LibriVox
Forums

* FAQ    * Search
* Login   * Register
It is currently December 16th, 2017, 11:19 pm


Post new topic Reply to topic  Page 3 of 6  [ 79 posts ] 
Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6  Next

Author Message
Offline
Post Posted:: March 28th, 2008, 12:05 pm 

Joined: January 23rd, 2008, 1:41 pm
Posts: 2470
Location: Exile
LeonMire wrote:
icyjumbo, you and your wife came up with some good ideas here, and it just so happens that the admins are discussing ways to improve proof-listening. I'll make sure they see your post.


As this is being discussed in the rarified atmosphere of our eminent Administrati, I’ll not go too deeply into the matter. But I’d like to offer my perspective as someone fairly new to LV…

I’m not the shy and retiring type in general, and I’m certainly a hardened veteran of enough flame wars in other venues not to be put off by insulting, rude, or otherwise sophomoric remarks to the extent that I would slink away from a project that I thought important, fun, or interesting. That being said, I know many (most?) others are not so jaded; and given that committing your voice in a public forum is so DEEPLY personal, I can easily see how any criticism (constructive or otherwise, intentional or otherwise) could put off some who otherwise might go on to contribute worthy things to our little venture here. For this reason, I agree with the “no criticism” policy; though reasonable people may differ with what degree of zeal it should be enforced

Perhaps if the prospect of being publicly criticized or “looking the fool” by asking “stupid questions” were attenuated, more people would become involved in making more and better recordings. To this end, I would modestly propose all new arrivals be teamed up with a mentor (as has been suggested before) who contacts them via PM and offers assistance, encouragement, etc etc. This needn’t be an overly structured or formal arrangement (as it is over at Distributed Proofreaders, for example), and the mentor/mentee relationship may not go beyond that first contact or it may evolve into a long-term collaboration. I suspect most new folks will quickly realize how nice and helpful LVers are, in general, and will require little hand-holding in the near term, but either way I don’t see how it could fail to improve the quality of LV recordings overall and assist in building a stronger community.

Just a thought…


Jim


----------
The foolish and the dead alone never change their opinion.
-- James Russell Lowell


Top
 Profile  
Offline
Post Posted:: March 29th, 2008, 12:59 pm 

Joined: December 13th, 2005, 4:16 am
Posts: 14186
I'd like to add two points.

One is regarding the "No negative criticism" policy. To me, it's not just about the potential for discouraging readers, but also about the unavoidable subjectivity of any criticism offered.

It's been said in this thread that reading is a deeply personal affair. The same, in my opinion, goes for listening. Just like not everyone likes red t-shirts, not everyone likes a certain voice, style of reading, accent, etc. Digital Toast mentioned a preference for some readers. Many here may agree with that choice, but others may disagree. I, for one, think that Cori's reading is utter crap ;) (only joking, of course - but you get my point).

We've had debates about whether male readers should be allowed to read Jane Austen, whether casting in play recordings shouldn't be gender-specific, whether a young woman would really be the best choice to read Mark Twain, whether a Brit should read Henry James, an American Shakespeare, and any non-native English speaker be allowed to record in English at all.

Our policy is that everyone can record anything they like (if it's in the PD). There will always be people who dislike certain recordings, just as there will always be people who will like them - for whatever reason.

If someone doesn't like a recording, they can stop listening, or - even better - record the offending book themselves again and offer it up for inclusion in the catalogue so that there is an alternative recording.

Negative criticism is always more penetrating than positive remarks. If 20 people tell X they like his recording and 2 people tell him they hate it, X is likely to take the latter two more to heart than the twenty.

Having said all that, since this topic comes up again and again (note that I'm not complaining, just pointing out), obviously we should be doing something about creating a more visible area for solicited criticism.

We should also perhaps think again about how we can help readers to improve the technical aspects of their recordings if they want to learn more.


