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Posts Tagged ‘librivox’


I am a fan of Librivox.org where I have downloaded many classic audio readings to enjoy on my iPod, and at times on my laptop. (Books I Have Read.) I have recently discovered some interesting statistics at their web site. Their wonderful volunteer readers have now recorded a total of “almost” 8760 hours of audio, which means that, if one is so inclined, one could listen to Librivox.org recordings for almost an entire year (345+ days), without even a bathroom break.

Perhaps I could do that now that my iPod Touch no longer turns off automatically when I fall asleep at night whilst listening. (See yesterday’s post.)

In addition, this incredible feat was accomplished by 2140 volunteer readers, of whom sixty readers completed 50% of the recordings. That calculates to six months “non-stop” audio readings by sixty Librivox volunteers

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A country without a patent office and good patent laws was just a crab, and couldn’t travel any way but sideways or backways.” ~~The Connecticut Yankee

I have just finished an audio reading of Mark Twain’s “A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court” from John Greenman at Librivox.org.

Having patent attorneys amongst my descendants, I was quite captivated by the Connecticut Yankee’s valuation of patents. As soon as he had obtained rank of importance in Camelot, the Yankee wrote:

“The first thing you want in a new country, is a patent office; then work up your school system; and after that, out with your paper.”

“the very first official thing I did, in my administration — and it was on the very first day of it, too — was to start a patent office; for I knew that a country without a patent office and good patent laws was just a crab, and couldn’t travel any way but sideways or backways.

I so enjoyed Mr. Greenman’s audio presentation that I sent his reading of “Tom Sawyer” to my grandson. Now I also have been captivated by listening to Tom’s Adventures on my computer: http://www.archive.org/details/tom_sawyer_librivox.

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I have been listening to G.K. Chesteron’s “A Short History of England” from librivox.org and am quite enjoying it; so much so, that I think I should read it in text, as there is so much to savor that is not possible when briefly hearing it, or when missing a word. However, I think the title is a misnomer. In my opinion, the book should have been entitled “An ‘Opinionated‘ History of England,” I think.

The author certainly loves to use paradox in the manner of Charles Dickens. One of the most famous lines in English literature is the opening of Dickens’ “Tale of Two Cities.” “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times… .” Chesterton uses this type of paradox construction about a dozen times in each and every chapter, it seems. I feel he overdoes it a bit.

However, … this lode star of life I love: “I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought; and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.”

Here is an even SHORTER history of England: \”The History of England\” by Jane Austen.

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When I was a child, no one ever read “Wind in the Willows” to me. I am now making up for lost years, by listening to it on my new iPod Touch. The story of each chapter is told by a different reader at Librivox. I do not know how it is that I ever turned into the something or other that I am, without the life’s wisdom that is told by these wonderful animals in the storybook.

What a delight it was last night while listening to Kara Shallenberg reading Chapter Three – “The Wild Wood” to find myself in the old children’s tale. I am Badger. I even live on the border of the “Wild Wood.”

The Mole had long wanted to make the acquaintance of the Badger.  He seemed, by all accounts, to be such an important personage and, though rarely visible, to make his unseen influence felt by everybody about the place.  But whenever the Mole mentioned his wish to the Water Rat he always found himself put off.  ‘It’s all right,‘ the Rat would say. ‘Badger’ll turn up some day or other–he’s always turning up–and then I’ll introduce you.  The best of fellows!  But you must not only take him AS you find him, but WHEN you find him.’

‘Couldn’t you ask him here dinner or something?‘ said the Mole.

‘He wouldn’t come,‘ replied the Rat simply.  ‘Badger hates Society, and invitations, and dinner, and all that sort of thing.’

‘Well, then, supposing we go and call on HIM?‘ suggested the Mole.

‘O, I’m sure he wouldn’t like that at ALL,‘ said the Rat, quite alarmed.  ‘He’s so very shy, he’d be sure to be offended. I’ve never even ventured to call on him at his own home myself, though I know him so well.  Besides, we can’t.  It’s quite out of the question, because he lives in the very middle of the Wild Wood.’

