Based in UK
Buy or Free Download
Buy MP3 CD or DVD
Buy preloaded MP3 player or hard drive
MP3 or m4a format. (m4a must be ordered special)
About 800 titles
Compatible with any portable audio player. iPod compatible m4a files have to be purchased on a DVD, or converted in iTunes.
PayPal or Credit Card
Will play with any software. Large number of files. Audiobooksforfree sugest a Download Manager to help this.
Download/Per Title
8 Kb/sec -- FREE 16 Kb/sec -- $3 USD 24 Kb/sec -- $5 USD 32 Kb/sec -- $6 USD 48 Kb/sec -- $7 USD
One title on MP3 CD -- $15 USD
One title on Audio CD -- Depends on length of title, $7 per CD
All books
9 MP3 or 10 m4a DVDs -- $100 USD
All books
Preloaded onto a 30 GB Portable Player -- $600 USD
All books
Preloaded onto a computer hard drive -- ??? Depends on size of drive
AudioBooksForFree offers Public Domain books in audiobook form. You can download lower quality files for free, or they will sell you higher quality downloads, or MP3 CDs, or DVDs, or a pre-loaded MP3 player or hard drive.
Progect Gutenberg
Free Download
MP3, Ogg, m4a, spx, wav
About 700 audio titles,
Over 20,000 e-books and audiobooks
Books read by volunteers, computer read books, e-books, a few videos.
Michael Hart, the inventor of e-books started project Gutenberg in 1971. In 1990 Gutenberg added audiobooks to their site. It's all Public Domain texts. You will find classics of all kinds, from Aesop to Tolstoy, and from Beowulf to Poe. There are currently over 200 human narrated titles, the rest are computer generated. The human narration quality is good. Some files are of lower quality, for decreased size, but more than sufficient for voice reproduction. Project Gutenberg started free books on the net, and is still instrumental in production and distribution of free e-, and audio books.
Free Download
MP3, ogg Vorbis formats 64 or 128 Kbs
About 700 audio titles so far
Books read by volunteers, service principals; audio plays.
LibriVox was created in 2005 by Hugh McGuire. Its mission is to make all public domain works of literature available as audiobooks. LibriVox has a volunteer project where anybody can read an audiobook. Some foreign language books are available.
Literal Systems
Free Download
About 15 titles so far
Books read by volunteers, paid actors/preformers.
Public Domain and Creative Commons books are available. Literal Systems prides themselves on the quality of their narration. The quality is good, the collection is small, seems to be an interesting project.
Free Download, library card from praticipating library required.
WMA with PlaysForSure10 DRM
About 1,600 audio titles,
About 6,000 e-books
Current titles, proffessionaly recorded by Recorded Books, Blackstone Audio, Books on Tape and other leading publishers.
Available in over 100 countries.
NetLibrary has offered audiobooks since 2004. In order for you to access their collection, your local library has to be a member. If it is, you can log in, usually through your library's site, with your library card number, and 'check out' or download up to ten titles at a time.
All of NetLibrary's audiobooks are professionally recorded copyrighted books, provided by major publishers. All are in the form of WMA files that are encrypted with a PlaysForSure DRM protection scheme. This Digital Rights Management restricts how you can play and transfer the files. NetLibrary files can only be played for the length of the lending period, only on one computer, and only on 2 compatible portable players. After lending period, the file will stop working, but the license can be renewed by logging into your account again.
All audiobooks come as one very large file per title. It can take a while to download, and you better make sure your player bookmarks or keeps the place on shut off.
Buy:CD, Tape, Download, MP3 CD Rent:
Download Club: PlaysForSure WMA
More than 22,000 audiobook titles
Tape, CD, PlaysForSure digital audio.
Not compatible with iPod.
MasterCard, Visa
Purchase option is not available in Canada. Not all rental or download options available in UK or Canada. Credit card payment only.
1 Rental at-a-time US $143.40/yr, $14.95/mo;
2 Rentals at-a-time US $251.40/yr, $24.95/mo;
3 Rentals at-a-time US $359.40/yr, $32.95/mo;
4 Rentals at-a-time US $443.40/yr, $39.95/mo
1 Downld /mo US $119.40/yr, $11.95/mo;
2 Downlds /mo US $227.40/yr, $19.95/mo;
3 Downlds /mo US 323.40/yr, $27.95/mo;
Purchase price is about equal to list.
SimplyAudiobooks has a small selection of free downloadable audio books . While they are from Public Domain texts they are professionally produced and narrated. With the 'book of the month' feature we can only expect the collection to grow.
Both 'All you can eat' options are very nice. Shipping is free for the rentals. Downloads are in the form of WMA files encoded with Janus PlaysForSure DRM. The DRM scheme lets you use downloaded files on one computer, transfer to an MP3 player 3 times, burn 3 CDs.
Free Download Creative Commons
About 150 finished audiobooks.
Books read by autors.
Podibooks is a newcomer to the scene, but already have a sizable collection. All titles are under Creative Commons lisence, so have been released by their authors. Donations to the authors are strongly encouraged on the site. The narration quality is good. The site format is a little strange, but something you can get used to.
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