My family loves to read and recently, my mother has discovered the joy of audiobooks while commuting to and from work. She currently subscribes to one of the many for-pay services (Simply Audiobooks, in her case) which Netflix style, mails her a set of CDs for her to play before sending them back. For awhile now, she’s been after me to figure out if there is a source of decent, free audiobooks online because the CDs aren’t always in the best condition and the subscription fees are sort of annoying. Obviously, a little Googling did the trick and I found out about Project Gutenberg’s audiobook collection which is constantly being expanded. Basically, they rigged a text-to-speech engine to automatically read the texts and generate sound files. The page describes it as a bit buggy but it’s a cool concept all the same. The more promising project seems to be LibriVox, which uses an ever-growing group of volunteers to read and record for them. The collection is pretty impressive and features texts in multiple languages. All works are public domain and most seem to be from the Guternberg Collection, though I wouldn’t be so surprised if they had some random stuff from places like the Aozora Bunko (Wikipedia article which I just recently heard about from someone who is really into Japanese literature) or Project Runeberg.