Help for Listeners in China

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We have recently (March - April 2010) received many reports that listeners in China are unable to access any of our completed audio recordings.

The reason for this appears to be that the government of China has blocked access to the Internet Archive, which hosts the files of all our completed recordings. See the Wikipedia article on the Golden Shield Project for more details. The reason for this is known only to the Chinese government, but is likely to be because there are items on the Internet Archive which they consider to be subversive, and they therefore prevent anyone in China from accessing anything on the entire domain, including our recordings.

LibriVox itself has not, to our knowledge, ever been blocked in China and we have no reason to believe that the Chinese authorities are concerned about our activities.

What can LibriVox do about this?

Not very much, unfortunately. The Internet Archive generously hosts our recordings free, and we cannot pay the large storage and bandwidth costs to host them on a commercial service.

Some of our recordings are also available on Project Gutenberg, which may be accessible in China.

A small number of our recordings are also available via Legal Torrents and other bit torrent hosts.

We will try to increase the number of recordings available in these ways, but it is never likely that the whole catalogue (now over 3000 recordings) will become available through these alternative methods.

What can the listener do?

  • Try Project Gutenberg. Some of our audiobooks are there. This link leads to a page where you can browse all human-read audio books, available in various formats (MP3, Ogg Vorbis, M4b Apple iTunes). The interface is not very helpful, but at least the files are available for download.


  • Try an online web-storage space that allows you to upload files from a remote server (in this case from archive.org to the remote storage server), and then download them from the file hosting service to your own computer. One example is ADrive.com. Wikipedia has a list of such file hosting services, and states whether they allow remote uploading.

    The links to the audio files can be obtained from the LibriVox catalogue page for the audiobook you want to download. Right-click "Zip file of the entire book" or any of the individual audio files and select "Copy Link Location" (Firefox) or "Copy Shortcut" (Internet Explorer). Use this link to upload the file to the file host's server, and then download the file to your own computer. NB. Do not try to use this for the RSS or iTunes links - they are not direct links to audio files.


  • Try LegalTorrents The number of recordings on this site is very limited. Or Extratorrent.com where nearly all of our available M4B files can currently be found, along with some mp3 format books, by searching for "Librivox." To download books via torrent files you will need a bit torrent client such as Utorrent or Vuze.


  • Individual LibriVox recordings often get hosted in all kinds of places. Try some of these URLs - assuming they are accessible - which have limited numbers of our recordings: ibiblio; Marxist Internet Archive; Wikimedia Commons. Many LibriVox recordings are also available by searching Itunes or YouTube, if those are available at the time you read this. Alternatively, try entering "title of book librivox" in a search engine - you never know.
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