LibriVox

LibriVox is a group of worldwide volunteers who read and record public domain texts creating free public domain audiobooks for download from their website and other digital library hosting sites on the internet. It was founded in 2005 by Hugh McGuire to provide "Acoustical liberation of books in the public domain"[2] and the LibriVox objective is "To make all books in the public domain available, for free, in audio format on the internet".[3]

On 6 August 2016, the project completed project number 10,000.[4][5] and from 2009–2017 was producing about 1,000 items per year.[6] Most releases are in the English language, but many non-English works are also available. There are multiple affiliated projects that are providing additional content. LibriVox is closely affiliated with Project Gutenberg from where the project gets some of its texts, and the Internet Archive that hosts their offerings.

LibriVox
LibriVox logo
EstablishedAugust 2005
LocationWorldwide (USA based)
Collection
Size12,481 items (31 December 2018)[1]
Access and use
MembersWorldwide volunteers
Other information
BudgetUS$5,000 per annum (As of 2010)
DirectorN/A (community-shared)
Websitelibrivox.org

History

Hugh McGuire
Hugh McGuire, founder of LibriVox
Can the net harness a bunch of volunteers to help bring books in the public domain to life through podcasting?
— Hugh McGuire

LibriVox was started in August 2005 by Montreal-based writer Hugh McGuire, who set up a blog, and posed the question.[7][8] The first recorded book[9] was The Secret Agent by Joseph Conrad.

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 its volunteers with web-development skills.

Etymology of LibriVox

LibriVox is an invented word inspired by Latin words liber (book) in its genitive form libri and vox (voice), giving the meaning BookVoice (or voice of the book). The word was also coined because of other connotations: liber also means child and free, independent, unrestricted. As the LibriVox forum says: "We like to think LibriVox might be interpreted as 'child of the voice', and 'free voice'. Finally, the other link we like is 'library' so you could imagine it to mean Library of Voice."[10]

There has been no decision or consensus by LibriVox founders or the community of volunteers for a single pronunciation of LibriVox. It is accepted that any audible pronunciation is accurate.[11]

Organization and funding

LibriVox is a volunteer-run, 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.

In early 2010, LibriVox ran a fundraising drive to raise $20,000 to cover hosting costs for the website of about $5,000/year and improve front- and backend usability.[12] The target was reached in 13 days, and so the fundraising ended and LibriVox suggested that supporters consider making donations to its affiliates and partners, Project Gutenberg [13] and the Internet Archive.[14]

Production process

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 works per month including May 2011
LibriVox works per month 2005–2011

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.[15] 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 which is a work of the US Federal Government therefore in the Public Domain.

The LibriVox catalogue is varied. It contains much popular classic fiction, 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 translations of the Bible) and non-fiction of various kinds. 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). By the end of 2018, the most viewed item (6.6M) was The Adventures of Tom Sawyer in a 2006 solo recording by John Greenman.[1]

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 copyright ownership on the Internet.

It has received support from the Internet Archive and Project Gutenberg. Intellectual freedom and commons proponent Mike Linksvayer described it in 2008 as "perhaps the most interesting collaborative culture project this side of Wikipedia".[16]

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, Reason,[17] Wired,[18] the US PC Magazine and the UK Metro and Sunday Times[19] newspapers.

Quality

A frequent concern of listeners is the site's policy of allowing any recording to be published as long as it is understandable and faithful to the source text.[20] This means that some recordings are of lower audio fidelity; some feature background noises, non-native accents or other perceived imperfections in comparison to professionally recorded audiobooks.[21][22] While some listeners may object to those books with chapters read by multiple readers,[23] others find this to be a non-issue or even a feature,[24][25][26] though many books are narrated by a single reader.

