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Booktrack Adds Music and Sound Effects To Ebooks

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the would-you-like-some-noise-with-those-words? dept.

IOS 119

Zothecula writes "There's no doubt that a soundtrack can significantly enhance the immersiveness and emotional impact of films and TV programs. But can some audio accompaniment do the same thing for books? New York City-based startup Booktrack thinks so and has released an iOS app — with an Android app also on the way — that adds soundtracks to eBooks. As the user reads they can listen to ambient background noise relevant to the book's current setting, specific sound effects synchronized to the text as it is read, and music. But does a soundtrack 'boost the reader's imagination and engagement' as the company states, or does it just create another distraction to be overcome when delving into a book on the bus on the way home?"

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Oh great... (4, Insightful)

koan (80826) | more than 3 years ago | (#37347590)

Hey what next moving pictures? I think they call that TV.

Of all the things I will miss if I live long enough a good printed paperback is very close to the top, maybe even higher up than cheese...

Re:Oh great... (1)

macshit (157376) | more than 3 years ago | (#37348024)

Of all the things I will miss if I live long enough a good printed paperback is very close to the top, maybe even higher up than cheese...

Cheese is going to be replaced with ... what, echeese?!

Wait ... echeese ... oh yeah, I guess that's what this story is about...

Re:Oh great... (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 3 years ago | (#37348828)

More likely it will be replaced with ultra-slim yet unaffordably expensive iCheese®

Re:Oh great... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37349506)

I'm assuming you're not old enough to have encountered any reason you might want to volunatrily give up cheese. I suggest you get off GP's lawn, sirrah.

Cuppa Cheese (1)

MisterSquid (231834) | more than 3 years ago | (#37352090)

Cheese will be replaced by the smell of cheese [ebaumsworld.com] . (relevant bit is maybe 2/3's in)

Strange (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37347592)

Look, if you had been the military dictator for 40 years, and STILL UNABLE to get promoted above the rank of colonel, you'd do some bad things too, purely out of frustration.

Re:Strange (2)

wsxyz (543068) | more than 3 years ago | (#37347676)

And the lack of background music when relaxing with a good book certainly didn't help!

Replaces my radio (1)

retroworks (652802) | more than 3 years ago | (#37347602)

Like kids fighting on the lawn.

My impression (2)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 3 years ago | (#37347604)

*ahhhh,,,.. pssshhhhhhhhhrrrr* "Nooch Vader!"

I'd read Dianetics again... (3, Funny)

Lord_of_the_nerf (895604) | more than 3 years ago | (#37347622)

...if the soundtrack was something more suitable, like the Benny Hill theme.

Re:I'd read Dianetics again... (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 3 years ago | (#37351056)

Great, now I'll have that stupid tune stuck in my head for the rest of the day.

Kafka... (1)

teaserX (252970) | more than 3 years ago | (#37347624)

...is spinning in his grave.

Re:Kafka... (2)

SEWilco (27983) | more than 3 years ago | (#37347660)

...is spinning in his grave.

45 RPM, in stereo?

Re:Kafka... (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 3 years ago | (#37351066)

You're supposed to write it like this:

((( In Stereo )))

Re:Kafka... (1)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 3 years ago | (#37347814)

I just hope this doesnt mean he will wake up as a giant zombie cockroach. The consequences for humanity could be quite dire.

Re:Kafka... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37349036)

Actually, Kafka never said that Gregor Samsa was a "cockroach", that was someone's interpretation of "Ungeziefer" ("vermin"), which for some reason, stuck.

Audiobooks with ambient music audiobooks without (2)

bullale (2441834) | more than 3 years ago | (#37347626)

Based on my experience with audiobooks, I can't support this product.

with ambient music worse than without (1)

bullale (2441834) | more than 3 years ago | (#37347654)

There was supposed to be a less-than sign in the title. :\

Re:with ambient music worse than without (1)

Abstrackt (609015) | more than 3 years ago | (#37347788)

There was supposed to be a less-than sign in the title. :\

Let me be the first to say it: welcome to Slashdot!

Now get off my lawn!

