Où sont les audiobooks d'antan?
August 5, 2012 6:40 PM   Subscribe

Where are the audiobooks in French? There are thousands of books on audible in Spanish, but none in French.

Criteria for my search:

- I want high-quality audio, so free sites are probably out.
- I am not interested in 'learn to speak french' books.
- I'd be interested primarily in classic fiction and poetry from the eighteenth century through the modern day.
- It would be nice if I didn't have to sign up for a monthly subscription.

Are there no publishers of French audiobooks? Is it that the wacky French language police have decreed a name for audiobooks other than 'audiobook' and so my searches are failing for that reason?

I am in the US and I have a PC and IOS devices.
posted by winna to Writing & Language (6 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
They're on audible.fr. Despite being in the US you may be able to buy audiobooks from there. I've done that with audible.de. The files should work on iTunes and your iOS devices.
posted by jedicus at 6:47 PM on August 5, 2012

It appears to work and better still allows an option to buy audiobooks without a subscription, which is nice. I hadn't thought of trying to switch domains to find them - you'd think that audible would direct people doing searches for french audiobooks to the other domain.
posted by winna at 7:04 PM on August 5, 2012

You can also try Books Should Be Free for a selection of classic literature in the public domain that's available in audio/French format.
posted by bookmammal at 7:12 PM on August 5, 2012

Amazon France also has a livres audio section - I would not bet too big on it working outside France - but you may find that you can search for your titles here and then also find them on Amazon.com

>you'd think that audible would direct people doing searches for french audiobooks to the other domain.

It looks like audible is one of those sites - like Google - which re-directs to a domain name matching the appropriate country by default. Here in France it goes to the .fr variant. I suspect this is a case of regional licensing triumphing over ease of use.
posted by rongorongo at 1:18 AM on August 6, 2012

I'm not sure what exactly you mean by "high quality audio". I seem to recall not liking one or two of the librivox recordings I've tried, but for the most part I've enjoyed them.
posted by bfields at 8:53 AM on August 6, 2012

I must have been unlucky, because all the free audiobooks I've downloaded sound as if Donald Duck recorded them from inside a closed dumpster. That's what I mean - I don't want terrible sound quality and subpar narration.
posted by winna at 1:13 PM on August 6, 2012

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