Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Listen and Read: Free Audiobooks

Audiobooks, audiofiles and podcasts are good listening practice. They are also ideal for "multi-tasking." You can listen to them when you are doing something else and your hands aren't free to to hold a book. But you can also use them to improve your reading skills. Find or print out a copy of the book or article to read along while you listen.

Free Audio Books

LibriVox is the king of free audio books. You can use the catalog to search through their library of nearly 1000 works, all part of the public domain. If you’re feeling generous, you can even contribute wiki-style by recording audio of your own.

AudioBooksForFree also has a big catalog to sort through, with an emphasis on classic works, but a decent amount of mystery, sci-fi, and thriller as well. The only catch here is that you’ll have to pay for quality: the lowest quality downloads are free but anything better than 8 Kbps costs $5-8.

If you’re looking for classics, FreeClassicAudioBooks is a nice resource. Although the library isn’t huge, the selection includes quality authors and titles and downloading convenience in an iPod-ready format.

Who knew that on top of all that print content, ProjectGutenberg also has a huge audio section? They’ve got everything from Aesop to Zola, including a decent number of works in French, German, and other languages.

LearnOutLoud has over 500 educational titles and offers a lot of video as well.
The bright side here is that you can probably get almost any older work in the public domain for free. If what you’re looking for is a bit more modern you’ll either have to shell out a few dollars or try to find a relevant podcast.

Free Podcasts

For iTunes users, the fastest and simplest way to find podcasts and load them directly to your iPod is through iTunes Store. Just click on the podcasts button in the store and you’ll be taken to a huge podcast directory. The trick is finding what you actually want.
If you’re looking for a particular subject, The Educational Podcast Network has a big list of subject specific podcasts that cover most academic topics.

If you want recommendations, this thread on AskMetafilter points out a number of educational and entertaining podcasts. NPR has a nice collection of informative podcasts too.
Other good sources include the PodcastDirectory and Yahoo! Podcasts, which allows you to browse by popularity and user ratings. The tech savvy reader can check out Digg’s podcast section.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...