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In germany there are now a plethora of public libraries where I can borrow Audiobooks. I can search and download DRM protected files and can use them for a couple of days or weeks before they get invalidated automatically.

Alas, there are (almost) only german ones. But I am much more interested in english Audiobooks. There must be a online accessible public library somewhere where I can borrow english audiobooks for a fee, mustn't it?

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  • From libraries, I haven't heard of doing that for -free- in the US. But "borrow for a fee"? That sounds like, in other domains, renting, but for audio online it sounds like ... buying? podcast, audiobook, whatever, you're just buying it.
    – Mitch
    Jul 19, 2012 at 12:49
  • Renting, right. In many german public libraries this is now possible with DRM protected audio files. You can only use them for some days. At my place its 2 weeks.
    – towi
    Jul 19, 2012 at 12:57
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    Hi Towi- Yes, many US libraries have this service - usually with free borrowing for a limited time but because of copyright laws you have to be a member of the library - i.e. fairly local. You also have to have a specific device.
    – Marcus_33
    Jul 19, 2012 at 13:58
  • The public library here (in the US) does have that service, so I guess Mitch doesn't have much experience. But (as noted) you have to live in the local area (where the taxes supporting the library are collected) to participate.
    – GEdgar
    Jul 20, 2012 at 13:25
  • @Marcus_33: That's what I thought -- I did not check, but I guess one has to be a local resident at our public library, too.
    – towi
    Jul 23, 2012 at 11:40

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Not really a Public Library, but you can might a few audiobooks on Wikicommons:

There are also many spoken Wikipedia articles.

As Born2Smile tipped me, the best collection of audio books is probably at Project Gutenberg:

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    also gutenberg.org has audiobooks
    – Born2Smile
    Jul 19, 2012 at 14:25

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