Ever want to add ambient mood music or sound effects to a piece of text? Now you can with the launch of Booktrack Studio, a new tool that enables users to build their own soundtrack-enhanced stories.
Booktrack was founded a couple of years ago with the idea of adding a soundtrack and sound effects to the books users were reading. By doing so, the guys behind it believed they could create a more immersive experience for readers. Readers seem to agree: Last year, founder Paul Cameron told me that about a quarter of customers who download a free sample purchase the full book, and about 40 percent of those downloaded end up being read cover-to-cover.
So far, users can check out books with soundtracks built in on the company’s website, Booktrack.com, as well as through mobile apps for the iPhone, iPad, and Android devices. But it’s hoping to get its soundtrack-enabled e-books distributed natively through other e-book readers and stores.
In the meantime, while Booktrack is still working on getting distribution on other stores, as well as traction with publishers and authors, it’s unveiled a tool which will allow anyone to add music and sound effects to their own text. The tool, called Booktrack Studio, is open to all, enabling users to build their own soundtrack-enabled stories.
The process is pretty simple: You enter text, and then add sound from a selection of audio tracks. That include ambient music and sounds, as well as a bunch of sound effects that can be embedded in the text. There are more than 1,000 sounds to choose from, and users can search through and preview various selections before adding them. To mark where a certain sound begins or ends, users need only highlight the passage and the audio will be played as a reader scrolls to that portion of the text.
Once an author is done adding his soundtrack, he can choose to save and publish the piece to be added to Booktrack’s library of soundtrack-enabled stories. Users can add cover art, as well as a description and metadata to help readers discover their texts and listen to them.
For Booktrack, the Studio is a way to get more content onto its system, and maybe even to help highlight new authors and uses of its technology beyond traditional publishers. The New Zealand-based company recently raised $2 million in Series B funding from Peter Thiel’s Valar Ventures, Park Road Post Production, Weta Digital GM Tom Greally, Sparkbox Ventures, New Zealand Venture Investment Fund, EFU Investments Ltd., Stephen Tindall’s K One W One, and others.