By Jennifer Farley

The Future Of Books? iPhone App Brings Text, Audio & Video Together

By Jennifer Farley

BunnyMunro The new novel from Nick Cave is available in the AppStore on iTunes, but this is no ordinary book. “The Death Of Bunny Munro” comes in the form of an enhanced edition eBook with many special features. The iPhone application is an eBook with full text, audio and video clips of Nick Cave reading from the novel.

The iPhone eBook was created by Enhanced Editions, a company made up of designers, film-makers, editors and publishers. This is their first book and according to their website, future work will include two Barack Obama books so it will be really interesting to see the multimedia aspects of those books when they become available.

nickcavebunny So what exactly makes this book so special? Here’s some of the bells and whistles that come in the application.

  • Full eBook text
  • Unabridged audio book synchronized to the text, read by Nick Cave
  • Original soundtrack
  • 11 videos of Cave reading from the novel
  • Switch between reading, listening or watching without losing your place
  • Tilt-to-scroll
  • Typography designed and optimized for the iPhone and iPod touch
  • Add bookmarks
  • Email quotes to friends
  • An RSS feed of news related to the book

The audio aspect of the book uses a 3D audio spatial mix, which has been specifically designed for listening on headphones. As you can imagine with all of these features the book has a fairly hefty file size of 900MB.

According to the man himself,

Enhanced Editions have brilliantly entwined reading, listening to and viewing the story. The fact that the reader can choose his or her own experience is interesting because the true meaning of a book lies in the reader’s own interpretation and the circumstances of that interpretation.

You can download the full book application from the iTunes store and it costs $24.99

If you’d like to sample it, there is also a free version of The Death of Bunny Munro is available on the app store. The free version carries exactly the same features as the full version, but is limited just the first three chapters. Bunny Munro Sampler App

Do you think this is the future for books? Would you rather be snuggling up in bed with a paperback or an iphone with full sound and vision?

  • W2ttsy

    As nice as the extra features are (reminds me of DVDs), the small screen and relative eye strain associated with staring at an iPhone for several hours may make ebooks less appealing than a real book.

  • SpacePhoenix

    Printed books will never be eliminated. Like W2ttsy mentions there is the eye strain issue. There is also a practicality issue, what if your on a camping holiday, say three hours drive from the nearest shop, you don’t want to be changing batteries all the time, a printed book in that case is more practical.

  • Majjers

    This is a nice step in the right direction, but hardly revolutionary. Random House launched last year, and this is no different. It is simply the sewing together of content that always existed and was sold separately, i.e. the audiobook, the printed text, and the promotional author interviews that are posted onto the publisher’s website. All of those components were created separately in separate processes.
    What would be truly revolutionary is if the authoring process itself were changed, such that you read a book which has audio, video, images, etc. integrated into the text at those specific points. In other words, consuming the rich content would be meaningless out of context. The audio and video would be intrinsic to the story. In order to achieve this, authors would need to compile this content whilst writing the text simultaneously, rather than adding rich content as an afterthought.

  • sony prs

    I use to own a Sony PRS but sold it after a couple of months, it was good to read books on, a bit heavy but overall good. After a while you do miss pages – there is nothing like ready a physical book. If the developers of such devices made them friendlier to hold like a book then they would be more successful. But the iPhone has too small of a screen size – seriously.

  • Kade

    Wow. I hate to be combative in the already-agressive world of Internet commenting, but I can’t help it: I have to come out swinging for this brillian idea. I routinely pay full Kindle price to read on my iPhone. I don’t know WTF u people are talking about with eye strain. My personal experience trumps goofy research (which ignores the profound inconveniences of physical book, which are LEGION). in practical use, I finish iPhone ebooks at least twice as fast as physical books. Not having to hold the damn thing open, and the silence which allows reading after the spouse has nodded off, are along with portability (the best camera — AND the best book — are the ones, plural for ebooks, you have with you.
    Yet sometimes you don’t want to use your eyes –say, when driving. So I pay for an subscription. But never does it fail that I wish I could switch between formats for all the above reasons.
    This idea is brilliant, revolution, and if they’ll publish my kinda books this way, it WILL be the future of books.
    Yes, physical books will remain for camping trips. But mist of us don’t spend our lives camping, tho many of us who do it tons like myself find the necessary battery pack solutions to take camping.

  • Kade

    Apologies for typos. Reading on iPhone rocks; typing is merely functional, and barely.

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