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Audio Pod Library - Narrator Profiles Wanted

Posted: June 9th, 2008, 5:27 pm
by JohnJointer
Audio Pod is launching new audiobook delivery technology. Features include the Drag & Drop Audiobook, Global MP3 Bookmarks, eMail Ready Bookmarks, and much more. During out testing period, we are loading LibriVox audiobooks into our library and each narrator will be given their own page in the catalog. This page will include all the audiobooks they have done and optionally, a photo and brief profile of each. You are invited to come and visit our site, download and play with our audiobook technology. If you would like full recognition for your time and effort, you are invited to provide a profile that we can include in the library. You can visit the library at , and spend a couple of minutes in the Getting Started pages. They will give you a really good idea of what we are doing. If you would like to include yourself in the library, send a photo, a brief bio or both to the Audio Pod Librarian ( Any questions, comments or opinions are also most welcome.

Posted: June 9th, 2008, 5:44 pm
by chocoholic
Hi, John, interesting site! I'll just point out a discrepancy:
An 'audiobook hour' is a relative unit of measure related to the actual duration of the audiobook with a discount or surcharge rate applied. This is the number of audiobook hours your account will be charged to access a specific audiobook. The discount or surcharge rates applied are under the control of the copyright holder. Copyright holders including Audio Pod Inc, Librevox and Gutenburg will typically apply discounts to their content.
Librivox doesn't hold any copyright over our audiobooks; they're all in the public domain. And I suppose "free" would indeed be a discount. :wink:

Posted: June 9th, 2008, 6:04 pm
by Jc
I like the concept!!

(BTW, Laurie Anne, the site says:
Each audiobook has a number of audiobook hours assigned that represents its lending fee. For audiobooks that are copyrighted and have royalties connected with them, the lending fee will reflect the actual duration; for other works, big discounts are applied and many are free.
I guess that's ours LOL
( )

Posted: June 9th, 2008, 6:12 pm
by chocoholic
I saw that too, Jc! So I checked it out and some of ours are free, but others are not.

Posted: June 9th, 2008, 6:20 pm
by Jc
Ah I see.

Posted: June 9th, 2008, 6:33 pm
by knotyouraveragejo
During our period of testing, we are loading our library with public domain audiobooks from many sources. These audiobooks are typically read by ordinary people using equipment in their own homes. As a result much the quality of these recordings may vary, the volunteers who read these audiobooks must be commended for a truly wonderful effort. In keeping with their noble intentions, Audio Pod will preserve these audiobooks in our library and provide free access to them for all members.
So it appears that our recordings will be available "free" to their members. Unfortunately, whatever was done to the files in making them available on this site has had a decidedly detrimental effect on the audio quality which can easily be heard by comparing their samples with the corresponding file streamed from the page for that book. :(

Posted: June 9th, 2008, 6:36 pm
by Starlite
Has anyone listened to the samples? They sound pretty crappy. Not at all like the ones we put out! It's a neat idea if they would duplicate our sound.


Posted: June 9th, 2008, 7:24 pm
by hugh
hi john, thanks for posting, looks like a neat project. good luck!

Posted: June 9th, 2008, 9:05 pm
by Cloud Mountain
Ditto to all posts above. So many similar startups appearing these days. In truth, sound quality is the big issue —perhaps the result of editing out the LV audio labeling and then re-creating the files. Also some attributions are incorrect. Cannot see what might inspire "readers" to join and, in effect, offer a free endorsement. Also, the experience of reading lots of small print to figure out how the site operates (what you're getting into), is, well, discouraging.

Still, the very best of luck on this new enterprise! It'll take many months more to see how things work out. I'll be back!

Posted: June 9th, 2008, 10:33 pm
by earthcalling
The presentation is very neat, with the book covers and whatnot... and searching by reader is a dream! Very nice.

But I agree with the comments on sound quality - at least for the samples, which is all I've heard. What a shame! You'd think that would be one thing they'd want to get right...

Also a shame it's not compatible ('yet') with iPods. Spot the irony! :D


Posted: June 10th, 2008, 7:12 am
by JohnJointer
As part of our testing process, multiple MP3 formats are being evaluated for throughput, and in support of the virtual media stream. The aim is to have the highest bit rate possible while maintain virtually instantaneous on-demand audiobooks for the reader. We are currently testing with more than 300 audiobooks and reformatting that many, multiple times, is a non-trivial effort. As a result, an automated process is used that is less than kind to some of the audiostreams. The audiostreams used in testing will be replaced before we go live. We are just starting up and resources are tight.

I am glad to see that some of you had a look at the website, but you will never really understand the power of the technology until you actually use it. The seamless delivery of the audiobook experience to a reader without downloads or any management of media, files, CD's or disk space. The ability to Drag and Drop an audiobook, have unlimited open books with bookmarks in each, separate library cards for each reader gives everyone their own 'bookcase', table of contents for each book, and email audiobooks to friends and family.

Our approach to delivering the audiobook experience is so different that people just don't understand. The details in the Getting Started pages have been found necessary because we constantly get the question "How do I download?". The answer always is 'There is no download. Just Drag Drop & Play". It is so easy, I have a 3 year old doing audiobooks, with her own bookcase full of kiddies books. She picks her own stories and manages everything all by herself. You should try it.

Posted: June 10th, 2008, 8:22 am
by Cori
John, could you just clarify, possibly ... so, the audio quality issue is being resolved by you at the moment, and will be fixed before your launch..?

And, LibriVox audiobooks aren't free to the listener..? Two of my solos are represented at the site, they have an "hours" debit number next to them ... I guess that's to support the Drag&Drop technology..?

Posted: June 10th, 2008, 10:08 am
by SmokestackJones
Hey John,

I like the idea and website. Unfortunately, I'll have to aggree with the others. The sound quality leaves something to be desired. HOWEVER, I'm sure that's all part and parcel of getting the site on it's feet. I'm sure you guys are working on it and I'm looking forward to this project.

BTW, you might want to change the credit for A Christmas Carol. You have my name (Glen Hallstrom) credited, but the sample I heard is from the first LV recording, which was a group effort (I did the second recording solo).


Posted: June 10th, 2008, 11:07 am
by JohnJointer
Hi Cori

We are currently using the bulk of the library to perform various system load, stress and performance tests. The audio thumbnails being used as samples are just placeholders and will be replaced when a final decision on specific MP3 format is made. Some of the audiobooks used for testing of audio quality are listed below. If you want to judge the Audio Pod audiobook experience, install our technology and play with some of the test books.

The Cosmic Computer
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
The Hound of the Baskervilles
The Valley of Fear
The Sign of Four
The Return of Sherlock Holmes
His Last Bow
A Study in Scarlet
The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes
The Sea Fairies

There are real expenditures needed to continue the advance in audiobook technology, create and maintain library services, and provision of adequate communications bandwidth. Every hour of audio that is stored and served from the library has an overhead cost associated with it. The hours connected with royalty free books are to cover these costs. There are no actual charges assessed for the actual content.

My original post was to ask if narrators wanted to post profiles during our loading and testing period. Please keep in mind that we are in the process of tightening the 'last few nuts and bolts'. If you want to judge the technology, and compare it to what is currently considered 'state of the art', feel free to actually use it. It will blow your socks off.

Posted: June 10th, 2008, 2:43 pm
by Cloud Mountain
Thank you John for the updates and clarifications. Best of luck with the projecr! :D