Re:Audiobooks with ambient music audiobooks withou (1)

lucm (889690) | more than 3 years ago | (#37347770)

Audiobooks are great, except when the narrator tries to change his voice depending on who's talking. It's extremely creepy when a male is doing a female voice.

Re:Audiobooks with ambient music audiobooks withou (1)

bullale (2441834) | more than 3 years ago | (#37347796)

Yeah I guess I wasn't specific enough. I love audiobooks. I love audiobooks with background music less than I love audiobooks without background music. Based on that fact, I can't see myself liking regular books with background music more than regular books without.

Re:Audiobooks with ambient music audiobooks withou (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 3 years ago | (#37347990)

One of my favorite readers does it in a way that it comes off as comical, rather than creepy.

Fortunately, "comical" is a good thing when Nigel Planer is reading the Discworld novels.

Re:Audiobooks with ambient music audiobooks withou (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37348842)

It's extremely creepy when a male is doing a female voice.

Why? Are you sexist?

Re:Audiobooks with ambient music audiobooks withou (1)

lucm (889690) | more than 3 years ago | (#37349006)

As a matter of fact, I am, but I find it equally disturbing when a female narrator is doing a male voice, so that is beyond the point

Re:Audiobooks with ambient music audiobooks withou (1)

jtownatpunk.net (245670) | more than 3 years ago | (#37347874)

I agree. I used to listen to audiobooks while commuting and found music and sound effects distracting in the few titles that had it.

audiowha...?? (1)

justforgetme (1814588) | more than 3 years ago | (#37349176)

I want my vinyl to play music and my book to have text in it.

What is it with you youthes and those satanic audio/e/i/©books??
Get of my laaww.... (heartattack)

Free ebooks soon (2)

GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) | more than 3 years ago | (#37347628)

This ebook sponsored by Taco Bell, now leave Borders and run for the border.

Good work there guys.... (4, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#37347634)

So, after I'm finished inserting irksome background noise to compensate for any deficiencies an author may have had in terms of showing rather than telling, or deficiencies I may have in reading ability, can I have a smartphone app that detects when I'm in a restaurant and automatically inserts the sound of somebody with an annoying nasal voice having an obnoxious conversation? How about some random honking every time my phone detects that it is going more than 30mph?

Bloody hell, people, if there is one thing that modernity needs like a hole in the head, it is more fucking background noise...

Re:Good work there guys.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37349170)

Fuck off Luddite! It's people like you that keep sidewalks around when we don't need them, and console based applications. What type of Left Wing, socialist nut-job plays NetHack after all?

What would really improve the e-book experience is if They could make it possible to play Flash games while reading. Lets say you are reading the Grapes of Wrath, and then when keyword detection software notices the word "farm" on your brand-name e-book reader, it will send this information to Amazon.com who sends it through the inter-tubes for some value-added consumer friendly experiences; it then brings up a pop-up window offering to let you play Farmville on your e-book device. Now that would be the ultimate cool!

Spock softly moaned as kirk ran his fingers thru (4, Insightful)

sg_oneill (159032) | more than 3 years ago | (#37347636)

Fan slash fiction is about to get even creepier folks. Much much creepier.

please don't add sound effects... (1)

ascrewloose (2428700) | more than 3 years ago | (#37347662)

...to books. Thank You

I'm sorry (1)

WiiVault (1039946) | more than 3 years ago | (#37347668)

but who cares? This is hardly an original idea or concept.

Re:I'm sorry (2)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 3 years ago | (#37348132)

I'm going to go with "easy to sell to venture capitalists, not designed to actually sell to consumers". Pump and dump. Move on to the "next big thing".

GraphicAudio (2)

NoobixCube (1133473) | more than 3 years ago | (#37347678)

Try listening to some of GraphicAudio's audiobooks instead. They're more like radio dramas than audiobooks, though

Re:GraphicAudio (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 3 years ago | (#37347878)

I don't understand why there is not more of doing the obvious of having an audiobook as the soundtrack. People that don't have English as a first language could benefit from that, as could many native English speakers that use words that they have read but never heard.

