Project Gutenburg, MIT, and Microsoft collaborate on free audiobook project

Project Gutenberg, whose mission is to make copyright-free books available online, has partnered with Microsoft and MIT in an AI project to narrate thousands of open-access audiobooks with synthetic voices. We don’t have an exact count, but Gutenberg refers to “thousands of human-quality, open-license audiobooks.” They are all written by authors born in or before 1928, and are now available for free listening (or reading).

“The audiobooks here are generated by new neural text to speech technology and automated parsing of the e-books in the Project Gutenberg collection,” Project Gutenberg explains. In our lengthy browsing, we hear only one AI narrator — not the most felicitous presentation of a large audio catalog, but understandable in a mass-produced project involving a huge stack of books.


“Our system allows users to customize an audiobook’s speaking speed and style, emotional intonation, and can even match a desired voice using a small amount of sample audio.” –Project Gutenberg


The entire listenable list (with download links) is HERE. The collection is also in Apple Podcasts and Spotify. (h/t: Alistair Kelman)


Brad Hill