LibriVox is a volunteer project to make great books available to everyone as free audiobooks. Launched in August 2005 by Hugh McGuire, a Montreal-based writer and engineer, LibriVox has become a vibrant community of people who are passionate about books, and about recording them to share with the world. In March alone, LibriVox added 70 new titles to its catalog. Building on Project Gutenberg and related projects such as Distributed Proofreaders, LibriVox has achieved critical mass and continues to build momentum.
In this podcast, Hugh McGuire discusses the origins of LibriVox, its organic growth, and its distinctive architecture of participation. Central to the philosophy of the project is the idea that readers come first. And in this case, that means the people who produce the audiobooks. For the average book-lover, who may have no prior experience with the technologies of digital audio or with the art of reading books aloud, it's no small challenge to make a good recording. LibriVox respects the efforts of these fledgling audiobook creators, and organizes itself to protect and encourage them. As you'll see (and hear) if you check out the LibriVox catalog, the results have been impressive.
Hugh McGuire is a writer and web-guy. In 2005 he founded LibriVox.org. McGuire consult on web projects, especially on open project development, internet communities, and distributed media. His experience with LibriVox has provided him important insights into how to make big open projects work.
McGuire has a degree in Mathematics and Engineering from Queens University; as well as a Philosophy degree from the same place. He currently lives in Montreal, Quebec, Canada and plays rugby with the Westmount Rugby Club, the oldest rugby club in North America.
This free podcast is from our Jon Udell's Interviews with Innovators series.