The New York Times has a very nice story today on LibriVox, a project working to create volunteer-read, public domain MP3 audio books. The project uses texts from Project Gutenberg, and the recordings’ complexity ranges from a solo recording of nonsense verse “The Purple Cow” to a full-cast recording of Hamlet.
I came across the project this past spring and recorded one letter’s worth of definitions from The Devil’s Dictionary by Ambrose Bierce — an old favorite. The recording is being checked and combined with others’ contributions, and should be released soon. Among its other volunteer constituencies, LibriVox makes a great hobby for pedantic old hams like me.
It’s wonderful to see how people are squeezing as much utility as possible out of the frozen pool of public domain works we’re left with after the last 30 years of legislation. Imagine what could be done if the public domain were larger!
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