February, 2010

LibriVox Needs Your Help

Posted on February 24, 2010 by | Posted in about LibriVox, News, Uncategorized | Comments: 144 Comments on LibriVox Needs Your Help

UPDATE: We’ve reached our objective. Thank you everybody! More info here.

Dearest LibriVox listeners, volunteers, & supporters:

For four-and-a-half years, LibriVox volunteers have been making audiobooks for the world to enjoy, and giving them away for free. We’ve made thousands of free audiobooks that have been downloaded by millions of people; our site gets 400,000 visitors every month. To date, all our costs have been borne by a few individuals, with some generous donations from partners. However, these costs have become too big.

See below to FIND OUT HOW TO DONATE (Or, keep reading!).

LibriVox needs your help.

We’re asking for donations for the following:

  • to cover hosting costs for our website (about $5,000/year)*, which includes:
    • the site you are reading now;
    • the forum;
    • the wiki;
    • the catalog;
    • a whole lot of back-end software to host and process audio before it goes to the Internet Archive
    • but does NOT include hosting audio files which is done by Archive.org
  • to redesign the site and improve its accessibility
  • to make the LibriVox catalog easier for listeners to use
  • to make the management software easier for admins to use

We expect this fund-raising drive to sustain us for three years at least.

Your donation will support the work of our volunteers.

Our fundraising goal is $20,000. After we reach it, we’ll shut down our fundraising campaign. And we hope we can make it another 4.5 years without having to bother you again!


  1. Visit the Internet Archive donation page (the Internet Archive, a registered US charity and friend of LibriVox, is managing our fundraising campaign)
  2. Select a donation method** (Justgive.org, Paypal, or Check)
  3. Be sure to write: “Donation for LibriVox” along with your donation (otherwise we won’t get the donation!)
  4. Don’t forget to write: “Donation for LibriVox” along with your donation!

*NOTE: From our great sysadmin Dan, regarding server costs:
For a variety of reasons, we require a full dedicated server, or at least a very high-end VM with several hundred GB of storage. Though we don’t host the files for end-user download, we do provide an uploading service which book contributors use to share individual chapters and other similar things.

Combine that with lots of wordpress/phpBB modifications, and pretty high wordpress/phpBB traffic, and we fill up a server pretty fast.

In short: Hundreds of GB storage + ~1800 gigabytes Internet transfer per month + heavy MySQL usage adds up to a pretty expensive server or high-end VM. Note that none of this includes projected growth, we will need more resources soon, and that’s also a factor in the dollar amount Hugh mentioned.

I’d also like to point out that the figure does not cover sysadmin support. I work for free. And my job is a lot harder when I have to deal with an intermediary sysadmin, which some hosting companies force upon you. Where we are right now, I myself am root.

**NOTE: From the Internet Archive (who is kindly administering this campaign for us): Please reassure your donors that we do not sell our mailing list nor send unsolicited mail out.


And Karamazov Makes Two (Years)

Posted on February 4, 2010 by | Posted in about LibriVox, News | Comments: Comments Off on And Karamazov Makes Two (Years)

By cataloging The Brothers Karamazov, LibriVox has now made two full years of free public domain audiobooks available to the world. That is, if you started listening to our catalog today, and listened 24 hours a day, it would take you two years to get through our catalog. By which time, I hope, we’ll have another two years for you to listen to.

Reports Rainer:

I just have to brag a little bit about “The Brothers Karamazov”, please forgive me…

I finished the project and by cataloging it, I managed to reach the two years of audio milestone.

It has a length of 40 hours. I know, some Dickens novels are just as long and were read as a solo, but I had to deal with 96 sections and perceived at least 300 volunteers: for more than a year I was able to constantly have one section not claimed. Every time a section was claimed, I orphaned another one due to the two month rule. It was started as a solo project, abandoned, taken up by a coordinator, who abandoned it, too. Moreover, I had three prooflisteners and two editors who volunteered for this project. Tricia was the last editor/prooflistener/reader. Thank you!

I’m really glad that this book is finally finished. It was started nearly four years ago, in April 2006 and it was one of my three horsemen of the Apocalypse of Russian novels. The other two are “Crime and Punishment” and “War and Peace”. “Crime and Punishment” was cataloged a while age and now only “War and Peace” is left.

The latter one is a 17-headed hydra (17 volumes) and I can concentrate now on finishing this one. At the moment I deal with its 14th and 15th head…



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