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kri
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Joined: January 3rd, 2006, 8:34 pm
Location: Keene NH
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Post by kri » January 16th, 2007, 4:18 pm

I want to re-state and perhaps elaborate on two points that have already been made. 1) Subjectivity - One of the most important things to remember is that a lot of the things that you prefer in an audiobook are subjective. While you may dislike footnotes (and the reason doesn't matter) being read amidst the text, others may prefer it. I don't think any one person has a better reason for why a recording should be this way or that. We are very relaxed about how recordings are made, and have very open standards. This means we generally don't specify how a recording should be read, or decide which recording is better than another. I have seen very wildly differing opinions on my reading of Heart of Darkness. I am a woman, and have a voice that sometimes sounds like a child (so I'm told). Some have said my voice totally doesn't fit the piece, others have told me they really enjoyed my reading.

This leads me to my second point, and that is 2) acceptance. The reason we have such a large catalog is because we are very accepting. I think everyone - excepting those with radio or voice experience - goes through a stage of nervousness on their first few recordings. I know I did. Our priority here at LibriVox is to get audible recordings of classic texts. Second to that we worry about quality, and skill. We want these works to be available to more people, and more accessible to more people. Hence our motto "acoustical liberation of books in the public domain" on the front page. We do encourage our readers to improve their skill, read the best that they can, but we don't force it on them. We provide a place for discussion, information, and encouragement to improve, and that's all.

The only way for this project to continue to be successful as it has - and I define successful as having a growing catalog - is to create as few road blocks as possible for new volunteers to begin. Hugh has written more lengthy words on this, but the basics are this: You very few things to read for LV.
  • 1. A computer with the internet. That's easy. You're viewing the website, you're already there.
    2. Recording software. Audacity is great free software, and all you need to do is download and install it.
    3. A voice. Easy for the majority of people.
    4. A microphone. I'm surprised at how many people just had a microphone lying around. I did. For those that don't, they either proof listen, or volunteer in some other way, and eventually become hooked and can't resist but to go out and buy a $20 mic.
If we start to impose stricter standards, and make things less open for new volunteers, our catalog will stop growing quite so fast as it is. Also, it would become an administrative nightmare as far as I can see. It would require more manpower to shuffle through things and as an admin and MC, I don't like the sound of that. I've got enough to do![/b]

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