Access thousands of free audiobooks with Microsoft AI and Project Gutenberg

Access thousands of free audiobooks with Microsoft AI and Project Gutenberg

Project Gutenberg and Microsoft Collaborate to Create Free Audiobooks with AI-Powered Natural Voices

Audiobooks

Audiobooks have become a popular option for those who want to enjoy books while driving, resting, or simply when they don’t feel like reading. While there are plenty of audiobooks available online, many require a one-time fee or a subscription. Moreover, some free audiobooks are read by computerized voices that are less than pleasing to the ear. But fret not, dear audiobook enthusiasts, because Project Gutenberg and Microsoft have joined forces to create thousands of free audiobooks with the help of neural text-to-speech technology, resulting in voices that sound more natural and emotive.

The neural TTS feature utilizes AI to generate speech that closely resembles human voices and captures the intended emotions. This revolutionary technology allows audiobook developers to choose specific voices and fine-tune factors such as pronunciation, pitch, rate, pauses, and intonation to create a more pleasant narration experience.

Creating audiobooks can be a time-consuming process that involves countless hours of recording, editing, and publishing. However, by collaborating with Microsoft AI, Project Gutenberg has managed to significantly reduce this time by automatically producing high-quality audiobooks from existing e-books available online.

“In particular, we leverage recent advances in neural text-to-speech to create and release thousands of human-quality, open-license audiobooks from the Project Gutenberg e-book collection,” explained a joint team statement from Project Gutenberg and Microsoft. They continued, “Our method can identify the proper subset of e-book content to read for a wide collection of diversely structured books and can operate on hundreds of books in parallel.” Thanks to their efforts, over five thousand open-license audiobooks have been created, along with an interactive demo that empowers users to quickly create customized audiobooks of their own.

To access these audiobooks, one simply needs to visit the Project Gutenberg Open Audiobook Collection. From there, users can choose to listen to the books via popular platforms like Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or the Internet Archive. As the books are in the public domain, the collection mainly consists of classic works by renowned authors including William Shakespeare, Mark Twain, Edith Wharton, Leo Tolstoy, Jules Verne, T. S. Eliot, and Robert Louis Stevenson.

Upon selecting a book, listeners can enjoy it directly in their browser, with options to pause, play, skip ahead, go back, and control the volume. Alternatively, they can download their chosen audiobook from platforms like Apple Podcasts or Spotify for playback on mobile devices.

“This project aims to make literature more accessible to (audio)book-lovers everywhere and democratize access to high-quality audiobooks,” remarked Project Gutenberg. “Whether you are learning to read, looking for inclusive reading technology, or about to head out on a long drive, we hope you enjoy this audiobook collection.”

Audiobooks List
Audio Player

In summary:

  • Project Gutenberg and Microsoft have collaborated to produce thousands of free audiobooks using neural text-to-speech technology.
  • The AI-powered voices in these audiobooks sound more natural and match the intended emotions of the narration.
  • By automating the process, the time required to create audiobooks has been significantly reduced.
  • The audiobooks are available through the Project Gutenberg Open Audiobook Collection, accessible via Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or the Internet Archive.
  • The collection consists of classic works from renowned authors, as the books are in the public domain.
  • Users can listen to the audiobooks directly in their browser or download them for offline playback on mobile devices.

With this remarkable collaboration, Project Gutenberg and Microsoft have succeeded in democratizing access to high-quality audiobooks. Now, whether you’re learning to read, looking for inclusive reading technology, or embarking on a long drive, you can immerse yourself in literature with ease. Enjoy the wonders of these audiobooks and let the captivating voices guide you into new realms of storytelling.