Open Source Audio Books

LibriVox: free audiobooks

LibriVox volunteers record chapters of books in the public domain and release the audio files back onto the net. Our goal is to make all public domain books available as free audio books.

LibriVox Objective

To make all books in the public domain available, for free, in audio format on the internet.

Our Fundamental Principles

* Librivox is a non-commercial, non-profit and ad-free project
* Librivox donates its recordings to the public domain
* Librivox is powered by volunteers
* Librivox maintains a loose and open structure
* Librivox welcomes all volunteers from across the globe, in all languages

What We Do

LibriVox volunteers record chapters of books in the public domain, and then we release the audio files back onto the net for free. All our audio is in the public domain, so you may use it for whatever purpose you wish.

Volunteering for LibriVox is easy and does not require any experience with recording or audio engineering or acting or public speaking. All you need is a computer, some free recording software, and your own voice. We accept all volunteers in all languages, with all kinds of accents. You don’t need to audition or send us samples. We’ll accept you no matter what you sound like.

We operate almost exclusively through Internet communications on our forum, where all your questions will be answered by our friendly community. We have a flat structure, designed to let people do just what they want to do.

Resources and Partners

We get most of our texts from Project Gutenberg, and the Internet Archive hosts our audio files (for free!).

In early 2010 we ran a fund-raising drive to raise $20,000 for our expenses for the next few years. Having reached our target in 13 days, we have now shut down our appeal, and if you wish, you may consider supporting our partners: Project Gutenberg, Internet Archive.

The Beginning

LibriVox was started in August 2005, by Hugh McGuire, a Montreal-based writer and web developer. More about him can be found at An interview with Paula B from The Writing Show describing the project in its earliest days can be found here.


Before anyone gets up and excited about free audiobooks, be sure you understand that only books that are currently in the public domain will be found there. Works are in the public domain if they are not covered by intellectual property rights at all, if the intellectual property rights have expired, or if the intellectual property rights are forfeited. If the audiobook is currently copyrighted, it will not appear there.

As the internaional copyright law says that the term of copyright was to be a minimum of the author's lifetime plus 50 years, do not expect to find works by living authors.

LibriVox's page on the Public Domain states that under US law, all works publish prior to 1923 are in the public domain and can be recorded. Any works after 1923, are likely not in the public domain, and probably cannot be recorded.

LibriVox » Public Domain

That being said, it is still a great source of audiobooks, I have found some great, well read, audiobooks of some classic fictions.

I felt sharing the site allows users to find what they want, rather then relying on someone to by chance post something they may be interested in. As it is legal to do what you want with the recordings, users are completely free to share them.
I've listened to a few of the LibriVox books and can recommend them, they aren't up to the same standard as the commercial audio books of course, but quite good for what they are.

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