Frequently Asked Questions
LibriVox Admin Team
Posts: 7972
Joined: September 26th, 2005, 4:14 am
Location: Montreal, QC

Post by hugh »

[Last updated: 3rd December 2015]


Do I have to know what 'podcast' means to volunteer for LibriVox?
No! All you need is your voice, some free software for your computer, a microphone -- and the desire to read out loud.

What does podcast mean?
A podcast is just a way of delivering audio content to your computer or mp3 player, automatically. LibriVox podcasts books from our catalog, one at time. If you subscribe to the LibriVox podcast, you'll get a new audio file from us on your computer four times a week.

What software should I use to record and edit? (PC, Mac, GNU/Linux)
Many of us use Audacity, a free multi-track audio editor and recorder for GNU/Linux, BSD, Mac OS, and Windows. You can download it here:

There are many other programs available, and plenty of ways to get audio from your voice to the computer. Take a look in the forums for more suggestions and help.

What hardware should I use to record?
Our readers use many types of equipment to record. We recommend using a USB microphone that plugs into your computer. Many computers, tablets and phones come with built-in microphones and depending on the sound quality, those may be good options as well. Whatever your equipment, we recommend that you start with a 1-Minute test, to check that all your equipment is working well, and that your technical settings are correct. There's more information on hardware options and some specific recommendations in our wiki.

128kbps? Huh? What language are you talking?
128 kbps is a way of indicating sound quality of an MP3. This is a high quality file, well suited to music. We use this because, where we store the audiobooks, will automatically convert 128 kbps files into other formats when we upload them.

Why aren't you recording in ogg vorbis? automatically converts our 128kbps mp3 files to 64kbps mp3 and ogg vorbis. So we get three files for the price of one (free), and our files are made available in ogg vorbis on the Internet Archive page for each item (click Internet Archive Page on any book page in the LibriVox catalogue).

Do you offer Bit Torrents?
Yes! You will find a torrent link on every book page in the LibriVox catalogue.

Haven't you heard of computer-generated audiobooks?
Yes, we have -- in fact there are a number available direct from Project Gutenberg, among other places. However, we feel that texts read by real humans are sufficiently better that it's worth spending our time recording them. And we hope you agree!

Are there any other projects like LibriVox?
Yes! There are many others using podcasting to bring literature to people's ears. Some projects are collecting public domain works in a similar fashion to us. We think there's enough public domain texts to keep us all busy for years to come.

How are the views (download counts) on the pages calculated?'s FAQ wrote: Downloads (“Views” in parlance) are calculated per item page, per IP address, per day. If you stream a show today, that's one download. If you view the txt file tomorrow, that's another download. If you download every file from a show's page the next day, that counts as one more download. If you download the same file a thousand times the day after that, that still only counts as one more download.
So downloading the complete book as a zip is 1 download. Listening to a chapter each day is one download per chapter. I suppose even listening to 1 minute and deciding you don't like it is one download too. :D
Last edited by MaryAnnSpiegel on December 3rd, 2015, 2:09 pm, edited 2 times in total.