From Pine View Farm

And Now for Something Completely Different 3

Free audio books.

A while ago, I posted a link to a site offering free audio-books. Opie worried that they might be computer generated and his worries were right on target. I tried one out, and it had all the life of last year’s cornstalk.

Today, I was nosing around Project Gutenberg and discovered that they have added audio-books to their choices. Some of them are computer-generated, but almost 500 were done by people.

Even better, their Advanced Search feature allows you to specify which type you are interested in (as well as a number of other criteria). The couple that I looked at were available in Ogg Vorbis, Apple iTunes, mp3, and speex (whatever that is) formats.

Much of the work for Project Gutenberg is done by volunteers, so it is probably unreasonable to expect professional-quality narration.

I downloaded several Project Gutenberg text files and ran out (cyberly speaking) to get myself a reader for my cell phone.

A note about Project Gutenberg:

It rocks. But remember that every book there is in the public domain, that is, the copyright has expired. Don’t look there for the latest John Grisham thriller; you’ll have to find some other place to infringe on that copyright (try newsgroups). Nevertheless, it has thousands of titles, ranging from Mark Twain to Shakespeare to Sigmund Freud to Edward Hobbes to even Victor Appleton (pen name of the author of the Tom Swift books).



  1. Opie

    May 17, 2008 at 9:18 am

    There are some good books in that list too… books I’ve always thought I should read and never have. Jack London, Jules Verne… stuff I should have read in high school and didn’t.

  2. Frank

    May 17, 2008 at 1:00 pm

    There are a lot of good books available there.  I think you’ll like Jules Verne.  And if you have never read the Three Musketeers it’s time you did.

    Jack London never did much for me, but I’ve read most of what Mark Twain wrote, and you can find most of it there.

    Project Gutenberg is a truly public spirited project.

  3. Opie

    May 17, 2008 at 4:06 pm

    As a person with a love for foreign languages, I have to say that if all Twain had ever written was "The Awful German Language," it would be a career-maker in itself. I had tears in my eyes the first time I read about how when he stopped and considered all the grammar involved in just learning how to say "I have a friend in Germany" in German, it crossed his mind that it may be easier just not to have any friends in Germany.