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I am continuing to learn how to use my new iPod as a reader. I like being able to download audio books of my choosing, however I have discovered that when I click on the link at LibriVox that reads “Subscribe in iTunes,” although it does automatically download the entire book into iTunes on my computer, it in fact downloads as a Pod-cast, and shows up under Pod-casts on the iPod. In a troubleshooting mode, I returned to LibriVox to try and download an audio book as an “Audio Book.” So far, I have not been able to actually do that. The nearest I came was to do a kind of work-around by downloading the book as a zip file onto my computer and then creating a “Play-list” in the “Music” tab in iTunes. I transferred all the MP3 files of the book into the play-list, which I named with the book’s title. Now, when I want to listen to the book, I go to the Music Tab on my iPod and find it under play-lists. The “Play-list” book plays all the way through, without stopping at the end of each chapter as the pod-casts do, however … when I stop in the middle of a chapter, and then return to listening, it is necessary to begin at the beginning of that chapter again. And, of course, I have to remember to which chapter I was previously listening, no small feat to someone with “Vanishing Memories.” I cannot find a way to backtrack or to go forward in the chapters with the iPod Touch.

However, I still love it, and although I did look at the display of Sony Reader at the store, which I am sure does all of these things and more, my iPod Touch is so much smaller and easier to carry about in a pocket, purse, camera case, the palm of my hand or wherever.

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I have been reading “The History of the Middle Ages” by Samuel B. Harding. It was written for children of long, long ago, and as I have always felt quite deficient in my knowledge of European history, I decided to give it a try. I actually am not really reading it, as it is being read to me by a lovely lady named Kara Shallenberg. I found the audio at her web site kayray.org and downloaded it to my new Ipod. I have never owned an MP3 player before this new Ipod Touch, so all of the learning and implementing of this new technology is quite revolutionary to me.

Anyway, when I awoke in my bed in the middle of last night, I reached for my trusty new Ipod, and listened for three chapters until I fell back asleep whilst the Vandals, Huns, Romans and Goths were marauding the entire European continent. Well, not really the Romans, as they were civilized. This audio book stops at the end of each chapter, which seems to be good, as once I fell asleep, the recording eventually stopped. I think the Ipod turns itself off too, but I am not sure of that. Ms. Shallenberg reads for LibriVox.org where I found this at their website:

We get most of our texts from Project Gutenberg, and the Internet Archive and ibiblio.org host our audio files (for free!). Our annual budget is $0, and for the moment we don’t need any money. We’ll let you know if that changes. In the mean time, perhaps you might consider supporting our partners: Project Gutenberg, Internet Archive.

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LibriVox is Free


I made a mistake in my posting yesterday about free audio books. I have since corrected it. LibriVox.org has free audio books. I wrote “librivox.com”, which is NOT free, but is a gateway to paid sites for audio books.  This is what LibriVox says at their site:

LibriVox: free audiobooks:
LibriVox volunteers record chapters of books in the public domain and release the audio files back onto the net. Our goal is to make all public domain books available as free audio books.

I have since discovered another promising site of current audiobooks. It is audible.com and one subscribes to it for a monthly fee. I am planning on giving that a trial, as it will be a way of getting current books that are still under copyright.

Oh the world it is a-changing and I am forever trying to keep up.

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I have discovered that I can both listen to audio books and read text books on my new Ipod Touch. I am quite amazed by it all. Today I spent some time trying to learn how it works.

I expected that I would be able to download audio books. I just had to learn how to do it. Since I am interested mainly in the classics I don’t need to buy anything from the Itunes store, thank goodness. The books that I like are free at librivox.org and other places. However, I was quite astonished at how easy these are to capture. Right now I am downloading “The Secret Garden.”

This is what I have learned so far. I go to librivox.org and find the audio book or whatever that I want on my Ipod. On the catalog page for that book, there is a link that reads “Subscribe in iTunes.” I click that link and from there it automatically downloads the entire book into the iTunes player on my computer. The first time I did this I was confused because I received only the first chapter. However, I did not know that after the first chapter downloads, you go to the “Podcasts” tab in iTunes where you see the title of the book with a little black triangle to the left of it. You must click that black arrow and the “GET” button to download the remaining chapters. It is quite easy, although I do have to double check and make sure that each chapter actually downloads.

Then you synch your Ipod to your Itunes on your computer. I am about to try that now that I have downloaded two audio books. Synching to the Ipod Touch is more than a bit confusing, but eventually I am able to get it to work. I hope it works this time, as here goes.

I will explain how to read text books in another post.

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