), but also includes less predictable texts, such as Immanuel Kant's Critique of Pure Reason and a recording of the first 500 digits of pi. The collection also features poetry, plays, religious texts (for example, English versions of the Koran and books from various versions of the Bible) and non-fiction of various kinds.

Because of copyright restrictions, LibriVox produces recordings of only a limited number of contemporary books. These have included, for example, the 9/11 Commission Report.

In January 2009, the catalog contained approximately 55 percent fiction and drama, 25 percent non-fiction and 20 percent poetry (calculated by numbers of recordings).

Around 90 percent of the catalog is recorded in English, but recordings exist in 39 languages altogether (as at October 2009). Chinese, French and German are the most popular languages other than English amongst volunteers, but recordings have also been made in languages including Urdu and Tagalog.

Reputation

LibriVox has garnered significant interest, in particular from those interested in the promotion of volunteer-led content and alternative approaches to intellectual ownership on the Internet.

It has received support from the Internet Archive and Project Gutenberg. Mike Linksvayer, Vice-President of Creative Commons, has described it as "perhaps the most interesting collaborative culture project this side of Wikipedia".[5]

The project has also been featured in press around the world, and has been recommended by the BBC's Click, MSNBC's The Today Show, Wired, the US PC Magazine and the UK Metro and Sunday Times newspapers.

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Criticisms

The LibriVox discussion forums regularly include feedback on the site and its contents, including negative comments. A frequent concern of listeners is the site's policy of allowing any recording to be published as long as it is basically understandable and faithful to the source text. This means that some recordings are of less-than-optimum audio fidelity, and some feature background noises, non-native accents or other perceived imperfections in comparison to professionally-recorded audiobooks.

Examples

References

External links

This audio file was created from a revision dated 2007-07-14, and does not reflect subsequent edits to the article. (Audio help)
More spoken articles
LibriVox site
Articles
LibriVox tools
LibriVox mirrors

LibriVox
Established August 2005
Location Worldwide (USA based)
Collection
Size 3462 free audiobooks (End of May 2010)
Access and use
Circulation 60-100 new audiobooks produced per month
Members World-wide volunteers
Other information
Budget $5,000 per annum
Director Directorless - community shared
Staff 3540 contributing volunteers
Website http://librivox.org

LibriVox is an online digital library of free public domain audiobooks, read by volunteers. In December 2009, it had a catalogue of 3,000 unabridged books and shorter works available to download.[1] Around ninety percent of the collection is in English, although LibriVox recordings are available in 26 languages altogether.

Tending to produce between 60 and 100 audiobooks per month,[2] LibriVox claims to be the world's most prolific audiobook publisher.[3]

Contents

History

LibriVox was started in August 2005 by Montreal-based writer Hugh McGuire, who set up a blog posing the question: "can the net harness a bunch of volunteers to help bring books in the public domain to life through podcasting?".[4][5]

The initial response to this question was positive enough that the first LibriVox recording was made available in MP3 format within a month of the blog going live. It was a recording of Joseph Conrad's The Secret Agent, with chapters recorded by McGuire and eleven volunteers who had been attracted by the blog.

In October 2005, LibriVox acquired its own URL (librivox.org), on which McGuire set up a web forum, and the number of volunteers and works made available began steadily to grow. A total of 30 books were recorded and released through the website by the end of the year.

File:Hugh
Hugh McGuire, founder of LibriVox

By late 2006, the site was releasing around 30 books per month, and coverage of the project on the Internet and in the traditional press saw the number of volunteers recording for the site move into the hundreds.

By January 2009, over 2,000 Librivox books and short works had been published, using the voices of 2,400 volunteers. By December 2009, another 1,000 had been published, bringing the total to 3,000 LibriVox books and short works, using the voices of over 3,300 volunteers from around the world.

The main features of the way LibriVox works have changed little since its inception, although the technology that supports it has been improved by the efforts of those of its volunteers with web-development skills.

