Booktrack: Creating Soundtracks for Books

By Lisa Hazen

Depending on who you ask, integrating digital content into e-books is either an exciting development that will vastly enhance the reader’s experience or a needless distraction that diminishes the medium. A service getting a lot of attention is Booktrack—a content creation and distribution platform that adds a synchronized soundtrack to an e-book or other digital text based on an individual’s reading speed. Music, sound effects, and other audio are recorded separately and then paced specifically to the user’s reading pace.

Booktrack says it is “transforming reading the way sound transformed silent film.” As you read, an arrow slides down the right margin, tracking your reading speed, and adjusting the tempo accordingly. The accompanying background music that suit the mood of the text, and intermittent sound effects that complement the text. (A crackling fire, a thump of footsteps.)

Booktrack offers many titles on their site including Romeo and Juliet, various Sherlock Holmes titles, and even children’s fairy tales by the The Brothers Grimm. You can also create your own Booktrack for your unique work using their technology and sharing it on the site.

What do you think? Is Booktrack the future of e-books? Would you create a soundtrack for your own work?

Lisa Hazen is a Chicago-based Web Designer specializing in author sites. You can find her on Twitter, Facebook, or the WWW. lisa@lisahazen.com

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