14 November 2007

Online Audio Books

I changed jobs recently. I am now working at Omniture, Inc. This has been a great move except for one thing…the commute. I know, I know, forty minutes to an hour is not that long of a commute by many peoples standards, but it takes me away from my family for an extra couple of hours a day. This is unacceptable to me so we are planning on moving to fix the problem. In the mean time, I have found something that at least makes the commute much more enjoyable: Audio books online.

There are quite a few different online audio book websites. I am just going to discuss my favorite. LibriVox provides over 1000 free audio books from the public domain. Volunteers record themselves reading books and make them available on the LibriVox website. All recordings are placed in the public domain.

There are several options for reading or listening to your chosen story. The full text is made available from the Gutenberg website. There are links available to Wikipedia telling you more about the author and the book you are looking at. The recordings are archived at the Internet archive website. The archive website makes the recordings available as mp3 files at either 64kbps or 128kbps as well as in the ogg vorbis format. You can also download the mp3 files as a zip file or listen to it as a streaming broadcast. LibriVox makes links available to quickly subscribe to the story as an iTunes Podcast. You can also join an email subscription to have the story sent to you one chapter a day. In other words, LibriVox has done all they can to please your listening preference.

I have listened to quite a few different stories now and have found most of the recordings to be of a good quality. They are certainly better than listening to repeatitive news casts or obnoxious DJ’s. In fact, I enjoy the books a lot. It has made my commute very enjoyable.

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