Saturday, November 26, 2011

Recommended Website: Librivox

You might have noticed that I have a new page in the sidebar of the blog called “recommended resources”. This page lists websites that aren’t dedicated to ASMR, or don’t intentionally have anything to do with said phenomenon, but experiencers commonly list these sites as ones they use. Even YouTube falls under this category, if you think about it, despite having many, many channels, playlists, and videos on it that are dedicated to ASMR.

One of these resources is Librivox. Librivox is a website which contains a massive catalogue of audio books. People (who are often writers, bloggers, or actors in some capacity) volunteer to record their voices as they read chapters of books, recent and ancient. These recordings are then uploaded to the website and can be downloaded in several formats including MP3 and OGG, as well as different bit rates (higher is better).

I went and downloaded the entire section of Bram Stoker’s Dracula. I posted a while back on my Facebook page that I had read the eBook. The first few chapters were immensely captivating. I’ve watched the rather magnificent film of the same name recently, too, directed by Francis Ford Coppola, and starring Gary Oldman (who was essentially the Johnny Depp of his day, in my mind).

So after downloading the files (I opted for OGG – I seem to recall reading that they are more compressed than MP3 and of higher quality), I went about playing the files in WinAmp. I instantly cycled through all 27 chapters to see if any of the authors had “the voice”. Most of them made me shrill in disgust, but all ready a few chapters in and I came across some I liked. It made it that much more pleasurable to listen to – of course I didn’t retain that much information seeing as I was “blissing” the entire time.

Some of the notable authors in this respect who have worked on other projects on Librivox include Laura Fox, and Peter Yearsly, among others.

The recordings available on the website are in the public domain (this mainly applies to the USA), but in some countries or jurisdictions the copyright is still active, so it wouldn’t be wise to download it in cases like this.

Anyway, be sure to check it out and you might find a book you like that you’d just love to hear in audio form. It might even be a good idea to listen to the recordings and read the book (whether physical or digital) at the same time. This is a useful tactic I employ when it comes to studying – using more than one sense. Might be useful if you’re studying Moby Dick for school.

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