Production process

LibriVox is a volunteer-run, open source, free content, Public Domain project. It has no budget or legal personality. The development of projects is managed through an Internet forum, supported by an admin team, who also maintain a searchable catalogue database of completed works.

Volunteers can choose new projects to start, either recording on their own or inviting others to join them, or they can contribute to projects that have been started by others. Once a volunteer has recorded his or her contribution, it is uploaded to the site, and proof-listened by members of the LibriVox community.

Finished audiobooks are available from the LibriVox website, and MP3 and Ogg Vorbis files are hosted separately by the Internet Archive. Recordings are also available through other means, such as iTunes, and, being free of copyright, they are frequently distributed independently of LibriVox on the Internet and otherwise.

Content

LibriVox only records material that is in the Public Domain in the United States, and all LibriVox books are released with a Public Domain dedication. The stated goal of the project is: "...to make all public domain books available, for free, in audio format on the Internet".[6]

The LibriVox catalogue is varied. It contains much popular classic fiction (in January 2009, the most downloaded recording was of Thomas Hardy's The Return of the Native), but also includes less predictable texts, such as Immanuel Kant's Critique of Pure Reason and a recording of the first 500 digits of pi. The collection also features poetry, plays, religious texts (for example, English versions of the Koran and books from various versions of the Bible) and non-fiction of various kinds.

Because of copyright restrictions, LibriVox produces recordings of only a limited number of contemporary books. These have included, for example, the 9/11 Commission Report.

In January 2009, the catalogue contained approximately 55 percent fiction and drama, 25 percent non-fiction and 20 percent poetry (calculated by numbers of recordings).

Around 90 percent of the catalogue is recorded in English, but recordings exist in 31 languages altogether (as of February 2010). Chinese, French and German are the most popular languages other than English amongst volunteers, but recordings have also been made in languages including Urdu and Tagalog.

Reputation

LibriVox has garnered significant interest, in particular from those interested in the promotion of volunteer-led content and alternative approaches to intellectual ownership on the Internet.

It has received support from the Internet Archive and Project Gutenberg. Mike Linksvayer, Vice-President of Creative Commons, has described it as "perhaps the most interesting collaborative culture project this side of Wikipedia".[7]

The project has also been featured in press around the world, and has been recommended by the BBC's Click, MSNBC's The Today Show, Wired, the US PC Magazine and the UK Metro and Sunday Times newspapers.

Criticisms

The LibriVox discussion forums regularly include feedback on the site and its contents, including negative comments. A frequent concern of listeners is the site's policy of allowing any recording to be published as long as it is basically understandable and faithful to the source text. This means that some recordings are of less-than-optimum audio fidelity, and some feature background noises, non-native accents or other perceived imperfections in comparison to professionally-recorded audiobooks.

Examples

References

  1. ^ "LibriVox catalog stats". http://librivox.org/newcatalog/stats.php. Retrieved 2009-12-27. 
  2. ^ "LibriVox works by month". http://librivox.org/newcatalog/monthly.php. Retrieved 2009-01-05. 
  3. ^ "LibriVox reaches 1,000!" Librivox webpage 31 October 2007. Retrieved on 1 June 2010.
  4. ^ Hugh McGuire. "Welcome to LibriVox", 9 August 2005. Retrieved 20 August 2010.
  5. ^ McGuire, Hugh (February 12, 2007). "Clarity (blog entry)". http://hughmcguire.net/2007/02/12/from-textosolvo-clarity-why-it-worked-1/. Retrieved 2009-01-09. 
  6. ^ "LibriVox homepage". http://www.librivox.org/. Retrieved 2009-01-09. 
  7. ^ Linksvayer, Mike (June 2, 2008). "LibriVox: 1500 public domain audio books (blog entry)". http://creativecommons.org/weblog/entry/8327. Retrieved 2009-01-09. 

External links

LibriVox site
Articles
LibriVox tools
LibriVox mirrors


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