RokuGuide Channel Description: LibriVox is a non-profit volunteer organization with the stated goal to "make all books in the public domain available, for free, in audio format on the internet". To work toward that goal, LibriVox volunteers read chapters of books that are in the public domain, and those recordings are then made available in the Librivox catalog. The recordings are free to anyone to use in any manner they wish.
LibriVox recordings can be downloaded from the LibriVox website or through iTunes. With the LibriVox Roku channel, Roku users can also access over 1,000 titles from the LibriVox library through their Roku. You can browse through the following categories or browse the entire collection alphabetically:
Unfortunately, there is no search fiction to help you find a specific title, but the channel does display the most-recent titles you've listened to and allows you to add a book to a list of favorites. (Note that a Favorites list doesn't appear until you've added a title; then it will be displayed as the top category on the Librvox main menu.)
Play functions are very basic. When you select a book, you'll be presented with each chapter. Select a chapter, and play begins automatically. You have the options of pausing, skipping to the next chapter, and adding or removing the book from your favorites list. If you start a chapter, don't exit before the end or you'll find that you have to start over at the beginning when you return - although you can pause, but there is no function to remember where you are in a chapter if you leave that chapter. Also, the forward and rewind functions skip to the next or previous chapter - you cannot forward or rewind within a chapter.
These may be serious shortcomings for some people, but I don't see them as too terrible given the listening environment when using the Roku. Since you're listening in your living room or bedroom, instead of on some type of mobile device when you're driving around town or working out, you're more likely to be able to listen to an entire chapter, or to at least pause playback without leaving the application. I suspect that the Librivox Roku channel will be most appealing to those who have sight limitations that make it difficult to read, and who would prefer to listen on a home stereo system rather than using a portable MP3 player and headphones or ear buds.
Whatever reason LibriVox may appeal to you, you'll find thousands of titles available. Keep in mind, though, that the books generally were published in the 1920s and earlier, as these are public domain books that are no longer covered under United States copyright. You won't find any recent bestsellers - for those, you'll need a pay service like Audible.com, which is not available on Roku.