Category Archives: Blog Posts

Let’s hear it for Librivox!

I’m on a hunt to find different sites from which I can download audible books. Today I’m writing about a site that I’ve known about for a long time but haven’t used for awhile. When I first learned about it, getting books on it to put on itunes was rather difficult, well that’s changed. Yay!

The site is Librivox found at librivox.org.

So what is Librivox’s mission?

“To make all books in the public domain available, for free, in audio format on the internet.”

How does it work? Volunteers. This is a great project where people from all over the world can record audio for others to download and listen to.  If you want to be a volunteer you just have to sign up with them, and then they send you the information to get started recording for them. They provide the texts, you provide the voice.

Are the recordings as high quality as professionally made recordings? In general no. There are some readers with better recording equipment and their audio quality is greater. Some volunteers just use the mic that comes with their computer. Some people have a great reading voice, others, not so much. It’s kind of hit and miss.

Some texts will have more than one recording that you can download and listen to. If you find that you don’t like the voice of the one you are listening to, you can go back and look for a different recording of the same text. Please note,  not all the texts have more than one audio recording.

Where do they get the texts? Most of their texts come from Project Gutenberg. (Another great site.)

Can Librivox books be found in itunes without going to their site? Yes, just type in Librivox in the itunes search store and it will bring up several podcasts which are Librivox recordings of books. Each podcast is a different book.

There are also many applications available for download that let you search the Librivox library and listen to audio via the app.

While the audio quality can be so-so at times, I have listened to several books and feel that, over-all, this is a great site for listening to older books. I hope you check them out. Have a great day!

 

Shout Outs!

I want to give shout outs to people that support and help me, and also inspire me to continue my podcasting journey.

Green Embers” My brother has been blogging and podcasting for quite awhile and he inspires me by all he does online. Thanks Bro!
http://greenembers.wordpress.com/

Mindi, my co-host, has started her own site. Warning: She is rather “colorful in her metaphors” (she swears), but she has a great sense of humor. Thanks for co-hosting with me Twin!
http://thepulpandbind.wordpress.com/

Cliff Ravenscraft. My podcasting teacher. He runs a podcasting class a few times during the year, and if you want to know how to get a podcast started, his site is a great reference. Thanks Cliff! Just google Podcast Answerman and you will find him.


Buck Benny” My favorite OTR podcast is the Jack Benny podcast hosted by “Buck Benny.” I love how he does his show and I am even a volunteer for doing intros on his show. Thanks Buck!
http://jack_benny.podomatic.com/

The History Chicks. These two ladies produce one of my favorite history podcasts and it was while listening to them that I thought to myself, “I could do this. I should start a podcast.” Thanks History Chicks! They are easily found in a google search.

Pat Flynn. He write the Smart Passive Income Blog. It’s through his podcast that I heard about Cliff Ravenscraft. I also enjoy listening to Pat’s podcast because of all the information he shares about making a passive income. Thanks Pat! Just google Smart Passive Income and you’ll find him.

 

Podiobooks

So I was listening to a podcast today and the guest mentioned a site called, “Podiobooks.com.” I was intrigued because she said that the audio books were free. Yes, that’s right, FREE!

Since I listen to books a lot at my job, and have limited funds to always be buying audio books, I was instantly interested in learning more.

I went to the site and it’s true! They are free. SWEET!

Are these currently popular books? Nope. They are books that lesser known authors have chosen to be allowed on the site for free so they can get their name out there. Their hope is that once people have discovered them there, the people will look for their other books to buy them. So, if you are an author wanting to be discovered and want to expand your reach, this could be a good option for you.

The site functions on donations and you can “tip” the authors for their books if you would like to show your appreciation in a monetary way. I like this because I do think people have a right to be compensated for their time and efforts in writing and/or creating audio. I also like that listeners aren’t forced to contribute, it is on a voluntary basis. If you don’t like the book, don’t tip.

Some of the books had a link to Amazon where you could buy a kindle copy of the book. Cool!

I’m looking forward to exploring this site more and loading up on books to listen to at work.

If any of you have used this service before and have some thoughts or comments, please share them. 🙂

Random Musings

I have been trying to spend less time on the internet. Ha ha. Hasn’t worked. There are so many things that I am discovering. They’ve been there the whole time; I just haven’t really looked around at them.

Podcasts, blogs, youtube, twitter, sites dedicated to a single subject, the list goes on and on. Honestly, it feels a little overwhelming thinking about all of it.

I would like to explore the internet more. Talk about a goldmine of literature! My problem is focusing. SQUIRREL!

I’ll start to read a blog, article, review, etc., and my mind will jump ahead instead of focusing on what I’m reading.

So if my blogs and podcasts seem a little random, there’s a reason for that. It’s how my brain works; always jumping ahead to the next thing I want to talk about before finishing the current subject. Just like when I read things on the internet.

