Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Ah... Another Project?


A while ago I mentioned I was working on another project (right, as if I need ANOTHER project!)  which involved audio. I have waited to now to tell you about it because two of the projects I was working on are now complete and you will be able to listen to them. 

Now, I will elaborate - in my roundabout way that drives my Mr. crazy.  {being a GUY his eyes roll around in their sockets and his toe goes tap, tap, tap as he waits for me to GET TO THE POINT, lol! - another whole blog topic, no?}  

It starts with my iphone and an app.  For anyone who has been living on a secluded tropical island with no means of communication, an "app" is an application, a program button on your iphone which DOES something.  I found a free app called "audiobooks"  - there are two versions, well three now the ipad is out {in the USA only which is NOT fair!} 


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You can find these apps by searching the itunes store in the apps section. 


At first, I used the free one which will allow you to listen live to FREE audiobooks, the paid version allows you to DOWNLOAD and listen to the audiobooks on demand.  I have spend many enjoyable hours listening to books.  Its wonderful if you are working outdoors or going for a walk, working out or just like to re-invent the days when your Mommy used to read a story to you before you fell asleep. 

I used to read books to my Mr. as we travelled in the summer and this is what inspired me to take up this project.  The books all come from the public domain, meaning they are mostly older books (50 years +) and so they are available to anyone to read and record.  We truly enjoy OLD books so this is perfect for us.  There are all sorts of recordings, everything from poetry to history to the bible and of course, good old stories. 


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When listening to the audiobooks, each chapter is prefaced with an introduction about which is a place where people come together to create FREE audiobooks together, all by volunteering.  Some people do the actual reading of the books while others take care of the projects by listening to the sections when they are complete to make sure there are no deviations from the original text and no mistakes.  Some people oversee the projects coming together and some even create artwork for when someone burns the books to cd! 

But, you do not have to have an app to listen to these books - you can do this right online!  All you have to do is visit the librivox site (click on the graphic above)  and you will see where you can listen - or even learn how to volunteer to read books yourself.  All you need is a nice quiet place (not as easy as it sounds, trust me!) a computer and a good quality microphone.  You can volunteer for chapters of a book, or, later on an entire book solo.  You can also help with other things too. 

So far I've worked on 4 or 5 projects, chapters of projects this is and I think I may try a solo project next.  I've enjoyed doing this - the people there are SO wonderful and helpful (thank you Nadine in particular who "babied" me through two projects now) and they all made it very easy to get set up and freely gave their expertise and critique along the way. 

The reason I'm writing today is because two of the books I was recording were just released and you will be able to listen to, download, whatever!   Here are direct links to the projects I helped in with a brief description:


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I did three chapters on this book. 

After his father’s death Gerard Roylake returns from Germany to take up his inheritance at Trimley Deen. On one evening he meets his childhood friend, Cristel Toller. They fall in love, but there is a crux. A deaf man, called The Lodger is obsessed with Cristel. He invites Gerard to tea with evil intentions… and Gerard accepts the invitation.

The book is written in the first person and tells the story from Gerard's point of view. (Summary by Diana Majlinger)

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And this was my pride and joy project - I think I have about 10 chapters in this one.  By the way for any of you who may not know my name its Barbara Derksen so you will be able to identify me. *grin*  Here's what the story is about.

Sailing adventure with storms, icebergs, shipwrecks, treasure, and the reawakening of a pirate frozen in suspended animation for nearly fifty years (Summary by P. Cunningham)

I hope you will enjoy listening to these stories as much as I had fun recording them!

I understand you can also subscribe to these books via itunes as a podcast but have not figured out exactly how that works.  The iphone app is the very easiest for me as you can simply hit a button an it starts.  The app also has a clever feature which allows you to "sleep" after 15, 30 mins or one hour.

But if you want to listen online you simply click the chapter and listen.  I generally choose the mp3 files.  You will see you can even take an entire book and download it in a zipped file. 

Can you see how wonderful this might be for a shut in  person?  I also know how much I liked hearing those GOOD OLD CLASSICS as a kid - now you can sit and listen to them with your children or grandchildren.  All of the great stories are there - for example I see some by Louisa May Allcott and many other beloved authors of old. 

I have to say the one thing I discovered when I was recording is how hard, how VERY hard it is to find quiet time.  The furnace in our house is fairly loud and even the fridge cycling made more noise than when I wanted so I would have to time my recording in small snippets.  And yes, every single time I thought I had quiet the phone would ring or something would come up. 

Librivox provides information on where you can download FREE audio software from which you can work, I am using the audacity and its pretty straightforward, in fact its given me confidence enough to try new things such as adding a preface to our Pastor's sermon on our church blog!  You can check this out too by clicking the following graphic:


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I would truly appreciate your feedback as all this is new to me!

I have two more projects at on the go and I will post when they come complete.  Please feel free to ask me any questions which come to mind if you decide you might like to volunteer!

Oh, and some favourites we have listened to at librivox ourselves?  (click on the graphics to check them out)

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And any of the books also recorded and narrated by Mark Nelson (you can search by narrator, title, author)

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See - this one has Album Art!

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This was the very first book that my Mr. and I listened too and it was simply grand!  I love the way it was written and it even had my Mr. laughing at times.  I will never forget a part in there about when the main character talks about the snowflakes catching on the eyelashes of the girl he comes to love.  Soooooo romantic. 

And this is why, if you have been missing me lately, that I have not been around much.  Between this project, school, learning to tat, to weave, yardwork and church well, there's not much time in between?   

I hope you all have a wonderful day - and I would love your feedback about the audiobooks - they have been a true blessing to me.


  1. Your projects always amaze me sis, and how you find the time to tackle oh so much. I think this is another project that you have excelled at.


  2. Good afternoon Barb:)
    So now I know what you have been up to.How COOL!!:) I will most definitely check this out! I don't think I would be able to find a quiet spot to do any of the actual reading for the recording though.I have way too many things going on that would interfere...and I am seldom at home alone.:)It will be a lot of fun to have you read to me though as I clean the house etc.
    Did you get frustrated at all the interruptions or do overs? How much time did you spend ..shut up in your closet?:)
    Thank you so much for sharing with us.I will get back to you as soon as I have checked it out and let you know how I like it.:)

    Huge hugs,

  3. I agree with Nina always found the most amazing things ...I know how you showed mne just going on to my library and getting audio books to download. Thanks for the info and I will give them a try.



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