Point two: one more thing about the recurrence of forum discussions, and admins 'fobbing off' people who want to debate certain points. I myself am guilty of this. Quite often when I see a new discussion of an 'old' topic, I post the wiki page of Important Forum Discussions: http://librivox.org/wiki/moin.cgi/ForumThreads

I do this for several reasons. One, often the 'new debates' are posted by fairly new forum participants who may not be aware that the topic has been discussed before, and who may like to read past debates to see if some of their points have been addressed/answered before. Two, I don't think many people know this page, and I think it's interesting. Three, I'm lazy enough not to want to type the same points over and over again.

Of course, what I should bear in mind is that discussions that are an old hat for me because I've been around quite long, are new and exciting for other LV members who maybe see them for the first time, and haven't had the chance to form an opinion, or go through thought processes which may be very familiar to me for now (like why I think PD is the right choice for LV).

So in future when I post the link to that wiki page, I shall make sure to end with an invitation to discuss this again, rather than appear to want to stifle the debate.

Thank you for your thoughts, Digital Toast and other posters.

_________________
"Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination circles the world." Albert Einstein


Top
 Profile  
Offline
Post Posted:: March 29th, 2008, 1:11 pm 

Joined: September 23rd, 2007, 11:02 am
Posts: 870
Location: Manchester, NH, America
Gesine wrote:
One is regarding the "No negative criticism" policy. To me, it's not just about the potential for discouraging readers, but also about the unavoidable subjectivity of any criticism offered.

[snip]


I think you make an excellent point.

However, the vast majority of bad recordings that I've listened to are things that can be fixed if the reader has a mind to. Recording for LibriVox is a huge effort and time commitment, and I'd hate to spend all that time and effort doing this work that no one (or very few people) want to suffer through---especially if it is something that I can fix if it's brought to my attention. I know we do point out where people can improve the technical aspects of the recording (increase the volume, watch out for the plosive/sibilants, etc), but we rarely see any constructive suggestions regarding the actual reading.

_________________
Daniel, the Cylon
(LV Profile)


Top
 Profile  
Offline
Post Posted:: March 29th, 2008, 1:21 pm 

Joined: December 13th, 2005, 4:16 am
Posts: 14186
Great Plains wrote:
Gesine wrote:
One is regarding the "No negative criticism" policy. To me, it's not just about the potential for discouraging readers, but also about the unavoidable subjectivity of any criticism offered.

[snip]


I think you make an excellent point.

However, the vast majority of bad recordings that I've listened to are things that can be fixed if the reader has a mind to. Recording for LibriVox is a huge effort and time commitment, and I'd hate to spend all that time and effort doing this work that no one (or very few people) want to suffer through---especially if it is something that I can fix if it's brought to my attention. I know we do point out where people can improve the technical aspects of the recording (increase the volume, watch out for the plosive/sibilants, etc), but we rarely see any constructive suggestions regarding the actual reading.

Well, I think my point still holds. Perhaps nobody has pointed out anything to you because they like your recordings. And these 'bad' recordings that you want the readers to 'fix' - they may be just the sorts of recording other people find 'good' and would rather they be left alone.

Again, there's a difference between solicited and unsolicited negative criticism. They are both subjective by nature (you will find sometimes that in a CC thread, listeners disagree whether a reader should slow down or not, for example, or whether the tongue clicks and breathing sounds should be edited out or not, or whether someone should read with more 'dramatic' flair or more with a straight reading style), but if a reader asks for criticism, s/he is prepared for it, and welcomes comments.

_________________
"Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination circles the world." Albert Einstein


Top
 Profile  
Offline
Post Posted:: March 29th, 2008, 2:36 pm 
LibriVox Admin Team

Joined: November 22nd, 2005, 10:22 am
Posts: 11735
Location: Great Britain
Great Plains wrote:
However, the vast majority of bad recordings that I've listened to are things that can be fixed if the reader has a mind to.

