Audiobooks (including LibriVox) in academia

Comments about LibriVox? Suggestions to improve things? News?
RuthieG
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Post by RuthieG » August 3rd, 2011, 5:15 am

Michael Hancher writes:
Happy Birthday LibriVox! My account earlier this year, “Learning from LibriVox,” is in _Audiobooks, Literature, and Sound Studies,_ ed. Matthew Rubery (Routledge: http://bit.ly/Audiobks).
Michael's article is Chapter 11, and our own D.E. Wittkower also contributes Chapter 12: A Preliminary Phenomenology of the Audiobook

While I doubt that anyone can afford to fork out $125 to read the whole thing, it is gratifying to note that the academic community is now taking audiobooks seriously.

The Introduction, which can be viewed online in a preview, starts:
"Welcome, nonreader" are the opening words to the audio edition of Jon Stewart's America. Is an audiobook listener really a "nonreader"? Literary critics have been curiously silent on the topic of audiobooks despite the fundamental questions this format raises about the act of reading.
I am sure someone wrote here a long time ago, calling for articles, but I can't find the post.

Ruth
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bobgon55
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Post by bobgon55 » August 3rd, 2011, 5:26 am

Thanks so much for posting this, Ruth! I've requested it via interlibrary loan at my university. I think it will be interesting reading in its own right and should help as foundational research for my study of LibriVox and the audio performance of poetry (another related project).

Bob
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plaidsicle
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Post by plaidsicle » March 26th, 2017, 8:53 am

I have just been looking through this collection as part of my own research, and when I saw the LibriVox chapter + D. E. Whittkower's name in there too, I had to come see if this book had ever been mentioned here on the forums.

now I want to go look up Bob in my library database to see what his LibriVox studies were all about!

relatedly, and the editor of this collection, Matthew Rubery, has a newer book out now: The Untold Story of the Talking Book. I am looking forward to skimming that one too, as soon as my interlibrary loan request goes through...
'whenever people agree with me I always feel I must be wrong.' -Oscar Wilde
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plaidsicle
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Post by plaidsicle » June 3rd, 2017, 11:03 am

now that I've skim-read The Untold Story of the Talking Book, I'm sorry to say Mr. Rubery doesn't mention LibriVox anywhere at all! I suppose that's because his focus is so much on the commercial history and production of audiobooks, and LV simply does not fit into that kind of a history.
it was kind of disappointing, but ah well.

I also wanted to share this-- I presented at a little academic conference (Computers & Writing 2017) yesterday all about the wonderful world of LibriVox. this is the first time I've actually gotten to present about my own dissertation research, so it was pretty exciting!
my slides and notes are over here if anyone wants to take a look. I'm sure there are gaps and holes and other things worth critiquing in my little summary, and in the things I'm noticing so far. I have lots and lots and lots more research to do.

thanks to all the LibriVoxers who make LibriVox a thing. it's awesome. my dissertation would be much more boring to me without you all.

[edited to add a missing a]
'whenever people agree with me I always feel I must be wrong.' -Oscar Wilde
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mightyfelix
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Post by mightyfelix » June 3rd, 2017, 10:13 pm

Thanks for sharing your slides. I really enjoyed looking through them. :)
Devorah Allen
My own recording must be put on hold until my voice isn't sick. :(
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carteki
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Post by carteki » June 4th, 2017, 1:01 am

mightyfelix wrote:Thanks for sharing your slides. I really enjoyed looking through them. :)
Ditto
I loved the quote about "how family picnics get organised". Very true of Librivox. If you want to contrast 2 sites you can also look at PGDP.net which proof reads texts for project gutenberg. Similar but different. I prefer the way Librivox runs.
Kim

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Post by plaidsicle » June 4th, 2017, 4:25 am

thanks guys!
Kim-- I'm super curious about how the distributed proofreaders org works. I have a feeling I would really like doing that kind of work, but when I looked into it there seemed to be so many complicated things you had to do to be a part of it. maybe it has to be that way over there. but it is kind of nice that LV just works with this simple forum here and a simple little uploader.
hmm-- or maybe it just seems simple since I've been doing it!
'whenever people agree with me I always feel I must be wrong.' -Oscar Wilde
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Post by carteki » June 4th, 2017, 10:09 am

PGDP is so much more complicated than it needs to be.... And Ive had many disagreements with the staff on the difficulties, but change is not one of their strong points :(
I would start with the quiz (after signing up) and then look for a beginner project to review.
The guidelines are pretty basic and incomplete, but its the best that they have... Your main source of learning is through the project thread - where you can ask questions and reviewing of the next level review of your work by a more experienced proofer.
Its interesting, but no where near as nice as Librivox as a community.
Cheers

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Post by DACSoft » June 4th, 2017, 12:01 pm

I also liked your slides, and appreciate you sharing them with us.

