Have you heard of Booktrack? They contacted me recently to let me know about their service and invited me to try it out for myself. So I decided to check them out. Here's what their site says ...
Booktrack is transforming reading the way sound transformed silent film
Booktrack offers a new content creation and distribution platform that turns reading into an immersive movie-like experience. Booktrack’s patented technology lets anyone add a synchronized movie-style soundtrack to an e-book or other digital text content, with the audio paced to each individual’s reading speed.
Interesting. Opinions are divided, of course. Some think it's a great idea that will transform the way we read books. Others say that the point of reading is to use our imaginations. A soundtrack is distracting, unnecessary, and even insulting to those whose imaginations are perfectly capable of conjuring up the right sound at the right time!
I tested it out by opening up one of Hugh Howey's books, adjusting the reading speed to suit my own pace, and reading the first few pages. It seemed pretty cool, so I downloaded the app on my iPad and continued reading. The annoyance there was that the reading speed changed back to super slow every time I turned the page. A glitch, I'm sure, but one that means I won't continue to read unless it's fixed (because who wants to have to adjust the little moving arrow every time they turn the page?!).
Overall, though, I imagine that if I could set the perfect reading speed and not have to bother with it after that, I'd quite easily be able to slip into the story while enjoying the soundtrack as an enhancement of the experience and not a distraction. I think. More experimentation is required!
As an author, however, and someone who's played musical instruments and dabbled in composition since a young age, I am DEFINITELY interested in creating a soundtrack for my own ebooks. WATCH THIS SPACE!
What do you think about synchronized soundtracks for ebooks?
I'd love to hear your opinion as both a read and a writer!