Re:GraphicAudio (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 3 years ago | (#37348084)

Because that would be horrible. Even the most apathetic reader I've ever known reads to himself faster than someone reading aloud. Hearing someone saying something that you already read a page and a half back would be even more distracting than the stupid chirps and whistles that this idiotic idea would bring. Kind of like that one douchebag everyone knows who always thinks it's clever to yell out random numbers when someone's trying to do math.

Re:GraphicAudio (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37348544)

> Kind of like that one douchebag everyone knows

Stephen Fry?

Re:GraphicAudio (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 3 years ago | (#37349404)

All that stuff about reading quickly and you obviously never even made it to the second sentence :(
Robotic text to speech on apple products or kindles is fairly useless for people that are learning English.

Re:GraphicAudio (1)

macshit (157376) | more than 3 years ago | (#37350678)

I don't understand why there is not more of doing the obvious of having an audiobook as the soundtrack. People that don't have English as a first language could benefit from that, as could many native English speakers that use words that they have read but never heard.

Yes!

The notion of "sound effects for books" seems absurdly stupid, but the idea of synchronized voice for foreign-language learners is brilliant.

Thus naturally they're going for the former ... :[

Enjoy the silence (1)

jgotts (2785) | more than 3 years ago | (#37347694)

Call me crazy but I prefer reading in silence. I don't want a television experience with a book. If I did I'd watch television.

Re:Enjoy the silence (2)

vlueboy (1799360) | more than 3 years ago | (#37347926)

In the end, this trend just raises barriers to entry to smaller producers since their books can't be as "in" without reluctanctly adding the same features to fit in. This is the same inflation forcing any console game and Hollywood movie to require a bigger and bigger budget just to get mediocre sales without providing anything new. And it will shrink the brain: gray matter stops flexing and Alzheimers is more likely to ensue. As an audience we'll all just get used to expecting cues before reacting at all. Think of the death of the mental exercise of memorizing personal phone numbers and how normal it is for people to stop caring about what they could do without assistance a few years back.

Like all early technologies, sound effects in E-books will be implemented as badly as the transition from text to "multi-media" CDs in the early nineties: slow, noisy, forced transitions for. EVERY. click. just to get through your content --frustrating enough even though ads didn't exist back then. Hopefully this thing will not be a forced paradigm upgrade. 3D movies becoming "most popular" today requires the production of the remaining new "un-popular" 2D ones to become an afterthought. And our pocket suffers just like when 4:3 LCD screens became a suddenly-costly niche commodity thanks to the arrival of 16:9 into the mainstream visual presentation world.

Re:Enjoy the silence (1)

Leuf (918654) | more than 3 years ago | (#37350292)

You can't always control your environment. I've tried to read outside on a nice day and had construction going on nearby make it impossible to enjoy reading. It's hard to supply your own background music that stays appropriate to the book so if done right I could see it being useful for that type of situation.

Re:Enjoy the silence (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 3 years ago | (#37351090)

Call me crazy but I prefer reading in silence. I don't want a television experience with a book. If I did I'd watch television.

More like a radio experience, but I agree with you.

Japanese Visual Novels? (1)

Vylen (800165) | more than 3 years ago | (#37347712)

Specifally those by 07th Expansion. Sort of a bit more than a simple book since they have images... but Umineko no Naku Koro ni and Higurashi no Naku Koro ni do really well in adding to the ambience by having audio tracks and sound effects. But, again, it's a visual novel rather than a simple book. So I have my doubts about this idea...

Fine with me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37347798)

as long as they didn't try to patent it.

Re:Fine with me... (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 3 years ago | (#37347906)

I think the Nintendo DS 100 classic books collection would be proir art because there's some sort of setting for background music in that. That's one setting I've never touched but may be useful with headphones in a crowded train or similar.
The iPhone multitasks these days doesn't it? Couldn't you just do the Nokia N900 thing and run your mp3 playing software in the background while reading your book?

Allow me to FTFY TFA (2)

FilthCatcher (531259) | more than 3 years ago | (#37347840)

There's no doubt that a soundtrack can significantly enhance the immersiveness and emotional impact of films and TV programs. But can some audio accompaniment do the same thing for books?

- No, it can't.

I can think of one useful application of this technology - Reading a music score while listening to the music. That would be cool.

