Audio Pod Library - Narrator Profiles Wanted

Comments about LibriVox? Suggestions to improve things? News?
sjmarky
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Post by sjmarky » June 14th, 2008, 6:06 pm

Well, according to the website the service isn't free - it'll be for a fee of $10 a month, after which audiobooks are "free". This isn't any more "free" than Netflix is "free". Is this not a commercial enterprise?

So, let me get this straight. You've taken a bunch of my recordings from Librivox that anyone can get for free, then are selling them for a subscription fee for which I receive nothing, and you want to include my profile, which I would provide, because you think it might help your business, through which you hope to make money.

What exactly, do I get out of this?

I mean, it's one thing to donate my time to a clearly volunteer organization for which I do not expect anything, but why would I want to assist - for free - a commercial enterprise which offers me nothing in return?

Am I missing something here?
"Bringing you yesterday's tomorrow...today!"

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kayray
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Post by kayray » June 14th, 2008, 7:24 pm

"You download and install the software according to the instructions provided, just like any other product."

Nowhere on your site can I find a mention of OS support. Mac? Win? Linux? All your screenshots look like Windows.

Neat idea! Good luck :)
Kara
http://kayray.org/
--------
"Mary wished to say something very sensible into her Zoom H2 Handy Recorder, but knew not how." -- Jane Austen (& Kara)

earthcalling
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Post by earthcalling » June 14th, 2008, 11:11 pm

Yeah, it's Windows only. From the Downloads page:-
Audio Pod Software

Windows Vista and Windows XP
Requires Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 or greater. See the next section.
Windows Vista Installation Kit includes Windows XP.
David

JohnJointer
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Post by JohnJointer » June 15th, 2008, 9:13 am

Prior to the innovations introduced in Audio Pod, in order to get and use audiobooks over the Internet, a user needed to 1) be able to see, 2) have the motor contol needed to use a mouse, 3) have the mental capacity and technical sophistication to manage media and files. Either that, or you need someone to do it for you. The world is full of people who have lost their eyesight, had a stroke or other brain injury, suffer various forms of palsy, and a host of other problems. The very people who can benefit most from audiobooks, are excluded by current technology. So are they freely available?

We developed technology that overcomes a lot of these barriers and provides some powerful features. Personally, my mother is 85 years and has lost her eyesight. From anywhere in the world, I can load her audiobook player with content simply by adding an MP3 Bookmark to her Internet based bookcase. Audiobook delivery, management, bookmarks and cleanup are all fully automated. Now she can use audiobooks. A family friend who's father has Parkinson's is now able to use audiobooks, even though she is separated from him by the Atlantic Ocean.

Technology development is expensive and, as has been pointed out, we are currently available only on Windows. Porting to other platforms is also expensive. Building and running a service will also have costs associated with it. We have little choice but to proceed as a commercial venture. And given the benefits available, it is well worth doing.
Why don't you use a Creative Commons License?
We had this discussion early on, and decided we didn't want to add any restrictions to the recordings we make, which are based on public domain books. This means others can use our recordings however they wish, including for commercial purposes. We would prefer if people acknowledged us if they do use our recordings, be we can't force them to. This makes some people uncomfortable, but the books we record are public domain, and we want our recordings to be public domain too.
Yes, we are using LibriVox audiobooks to help fund the ongoing process of technology and product development. According to the above quotation, it was my impression that permission to use this material in commercial venture was granted. And as requested, we did acknowledge LibriVox as the source and have offered the opportunity for greater acknowledgment to narrators. Perhaps I read it wrong, or have misinterpreted it. In any case, this commercial enterprise will offer any narrator our standard publisher's agreement and pay royalties accordingly. Just let me know.

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Last edited by JohnJointer on June 15th, 2008, 9:39 am, edited 1 time in total.

hugh
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Post by hugh » June 15th, 2008, 9:30 am

the files are in the public domain so you may do as you wish with them ... commercial or noncommercial (tho you are in canada so make sure that the LV stuff you use is indeed out of copyright in canada; some of it isn't).

Cori
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Post by Cori » June 15th, 2008, 9:55 am

John wrote:Technology development is expensive and, as has been pointed out, we are currently available only on Windows. Porting to other platforms is also expensive. Building and running a service will also have costs associated with it. We have little choice but to proceed as a commercial venture. And given the benefits available, it is well worth doing.
Well, reading audiobooks is expensive too. A quick google tells me: Talent Fees can range from $175-$300 per finished hour for professional "unknown" talent to four figures for celebrity talent. But here at LibriVox we focus entirely on doing it for free -- and we've produced 304 days of recordings so far, good enough to sell on eBay and for projects like yours to use, so, the model can work, and work well! Had you considered opening your software somewhere like SourceForge..? That gives your target audience the benefit of free software access (the folks you list as having the most desire for audio books are often the ones with the least budget to afford them!) and with such a cool project ongoing, you'd probably attract a lot of good programmers willing to port your software and work with you to expand it even further.
There's honestly no such thing as a stupid question -- but I'm afraid I can't rule out giving a stupid answer : : To Posterity and Beyond!

Jc
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Post by Jc » June 15th, 2008, 10:56 am

JohnJointer wrote: Yes, we are using LibriVox audiobooks to help fund the ongoing process of technology and product development. According to the above quotation, it was my impression that permission to use this material in commercial venture was granted. And as requested, we did acknowledge LibriVox as the source and have offered the opportunity for greater acknowledgment to narrators. Perhaps I read it wrong, or have misinterpreted it. In any case, this commercial enterprise will offer any narrator our standard publisher's agreement and pay royalties accordingly. Just let me know.
Yes, as Hugh said, the files being public domain means that you are allowed to use them as you with, and even to make money out of them. However, I think that some of the reluctance expressed is because you are asking readers to create a profile. This might be perceived as tacitly encouraging people to buy our recordings, and it's possible some readers aren't very comfortable with that...
Put yourself in the Readers' Accents Table. See this post.
(Busy real life & traveling, sorry if not here often.)

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