Community-Created Audio Books

At “Les stratégies d’innovation dans le Web 2.0″ conference, Hugh McGuire gave us some background on, a very interesting audio book creation community.

Hugh Mcguire Librivox

Picture by Philippe Martin


  • Librivox is a project to get volunteers to record audio versions of public domain books.
  • 2500 volunteers
  • Probably one of the most prolific audio book producers in the world
  • Currently 1800 books in their catalog (60 to 70 new books a month)
  • Using WordPress for their web site
  • Home page clearly tells you what you can do on the site.  You can listen or you can volunteer (read for them).
  • 40,000 visits a day, millions of downloads
  • Lot of dedication in the community with a hyper-active group at the top, maybe 50 people who contributed the majority of audio books
  • Internet Archive hosts everything.
  • Inspiration for the project came from the free software movement, how pragmatically successful it was.  Wikipedia and podcasting were also inspiring.
  • Long-term vision: objective to record every public domain work in audio.



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