Maybe traditional books could get in on the multi-sense stimulation fad with a scratch-and-sniff panel on the back of every page. They wont though because it's a fucking stupid idea.

Who chooses the appropriate sound anyway? Do they really think someone is going to more fully appreciate the murder scene of Camus' "The Stranger" because some prick in a sound studio came by with: "This scene is on a beach so I'm going to add some wave noises"?

Re:Allow me to FTFY TFA (1)

Spacejock (727523) | more than 3 years ago | (#37348708)

Why can't they just leave nice simple books alone? If they want to invent new paradigms to value-add to the ocular experience they should go waste their time adding 3D to movies or some such shit.

Re:Allow me to FTFY TFA (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 3 years ago | (#37348832)

That is the dumbest comment ever. They are leaving books alone, they're creating something new. You can still go to Borders and get a normal book. I mean, for a few weeks anyway. :)

Re:Allow me to FTFY TFA (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 3 years ago | (#37348822)

It could be good. Adding a soundtrack can really make you feel more immersed in things, that's why we have soundtracks to movies in the first place. If it didn't have an effect, there would be no point of having sound tracks for movies, it's not like violins at the moment of a first kiss actually has any reflection of reality, and yet it can set the mood, at to the feeling.

That said, doing so would be VERY VERY hard. A movie lasts a couple hours, a book lasts much longer. You would need high quality sound-effects and scoring the whole way through, you couldn't have cheap repetitions over and over, people would hate that. And the cost of creating a high quality soundtrack to a nine hour (or whatever) book is not low. Not low at all.

Re:Allow me to FTFY TFA (1)

FilthCatcher (531259) | more than 3 years ago | (#37349126)

there is also the issue of timing. everyhing in a movie is precisely timed so, for example, you get an orchestral stab when the monster face appears in the window. how are you going to achieve this sychronisation with the reader without severly restricrting the amount of words visible at a time? so you are limited to picking a sound loop per page with none of the dramatic timing of a movie score.

Re:Allow me to FTFY TFA (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 3 years ago | (#37352302)

Get a camera that watches your eye movement and plans accordingly. Short of that, put anything dramatic that happens right on a page turn. :)

Re:Allow me to FTFY TFA (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 3 years ago | (#37351164)

It could be good. Adding a soundtrack can really make you feel more immersed in things, that's why we have soundtracks to movies in the first place. If it didn't have an effect, there would be no point of having sound tracks for movies, it's not like violins at the moment of a first kiss actually has any reflection of reality, and yet it can set the mood, at to the feeling. That said, doing so would be VERY VERY hard. A movie lasts a couple hours, a book lasts much longer. You would need high quality sound-effects and scoring the whole way through, you couldn't have cheap repetitions over and over, people would hate that. And the cost of creating a high quality soundtrack to a nine hour (or whatever) book is not low. Not low at all.

People read at different speeds, so it seems impossible to do anythin more than have vague background music. If a book that takes you ten hours to read takes me four, how are you going to compress or extend the music to fit both? In films, the soundtrack matches exactly to the action on screen, I don't see how you could do that with variable speeds of reading.

Re:Allow me to FTFY TFA (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 3 years ago | (#37352252)

Yeah, that is a primary difficulty, but I think there are several ways around it. The most obvious is to change the sound based on what page you are on. If the music loops a couple times on each page it won't be too bad. Of course ideal would be to have the soundtrack match the exact word you are reading, but I don't think that is an easy thing to do.

talkies anyone (3, Interesting)

Eyezen (548114) | more than 3 years ago | (#37347858)

We should go a step further and add a audio based narrative. Then we dont even have to read. Then for fun throw in some video in which people act out the scenes of the book. Then we dont even have to use our imagination to recreate any imagery. Then some day we can add things like special effects to jazz it all up.

FUCK A DICK (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37347872)

irc.secsup.org 0r

That was always the problem with books. (2)

Kenja (541830) | more than 3 years ago | (#37347902)

it was so hard to be annoying on the air plane while reading.

Ambience and Background Music? Sure, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37347910)

...that cheap whale sound effect would just make me laugh. And unless they're tracking your eyes while you read (DRTMFA), I assume it approximates where you are on the page given your average speed, which may make for some interesting combinations if you start reading too slowly.

