Podiobooks 2.0 Released As Open Source
The next iteration of the Podiobooks.com codebase will be an open source project, released under an Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 license. Podiobooks.com, a site delivering free audiobooks to members boasts a membership in excess of 50,000 and an audiobook database of nearly 300 titles. Launched in 2005, this will be the first major revision of the codebase which serves audio content to members via custom feeds. All of their content is released under the Creative Commons license, so it would have been hypocritical not to release the code base under the same open source licensing.

Chris Miller, lead developer and a co-founder of Podiobooks is redesigning the system from the ground up. Attempting to integrate tweaks and features the first four years indicated would make the platform more efficient and user friendly.

How Does It Work?

Podiobooks.com features an integrated blogging and web 2.0 commenting section linked to a searchable audio content database. Members register and can then subscribe to the content they are interested in. They then choose how they wish that content to be delivered and at what frequency. This allows for user customized feeds. The content itself is hosted and delivered from a third party streaming provider.

Why Go Open Source?

The entire foundation of Podiobooks is based on open, community involvement. The staff at Podiobooks believes that same involvement will help ensure the next version of Podiobooks will represent a vast improvement due to the input of users. “There are talented people out there, from copy editors to codemonkeys to folks who excel at finding our bugs. Keeping the codebase a closed system is a dead end.” Chris Miller stated.

Version two is being written mostly in Python using the Django framework. Plans include using Lucene for search, a new caching system to improve performance, and a radical overhaul of the database. It will also have tie-ins to the new Libsyn Pro service, leveraging their APIs for managing content.

If you wish to learn more, or contribute, you can follow the progress of the project in several ways:

If you have an interest in contributing to the project, contact Chris directly at chris@podiobooks.com.