free

Free download of Walden by Henry David Thoreau

by Michael Alderete on 4/7/2011

Henry David Thoreau's WaldenFor a limited time, you can download a free audiobook of Henry David Thoreau’s Walden read by Mel Foster. This is the commercial version of the book, which retails for $23-33.

The unabridged audiobook is provided as MP3 files, which you can simply drag into iTunes, and then sync to your iPod or iPhone for listening. You can change their Media Kind to have iTunes treat them as audiobook tracks, or with a little more work, you can convert them to a single audiobook file.

Note: If you don’t already have one, you will need to create an account on Tantor Media’s site, which will sign you up for their newsletter where, among other things, you can learn about future free downloads.

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Free download of Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

by Michael Alderete on 10/20/2010

Mary Shelley's FrankensteinFrom now through Halloween, you can download a free audiobook of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein read by Simon Vance. Vance is an extraordinary narrator, winner of many awards, and certainly a Golden Voice. This is a high-quality production.

The unabridged audiobook is provided as MP3 files, which you can simply drag into iTunes, and then sync to your iPod or iPhone for listening. You can change their Media Kind to have iTunes treat them as audiobook tracks, or with a little more work, you can convert them to a single audiobook file.

Note: If you don’t already have one, you will need to create an account on Tantor Media’s site, which will sign you up for their newsletter where, among other things, you can learn about future free downloads.

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Free this week: The Millionaires by Brad Meltzer

by Michael Alderete on 11/13/2007

The unabridged version of The Millionaires by Brad Meltzer is currently free at the iTunes Store. Freebie audiobooks usually last about a week, so get this while you can. (Requires a valid iTunes Store account.)

Here’s the book’s description (from the iTunes Store):

What would you steal if you couldn’t get caught? It started as the perfect crime. Then it took a turn for the worse. Charlie and Oliver Caruso are brothers who work at Green & Greene, a private bank so exclusive you need two million dollars just to be a client. But when the door of success slams in their faces, they’re faced with an offer they can’t refuse: three million dollars in an abandoned account. No one knows it exists, and even better, it doesn’t belong to anyone. It’s a foolproof crime. More important, for Charlie and Oliver, it’s a way out of debt and the key to a new life. All they have to do is take the money. But when they do, they quickly discover they’ve got a lot more on their hands than the prize. Before they can blink, a friend is dead – and the bank, the Secret Service, and a female private investigator are suddenly closing in. Trapped in a breakneck race to stay alive, Charlie and Oliver are bout to discover a secret that will test their trust and forever change their lives.

Note: I haven’t listened to this, so I have no idea if it’s any good. The reviews on the iTunes Store are mixed. But what the heck, it’s free, right?

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Free today only: Direct Audio Converter (for Windows)

by Michael Alderete on 12/19/2006

I haven’t yet used this software myself, but it’s free only for the next 12 or so hours, so I wanted to pass it along quickly. Normally $25, it looks like it might provide a streamlined workflow for importing audiobook CDs or converting existing MP3 files to AAC for better bookmarking capabilities.

Free for 12 more hours (on 19-December-2006): Direct Audio Converter and CD Ripper

Note: You need to download, install, activate, and register the software (four distinct tasks) before the deadline, when the registration code expires. Read the instructions for the details.

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Get free audiobooks from Brilliance Audio

by Michael Alderete on 8/25/2006 · 7 comments

I posted previously about BMW’s free audiobooks, a collection of four short stories, professionally read and available in MP3 format. I’ve only listened to one completely so far, and while the product placement was, shall we say, distinct, the story and the reader were both very good.

I recently stumbled across another source for high-quality spoken word fiction. THRILLER is a free podcast from Brilliance Audio, which offers five of the “thriller” short stories from a collection of 30, all by well-known, best-selling authors. Here the financial motive is more obvious; if you like the five freebies, you might buy the whole collection.

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Get free audiobooks from BMW

by Michael Alderete on 5/24/2006 · 2 comments

BMW is offering four short stories in audio format at the new BMW Audio Books web site:

BMW, in conjunction with Random House, brings you BMW Audio Books, a unique series of specially- commissioned short stories showcasing the work of some of the finest contemporary writing talent. Each gripping audio book is yours to download for free.

While there is some “product placement” for BMW, the stories are high quality efforts by accomplished authors. The stories average about 50 minutes, and the narration is professional. The books are free in cost (but see below), and are also in MP3 format, meaning you can play them just about anywhere. I’m sure BMW hopes you’ll do it in the cockpit of a new car from their favorite manufacturer, but it’ll work with your iPod on Muni or the bus, too. Just download, and drag the downloaded files into the iTunes Library window.

To download you need to give BMW an email address. It can be a bogus address (there’s no verification), but from the text, if you give them a real address, you’ll be notified when new audio content is published to the site. (I gave them a real address.)

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