Librivox review 2023
Listen to free audiobooks
LibriVox is an exciting initiative, their mission is to record and publish books that are in the public domain and make them freely available via their website
An exciting development in the world of audiobooks over the past few years is the availability of free, volunteer read audiobooks through LibriVox. This initiative means that people can freely download and listen to classic works of fiction and non fiction from the LibriVox catalog in a variety of formats.
LibriVox was established in 2005 by Hugh McGuire and a few friends. It has grown today to consist of a world wide group of volunteers who record, catalog and publish as audio files, books which are in the public domain. The LibriVox mission is the 'acoustical liberation of books in the public domain'. Read also:Best 5 Audiobook Services
By recording books that are in the public domain, LibriVox are giving people access to audio versions of classics such as books by Louise May Alcott through to Israel Zangwall, with hundreds more in between. These include works by Arthur Conan Doyle, Charles Dickens, Mark Twain and HG Wells. Books by a huge range of different authors are being recorded and published constantly and the LibriVox catalog provides an up to date list of all the different audiobooks that are available currently. Even narrators are required to have some recording experience most of them are not professional and quality can't compare to paid services such as audiobooks.com. Read full review : Audiobooks.com review: Is IT Wort it?
How LibriVox Works?
The books are read by volunteers from around the world – absolutely anyone can volunteer as long as they have some basic recording equipment. A book may be read and recorded as a collaborative project where a group of readers read different sections or chapters, or a single person may take responsibility for recording a whole book. The audio files are edited and then published on the LibriVox website for listeners to freely access. There are no restrictions as to how the files can be used and people are free to download them onto their own computers or even distribute them.
LibriVox audiobooks can be downloaded as mp3 or ogg files and can be listened to on a whole variety of audio devices including pda's and mp3 players, as well as direct from the computer using iTunes, Windows Media Player or any other audio player. New LibriVox audiobooks are podcast so it is possible to listen to the book in installments. Like most of the modern audiobook app, LibriVox has an app that is available on the IOS and Android and it has a rating 4.5 stars which are higher than Scribd app which is 4.4 stars. (Read full review of Scribd)
What is Public Domain
When copyright has expired a book or other works enter the 'public domain'. When a book is still within copyright, people are unable to reproduce any of the content in any form without the permission of the copyright holder. When a book is within the public domain, people are allowed to copy and publish the text and this includes recording audio files of the work. Copyright law is very complicated and people should establish for themselves any specific copyright conditions that may effect whether a book is in the public domain.
LibriVox falls under US law and as such all audio files published are public domain in the US. Typically this means that books recorded before 1923 are within the public domain and they can be recorded and published on the LibriVox website. LibriVox works with Project Gutenberg to establish that a book is in the public domain. Project Gutenberg has the mission to make available as e-books all public domain books and make them freely downloadable from their website. Even LibriVox has a great library of audiobooks it is still limited when compared to a service like Audible for example. Full review of Audible is available here
LibriVox is an interesting initiative and provides a wide and extensive source of audiobooks. As the books are free, this gives an excellent opportunity for a reader to try something different, perhaps listen to a book in an unfamiliar genre, or from an unknown author. It should be noted that the books are read by international volunteers and not professional readers and the wide mix of accents and narrative skills reflects this – however this is part of the rich mix that forms the LibriVox initiative.