Re:Ambience and Background Music? Sure, but... (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 3 years ago | (#37347942)

this is a slashvertisement.

it's not like they're the first guys to do it even.

they obviously missed one stage of the '90s multimedia fad, remember web pages with bg musics?

So what background music will play (1)

Married to Christ (1806168) | more than 3 years ago | (#37347916)

when I start reading 1970s porn?

Re:So what background music will play (1)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 3 years ago | (#37348164)

when I start reading 1970s porn?

"I'll I need is love"?

I wonder however what the background music will be for some books of the same era, like "The art of computer programming" or "Methods of Quantum Field Theory in Statistical Physics" [amazon.com]

Re:So what background music will play (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 3 years ago | (#37349030)

I wonder however what the background music will be for some books of the same era, like "The art of computer programming"

Music from C64 games?

or "Methods of Quantum Field Theory in Statistical Physics"

White noise. :-)

Re:So what background music will play (1)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 3 years ago | (#37349096)

or "Methods of Quantum Field Theory in Statistical Physics"

White noise. :-)

:) I don't see the correlation... and this every time I'm trying to pinpoint it :)

Vivid and Immersive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37348016)

While my friends were playing Super Mario Bros.
I was immersed in one of the most vivid books I ever read.
I found it was the game soundtrack lulled me into a hypnotic state, open to suggestion.
Ultimately, enhancing the book I was reading at the time.

I'll take my sound system in the home (1)

tyrione (134248) | more than 3 years ago | (#37348064)

long before I jack in headphones just to read a book with immersive sound.

Balderdash (4, Interesting)

curmudgeon99 (1040054) | more than 3 years ago | (#37348076)

Since these guys even thought of this idea, they are idiots. First of all, the only person who has the right to choose a soundtrack is the original author.
Second, the whole idea of books is a completely immersive experience. This merely shows me these morons are not readers and don't know that the addition of a soundtrack adds nothing to the experience. Another stupid waste of time app.

Re:Balderdash (1)

rdnetto (955205) | more than 3 years ago | (#37349216)

I like the idea. A combination of music (via headphones) and books would make the experience more immersive - with just books you can still hear ambient noise.
I agree that the only person who has the right to choose the soundtrack is the author, but they won't even have that choice without the platform. Also, it's the author's (or publisher's) choice whether to let them do that or not - an ebook with a soundtrack is quite clearly a derivative work, so if only the right to redistribute was granted, it's infringing.

Re:Balderdash (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 3 years ago | (#37351244)

A combination of music (via headphones) and books would make the experience more immersive

No, it wouldn't. You obviously don't read much.

Re:Balderdash (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37349318)

Why is the only person who's allowed to choose the soundtrack the author? Personally I think the idea is stupid, but I don't understand why we have to keep giving creators more control over how people use their creations. I'm not allowed to choose what I listen to while I read? Does the author get to choose what kind of lighting I can use too? Whether I can read in bed? Time of day?

This type of behavior wouldn't be tolerated in the rest of society. Why is it the moment someone can find a profit motive to be a control freak we suddenly treat it like a good thing?

Re:Balderdash (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 3 years ago | (#37351262)

I don't understand why we have to keep giving creators more control over how people use their creations

Possibly because the artist knows moe about his art than you, the casual consumer does?

Re:Balderdash (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37349516)

Since these guys even thought of this idea, they are idiots.

That assumes their motivations were artistic, rather than just inventing some crap they could sell. And as someone else mentioned, it's probably not even intended to sell to the public anyway, rather the company and scheme is likely meant as pump-and-dump fodder to sell to venture capitalists.

Re:Balderdash (1)

angel'o'sphere (80593) | more than 3 years ago | (#37350240)

You lack imagination, and insulting them makes you look like a moron as well.

I doubt I would want audio to the books but there is plenty of simple stuff you could do: imagine the hobbits wandering through the forest. You hear a slight wind moving through the leaves of the trees. When you turn to the next page wich starts like "And they desided to sit down for a second breakfast" a slight plob of a corked bottle is to hear. When they continue and reach a river the wind and birds and tree sounds get dimmer and you hear water.
I can imagine if you have just ambient sound a little bit above auditable level it could be quite interesting.

