For people who are just starting to learn a foreign language, the best choice for listening is audiobooks that are simplified or abridged. To simplify
a book, various approaches are used – the main approach is the usage of easy, common words that can be found in any small dictionary.
For the English language learners:
I know about several series of abridged audiobooks: "Oxford Bookworms", "Penguin Readers", "Cambridge Readers", "Macmillan Readers".
Most of them can be found via torrents.
A special section at Voice of America web site: VOA Learning English
Subtitles make your studying easier. When you can't recognize some words that reader says, you can look at the current subtitle.
WorkAudioBook supports two formats of subtitles: "WorkAudioBook HTML" and "SRT". Look at
Audiobooks with subtitles on this web site:
Podcasts with subtitles:
"Listen to English" by Peter Carter on this web site
For people with good level of foreign language it would be more interesting to listen to original, unabridged audiobooks.
There are several web sites, where you can legally download audiobooks free of charge. Usually these books are classics of world literature, available as MP3 + some text format.
On-line library LibriVox contains more than 10,000 audiobooks and audio files in more than 20 languages. These books are read by volunteers. On
one hand this can be seen as a minus (not all books are recorded and read professionally), on another hand this can be seen as a plus (you can
listen and get accustomed to voices of ordinary people, not professional narrators). It is easy to get lost in long list of book in this library,
so I recommend to start with these links:
Another popular web sites with audiobooks:
Audiobooks and audio files in MP3 format, learning subjects. There you can find some free audiobooks and some that you will have to pay for.
Search for audiobooks in local libraries in the US and bookstores.
The biggest on-line shop of audiobooks. It belongs to Amazon and has more then 100,000 titles. Unfortunately, these audiobooks are in proprietary ".aa" format,
that is copy-protected. But there are several instructions in Internet how to convert these ".aa" files into MP3. The simplest (but
taking long time to convert) solution is to use free audio editor Audacity – see
Tutorial - Recording audio playing on the computer
There are faster (but more complicated) ways that include recording audio CDs by Nero Burning ROM, etc.