Viva la Liberation – Week 5

I have completed a few chapters or sections for LibriVox, posted down below. They were received generally pretty well; there were no series of unending praises in the forums, but the moderators were helpful and truthful.

The forum setup is a nice spot to communicate and ask questions. If you go there, like most places online, the best thing to do to get acquainted is to poke around and see how things are setup and run. One of the things I like about it is that the division of types of projects are divided up, so if you are into poetry you don’t have to wade through a bunch of fiction projects to get to what you want to work on. Not being a poetry person myself, I stay in the Books forum mostly so far, but there are also sections for dramatic works, foreign language works, and other areas of administration.

In the Books forum, as in others I assume, there are discussions that revolve around each particular project that is in progress. Each project has a coordinator that keeps track of who records what, who Proof Listens (a term I have never heard before, but is self-explanatory), and other such tasks. To get involved in the recording, all you have to do is go to the first post in any discussion area. That first post contains a description of the work, general instructions for recording and producing the work, links to the text to use, and the Magic Window. And, yes, the Magic Window is just as exciting as it sounds.

Each book is broken out into sections of manageable lengths, with a chart that lists the names of the sections, word count, availability or who is assigned to it, and status (whether open, recording, proofed, or approved). If you have completed your One Minute Test, you drop a message in the forum requesting to “claim” the section(s) you want to record. In a day or so, you will get confirmation that it is assigned to you, and you can then see your very own name in the Magic Window! Very exciting. Being a volunteer organization, all they ask is that you get your recording done within a two month time frame. When it is completed, you upload it with their cool little uploader page, and someone will Proof Listen to it and let you know if there are any errors that need to be fixed. All pretty straightforward and run very competently by the project leaders there.

As I said before, it is all run very effectively. An impressive group effort – exceedingly so for an all volunteer organization. I have worked for companies that are less well managed, but that’s another story for another time.

The biggest sticking point for beginning narrators (that would be me) is making sure the files sent up meet the technical specifications they have – bitrate, per levels, overall volume, file type and metadata, etc. However, that sounds more daunting than it actually is, because they have some great tutorials that explain each requirement and how to meet it. Since Audacity seems to be the recording software of choice, all the explanations give step by steps of how accomplish what you need within that package. If you make it to this point, you pretty clearly have the skills to understand how to meet their requirements.

One of the basic requirements can involve the normalization of the audio, which I will probably discuss in the next post.

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