Teacher: Try reading it this way, with your voice going down in this part.
I read it exactly the same way as before, voice going up.
Teacher: Well, no, put the emphasis here.
I read it again exactly the same way, only a bit slower this time.
Teacher, patiently: Here's what the line seems to mean; which if you said it in normal speech, would have your voice going down at the end.
I totally understand what she says, but blowed if I can make it sound like that. Up it goes.

Later, mumbling that one line over to myself on the walk to the bus stop, I *think* I figured it out. Maybe. Down at the end. Hmmm.


I have a mind to improve my recordings. Actually Improving them is a waaaay different business. Not to mention that the things I improve, as Gesine says above, might be the single aspect of my reading that makes it bearable to some people, and I'll now lose them as listeners.

I see where you're coming from, Daniel ... but this is very new territory for LibriVox and very tricky. And *definitely* not "one size fits all" ... even prooflistening which seems like it ought to be straightforward, has various options for how it takes place -- constructive criticism of the reading itself is even MORE fraught. Currently we lean strongly to the side of not giving it, because mostly we are not qualified voice tutors, performance specialists, etc. But even when someone like that is giving advice, and the person listening is in a place to listen (and bear in mind how much harder it is to form a trust-relationship online in the first place) ... I can't be the only one too stoopid to grasp it first, second or third time through. And how much time and expert patience is there for something that's a hobby in the first place..? I'm not totally against Constructive Criticism generally ... just warning that in my opinion, extreme caution is required.

_________________
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!


Top
 Profile  
Offline
Post Posted:: March 29th, 2008, 2:56 pm 

Joined: September 23rd, 2007, 11:02 am
Posts: 870
Location: Manchester, NH, America
You know, I really don't appreciate you all criticizing my opinion about criticism.

Image

_________________
Daniel, the Cylon
(LV Profile)


Top
 Profile  
Offline
Post Posted:: March 30th, 2008, 1:22 pm 

Joined: December 28th, 2007, 7:24 pm
Posts: 711
Shurtagal wrote:
RE Public Domain: Two main points: 1) If it come from the PD it should go back to the PD. Dust to dust ashes to ashes, or more aptly jewels to jewels. 2) Its easier to "police" as icyjumbo points out. Because there is nothing to violate we don't need to spend time chasing down violators, or finigelling exactly what can and can not be done.

This is my view on the PD thing, and besides, it's biblical - "it is more blessed to give than to receive". It's pretty cool to think there's this many people doing something like this without getting anything for themselves! I find it really neat that people who don't know me recorded my favorite books so that I can listen to them and share them with my friends, sell them if I want to. I don't think selling LibriVox recordings is unethical, any more than it would be for a bookstore to sell a book that's available on gutenberg. After all, we're giving them permission to! From another thread:
hugh wrote:
... or to put it another way, the files are public domain and people can do whatever they like with them. the neat thing about public domain is that you don't have to worry about it because it's all legit and legal and fine, by design. it's a liberating way to think of things ... to drop the idea that we own or control (or should own or control them) once they've gone out into the world. at least I find it liberating.


In regard to the no-criticism policy, for me, that's a really good thing, for the most part. I do think there are some low quality standards in some recordings, but from what I've listened to, they're not common. But as for reading style, there are some people who read great, have good quality, and I just can not stand the way they read a book. The reader does a good job, but it's purely my preference in style. I like dramatic reading, some people can't stand it. Some people like slower reading, I like it faster. I don't see how you could comment on style without going into preference. Sound quality is a different issue, though I don't think it needs to become a big deal.
Oh, and let me say, I need all the constructive criticism I can get!
I think the current policy is basically good, this place is very welcoming and fun to be at. Maybe a few things could be better, but look, LV has got a lot accomplished, and we're going to keep doing a lot more. :)

