Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Tech Tools: Librivox

This week I'd like to recommend one of my very favorite resources,  Librivox is a free site for the development and distribution of audio recordings, all from books in the public domain.  I often like to work on the construction portions of crochet jewelry while listening to audio books and I know other independent artists seek out background entertainment.  Sometimes I think it is a great luxury to be able to sip tea, crochet colors, and listen to a story... it must be the nostalgic idea of an evening with company in the parlor! The challenge can be finding entertainment that is cost effective as well as actually conducive to productivity.  Librivox fits all my requirements in this regard, I hope you'll try it and share your own listening recommendations.

What does it do?
Free audio books! draws from public domain works (often found at Project Gutenberg) and with the input from volunteer readers as well as support staff creates free audio books in multiple formats.  The catalog grows each month as new completed works are added.

The catalog is searchable by title or author.  The interface is fairly simple, I've even used it on my mobile (Droid Incredible) to download a chapter at a time.  If you use Apple products, the easiest method can be to download the entire book file onto your laptop or desktop, "add to library" with Itunes and then transfer from there to an Ipod/pad or phone.  There are also third party (not created by Librivox) apps for the Iphone that will manage your library for you.  The files are mp3 and should work with nearly any device/computer.

Why should I use it?
I know artists who use audio books as background accompaniment during the production phase of their work, passing the time learning something new or revisiting an old favorite.  Many of us work long hours alone as we create works and manage our businesses, listening to audio recordings gives a sense of community while still allowing for the practical demands of productivity.  Many of the works in the public domain are those which we may recognize the titles, but never actually had a chance to read.  We can create our own continuing education by visiting both non-fiction and classic fiction works.  I personally like listening to what, in the past, was considered light fiction, it now containing words on nearly every page worthy of college literature.

Recommended titles especially for our team:

Tristan and Iseult by Joseph Bedier read by Joy Chan 
This is the classic love story told in the time of Arthurian chivalry.  What makes it extra special is Joy Chan's perfect storytelling accent.  This is a beautiful bedtime story too if you like a distraction from a stressful day...

A reflective memoir written by the first Colorado snow observer, this is a perfect set of stories for the winter season.  Each chapter chronicles a separate adventure and can be read in any order.  The narrator sets a quaint pace, reminiscent of a wilderness wandering.  A few great animal stories are included as well.  I own a first edition of this book and it's wonderful to see the "Faithful Scotch" over 100 years later immortalized by Mills' love.

Well loved classics from Jane Austen, still relevant philosophical works on Democracy, and over 600 recorded poems give just a start to exploring the Librivox catalog.  Enjoy!

Each Wednesday, I'm highlighting tools, websites, and mobile apps that can help our team. Please share your ideas in the comments below or offer tool recommendations with this form.  
Thanks! ~Even

If you're an Etsy seller in the San Francisco Bay Area, contact Jen from Mama's Magic Studio about joining SFEtsy!

1 comment:

Heather G said...

Cool! Thanks for the link!

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