Re:Balderdash (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 3 years ago | (#37351298)

I doubt I would want audio to the books but there is plenty of simple stuff you could do: imagine the hobbits wandering through the forest. You hear a slight wind moving through the leaves of the trees. When you turn to the next page wich starts like "And they desided to sit down for a second breakfast" a slight plob of a corked bottle is to hear. When they continue and reach a river the wind and birds and tree sounds get dimmer and you hear water. I can imagine if you have just ambient sound a little bit above auditable level it could be quite interesting.

Apart from as a teaching aid for aliens or dramatically revived coma patients who have no idea what words like "wind" or "breakfast" mean, your suggestion seems utterly pointless.

You might just as well watch a movie.

Future features (1)

jatoo (2393402) | more than 3 years ago | (#37348142)

Planned features include moving pictures, followed by the removal of text, as it will be obsolete.

It's Been Done (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37348174)

It's Been Done. [tvtropes.org] Just add some blurry photographs and character sprites and your done.

So when the mood changes mid page... (1)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 3 years ago | (#37348238)

Does this involve eye-tracking software? Or is it just going to warn me ahead of time when something bad is about to happen, like fight music in a video game? And speaking of which, can it play the FF7 victory music whenever something awesome happens? 'Cause that might actually sell me on it....

It's too delicate of a balance ... (2)

MacTO (1161105) | more than 3 years ago | (#37348434)

I can see this working for some readers, but it would be an awfully delicate balance.

The music would have to compliment the text, rather than distract from it. That means no gimmicks (e.g. sound effects), smooth transitions (remember, people read at different speeds), and quite probably multiple sound tracks (what one person finds emotionally moving, another will find annoying).

Production costs are another issue. Books cost bugger all to produce, at least compared to other media and the duration that people will use it. But they typically suffer from low volume sales. Are consumers willing to pay for that?

Re:It's too delicate of a balance ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37350980)

> Books cost bugger all to produce

I'm just going to guess that you are not a novelist.

Re:It's too delicate of a balance ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37351538)

I thought this was a stupid idea too, and then you started me thinking.

What if a book had a soundtrack and the soundtrack was written by a competent musician. The better authors would attract better composers, sure but there would be yet another wrinkle. How long would it be until we see a booktrack song on the charts? And wouldn't a charted booktrack song make people want to read the book?

As an author I applaud this trend. Anything to get people to buy more books. ANYTHING!!!!

No. (2)

kheldan (1460303) | more than 3 years ago | (#37348584)

Worst idea ever. The last thing I want is someone else's noises invading my reading. I'll keep sticking to my nice, old-fashioned, uncomplicated paper books, thank you very much.

Re:No. (1)

nhat11 (1608159) | more than 3 years ago | (#37350222)

Have you even tried it? I thought people were more open minded around here.

Re:No. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37351288)

Open minded? These are the readers who still think Mac OS 9 when they hear "Apple", who don't like iPods because regular people can uses them and who keep trashing Mac OS because it lacks games and then turn around and trust their gaming OS for corporate desktop work and Web services.

The only readers worst than the ones on Slashdot are the ones on... no wait, they're the worst.

Re:No. (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 3 years ago | (#37351348)

Have you even tried it? I thought people were more open minded around here.

I don't expect he's tried injecting heroin directly into his cock and then jumping off a mountain either.

I, personally, have never arm-wrestled a hungry tiger, but I'm prepared to take a wild guess that it would be a bad idea.

Re:No. (1)

kheldan (1460303) | more than 3 years ago | (#37352872)

I'll be fair about this: I suppose if someone is one of those people who like to have the stereo (and maybe the TV as well) turned on and blaring while they read or study, then this might be a positive thing for me. Personally I don't know anybody like that, I know people for that, like myself, reading is a quiet-time thing, and I want/need quiet when I'm studying something, too. I do much reading just before going to sleep at night, too, because it takes my mind off the day and allows me to relax, and having what I'm reading decide to start making noises and music isn't going to be conducive to becoming sleepy. Furthermore, (and I can't speak for anyone else on this) part of the reading experience is having my own imagination fill in details like people's voices, the sound something might make, etcetera. If I want sound with my content, then I'll watch TV or a movie.