See also

References

  1. ^ a b "The LibriVox Free Audiobook Collection", The Internet Archive. Retrieved 1 January 2019.
  2. ^ "LibriVox Author", LibriVox website. Retrieved 16 April 2015.
  3. ^ "Objective LibriVox", LibriVox website. Retrieved 24 August 2011.
  4. ^ "Another LibriVox Milestone: 10,000 projects!", librivox.org, 6 August 2016. Retrieved 3 September 2016.
  5. ^ "Offerings LibriVox", Archive website. Retrieved 17 April 2015.
  6. ^ MaryAnnSpiegel (January 1, 2018). "LibriVox stats". LibriVox. Retrieved January 22, 2018.
  7. ^ McGuire, Hugh (9 August 2005). "Welcome to LibriVox". LibriVox.org. Retrieved 20 August 2010.
  8. ^ McGuire, Hugh (February 12, 2007). "Clarity (blog entry)". HughMcGuire.net. Retrieved 2009-01-09.
  9. ^ "The Secret Agent", librivox.org. Retrieved 31 March 2014.
  10. ^ "What does LibriVox mean?", LibriVox forum, retrieved 29 September 2013.
  11. ^ "Pronunciation of "LibriVox"", LibriVox wiki. Retrieved 21 November 2011.
  12. ^ "LibriVox Needs Your Help", LibriVox blog, 24 February 2010. Retrieved 24 August 2011.
  13. ^ "Gutenberg Affiliates", Gutenberg.org, Retrieved 19 April 2015.
  14. ^ "Archive.org partners", Archive.org, Retrieved 19 April 2015.
  15. ^ "Public Domain". LibriVox. Retrieved 11 November 2018.
  16. ^ Linksvayer, Mike (June 2, 2008). "LibriVox: 1500 public domain audio books (blog entry)". Retrieved 2009-01-09.
  17. ^ "The Wealth of LibriVox", Reason.com, Retrieved 19 April 2015.
  18. ^ "The Web Will Read You a Story", archive.org, Retrieved 19 April 2015.
  19. ^ "Public Domain Books, Ready for Your iPod", nytimes.com, Retrieved 19 April 2015.
  20. ^ "Quality of Delivery?", Librivox forums. Retrieved 22 November 2011.
  21. ^ "The Return of the Native Audiobook (Librivox)", Review. Retrieved 22 November 2011.
  22. ^ "On the absence of ratings at LibriVox", Review 2 May 2010. Retrieved 22 November 2011.
  23. ^ "Librivox - free audio books", Review. Retrieved 22 November 2011.
  24. ^ "Librivox (free audio books)", Review January 09, 2009. Retrieved 22 November 2011.
  25. ^ "Librivox", Review October 1, 2008. Retrieved 22 November 2011.
  26. ^ "My Favorite LibriVox Readers", Review 12 March 2010. Retrieved 22 November 2011.

External links

LibriVox site
Articles
LibriVox mirrors
Ann Veronica

Ann Veronica is a New Woman novel by H. G. Wells published in 1909.

Ann Veronica describes the rebellion of Ann Veronica Stanley, "a young lady of nearly two-and-twenty", against her middle-class father's stern patriarchal rule. The novel dramatizes the contemporary problem of the New Woman. It is set in Victorian era London and environs, except for an Alpine excursion. Ann Veronica offers vignettes of the Women's suffrage movement in Great Britain and features a chapter inspired by the 1908 attempt of suffragettes to storm Parliament.

Book of Ruth

The Book of Ruth (abbreviated Rth) (Hebrew: מגילת רות‎, Megilath Ruth, "the Scroll of Ruth", one of the Five Megillot) is included in the third division, or the Writings (Ketuvim), of the Hebrew Bible; in most Christian canons it is treated as a history book and placed between Judges and 1 Samuel, as it is set "in the days when the judges judged", although the Syriac Christian tradition places it later, between Ecclesiastes and the Song of Songs. It is named after its central figure, Ruth the Moabitess, the great-grandmother of David.