As an active member of both LibriVox (LV) and Distributed Proofreaders (DP), I can share my perspective of DP with you and hope it is helpful. I've been a member of DP for over 6 years, and have worked in just about every activity possible there. Yes there are a large number of different activities available, but a member can just concentrate on just one (or more), depending on their likes and dislikes. So my first recommendation is not to let the variety of different activities overwhelm you; just take it slow and at your own pace. :)

Compared to LV, DP is more structured, with a greater learning curve than LV, but it needs to be. DP's concept of quality ebooks is stronger than that of LV's audiobooks. In DP we are transcribing the written word; so the content must reflect the original as accurately as possible. LV's focus is an audio version of the ebook, which may not necessarily follow the ebook exactly (except with the Word Perfect standard). As a result DP, has more guidelines to learn and follow in order to create a standardized proofing and formatting of ebook pages, so that the post-processor (PP - the one who assembles the individual pages into the final ebook) has standardized output to work with, from project to project.

When I first began proofreading, then formatting, at DP, some of the guidelines didn't make sense to me, and I thought some were unnecessary or useless. It wasn't until I gained more experience and began PPing projects that I understood the "why" of the guidelines: for example, why some guidelines had strict requirements and why some were silent.

DP is not for everyone. But if you are detail-oriented, willing to put in the effort, like the teamwork spirit, and don't have any preconceived ideas of how DP should work, I think you'll find DP an enjoyable place to spend some time. You'll find those at DP extremely helpful and friendly.

For full disclosure, in addition to the numerous other activities I enjoy at DP, I'm currently also an admin there, working on fixing broken projects (projects with missing pages and other issues).

If you decide to join there, say hi (same ID as here) :)

Don
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Baseball Joe in the Central League; Whispering Tongues; Baseball Joe in the Big Leagues

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Post by ToddHW » June 6th, 2017, 4:45 pm

Plaidsicle,

Very interesting - really liked the slides. Thanks for sharing.

Todd

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Post by kathrinee » June 8th, 2017, 10:17 am

So interesting to read your slides, plaidsicle! I had never quite realized that one could theorize LV, it was illuminating :thumbs: Thank you for sharing!
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Post by plaidsicle » June 8th, 2017, 3:42 pm

thank you all! I am having a lot of fun exploring LibriVox for its own sake and for my dissertation. I'm sure I'll share more of whatever I get figured out, as my last year of PhD-ing goes on. I'm glad you all don't mind being studied! someday I am hoping to conduct interviews with real-life LV volunteers, too, so if you're interested in that, stay tuned!
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Post by smijen » June 9th, 2017, 5:01 am

Plaidsicle - your work is fascinating, thanks for sharing! Re Distributed Proofreaders, I actually found it easier to jump in there than I did with LV. Maybe because I have worked as an editor in Real Life and/or maybe because there's no special equipment required (i.e., you don't have to figure out the microphone, noise reduction, etc.). I've been a member there for almost 5 years, but have nowhere near Don's experience (I've proofed about 2000 pages, nothing else). I find it really easy to just drop in and proof a few pages now and then. You don't even need to look at the forums, and you don't need to understand all the work that formatters, post-processors, etc. do. It works for me because LV is my "primary" community, so to speak, whereas I just pop into DP when I have time.
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Post by chocoholic » June 9th, 2017, 6:24 am

Thanks for sharing your slides, plaidsicle! It's fascinating -- and SO accurate!
Laurie Anne

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Post by plaidsicle » August 12th, 2017, 10:40 am

thanks again for everyone showing interest in my academic adventures with LibriVox. I just presented another little talk about LibriVox as an example of crowdsourcing and awesome, open, volunteer user experience: http://www.ameliachesley.com/s/Chesley-UsersAsMakers-SIGDOC2017.pdf

thanks for letting me share all this as I go along.
'whenever people agree with me I always feel I must be wrong.' -Oscar Wilde
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