Written by a Human.

The Many Problems with Librivox

Posted in: Matthew's Tech Posting

As someone who loves to listen to an audiobook when I am going to bed I know just how hard it can be to find audiobooks that are not insanely expensive to buy. This is where Librivox should come into the picture as due to Librivox offering completely free public it should be perfect for everyone who likes to go to sleep listening to an audiobook but for a number of reasons Librivox does not meet expectations.

1. Poor audio quality and mastering.

The skill sets of the type of who want to volunteer to read old books for long periods of time are not generally the same as someone who would be interested in mastering audio. This often leads to the audiobooks that have garbage audio quality with high levels of background noise, Inconsistent volume level and ear-tearing sibilance.

This is the ultimate problem with allowing anyone to upload without quality control over audio quality.

2. The Annoying So-Called Disclaimer

The is probably the most annoying non-quality related thing about Librivox is the super annoying so-called “Disclaimer”;

“This is a LibriVox recording. All LibriVox recordings are in the public domain. For more information, or to volunteer, please visit: LibriVox DOT org” The main justification I see being argued for adding this disclaimer to every chapter is to protect Librivox from false copyright claims by its volunteer readers but this makes no sense as most audiobooks put their copyright information at the start and the end of the book, not on every chapter.

What I am getting at is that I personally think this reasoning is bullshit and that this so-called disclaimer is there to act as an advertisement for Librivox which comes off as not really being in the spirit of the public domain.

3. Classic “Open Source” leader-shit

One of the things I have noticed for some many so-call open projects is that they are really what you call open and are run to what the leadership wants over what any user would want. Unfortunately, from my research into the so-called “disclaimer”, I found a post by a member of the Librivox admin team in which they said that in order for that users’ recording to be included they had to include that disclaimer throughout the work and that the policy served the project well.

This of cause comes off as very self-centred for a public domain but in reality, many of these types of projects ultimately suffer from arrogant leadership.

Published: 11th of July 2019

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