Thursday, May 1, 2014

Oh Boy! A NEW Ebook Gimmick!

I don't know about the rest of you, but I don't need help with my imagination.

When I read a book -- a good book -- I can fall into it so deeply and completely everything else is blocked out. I don't need help from any outside stimulus to help me enjoy the book any better.

So things like this make me crawl.

Booktrack's concept isn't new. Oh, the merger with ebooks isn't new. But I remember back in the early 90s there was a trend of selling CDs with printed books, with cues in the text when the reader was supposed to pop the CD in and listen as they read.

Yeah, it was hokey then. It's hokey now.

Don't believe me? Take a listen:

The drifty piano music that migrates over to the ambient sound of the crowd doesn't distract from the terrible writing here, right?

And here's another:

The rain's distracting. I have no idea why it's raining until I get to the part of -- oh, thunderstorm. Right. Well, you're distracting your reader from your story and your words. Which might be a good thing. Out of context sound is just that -- out of context.

Oooh, scary footprints. Wait, they should also be crunching leaves. But alas, I guess Booktrack doesn't have the sound of leaves crunching underfoot. So your story is telling one thing while your Booktrack tells another. Meh.

I'll try one more:

Nope. The sound isn't intense enough for the action. Or maybe the action is too intense for the sound. The story and the sound have a tenuous connection, but it's just not strong enough to justify the sound's presence.

This is a novelty item that could be potentially used for good effect, if it were used sparingly and combined with good writing. To have this on every page of even the best of novels would be terrible.

This comes from a guy who listens to a lot of old radio shows, where they know how to do sound and story right. Or at least a lot better than what I'm finding at Booktrack.

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