My personal opinion is that this is just more sensory-overload in an era full of sensory-overload sources. Things like this make me wonder a little less why it is that so many people are actively seeking to 'simplify their lives', and why so many people also seem to be rejecting technological advances: we often get them jammed down our throats.

You know - YOU KNOW! - that... (1)

RevWaldo (1186281) | more than 3 years ago | (#37348750)

...a publisher or a guild of publishers and/or writers are going to say this service violates the terms of a license they already have with the ebook services, and come down on these guys like a bag of hammers.

.

Prior art (1)

Trilkk (2007802) | more than 3 years ago | (#37348836)

You know, this has halready been done. With pictures. [wikipedia.org] The only new idea here was to decrease the amount of poorly written pornography.

for kids (1)

1u3hr (530656) | more than 3 years ago | (#37348960)

As the reviewer found, just distracting. If you want sound effects, get an audio book or full on radio play. When I'm reading I might put the radio on to some bland pop music station. But not something I actually pay attention to.

They should be targeting young children, say less than 8. They might be enticed to read a story book with some fun sound effects. There are plenty of book-toys you can buy with buttons to press to hear the cow moo, etc.

IceD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37349230)

Japanese already have visual novels, and they've been there for years. They are immersive and some of them are really well written. I would be glad if something like that appeared on the western market as well, but most of us here hardly read any books right now. So what's the point?

Okay, bottom-line this for me (1)

davidbrit2 (775091) | more than 3 years ago | (#37350026)

Say, for example, I'm reading Everybody Poops...

Re:Okay, bottom-line this for me (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 3 years ago | (#37351114)

Wait a few years when we're back in the "hey I have a novelty idea that nobody ever had before me - let's add smells to stuff" period, which cycles every decade or so.

Then you'll be glad it's only sound effects this time around.

A real reader won't even hear it (1)

Cursorkeys (1197413) | more than 3 years ago | (#37350074)

Come on, who among us when immersed in a good book would even be aware of the soundtrack?

I've had people practically shouting at me before and been completely oblivious.

What if . . ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37350132)

Does it count if you are the author as well as the songwriter? - http://itunes.com/podcast?id=331469643

It's call a visual novel (1)

nhat11 (1608159) | more than 3 years ago | (#37350212)

It's much more popular in Japan. The music, pictures and sound isn't as distracting as you think. You still keep the imagination part while reading while the sound, pictures and music just help to enhance what you're imagining. Generally if you find those distracting, you can turn off all the sound off.

Re:It's call a visual novel (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 3 years ago | (#37350838)

It's much more popular in Japan.

Is that supposed to be a good thing?

Considering the set of things, "popular in Japan", I don't really think that's much of a recommendation.

Christ, I'm sitting here at 8:29am making a mental list of the things that are "popular in Japan" and it's actually making me a little bit nauseous.

Re:It's call a visual novel (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37351050)

I'm sitting here at 8:29am making a mental list of the things that are "popular in Japan" and it's actually making me a little bit nauseous.

I agree. You make me sick. :D

Could work (1)

Vahokif (1292866) | more than 3 years ago | (#37350686)

Often I like to listen to music while I read a book, but then the problem is that the music can clash with the events of the book (happy song comes up on playlist during somber part of book). I think this might not be a bad idea, if they can pull it off tastefully.

Here's another variant (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 3 years ago | (#37351078)

Bookphoto adds images to audiobooks.

Novel idea (1)

pyneiii (2109686) | more than 3 years ago | (#37353196)

I'm surprised to see that the only comments modded up are those bashing the idea. I think it's novel. I imagine it's extremely difficult to implement with any positive effect and in this case probably doesn't work very well, but i can certainly see cases where this would be at least interesting, if not fun. I frequently read with music on in the background, i think it can help set a stage. I mean, imagine reading a good World War II novel with the soundtrack to something like the Band of Brothers soundtrack. Again, i'm sure it's difficult to implement well but all this bashing of the idea? I'm disappointed. Heck, it's a Friday, i would think everyone would be in a better mood...
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