In yesterday's post, I looked at Learning Ally, which focused on providing audiobooks for those who have trouble with the printed word – whether blind, dyslexic, or having some other disability.
But many of the best books out there are in the public domain… so why not free audiobooks to accompany?
Librivox has been building a catalog of public domain works, often working from Gutenberg library copies, with the help of volunteers. You can search their catalog by title or author, or browse the entire catalog…which I don't really recommend. There are further search options, but it's true that it's somewhat difficult to browse unless you have something specific in mind. They really need to improve navigation there… and another issue is that some works have multiple readers, which may not be to your taste. And yes, the quality of readers varies quite a bit.
But it's difficult to be too critical of an all-volunteer, free product
(not that people don't bitch about free stuff on the internet all the time)
It's not just English works that are on Librivox, by the way. They've got over 1500 works in German, over 600 in French (ooh, maybe I should check out the Arsene Lupin recording), and a smattering in a wide variety of languages, even the made up language of Esperanto (La Aventuroj de Alicio en Mirlando, anybody?).
Lots of obscure books are covered, and in easily downloadable forms. I used to download entire books on my iPod, each chapter being a separate track. They also use ogg format.
All 12 Days:
- The Gift of Tongues - free foreign language instruction online
- Learn Lots about History with Bob - long-running podcast on history
- Learn with Udacity - free online college classes, mainly in comp sci
- KHAAAAAAAAAN - free math videos and exercises at Khan Academy
- MIT education for free - online, of course
- Lectures on CD/DVD - with a few of my favorite instructors and courses (not free, but available at many libraries)
- YouTube - not just good for cute cat videos
- Helping those who can't read - cheap audiobook resources for those who need the help, and great volunteer opportunity for those who can help
- Free audiobooks for all! - public domain works easily downloaded
- More free college courses - online, with loads of subjects covered
- Learn to code - online, for free, in a fun way
- The Museum of Math! Woot! (I still need to go in person – maybe later this month)