The L o n g Librivox Disclaimer

Comments about LibriVox? Suggestions to improve things? News?
Post Reply
Posts: 1
Joined: June 27th, 2017, 12:44 am

Post by composer » June 29th, 2017, 12:54 pm

Every recording should have this disclaimer; firstly to help the listener know what the recording is (of course!), secondly as a legal notification of the public domain status, and thirdly to encourage new volunteers to come and help.


One of the most useful skills students learn when studying English at school, is the ability to précis. From learning through repeated exercise, how to shorten texts without losing any of their sense, we come to appreciate the beauty of language, the value of words and the clarity of concision.

Listening to LibriVox recordings and profiting from exposure to older texts that public domain reveals; many listeners secretly confess to tiring rapidly of having to listen, at the start of every single chapter, to the fluffily burdensome ‘Librivox Disclaimer’. Mastering the timing of pressing the fast-forward button, to skip the ball-and-chain lead-in, so as not to miss the first word of the exciting next chapter, becomes an art at which LibriVox listeners have had to become highly adept.

Let’s lose the repeated preamble. How? - Well, let’s examine what is currently stipulated in the main form of the currently ubiquitous Librivox Disclaimer:

Chapter 1 of ‘Journey to the Land of Rainbows’. This is a LibriVox recording. All LibriVox recordings are in the public domain. For more information, or to volunteer, please visit This reading by Joe Bloggs, http:// www. joebloggs .org. ‘Journey to the Land of Rainbows’, by Anthony Nonesuch. Chapter 1: Refraction

(49 words)

Gathering repetitions and related information, gives:

• Journey to the Land of Rainbows
• Journey to the Land of Rainbows
• Anthony Nonesuch

• Chapter 1
• Chapter 1
• Refraction

• reading by
• Joe Bloggs

• LibriVox recordings
• LibriVox recording, this is a

• public domain

• visit
• For more information
• volunteer, to

Thus, at the start of each and every chapter: the book title is mentioned twice; the chapter number twice; the reader gives their name and website address; ‘LibriVox’ is mentioned three times and there are three calls to action: visit; (find) more information and volunteer. Professionally-produced audiobooks would have little of this. :?

Subjected to précis, this burdensome disclaimer could effectively be summarized as:

1. Start of Book Recording:

‘Journey to the Land of Rainbows’ by Anthony Nonesuch
Public domain. Read by Joe Bloggs.

2. Start of Chapter:

Chapter 1: Refraction

3. End of Recording:

The End of: ‘Journey to the Land of Rainbows’ by Anthony Nonesuch
Read by Joe Bloggs, http:// www. joeblogs .org.
For more public domain titles, and to volunteer, visit

If the book is in the public domain, then no disclaimer is required …because the book is in the public domain, and so anyone can make a recording of a reading of it. When people hear the name LibriVox as part of a web address, they will know by knowing what a web address does, that they can find more information there if they want it.

The above offers a 92% reduction in repetitive babble before the start of each chapter, without losing any information!

Some might say that as audio files are split by chapter, then they need to include full identifying information at the start of each and every separate recording, in case the recordings become separated. That, however, is what is what 21st-century audio metadata is for. Metadata is a sort of audio 'watermark'. Copyright domain information, owning website and reader identification can be included in standard metadata fields which Audacity allows recorders to insert, without upsetting LibriVox’s cherished reader. (In Audacity menu File>Edit metadata). Simple.

Life is short. In a 21st-century world in which technology saves us time, I hope very much that the arbiters of power at LibriVox will see sense in letting us get on with what’s important in life: enjoying good writing! :)

LibriVox Admin Team
Posts: 39113
Joined: June 15th, 2008, 10:30 pm
Location: Toronto, ON (but Minnesotan to age 32)

Post by TriciaG » June 29th, 2017, 3:04 pm

Thanks for your opinion. I understand the frustration, and often click past most of the intro myself.

The disclaimer is the way it is for a reason. For example, the chapter/section number is at the very first for those who cannot read - the blind, those listening in the dark, listening in the car and can't stare at the information while flipping chapters. Another is saying that LV recordings are in the PD: that's to release this recording by this particular reader into the PD. We're not saying the book is PD (which your ambiguous "public domain" seems to indicate), but that this recording is PD.

There are reasons for the other items as well.

It has been discussed for years, and some changes have been made (for example, solos have shorter intros on sections after the first one). But don't ever expect anything as brief as what you're proposing. ;)

Posts: 897
Joined: August 17th, 2013, 8:51 am
Location: Connecticut, US

Post by DACSoft » June 29th, 2017, 5:44 pm

I rather like (listening to) the disclaimer intro at the beginning of each section, in addition to the valuable information it contains. It also gives me that 10 - 15 seconds to ensure that the technical aspects of my listening device are OK, for example, to adjust volume for the environment, before diving into the content.

Also, Sections don't necessarily translate one-for-one to Chapters, so there is not always a redundancy there.

I can only imagine that there would be far fewer classics, if authors took a similar "condensing" perspective with their works, foregoing the beautiful, flowing, descriptive sentences and paragraphs, in favor of more stilted, uninspiring phrases and half sentences. The same information would be provided, but, IMO, a far less pleasant experience for the reader/listener. :)

With the hectic world we live in, maybe LV should be the place where one slows down, and fully enjoys the slower pace of good listening. :wink:


Posts: 775
Joined: April 30th, 2013, 7:34 pm

Post by Monaxi » July 1st, 2017, 6:54 pm

It was the "for more information or to volunteer" at the beginning, that got me thinking, "I can do that, too?!"
Peace be with you,

Posts: 395
Joined: April 6th, 2017, 11:37 am
Location: USA

Post by pjcsaville » July 1st, 2017, 7:17 pm

I agree that saying the introductions to each chapter can be repetitive but the information is necessary. The intro "for more information or to volunteer" (in particular) is what got me interested in joining Librivox. The intros of poetry sections and solo recordings are very short (except the first recording of a solo which needs the full intro). Maybe record the whole intro without the section number, etc, and save it in a separate file and then paste it in when you go back and edit your recording?

Post Reply