It’s a little easier to focus on reading a book. Probably because I can’t open a new tab and find something else with which to distract myself.

Please have patience with me friends. 🙂

Why I like Audible

I work a job that allows me to listen to whatever I like for eight hours a day. That’s a lot of time. I enjoy listening to podcasts, music, and audiobooks. Many of the books I’ve listened to I got from Audible.com. There are other sources for audible books that I will write about in future blog posts.

To be clear, I do not have an affiliate relationship with Audible; and the powers that be at Audible have no idea I’m writing this.

I am not currently a member of Audible, however, I was for quite some time. (I stopped for financial reasons, not because I didn’t enjoy Audible.)

I loved being able to listen to audio books while at work. Audible has made it easy to listen by creating an app that allows you to download your books directly to your smartphone. No more saving it to your computer then transferring it to your listening device; which was how I originally had to transfer my books.

Even though I am no longer a member of Audible, I still have access to all my books and I use the Audible app on my phone all the time to re-listen to some of my favorite downloads. This is one of the great features, even when I erase a book from my phone, I can re-download it later.  I don’t have to save any books on a backup disc;  although I could if I wanted to.

There are many different listening devices that you can use to listen to your books: Smartphones, Kindles, Computers, iPads, Kindles, iPod touch, and more. You can find a list of devices on Audible.com.

Signing up with Audible is great because they give you a free download. If you decide you don’t want to continue with Audible you can cancel at anytime. Even right after you sign up. I really like this about Audible because I’ve never liked being locked into long term contracts.

If you are an Audible member, you save 30% on any book you choose to purchase. This is a good price considering how much audible books sell for.

If you are not a member, you can still purchase books on Audible. You will have to pay full price though. Unless… they are having a sale. Which they often do. I purchased several books on Audible, after I was no longer a member, when they had a sale and I got the sale price. They also have daily deals that you can purchase for the sale price, whether you are a member or not. Thank you Audible!

I also like the way Audible has set up their book review structure. They have three categories: Overall, Performance, and Story. The Overall is the combination of Performance and Story.

The Performance category is where listeners can rate the narrator’s performance. Most narrators do a great job, only occasionally have I come across a book where an overwhelming group of listeners dislike the performance. And because of Audible, I can know before I purchase anything how good a performance the narrator gave.

The Story category, obviously, is a review of the actual story. Listeners give their thoughts about the book, what they enjoyed, what they didn’t, how much they enjoyed it, or didn’t enjoy it.

I am very thankful for all the listeners that take time to rate books and give their feedback. The difficult thing about buying an a book is not knowing if you will enjoy it. Thanks to reviews, I can get a better sense of whether or not I will enjoy a book. If I find that I don’t enjoy a book, then I can get a full refund from Audible for that book.

Overall, I think Audible is a great company and I enjoy the service they provide.

 

 

Books vs. ereaders vs. audiobooks

Here are my thoughts on: books, ereaders, and audiobooks, I like them all! Depending on what I am doing, I prefer one over the other.

Books. I loooooooove, actual physical books. The feel of them, the smell, the crisp new pages, the old dog-eared pages. I love real books. I have three bookshelves in my room filled with books. If I want to curl up on a rainy day and enjoy a book, I like a real book in my hand. I find that the physical books that I buy now are the books that I would read while curled up on the couch in comfort. Or the books that I want to use my highlighter on. The few cons are how heavy or big they can be; and you can’t read them if there are no lights on.

Ebooks. If I’m traveling, waiting at the doctor’s office, or waiting for a movie to start, I like being able to pull out my phone and open up an ebook. I don’t have to carry heavy books around with me everywhere, just my phone. I also like that they are backlit so I can still read even if the lights aren’t on in the room. A few cons: if the battery dies on my device that’s it for reading, not all books are available as an ebook, and not all phones support e-reader apps.

Audiobooks. I’m a production worker, and unless there is someone next to me to talk to, the only things left to do is listen to whatever radio station is playing at work, or what I want to listen to. I usually don’t like the radio station playing so I enjoy listening to books at work. I also listen to audiobooks while walking the dog, biking, gardening, etc. A few cons, sometimes I want to grab a highlighter and underline something, but, I can’t! While most professionally read books have good narrators, there are some books that have a crummy narrator and it makes it difficult to listen to the books. If the device I’m using glitches, I could lose my place and it’s difficult to find where I was in an audiobook. Especially if that book was a long book.

I use all three ways of reading; so sometimes I have a few copies of the same book; a physical book, an ebook, or an audible book. When someone asks me which I would recommend, I would say that it depends on what they prefer and what kind of time they have. Not all jobs allow audiobooks. Not all phones support e-reading apps. So it really boils down to what reading method each person feels would work best for them.