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Comment author: lukeprog 27 November 2015 03:24:23PM 5 points [-]

Any chance you'll eventually get this up on Audible? I suspect that in the long run, it can find a wider audience there.

Comment author: Rick_from_Castify 01 December 2015 01:50:07AM 7 points [-]

We're in the process of getting it onto Audible and plan to get it onto iTunes as well to get it in front of the widest audience as possible.

Audio version of Rationality: From AI to Zombies out of beta

11 Rick_from_Castify 25 November 2015 08:19PM

All three volumes of the ebook Rationality: From AI to Zombies are complete and available for purchase on Castify.  A big thanks to the narrator George Thomas.  The total recording time is over 51 hours.

Five math-heavy essays in the second volume went unread because they didn't make for good listening.  To read these the ebook can be downloaded on a "pay-what-you-want" basis from intelligence.org.

Thanks again to the original kickstarter backers, we wouldn't have been able to do this without you.

Direct Links:

Volume 1

Volume 2

Volume 3

Comment author: Coscott 20 December 2014 03:57:31AM *  0 points [-]

What about the other direction? Will all (or almost all) of the posts that have been previously recorded be in the Audio Book?

Comment author: Rick_from_Castify 29 December 2014 08:42:47PM 0 points [-]

I'm not sure at this point. The final version of the ebook is not quite finished. When it's done we'll do a deep comparison between the posts we've previously recorded and the posts included in the ebook. If the post hasn't been changed for the ebook and the flow of the reading isn't broken by using a previously recorded version then we'll re-use the original audio, otherwise we'll record a fresh copy.

Comment author: RyanCarey 29 December 2014 10:53:23AM 0 points [-]

Got any really bad examples? I would just read it.

Comment author: Rick_from_Castify 29 December 2014 08:38:20PM 1 point [-]

Actually I don't now that I've had a closer look at the articles to be included. I was worried about posts like Entangled Photons but the editors putting it together have done a really good job of selecting posts, arranging them in a coherent manner, and even editing some posts where needed. My hat is off to them.

Comment author: Rick_from_Castify 29 December 2014 06:55:31AM 0 points [-]

Thanks for the support everyone! I'm also looking forward to being able to listen to the rest of the sequences.

What does everyone think of the Math-intensive posts? Best to read the math? Best to state that there's a bunch of math in an article and refer you to the e-book? Or some other variant?

Comment author: dumky 18 December 2014 07:04:35PM 5 points [-]

Backed. Thanks for starting this project.

What will be the recommended software to consume this?

I'm an Audible member anymore. I'm using a regular podcast iOS app (called RSSRadio) for HPMOR at the moment, but it's a bit manual (have to download each episode from archive). It seems like there would be a way to package an audio book (mp3 files + some XML metadata) and have an app that can consume that. Basically, like Audible but with a simple/open format. But I haven't found any so far.

Comment author: Rick_from_Castify 29 December 2014 06:49:49AM 0 points [-]

You'll be able to subscribe to the books in podcast form by adding it to iTunes or your favorite podcatcher.

We'll also make it available in .m4b format which can be used with many audiobook players, including Apple devices.

Comment author: Robin 16 December 2014 04:05:06PM 1 point [-]

Would you consider having Less Wrong members record the sequences or do you already have people you've promised to give the job to?

Comment author: Rick_from_Castify 16 December 2014 11:56:42PM 5 points [-]

Thanks for the offer Robin but we've decided to go with professionals. Early on we auditioned people from the LessWrong community and we decided that having a well produced reading with a professional voice actor makes a big difference on the listening experience.

Comment author: Metus 16 December 2014 02:52:02AM 0 points [-]


Will it be available globally?

Comment author: Rick_from_Castify 16 December 2014 04:21:46AM 1 point [-]

It will be on Audible, I'm not sure if they have restrictions on where it will be available globally. Do you know more Metus? This will be the first book that we've personally put onto Audible. We certainly want it to be available globally. It will also be available on iTunes.

Kickstarting the audio version of the upcoming book "The Sequences"

31 Rick_from_Castify 16 December 2014 01:01AM

LessWrong is getting ready to release an actual book that covers most of the material found in the Sequences. 

There have been a few posts about it in the past, here are two: the title debate, content optimization.

We've been asked if we'd like to produce the audiobook version and the answer is yes. This is a large undertaking. The finished product will probably be over 35 hours of audio.

To help mitigate our risk we've decided to Kickstarter the audiobook.  This basically allows us to pre-sell it so we're not stuck with a large production cost and no revenue. 

The kickstarter campaign is here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1267969302/lesswrong-the-sequences-audiobook

If you haven't heard of us before we've already produced some sequences into audiobooks.  You can see them and listen to samples which are indicative of the audio quality here.

Comment author: John_Maxwell_IV 11 December 2014 06:35:02AM 5 points [-]

I'm not planning on listening to the audiobooks version of the Sequences, but it seems potentially valuable to me for the ideas in the Sequences to be spread. Can you give us an idea of the sort of listener numbers you've seen for your current Sequence audio offerings? (Any reasons in particular it wouldn't be reasonable to extrapolate those numbers?) Are there reviews out there discussing factors like how well Eliezer's link-heavy writing style transfers to audio?

Comment author: Rick_from_Castify 14 December 2014 10:51:25PM *  1 point [-]

Can you give us an idea of the sort of listener numbers you've seen for your current Sequence audio offerings?

So far we've relied on people coming to the sequences we've produced via the LessWrong site. As an example of numbers we've had about 100 people purchase the "How to Actually Change Your Mind" sequence.

Any reasons in particular it wouldn't be reasonable to extrapolate those numbers?

"The Sequences" is a mega volume and we're just unsure how well it will sell. We will be making them available on Audible and iTunes in an effort to spread the ideas further.

Are there reviews?

Maybe some previous listeners could let you know what they thought. I can let you know we've had 0 complaints of the audio quality.

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