Sherlock Holmes in the Electronic Age
by Jim Zych, Apr ’09
With the electronic age affecting every aspect of our lives, it was only a matter of time before Sherlock Holmes, symbol of Victorian England, would be presented in a digital format as well. This article discusses an inexpensive way to enjoy the Canon when reading the stories is not possible or practical.
Throughout modern history, Audiobooks, “Books on Tape”, vinyl recordings and radio broadcasts have all featured Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson as each medium became widely available. MP3 players and the Internet represent the latest advances in technology and Sherlock Holmes is well represented in this media format as well.
One of the easiest and most inexpensive ways to enjoy the Canon in audio is through downloading recordings of the stories using the Internet and MP3 files. These files, in turn, can then be played through a home computer, stored onto an audio CD that can be played in a car or home system, or downloaded to an MP3 player for personal listening. This article will take you through the steps to easily locate the files, download them and then load the files onto a CD or MP3 player. Note: the files described below are NOT the radio programs. They are word for word readings of the original stories as they are written in the Canon.
LibriVox is an organization that takes written works in the public domain and, through volunteers, read the stories which are then stored in an MP3 file format. Their goal is to make all public domain books available as free audio books. While there are other organizations that also offer similar files, LibriVox offers the complete collection of the short stories with no sign up requirements or fees, and in one convenient location. Their website is http://librivox.org.
Process (Note: this process applies to Windows-based computers)
The process for accessing LibriVox files begins by accessing their website (above). Select the “LibriVox Catalog” link under the “Listen” section. Enter “doyle” in the search criteria for AUTHOR and click on SEARCH. The result will be a list of all files. While you may find the individual story listed by itself, often the stories are grouped by the collection where it was published. For example, “A Scandal in Bohemia” is filed as part of “The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes”.
After selecting the collection, a list of individual adventures will appear. Right click either version of the MP3 file ( or mp3@128kpbs) and select “SAVE TARGET AS” in the “pop up” window. You will then have the opportunity to choose the location where you want the file saved as well as the option of renaming the file. You may want to create a separate folder (sub-directory) or use “My Documents” as the storage location.
The file will download to your computer. Once complete, you may be given the option of opening the file. Select “Open” to listen to the file on your PC or select “Cancel” if you wish to create a CD or load to an MP3 player.
Creating a CD or Loading to an MP3 Player
Use the files that have been downloaded to create an audio CD based on your computer’s software. Alternatively, you can load these files to your MP3 player for personal listening. Since computers and MP3 players vary, please review the instructions/manuals that came with your equipment. However, this could be as simple as “dragging” the file to another location in Windows Explorer if the MP3 player is recognized as a unique drive.
Note from the camp office:
Jim provided screenshots of this process, but in the interests of keeping the McMurdo’s site small and quickly-loading, they are not included here. If you need to see them, e-mail us, and we’ll pass them along. bill (at) kathiebriggs [dot] com all jammed together in the usual fashion.