Tag Archives: Audiobooks

Announcing the new Iambik Audiobook Company

Today we received an email from Hugh McGuire, the guy who started the fantastic LibriVox public domain audiobook community (with many of their source eBooks coming from Project Gutenberg), announcing the launch of his new audiobook company called Iambik Audio. In his email he says;

We are thrilled to announce the launch a new audiobook company – Iambik Audiobooks – based loosely on the LibriVox model, but working in tandem with publishers. We’ve got some great audiobooks from Lydia Millet, Gordon Lish, Felicia Luna Lemus, and Andrew Kaufman among others.

This looks a really interesting project and the fact that they use a revenue-share model with both the authors and narrators, this could be a really interesting way to boost both their salaries and reputations. Congrats go out to Hugh, I’m sure he will make Iambik a massive success.

You can access the website here; http://iambik.com

Here is the full Iambik Audio Press Release;

Continue reading Announcing the new Iambik Audiobook Company

How to Convert an eBook to MP3

One of the easiest ways to start creating MP3 files of eBooks is to visit download TextAloud from NextUp. The product costs $29.95 but they do have a trial offer for you to try out.

Then you will need a “voice”. Because I am British I use “Graham” from Acapela. Voices from this manufacturer cost $35. There are lots more voices that you can hear samples of at that website. Male, female, US, Australian, Indian, just take your personal choice. RealSpeak voices cost $45. AT&T Natural Voices generally cost $35. A pair of NeoSpeech voices cost $35. The larger the file-size of a “voice” the better it should be, because it will have the pronunciation of more words than a smaller sized voice, and it should also have rules for deciding between the pronunciation of the roughly 120 words in the English language that have two or more different pronunciations. If there is a choice between 8 kHz (kilohertz) and 16 kHz voices take the 16 kHz, because this number indicates the sampling rate per second. Your computer comes complete with some voices that will work with TextAloud, but they are not as good as, say, the Acapela voices. When you are listening to a good, modern, voice, it is hard to believe it is not a real person that is speaking. Any voice you buy should be described as SAPI5, as that is the most modern standard.

Continue reading How to Convert an eBook to MP3

Speak The Speech – Shakespeare audio for free

Speak The Speech LogoIn response to our Shakespeare Actors Wanted request, where we are looking for volunteers actors to read the plays of Shakespeare, I had an email from a Peter Pressman who wrote to me about the Speak The Speech project. This is a group of volunteers who are wanting to make Shakespeare more universally accessible by producing audio recordings of all his plays.

We are a small audio theatre company dedicated to providing freely available Shakespearean audio performances online, for the benefit of educators, students, theatre people, the disabled, those in rural areas or overseas, or to put it simply: Everyone!

They have so far produced five full plays with their sixth, Romeo and Juliet, currently in production.

  • As You Like It
  • Henry IV: Part I
  • Henry IV: Part II
  • Romeo and Juliet (Coming Soon!)
  • Twelfth Night
  • The Tempest

Peter hopes that they can work together with Project Gutenberg towards providing the complete works of William Shakespeare online for free. I hope so too and have placed Peter in contact with Michael Hart.

Speak The Speech are always seeking submissions, and volunteers so if you want to help, or just wish to listen to their current selections, please visit; www.speak-the-speech.com

LibriVox Produces its 1,000th Audio Recording!

LibriVox Logo imageThis is a fantastic feat for LibriVox who do great work on producing public domain audio recordings, much of which gets passed to the Project Gutenberg archives. Congratulations to everyone involved!

Here is the official press release.

LibriVox makes it to 1,000!

LibriVox, the free audio book project has just cataloged its 1,000th book: “http://librivox.org/the-murders-in-the-rue-morgue-by-edgar-allen-poe/“, by Edgar Allan Poe (read by Reynard T. Fox).

LibriVox.org started in August 2005 with a simple objective: “to make all public domain books available as free audio books.” Thirteen people collaborated to make the first recording, Joseph Conrad’s “Secret Agent.”

Two years later, LibriVox has become the most prolific audiobook publisher in the world – we are now putting out 60-70 books a month, we have a catalog of 1,000 works, which represents a little over 6 months of *continuous* audio; we have some 1,500 volunteers who have contributed audio to the project; and a catalog that includes Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice,” “Moby Dick,” Darwin’s “Origin of the Species,” “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,” Einstein’s “Relativity: The Special and General Theory,” Kant’s “Critique of Pure Reason,” and other less well-known gems such as “Romance of Rubber” edited by John Martin. We have recordings in 21 languages, and about half of our recordings are solo efforts by one reader, while the other half are collaborations among many readers.

We are always looking for new volunteers! Come join us.

Combined PG projects hit the 25,000th post!

This last week the combined PG projects hit the 25,000th eBook. The book that was posted is;

Audio: The Essays of Francis Bacon by Francis Bacon                    22978
    [Audio reading by Carl Vonnoh, III ]
    [Link: http://www.gutenberg.org/2/2/9/7/22978 ]
    [Files: 22978-readme.txt; 22978-index.html; 22978-mp3.mp3;
            22978-ogg.ogg; 22978-m4b.m4b; 22978-spx.spx ]

Thanks to Carl Vonnoh, III and LibriVox (www.librivox.org)

This was posted by Joshua Hutchinson.

Also this week the eBook #23000 was posted. This was reserved and finally released as;

Orley Farm, by Anthony Trollope                                          23000
  [Link: http://www.gutenberg.org/2/3/0/0/23000 ]
  [Files: 23000.txt; 23000-8.txt; 23000-h.htm; ]
  [Clearance: 20070827140111trollope]

Posted by Joe Loewenstein.

Congratulations to everyone who helps provide PG with so many new books each week.

Here is a message from Michael Hart,

It would appear we have just now reached the 25,000th eBook produced by YOU!,
the Project Gutenberg volunters!!!!!!!

This includes:

PG of Australia
PG of Europe
PG of Canada

In addition, PG has received some 75,000 eBooks from the wide variety of eLibraries who donate to us from their production.

We are also looking for volunteers to help fledgling efforts to start Project Gutenberg sites in China, South America, Africa, and any other locations you would like.

Again, my HUGE thanks!!!!!!!

Michael S. Hart
Founder
Project Gutenberg

— Mike Cook [Ed]

Shakespearean Actors Wanted

Along with the thousands of text files that Project Gutenberg has to offer there are also many audio recordings. For many people these are great ways to get to know the works of different authors.

Recently Michael Hart received a request from Tina Hansen,

I notice that your site offers a number of audio books, both human narrated and computer generated. I am pleased that you are adding more books read by voice talent. I wish to suggest that adding a human-narrated version of Shakespeare’s play A Midsummer Night’s Dream would be of value to anyone visiting the site. You do have this done with an electronic voice, but I must be honest when I say that doing any Shakespeare play with an electronic voice just doesn’t sound the same as it does when you get a group of competent voices together. The electronic voices simply lack the nuances to make these works come alive for the reader. Instead, the listener is likely to dose off. Thus, I suggest that a call be put out for a version of this text done by competent actors. I’m sure that there are plenty of theater groups around the country who would be more than happy to take on this project. Thanks.

As the son of a Shakespeare professor Michael Hart was in complete agreement.

Therefore Project Gutenberg would like to put out a request for any persons or avid Shakespeare theatre groups to step forward and volunteer to make these.

If you are unsure on how to go about making these recordings then visit the LibriVox website. There’s lot of information on the website to help you get started.