Sunday, February 10, 2019

The Machinery of Freedom as an Audiobook

I am in the process of recording my first book, The Machinery of Freedom, which I plan to make available on Audible and iTunes. So far I have recorded parts I-III, which include all of the contents of the first edition, and the recordings are now on my web page for comments. If you notice any mistakes, let me know.

One problem in doing an audiobook is footnotes. I have mostly left them out, aside from ones that could be, and needed to be, incorporated in the text. Suggestions on that subject are welcome. Possibilities include:

What I have done, perhaps incorporating more

Inserting all footnotes in the recording, probably as "footnote: ..."

Giving the URL of the webbed second edition in my introductory comments and suggesting that anyone who wants to see the footnotes for parts I-IV can find them there.

The webbed recordings are lower quality than the ones I will use for the final audiobook, 16 kbps instead of 192 kbps, in order to keep down file sizes so as to make downloading easier.


Sevesteen said...

I realize that audio quality isn't what's being tested here, but it is too low for me to listen comfortably. I get a fingernails on chalkboard sensation so I'm not willing to listen very long. I suspect they could be improved without substantially upping the bitrate. A cursory Google search for spoken word bitrate samples brought me to Their Mono 24kbps is comfortable for me, as are the mono 12k Opus files.

I've no affiliation with that site, it's just the first site I found with appropriate spoken word samples at different bitrates.

Anonymous said...

The sampling rate seems too low and there is too much echo. It sounds like it needs some post processing and a better bit rate.

Sharper said...

It may be too late for this to matter to you, but here's an excellent discussion on narrating and recording audio-books at LTUE. There's a lot of helpful tips on the process which you could only know through the experience of narrating a bunch of books, your own or someone else's.

As one example, the suggestion is made that when you make a mistake you use a set sound (like a hand clap, or bell or whatever will create a sharp spike in the sound recording) immediately afterwards before narrating again the mistaken section so that in your audio software that sound creates a distinctive waveform pattern which you can immediately spot and jump to while doing your clean-up editing.

David Friedman said...


I'm using Sound Studio. When I make a mistake I hit the key that puts a red marker at that location in the sound file. I then repeat the passage I messed up. The equivalent of what you are describing with a different method of marking.