Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Booktrack: Ebooks with Soundtracks

So, I just saw this article from the "New York Times" and I am actually kind of excited about it! New types of e-books! Woooo.
"Reading the Booktrack edition of “The Power of Six” on an iPad is much like reading the standard e-book edition, with the addition of a small indicator scrolling down the page, line by line. (The user sets the reading speed.) Much of the music — about nine hours’ worth for the typical novel — is instrumental or ambient noise. But during livelier passages, a reader may hear the patter of footsteps, a booming gong, a crackling fire or the tick of a grandfather clock."
Above is just a short quote from the article, but you should really check out the full article. I'll wait. Do do do do. Okay, you read it? Good. How about we discuss now?

When I first heard about this, I was really excited. Then I got a bit nervous. Why? Well, I got nervous because people read at different speeds. How can this possibly work? If I don't get to the bottom of the page by the time the music for that page stops... does the music just start over? That can't possibly be good. Well, the creators of Booktrack seemed to have figured it out somehow. You set your own reading speed and the music follows you. How cool!

I have always thought that the soundtracks released by authors were so cool, but most of those songs have lyrics. I was never really sold on listening to these songs while reading because I thought it would take away from my reading experience. I'm reading words and listening to words. Doesn't sound too good to me. Booktrack has taken this soundtrack idea and tweaked it a bit. The music that goes along with these books is more like a score to a movie instead of a soundtrack. Way cool! Now when we read a fighting scene, there will be swords hitting each other in the background and the sound of people running away! It's kind of like reading a movie. Ahhh. I think many YA books could benefit from this treatment. This doesn't just have to work for action scenes either. Imagine if we had really depressing music playing from our e-readers while we were reading about Sirius Black's death. Ugh. That would have made it 10 times more emotional! Just like the music can make a movie, I think it could really enhance the reading experience.  

Okay, enough gushing from me. I know that I am excited to check this out, but what about you guys? 


  1. I have bought a few soundtracks that authors have put together for their books. Some of them are really good :)

  2. This sounds like it could be really cool but I'm concerned about the fact that I tend to pause, wander off on a thought, speed up or slow down at random. I think I'd freak the soundtrack out.

    And I agree, I do not like listening to music while I'm reading when there are lyrics. I like listening to it after, but I always find I get distracted with the songs and lose focus on the story.

    Great post!


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