The book tells of Ruth's accepting the God of the Israelites as her God and the Israelite people as her own. In Ruth 1:16–17, Ruth tells Naomi, her Israelite mother-in-law, "Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me." The book is held in esteem by Jews who fall under the category of Jews-by-choice, as is evidenced by the considerable presence of Boaz in rabbinic literature. The Book of Ruth also functions liturgically, as it is read during the Jewish holiday of Shavuot ("Weeks").

Dream Cycle

The Dream Cycle is a series of short stories and novellas by author H. P. Lovecraft (1890–1937). Written between 1918 and 1932, they concern themselves with the "Dreamlands", a vast, alternate dimension that can only be entered via dreams.

Euclid

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Euclid is the anglicized version of the Greek name Εὐκλείδης, which means "renowned, glorious".

Gitanjali

Gitanjali (Bengali: গীতাঞ্জলি, lit. ''Song offering'', IPA: [git̪ɑːnd͡ʒoli]) is a collection of poems by the Bengali poet Rabindranath Tagore. Tagore received the Nobel Prize for Literature, largely for the book.

It is part of the UNESCO Collection of Representative Works. As regards Gitanjali,the rest is history. Its central theme is devotion & motto is 'I am here to sing thee songs '(No. Xv).

If—

"If—" is a poem by English Nobel laureate Rudyard Kipling, written circa 1895 as a tribute to Leander Starr Jameson. It is a literary example of Victorian-era stoicism. The poem, first published in Rewards and Fairies (1910), is written in the form of paternal advice to the poet's son, John.

Luther's Small Catechism

Luther's Small Catechism (German: Der Kleine Katechismus) is a catechism written by Martin Luther and published in 1529 for the training of children. Luther's Small Catechism reviews the Ten Commandments, the Apostles' Creed, the Lord's Prayer, the Sacrament of Holy Baptism, the Office of the Keys and Confession and the Sacrament of the Eucharist. It is included in the Book of Concord as an authoritative statement of what Lutherans believe. The Small Catechism is widely used today in Lutheran churches as part of youth education and Confirmation. It was mandatory for confirmands in the Church of Sweden until the 1960s.

O Captain! My Captain!

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Open Library

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It provides access to many public domain and out-of-print books, which can be read online.

Rikki-Tikki-Tavi

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Sam M. Lewis

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Second Epistle to the Corinthians

The Second Epistle to the Corinthians, often written as 2nd Corinthians, is a Pauline epistle and the eighth book of the New Testament of the Bible. Paul the Apostle and "Timothy our brother" wrote this epistle to "the church of God which is at Corinth, with all the saints which are in all Achaia".[2Cor.1:1]

Self-Reliance

"Self-Reliance" is an 1841 essay written by American transcendentalist philosopher and essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson. It contains the most thorough statement of one of Emerson's recurrent themes: the need for each individual to avoid conformity and false consistency, and follow their own instincts and ideas. It is the source of one of Emerson's most famous quotations: "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines." This essay is an analysis into the nature of the “aboriginal self on which a universal reliance may be grounded.”

Sidney Lee

Sir Sidney Lee (5 December 1859 – 3 March 1926) was an English biographer, writer and critic.

The Devil in Iron

"The Devil in Iron" is one of the original stories by Robert E. Howard about Conan the Cimmerian, first published in Weird Tales in August 1934. Howard earned $115 for the publication of this story.The plot concerns the resurrection of a mythical demon due to the theft of a sacred dagger, and an unrelated trap that lures Conan to the island fortress roamed by the demon. Due to its plot loopholes and borrowed elements from "Iron Shadows in the Moon", some Howard scholars claim this story is the weakest of the early Conan tales.

