Poetry FAQ

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What is Weekly Poetry and how can I contribute?

Weekly Poetry is a good place to start for LibriVox rookies, and the place for you if you're too busy to do a big chapter this week.

How does Weekly Poetry work?

  • Each week, a new public domain poem is chosen, and the full text is posted in a new thread, along with instructions for recording, file names, and ID3 tags.
  • Everyone is encouraged to make a recording - it'll only take you a few minutes!
  • Get the audio to the weekly poetry coordinator via the Uploader.

Who chooses the poem each week?

Anyone who records a poem is welcome to coordinate a poem the next week or to sign up to coordinate in the future if the next week is already spoken for. You can also make suggestions for other people to coordinate if you don't want to take on coordinating the project yourself. To sign up to coordinate a poem or to make a suggestion, see the planning thread.


What is Weekly Poetry for?

We think this illustrates what's so great about LibriVox: there is no definitive audio version of any text, there is only interpretation. That's what we're about and that's what weekly poetry shows. Plus, it's fun, and poetry, like an apple a day, is good for you!


How do I coordinate a Weekly Poetry project?

If you're interested in possibly coordinating a whole book, a great way to get your feet wet is by coordinating a weekly poem. Here is how you do it:

  1. Choose a poem and sign up to coordinate it in the planning thread [1].
  2. When your week to coordinate arrives, start a new thread on that Sunday. The title of the thread should read: Weekly Poetry : [Poem Title] by [Poem Author]
  3. The first post in your thread needs to include the following information: (NEW: Use the project template form to prepare the first post.)
    1. The title, author, and text of the poem.
    2. A link to the source of the poem, usually on Gutenberg or Bartleby (this is just so we are sure it is in the public domain).
    3. Instructions for a brief introduction of the poem, usually: "[Poem title], by [Poem author]. Read for librivox.org by [Reader's name]."
    4. Instructions to say "end of poem" or "end of [Poem title]" at the end of the recording and leave a few moments silence.
    5. How to name the file and what ID3 tags to assign. The file name should be in this format: title_author_readerinitials.mp3. It is essential that the file name be all in lowercase.
      The ID3 tags should be in the following format:

      Title = [Poem Title] - Read by [reader initials]
      Artist = [Poem author]
      Album = Librivox Weekly Poetry

      Provide readers with the option of including "Recorded by [name]" in the Comments ID3 tag.
    6. Instructions for readers to get their recordings to you either by posting a link to the file on their server or by sending the file to you via [2], and instructions for the reader to tell you how they want their name to appear on the catalog page and if they have a personal URL they want their name to link to.
    7. The deadline for submitting recordings (this should be on the following Saturday).
  4. Gather the files as they are posted and download them onto your computer. It is a good idea to listen through the poem and make sure the volume and editing are okay.
  5. Check the ID3 tags on the files to make sure they follow the correct scheme and fix any mistakes.
  6. Keep the Magic Window updated with all readers' screennames who have submitted recordings, uploader URL's and file durations.
  7. When the deadline is reached, post on the thread notifying readers that the project is closed.
  8. Contact the project meta-coordinator to let them know the project is ready for cataloging.
  9. It is also helpful to provide a short summary of the poem for the catalog page.
  10. That's it, you're done, good job!

Can I record other poems?

Yes! This is what the Short Poetry Collections are for.


What are Short Poetry Collections?

Short Poetry Collections are where you can submit any public domain poem that you have recorded. Once we have collected twenty poems, the collection is closed to be cataloged a new collection is begun.


How do I submit a recording to a Short Poetry Collection?

  • Make sure the poem you want to read is in the public domain. The best sources to check this are [3] and [4] - however there are many poems in the public domain which are NOT on either of these sites. If you want to record a poem that is not on Gutenberg or Bartleby but which you think is in the public domain, post in the thread for the current Short Poetry Collection to ask for help verifying that the poem is not under copyright.
  • Once you are sure the poem is in the public domain, go ahead and do your recording. You do not need to ask approval or permission first. Please visit the thread for the current Short Poetry Collection for information on how to format your filename and ID3 tags.
  • After you have recorded the poem, post a link to the recording along with your personal information in the thread for the current Short Poetry Collection.


How do I know what has already been recorded?

  • First of all, just become something has already been recorded by someone else does not mean you can't do it too! We welcome multiple versions of works; in fact many of the poems in our poetry and short story index have already been recorded several times by different people.
  • Use the catalog search to search for works by author, title, etc.


Remember, just because something is already in the index, it does not mean you can't do your own version!


What are MCs, or 'meta coordinators?'

Meta coordinators are administrators who take over from the book coordinators when the project is completed. The metas take the files and upload them onto the LibriVox catalogue. They are also available for questions, but it's a different role from that of the book coordinator. Essentially, where the book coordinator's work finishes, the meta coordinator's begins.

The initials tagged at the end of the project thread title indicates who the MC is for that project.


Why do we need these tags?

The volume of recordings on LibriVox has been increasing steadily recently, and with it the task of cataloging. We needed to keep track of who is doing what project - when a book coordinator or a solo reader posts a new project, one of the metas will 'claim' that project by tagging it with his/her initials. This way book coordinators and solo readers also know who is going to take care of publishing the finished recordings.


Who adds the tags?

The meta coordinators add the tags. Book coordinators and solo readers post their topics as usual, with subject "TITLE by AUTHOR." A meta coordinator will then 'claim' the project (i.e. agree to organise the metadata and cataloging) by adding the tag to the subject line. Other metas will then see that the project is looked after, and book coordinators will know to whom they can send the files when the project is finished.

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