~Megan

_________________
www.musicmaiden.wordpress.com


Top
 Profile  
Offline
Post Posted:: March 30th, 2008, 5:05 pm 

Joined: October 8th, 2007, 3:21 pm
Posts: 2127
Location: Never return a kindness, always pass it on.
Megan, YOU GO GIRL. Excellent point on PD books being sold at stores. And it is more blessed to give than to receive. When I look at over a thousand downloads on something I recorded my heart is sooo happy to know someone/anyone is enjoying a book that I loved enough to want to record. Dawn 8)

_________________
You can't talk yourself out of what you behaved yourself into. Stephen Covey


Top
 Profile  
Offline
Post Posted:: March 31st, 2008, 9:36 am 
LibriVox Admin Team

Joined: September 26th, 2005, 4:14 am
Posts: 7990
Location: Montreal, QC
So, why should LibriVox recordings be in the public domain, rather than a creative commons license?

LibriVox comes out of a number of ideas: the idealism & pragmatic successes of the free software movement, the collaborative methodology (+ "it needn't be perfect to be useful") of wikipedia, lessig's defense of the commons, and the alternative licensing of creative commons works, the podcasting platform which democratized distribution of media, the astoundingly useful work of project gutenberg, that has been toiling away since 1971 making public domain texts available to anyone for free, and finally brewster kahle's internet archive and the vision of universal access to all human knowledge.

one of the important ideas behind LibriVox was this: a vibrant public domain is essential for a healthy society, and is essential for innovation - which can also be expressed as: "finding solutions to problems." having a wide and vibrant public domain - of ideas, texts, learning, science, open source code, audio recordings, art etc. - means that as we face problems of one kind or another, we have at our disposal a whole host of tools and information and building blocks that will help us find solutions. we've seen in the past few decades, however, a move against this idea of public intellectual space - broadly the the movement towards protection of "intellectual property." we've seen this across all sectors of society, from how universities treat their scientific research, to patenting of life, patents on processes, the abusive and self-destructive suing of fans by music companies and hollywood. I oppose much of this stuff on a number of grounds: one is a moral objection to the greed of companies who wish to extend their ownership beyond where it had ever been imagined previously. The other objection is more pragmatic: that allowing companies to do this will stifle innovation, and in the long run will be very damaging to our societies.

so LibriVox - besides being a project about making audiobooks - was originally conceived of as a small bulwark in a larger moral, intellectual and political battle around the value of the "public domain" broadly defined. And part of that defense is this idea that people can and will and should build on the public domain to make new things and provide new more innovative solutions to problems. LibriVox would make the audio recordings, make them available, and the hope has always been that others would find great things to do with them. The ebay cottage industry, which annoys some people, is a good example: we have not figured out how to provide CDs of recordings to people, yet people want them. it would take more work and organization, and it would be nice if we could do that for free. but we can't. so these other people download our files, burn CDs and sell them to people who want them. The end result is that more people get to listen to (inexpensive) public domain literature they wish to listen to (and wish to pay for), some ebayers have some added revenue generated from spreading great literature throughout the world, maybe more people hear about LibriVox (but maybe not). some people see that as a problem, but I certainly don't.

But I hope people will come up with even more useful things to do with LibriVox recordings, and if they are commercial, I just can't see any problem with that. the "thing" that they will be doing may be using LV recordings, but it certainly won't be replicating what LV does already. they will be doing something new and hopefully interesting, probably educationally useful, and even if it IS nike selling sneakers with gord's recording of Walden, well, at least more people might get turned on to Walden (though I assure you Nike can afford to hire someone to record a chunk of Walden).

so the question around licensing became this: do we want to limit how people use librivox recordings? what is *wrong* with commercial uses? as long as the audio remains accessible, and free for all to use forever, then I saw no reason why we should limit anything - limiting would just mean that in the scheme of things, fewer people would listen to the recordings we have made. and in my calculus of the universe, that's a bad thing: I think the universe will be a better place the more people listen to LibriVox recordings.