The Hour of the Dragon

The Hour of the Dragon, also known as Conan the Conqueror, is a fantasy novel by American writer Robert E. Howard featuring his sword and sorcery hero Conan the Cimmerian. It was one of the last Conan stories published before Howard's suicide, although not the last to be written. The novel was first published in serial form in the December, 1935 through April, 1936 issues of the pulp magazine Weird Tales. The first book edition was published by Gnome Press in hardcover in 1950. The Gnome Press edition retitled the story Conan the Conqueror, a title retained by all subsequent editions until 1977, when the original title was restored in an edition issued published by Berkley/Putnam in 1977. The Berkley edition also reverted the text to that of its original Weird Tales publication, discarding later edits. Later editions have generally followed Berkley and published under the original title. The 1997 film Kull the Conqueror is loosely based on The Hour of the Dragon, replacing Conan with Kull but otherwise keeping the same basic plot.

The Kingdom of God Is Within You

The Kingdom of God Is Within You (pre-reform Russian: Царство Божіе внутри васъ; post-reform Russian: Царство Божие внутри вас, tr. Tsárstvo Bózhiye vnutrí vas) is a non-fiction book written by Leo Tolstoy. A philosophical treatise, the book was first published in Germany in 1894 after being banned in his home country of Russia. It is the culmination of thirty years of Tolstoy's thinking, and lays out a new organization for society based on an interpretation of Christianity focusing on universal love.

The Kingdom of God is Within You is a key text for Tolstoyan proponents of nonviolence, of nonviolent resistance, and of the Christian anarchist movement.

Uncle Remus

Uncle Remus is the fictional title character and narrator of a collection of African-American folktales adapted and compiled by Joel Chandler Harris, published in book form in 1881. A journalist in post-Reconstruction Atlanta, Georgia, Harris produced seven Uncle Remus books. He wrote these stories to represent the struggle in the Southern United States, and more specifically in the plantations. He did so by introducing tales he had heard and framing them in the plantation context. He wrote his stories in a dialect that represented the voice of the narrators and their subculture. For this choice of framing, his collection has encountered controversy.

Valmiki

Valmiki (; Sanskrit: वाल्मीकि, Vālmīki) is celebrated as the harbinger-poet in Sanskrit literature. The epic Ramayana, dated variously from 5th century BCE to first century BCE, is attributed to him, based on the attribution in the text itself. He is revered as Ādi Kavi, the first poet, author of Ramayana, the first epic poem.

Ramayana, originally written by Valmiki, consists of 24,000 shlokas and 7 cantos (kaṇḍas) including Uttara Kanda. Ramayana is composed of about 480,002 words, being a quarter of the length of the full text of the Mahabharata or about four times the length of the Iliad. The Ramayana tells the story of a prince, Rama of the city of Ayodhya in the Kingdom of Kosala, whose wife Sita is abducted by Ravana, the demon-king (Rakshasa) of Lanka. The Valmiki Ramayana is dated variously from 500 BCE to 100 BCE or about co-eval with early versions of the Mahabharata. As with many traditional epics, it has gone through a process of interpolations and redactions, making it impossible to date accurately.

British satirist Aubrey Menen says that Valmiki was, "recognized as a literary genius," and thus was considered, "an outlaw," presumably because of his, "philosophic scepticism," as part of an "Indian Enlightenment" period. Valmiki is also quoted to be the contemporary of Rama. Menen claims Valmiki is, "the first author in all history to bring himself into his own composition." Rama met Valmiki during his period of exile and interacted with him. Valmiki gave shelter to Sita in his hermitage when Rama banished her. Kusha and Lava, the twin sons of Shri Rama were born to Sita in this hermitage. Valmiki taught Ramayana to Kusha and Lava, who later sang the divine story in Ayodhya during the Ashwamedha yajna congregation, to the pleasure of the audience, whereupon, King Rama questioned who they were and later visited Valmiki's hermitage to confirm if Sita, the two children claimed as their mother was in fact his wife in exile. Later, he summoned them to his royal palace. Kusha and Lava sang the story of Rama there and Rama confirmed that whatever had been sung by these two children was entirely true.

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