Author Archive

Calling App Developers: Testing New LibriVox API!

Posted on January 26, 2013 by | Posted in about LibriVox, News, site & admin | Comments: 2 Comments on Calling App Developers: Testing New LibriVox API!

Hi there, everyone out there who has or would like to build an app or web service on the LibriVox catalog. We are in the process of revamping our API.

You can find the latest information on our Forum Thread, including links to the latest documentation:



Aaron Swartz, 1986-2013

Posted on January 14, 2013 by | Posted in News, on the web | Comments: 14 Comments on Aaron Swartz, 1986-2013

This weekend the Public Domain lost one of its most gifted and passionate advocates when Aaron Swartz committed suicide, at age 26.

Aaron was a programmer, a campaigner for social justice, and a believer that the public domain truly belongs to the public. He helped create Reddit, was a chief architect of the Open Library and Creative Commons, was a founder of Demand Progress, which helped defeat SOPA, and kept the Internet open, safe for projects such as LibriVox.

Aaron, who had written publicly about past experience with depression, killed himself two years after he was arrested for downloading, at MIT, millions of academic journal articles (many in the public domain) from JSTOR, a non-profit journal repository. The authorities were seeking punishment of 35 years in jail, $1 million in fines. It’s been estimated that his defense would have cost $1.5 million in legal fees.

It’s hard to express the scale of loss to all of us, the community of the Internet. I met Aaron only once, but I’ve admired his work for years. By 26, he had done more than most of us will ever do in our lifetimes, driven by his vision of the public good. While it is always shocking when someone we have met dies, the greatest pain is contemplating everything that Aaron Swartz would have done for the world, which he will never get the chance to do.

And so, those of us who were inspired by Aaron’s vision of the world — perhaps some of you who are just now discovering what Aaron stood for — are left to contemplate a future where it is up to us, without Aaron’s help, to make the world a better place. I hope we don’t let him down.

— Hugh

If you’d like to read a bit more about Aaron:


“Rebuild LibriVox” (Mellon Grant Project) Update #2

Posted on December 12, 2012 by | Posted in about LibriVox, News | Comments: 1 Comment on “Rebuild LibriVox” (Mellon Grant Project) Update #2

Dear All,

We are now 6 months into the Mellon-funded project, to revamp the LibriVox tech infrastructure. We have a few people paid to work on the project: Jeff Madsen (developer), Artom Lifshitz (system administrator), and Valerie Bock (project manager). To date, they have together logged 441 hours, or about 44% of paid hours budgeted for this project.

Hours Breakdown:
* System Administration: 32
* Development: 323
* Project Management: 86

We will add a fourth paid staffer this month: Sonia of Nudge Design, who will be working on the redesign of the website.

Additionally, volunteers Jo Smallheer, Cori Samuel and Hugh McGuire have been working behind the scenes to guide the project, with help and support from a host of other volunteers and admins.

In the last three months we have:

* Migrated the existing system to new servers at the Internet Archive. (Special thanks to Jo Smallheer, who spearheaded the testing effort, working closely with Artom Lifshitz, our system administrator)
* Researched and designed a new categorization system, which we believe best suits the Librivox collection (thanks to Cori Samuel for taking that project on)
* Developed the tech foundation for a smoother backend system for project management and cataloging
* Started testing the (prototype) project management/cataloging system

In the weeks ahead we will be:

* Updating the Wiki, WordPress, and Forum Software
* Completing and rolling-out a fully functional version of the new project management/cataloging system for wider testing
* Developing and applying a new website design
* Developing the API’s for the Open Catalog improvements

Overall this year long project is, at its halfway point, currently under budget and running ahead of schedule.

Thanks again to everyone who has been working diligently to make this project happen. Special thanks to the Internet Archive, and of course the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for making this project possible.


LibriVox Will Be Down for Maintenance Wed Nov 28-Fri Nov 30

Posted on November 27, 2012 by | Posted in about LibriVox, News | Comments: 4 Comments on LibriVox Will Be Down for Maintenance Wed Nov 28-Fri Nov 30

Dear Everybody,

We are moving homes! All LibriVox systems are going to move from our current servers to a new home at the Internet Archive (thanks Internet Archive! and thanks to Syntenic for hosting us the past couple of years).

IMPORTANT!!: The LibriVox website and forum will be unavailable while we move. Please visit our Twitter feed for the latest information.

This thread is to explain our timeline and to host questions and answers. Please DO post below (or on the forum) if you have any questions! And after the move, please post here if you spot any glitches.


  • Done: Planning new set-up, implementation and preliminary testing.
  • Done: Confirm dates with our sysadmin and our contacts at Internet Archive and current hosts.
  • Weds 28th Nov, 10PM EST: Put up “closed for maintenance” page on our site while we move.
    For the time in your area, check the worldclock.
  • Thurs 29th Nov (evening EST): MC volunteers will test all systems. Once this is completed satisfactorily …
  • Fri 30th Nov (evening EST): All LibriVox systems back up and running!

Note this is not a simple process, so there might be some glitches. Don’t panic if it takes a little longer.


Q: Can I still listen to LibriVox books while the site is offline?
A: Yes! All our books will be available at as usual. You won’t be able to use the LibriVox catalogue to find them, though.

Q: Can I post in the forum or read the wiki or website while the site is offline?
A: No. These will be unavailable while we move them.

Q: How can I find out how the move is going?
A: We’ll post updates on Twitter as well as our page at the Internet Archive, which will be available throughout the move.

Q: What will be different once we’ve moved?
A: Nothing you will notice yet. Our aim right now is to keep everything the same, just in a new home. Our new website and improved process support software will be live in early 2013. Stay posted for more information about that!

Q: What shall I do while the site is offline?
A: Some recording, editing or proof-listening? Volunteer for whatever you think you can get through in a few days. Don’t forget to download any necessary files before the site closes down! Don’t overload yourself either, we won’t be gone for long.


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