But beyond that sort of pragmatic thinking, there is a wider philosophical question about ownership, control, and the act of truly giving something away. I think creative commons is a wonderful tool, and it changed the way I thought about art. but it maintains this idea: I own this work and you may do with it just what I say you may do. now that's fine: I license, for instance, my personal blog writing like this. but LibriVox is more radical than this. LibriVox says: we make these recordings, and we give them away, no strings attached. use them as you like: you don't have to ask permission or tell us about it, or do anything, just use them as you like. they are yours as much as they are ours now. we have gifted them to the universe.

That's a pretty radical idea, far more radical than CC which says: here are the terms under which I allow you to use my work.

It's radical and it's liberating as well, because in some sense one's ownership of things is a two way street, and the things you own in some sense own you too - ownership means you have certain responsibilities to that thing, including monitoring how other people use it. breaking that ownership bond is a powerful sort of experiment.

There are of course some very important pragmatic reasons for a public domain license rather than creative commons: public domain means we just don't have to worry about it. we don't have to chase anyone, or ask for checks or tell them they can't use such and such to do so and so, we don't have to hirer lawyers and sue our fans or anyone else. The files are there for all to use, and all we have to do is concern ourselves with our objective which is:
Quote:
To make all books in the public domain available, for free, in audio format on the internet.


Along those lines, we didn't want anyone to ever have to question which LibriVox license a certain audio falls under. it's all the same, all public domain, and anyone can use it for whatever they like. period. answering questions is easy. having multiple licenses would have made that a headache for people, including us.

There is one final very important point, which I had not really thought about until Michael Hart of Gutenberg told me about it recently. US copyright law has extended and extended again the term of copyright, currently 95 years after publication date. this means that nothing has gone into the public domain in a very long time in the USA. and if copyright law-making continues on like this, there will be another extension when the next batch of public domain stuff is currently scheduled to click over. so, possibly, nothing new will ever go into the public domain again in the United States.

In the old days, there was about a 50-50 split: 50% of texts were in the public domain, 50% under copyright. every year more and more texts came into being, but a whole swath of things went into the public domain, and the ratio kept more or less the same. that was a healthy for society because people had much easier access to those texts that went into the public domain.

That's not happening anymore. so the public domain is shrinking as a ratio of available knowledge.

Which brings another point: creative commons does not, in fact, make any contribution to the public domain, because the term of creative commons licenses is the same as for copyright (i think, that is: 95 years after publication). So creative commons in fact does NOTHING to protect or enhance the public domain - it only creates a new class of copyright protection that is much more liberal than previous incarnations.

So LibriVox is a small beacon of light in this policy question, slowly adding to the public domain while all around the public domain is shrinking. this is important in some broad sense beyond anything particular we do at librivox. at least I think it is.

Having said all that, I understand why some people don't want their recordings in the public domain. but that's fine, there are many other places to put audio up on the web. people don't need LirbiVox to add recordings to the web. we represent just one little corner of the audio world. our corner is this: we make free public domain audio versions of public domain texts. if people want to help (many have) that's great. if they don't, then that's OK too, there's no reason people ought to be forced to make public domain recordings ...

But that's what LibriVox is for, making public domain audio recordings, and giving them away to the world.

_________________
hughmcguire.net | @hughmcguire


Top
 Profile  
Offline
Post Posted:: March 31st, 2008, 2:09 pm 

Joined: April 3rd, 2007, 2:44 pm
Posts: 959
Location: Atlanta, GA, USA
hugh wrote:
but that's fine, there are many other places to put audio up on the web. people don't need LirbiVox to add recordings to the web. we represent just one little corner of the audio world.

I think this is the most important point. For better or for worse, LibriVox has become a community, and understandably when members of this community want change, they look to change the community, not leave it. I think it's important to remember what LibriVox is really here for. It's not the seed of a future multinational corporation. It's not the next great philanthropy. It doesn't need to change itself in order to meet its goals, because the goal is simply to record public domain books and release the audio into the public domain.

