Arts and Entertainment

How to Download Free Public Domain Audiobooks

There are a number of websites which maintain databases of freely downloadable audiobooks. The audiobooks that are available as free downloads are often classic titles that have entered into the public domain and are no longer under copyright law.

Here are a number of websites which offer free public domain audiobooks:

AudiobooksForFree.com – AudiobooksForFree.com contains a large database of free audiobooks. This service does a superb job of organizing audiobook titles into categories and offers newer royalty-free audiobooks in addition to those in the public domain. Unfortunately, this website has not been updated since 2008.

FreeClassicAudiobooks.com – FreeClassicAudiobooks.com offers classic audiobooks in MP3 and M4B format. The service contains a few dozen titles, including a free audiobook copy of the King James Bible and Spanish, Italian and French language learning audiobooks.
LearnOutLoud.com – LearnOutLoud is a service that provides free copies of audiobooks, lectures, speeches, sermons and interviews in audio (MP3) and video format. This website has approximately 3,400 titles available as of March 2011.

Librivox.com – Librivox is one of the larger services that offer free public domain audiobooks. As of March 2011, Librivox had approximately 4,250 titles available. Librivox also organizes volunteers to create audiobook recordings of public domain audiobooks for free consumption.

OpenCulture.com – OpenCulture, a website dedicated to providing free educational and cultural media, maintains a list of freely downloadable audiobooks in MP3 format. Most of the titles that are available from OpenCulture are classics and other public domain works. This website also maintains a list of free podcasts.

Project Gutenberg -Project Gutenberg, a volunteer effort to digitize and archive cultural works, maintains a library of public domain audiobooks. Some of the titles are read by narrators and some were created using synthesized technology (computer generated voices). Project Gutenberg collaborates with Librivox and AudiobooksForFree.com to organize volunteers to create human-read recordings of audiobooks.

There are also a couple of websites which offer newer titles that are independently produced outside of the major publishing houses, including:

New Fiction – New Fiction offers free modern-day radio dramas called iSoaps. The titles on New Fiction vary from other free audiobook websites in that they are not public domain books in audiobook format, rather newer fiction titles from independent authors.

Podiobooks – Podiobooks provides free audiobooks in episodic form over RSS so that readers can enjoy titles one chapter at a time. The service contains approximately 500 original fiction titles.

Storynory – Storynory offers free audiobook children’s stories. This U.K. – based website provides audiobook versions of dozens of classic fairytales, educational stories and original titles.