Welcome to LibriVox

Posted on August 9, 2005 by | Posted in Podcast, site & admin | Comments: 14 Comments on Welcome to LibriVox

Here is a brief intro librivox podcast.

LibriVox is a hope, an experiment, and a question: can the net harness a bunch of volunteers to help bring books in the public domain to life through podcasting? Here’s how it works (for now):

  1. A book will be selected by LibriVox from the gutenberg project’s database of public domain books
  2. (We hope that) a few volunteers will step up to read and record to mp3 one or more chapters from the chosen book, so that we’ll finish with a complete audio book (or audiobook).
  3. If you have your own podcast, you could do a special LibriVox edition of your show, and let me know about it; then I’ll grab the audio and put it up on Ourmedia.org, which stores files on the internet archive
  4. If you don’t have a podcast, let me know and we’ll find a way to get the chapters uploaded to the LibriVox Ourmedia.org site
  5. Each new chapter will be linked from LibriVox, and podcast through feedburner.
  6. Once all chapters from a given book are finished, a new book will be chosen and the process will begin again!

So, practically:

  1. if you would like to record and post a chapter or a few of a book, please contact LibriVox at: librivox[at]yahoo[dot]ca
  2. if you would like to subscribe to the podcast, please:
    a) goto our feedburner feed
    b) and plug the feed … http://feeds.feedburner.com/Librivox … into your podcast receiver (for instance, ipodder)

Please note that the quality of the recordings will vary. My first recordings are pretty poor. (Not everyone can sound as professional as Jan from UAA Audio Books!) But, inspired by wikipedia, we will encourage disgruntled listeners to make better recordings (of poor quality chapters), and make them available to the project. The first objective will to be to put out some recordings and see where this goes.

For some suggestions and notes on how to make audio recording of books, see here.
For help listening, and an explanation of podcastng, see here (coming soon).

This project is inspired by AKMA’s audio volunteer project to bring Lawrence Lessig’s book, Free Culture, to your ears; and Urban Art Adventures’ Audio Book project. In addition to that, the following inspirations should be noted:

Comments are welcome below, or at: librivox[at)yahoo[dot]ca

A note about me:
I’m a Montreal-based writer interested in the “free movement” in it’s many guises. More about me can be found at my weblog, dose.



  1. Podchef says:

    Sign me up! As a kid I remember a public radio show called “Reading Aloud” with some dude with a deep, cool voice reading the classics. It was on at like 9am or 10am and I used to love it-all summer long there would be a chapter a day, or week-I can’t remember. I know the Jungle Book, mostly because of that. I think this is great-I had thought about doing this, but what books, and how? This is a perfect solution. I (an others) should easily be able to take on a chapter-very Fahrenheit 451.
    Let me know what I can do.

  2. Administrator says:

    neal you found me before the official launch of the project! I guess the link did it… so ok, you get chapter 2 of the secret agent, by joseph conrad! check the conrad post to find the e-text!

  3. Podchef says:

    Ah, the magic of Technorati Tag feeds. . . .I have downloaded the text and am preping my voice for reading.

  4. hugh says:

    ahh, I love it when a plan comes together!

  5. J. J. says:

    You might want to add Odeo to your inspirations – http://odeo.com/tag/books/

  6. retroactive inspiration … just found odeo today, after setting up the project! but inspiration nonetheless.

  7. derek says:

    I’m a teacher with a lot of experience at bringing a book to life with a less-than-inspired audience… I’d love to help during my summer vacation- cheers- derek elliott, powell river, bc, canada

  8. bonnie says:

    this is a GREAT idea! i want to play too!!!

  9. Steve Eley says:

    Very cool idea! I’m subscribing now, and look forward to listening to this over the next few days.

    I’m curious whether you’ve seen Alex Wilson’s TellTale Weekly site – he’s also working on building a library of audiobooks from the public domain, but he’s going about it in a somewhat different manner. You might contact him to see how your projects could cooperate; he’s a great guy and very receptive to ideas on community efforts. I’ve been in contact with Alex regarding collaboration on my own podcast, which narrates contemporary short fiction under license.

    Good luck! Sounds to me like you’ll have a lot of fun doing this.

  10. hello steve,

    yes I’ve seen Telltale, and there are a few others out there doing similar stuff (though telltale seems to be the most professional). I think we’re the first to try to do this open source though! … anyway, my intention is to get the ball rolling and contact all these other folks, many of whom I have already contacted. One thing I would like to see is a searchable, well-organized catalogue of freely available audio literature, with everyone’s stuff linked. And ideally everything we do is donated to anyone who wants it (gutenberg? spokenalex etc)…

    so: will you read a chap in the next book?

  11. I don’t know about a well-organized catalogue, but Project Gutenberg already lets you browse the human-read works in their catalogue at http://www.gutenberg.org/browse/categories/1

  12. yes but it would be nice to catalogue all public domain audio freely available online … ie all these audio projects, UAA, Telltale Weekly, Librivox etc. if gutenberg deems librivox recordings of sufficient quality, then it would be great if they would link to them (or host em). seems to me that varrying quality audio recordings are better than none, which is what I think is cool about LibriVox.

    been a bit busy of late, but hope in a couple of weeks to be able to give more effort to the project.

  13. wikipedia says:

    Wikipedia is the key to most success online, when it comes to collabritive content adding. I have spent many hours writing articles for Jimmy Wales and am very happy with this project. I am based in Seminole FL close to the wikipedia offices in St Petersburg. I love contributing!

    Happy New Year Bloggers!

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