If you strip away all of the "stuff" that's been built up over the past few years, LibriVox is basically two things: a recording factory and a PD listing service. If you want to record something you've written and post it to the web with a non-commercial license, which of these two functions do you need to utilize? Neither! And in fact there are absolutely no restrictions on what you can do with recordings that you own. There's just no reason they need to be here.

I know that not every recording in the LibriVox library is professional quality. But there are now audio versions of books available that weren't before. My own vision of LibriVox in a few years is of multiple versions of every PD work. Why not? OK, it's slightly uncomfortable recording something that someone else has already done. It's almost like criticism. And it's hard to justify even to ourselves why we're redoing work when there are still SO MANY unrecorded public domain books out there still. Last week we completed 386 sections. Maybe when we've grown enough to complete 10,000 sections a week (and there's no reason to think we won't) we'll have books in every language and accent and quality-level everybody wants.


Top
 Profile  
Offline
Post Posted:: April 1st, 2008, 9:46 am 

Joined: August 28th, 2006, 8:47 pm
Posts: 2209
Location: Poictesme
I recall how the “CC” requests in Listeners got started – by a new reader seeking a feedback forum. At that time I PM’d that person and suggested that instead of insisting on a public forum, that he identify a couple of individuals whose judgment he trusted – either within LV or outside – and seek private, individual critique and feedback. He demurred, made one post under the newly-created “CC”, apparently didn’t like what he heard and disappeared immediately thereafter.

Some random observations:

1. If I had had to jump through the hoop of being a proof listener before being allowed to record, I would never have recorded anything for LV. I’ll let you decide if that’s a plus or minus.

2. Who exactly would be these “mentors”? Who picks them? Do they pick themselves? Why are their opinions more valuable than others? What qualifies someone to be a mentor? Are there people willing to do this? And will they really be helpful? Just because an individual thinks their recordings are superior doesn’t necessary mean they are also skilled in coaching others.

3. There’s already a critique/feedback forum in Listeners Wanted. How would a separate forum be any better?

_________________
"Bringing you yesterday's tomorrow...today!"

My website
My Librivox reader page


Top
 Profile  
Offline
Post Posted:: April 1st, 2008, 10:26 am 
LibriVox Admin Team

Joined: September 26th, 2005, 4:14 am
Posts: 7990
Location: Montreal, QC
i agree with sjmarky ...

_________________
hughmcguire.net | @hughmcguire


Top
 Profile  
Offline
Post Posted:: April 1st, 2008, 12:42 pm 

Joined: December 28th, 2007, 7:24 pm
Posts: 711
I think proof-listening is a great way to get started and become familiar with LV. While I don't think it should be a requirement, it might be a helpful suggestion. It's a lot easier to listen to a chapter than to record a chapter.

I liked Hugh's and Scott's posts on PD. :)

_________________
www.musicmaiden.wordpress.com


Top
 Profile  
Offline
Post Posted:: April 1st, 2008, 2:24 pm 

Joined: December 13th, 2005, 4:16 am
Posts: 14186
Re sjmarky's point 3: I think the point was that the CC feature is currently a little buried, esp. for newbies - I think for new people the Listeners Wanted forum must be quite confusing, with all the acronyms in the subjects, etc.

Even several members who've been around for a while commented, earlier in the thread, that they were not aware of the CC feature.

I don't know if we need a whole new forum, but there are ways to make CC posts more obvious, and to spread the word about them more. One thought would be to put a note in the BC templates so that slowly it would get taken up in all the first posts of new projects - although the templates are getting quite long. Certainly we could put the info on more wiki pages, forum stickies, remind BCs to tell newbies about it, etc.

_________________
"Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination circles the world." Albert Einstein


Top
 Profile  
Post Posted:: April 1st, 2008, 2:56 pm 
Quote:
jump through the hoop of being a proof listener before being allowed to record, I would never have recorded anything for LV. I’ll let you decide if that’s a plus or minus.


I was sure I said "encourage", not "force".

PS on-screen kbd, so typing is hard. Please excuse terseness. :-)


Top
  
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 79 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6  Next



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group