Task 11 – LibriVox

Undoubtedly a worthwhile site, a comprehensive collection of public domain books recorded by volunteers for free download. A great and noble ideal, unfortunately it was a bit of a let-down. I am an intensive user of podcasts, and unfortunately I’m used to going to iTunes and finding pretty much everything I want at the flick of a mouse (albeit at a cost). Despite extensive searching, not one of the books I entered was present, and I tried at least 20 titles, all old enough I thought to be public domain. In fact I could not find books which I know are in the public domain, such as many of those by Orwell. Browsing did no better. I found nothing in the catalog that grabbed me, most seemed to be very obscure titles. In fact I gained the sneaking suspicion that the site had been hi-jacked by intellectual snobs with a disdain for “popular literature.” Once again the problem of not knowing what’s in the public domain and what’s not reared its head. I really did not know what to search for. I eventually did find an item, a report on UFOs that seemed mildly interesting, and downloading turned out be pain-free. However, finding one interesting item in half an hour of searching doesnt really seem to be a worthwhile expenditure of time. A great idea, yes, but unless I was specifically looking for, say, a French novel from the 1700s, I cant see much use for it personally. However, if I was an academic or student searching for titles such as that, this site would be a boon. So I’ll give it:

10/10 for worthiness

5/10 for everyday practicality.

See you next time.

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