AUDIOBOOKS (free?)

Anybody know of sites, etc. to get any for free, and by free I don’t mean insert your credit card-wait thrity days and remove it, etc., etc., etc.

I don’t listen to audiobooks, but I’m going to guess it follows the “online music” rule of thumb…

If it’s legal, it probably isn’t free.

If it’s free, it probably isn’t legal. 

@h4ll3igh wrote:

I don’t listen to audiobooks, but I’m going to guess it follows the “online music” rule of thumb…

 

If it’s legal, it probably isn’t free.

If it’s free, it probably isn’t legal. 

True.  About the only exception to that rule is podcasts, which are usually (but not always) free AND legal, as well as occasional free promo downloads (usually by the author/artist directly, though they can also come from the publisher/record label or a pay site; Amazon MP3 always has a few free songs), and one or two sites that offer ad-supported DRM’ed music.

Even a site that CLAIMS to offer “free, legal MP3s” usually isn’t legal.  If the site even explains how it’s legal, it usually won’t hold water in court (as with the old, near-free AllOfMP3 site in Russia) unless there’s some other source of income to the publishers/labels, such as ads; IIRC, the few legal ad-supported music sites were all required to use DRM by the labels.  So far, only paid download sites of established companies are being allowed to offer DRM-free music.

When you take DRM into account, audiobooks are likely even worse than music, as Audible (the only DRM format supported by both iPods and non-Apple players, including the Clip) is, relatively speaking, even more dominant in audiobooks than iTunes is in music; IIRC, they even run the audiobook section of iTunes.  Amazon wouldn’t even open a music store until the labels agreed to go DRM-free; but that didn’t apply to video downloads (Unbox uses DRM) or audiobooks (they bought Audible earlier this year).

Since Audible’s DRM format largely has the universal support the music labels never could get (since Apple insisted on its own DRM format–one of the reasons why three of the four major labels STILL won’t let iTunes go DRM-free like they did Amazon, Napster, etc.), I’d say you should just drink the Kool-Aid, take the blue pill, (insert your favorite metaphor here) and go with Audible; for audiobooks, there really isn’t a red pill.  (Edit:  Except perhaps thru your local library, as NineEyes suggested below.  Thanks!)

Message Edited by RBBrittain on 08-10-2008 09:09 AM

My local library (Madison, WI) offers books through OverDrive - yours may too.  The selection is not anywhere near Audible’s, but the listening is free.  What’s more, the checkout time is only a week, but in my experience the books downloaded to the Clip do not seem to expire so there is no rush to consume them.

Message Edited by NineEyes on 08-10-2008 10:31 AM

If you’ve surfed the prices of the average audiobook, many editions are wicked expensive.  At those prices, I would prefer Ann Margaret sit on my lap and read them to me.

Audible is a very reasonably priced alternative.  With membership, you get credits for a book each month too.  And the discounts make regular purchases quite painless.

Bob  :smileyvery-happy:

I also use Overdrive and am lucky to have access to two different library systems so I have double the inventory choices. Your library might have an account with them or you might be able to purchase a membership at a different library to gain access.

You can look for member libraries on their site: <http://www.overdrive.com/>. My local library takes Overdrive requests, although to be fair they put them in the general circulation and once they email me to tell me they’ve purchased it, I have to be fast to get a copy. 

One of my libraries has a two week check-out period and the other is three. The books do stay available on the Clip until you delete them. I currently have 104 hours of audiobooks on my Clip (nine books) and delete the books as I finish them. So far I have had no interest in relistening to anything, although I have hardbacks that I reread on a regular basis. 

neutron_bob: Would the Kitten with a Whip actually be the best choice to have read to you? 

Have you checked out LibriVox? Not exactly New York Times Best Seller material, but if you’re interested in material that’s in the public domain, there’s quite a nice selection.

http://librivox.org/

Along the same lines, try The Spoken Alexandria Project

http://www.alexwilson.com/telltale/spokenalexandria.php

 

Message Edited by HulkSmashNow on 08-26-2008 02:38 PM

Have you tried Project Gutenberg yet? They have many selections and they come in many audio formats for free download and play.

http://www.gutenberg.org/browse/categories/1

Yeah, Clickster is not legal.  A couple of tips for you:

  1. Putting “100% Legal” on a website doesn’t automatically make it legal.

  2. Putting “100% Legal” right before you put “Use of Clickster cannot be detected by ISP’s or Recording Industry snoops” should clue you in that it’s not legal.

@meerkat9090 wrote:

Yeah, Clickster is not legal.  A couple of tips for you:

 

  1. Putting “100% Legal” on a website doesn’t automatically make it legal.
  1. Putting “100% Legal” right before you put “Use of Clickster cannot be detected by ISP’s or Recording Industry snoops” should clue you in that it’s not legal.

 

 

 

Well, I guess condescension is one way of making a point…

 

Anyway, I got the link from PC World Magazine’s website, so I just assumed everything was kosher.

 

http://www.pcworld.com/downloads/file/fid,64891-page,1/description.html

 

Brad

Message Edited by HulkSmashNow on 08-26-2008 10:24 AM

Well, condescension is one way to prove a point…:neutral_face:

 

I removed my previous posts.  I assumed that since PC World Magazine’s official website posted it for download, it was okay.  It looks like I was a bit hasty in my approval and vouching.

 

I apologize for that.

 

All the best,

Brad

Message Edited by HulkSmashNow on 08-26-2008 02:42 PM

Podiobooks.com has tons of great free audiobooks from all the well-known podcast authors out there like Scott Sigler, JC Hutchins etc.

I’d try http://www.netlibrary.com (an electronic library system) which allows you to browse and dowload eAudiobooks to your computer in secure WMA format. You then copy (sync) it to your Clip with Windows Media Player. It checks out the book to you and since the Clip supports the format you have thousands of books available to you. Instructions are online at Netlibrary. Hopefully your local public library is associated with this and you can use you library info to subscribe.