Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Discover Something New: Novel Effect

While perusing Storytime Underground awhile back, I saw multiple posts about a new app that added sound effects to stories.  Upon further investigation, I found out that it was free--score!--so the only risk was monopolizing some space on my phone, should I find it not to my liking.

On the screen, it sounded great and--of course--folks were raving about it.

Novel Effect is a FREE app that provides custom music and sound effects for over 100 stories.  The app works for both print and e-books and the library boasts a plethora of well-known classics and new favorites.  (The Tale of Peter Rabbit, Wolfie the Bunny, The Day the Crayons Quit, and Where the Wild Things Are are just a few of the available titles...and new ones are added every week.)

But, let's be honest, this needed a real-world test.  Rather than trying it for the first time in front of patrons, I decided to bust it out during bedtime stories with my daughter.  We read Bear Snores On by Karma Wilson - - and my daughter was enamored.  She loved hearing the forest critters chittering back and forth to one another, the sound of the fire, and the wind howling in the background.  Even my husband was intrigued; he kept asking questions about the app and how it worked.  The next night, my daughter requested the "neat sound thing again" for her bedtime stories.

It's not an app that I would use for every story, by any means, but it's definitely something I'll bust out for special story times or the occasional title.

Now, I know what you're thinking - - everyone has their own reading style/delivery/etc.  How will the app accommodate for that?  Never fear!  You don't need to tone down your own personal awesomeness in the slightest! (Nor should you.  EVER.) 
Novel Effect includes smart voice recognition, allowing the effects to sync with your reading style.  Pretty snazzy, no?

Plus, it's hands-free and will continue to work even if the screen goes to sleep, so no need to worry about having one more thing to juggle during your story times, should you opt to use it.

So, there you have it!  Even if you choose not to utilize it for your own purposes, it's certainly something worth mentioning to patrons looking for cool, free literary apps to incorporate into their home routines.

Novel Effect is available for free for iOS devices.  (Unfortunately, it isn't available on Android...yet...but they're in the process of changing that.)

Side note: If you just so happen to be heading to ALA Midwinter in a few days, you can stop by and chat with the Novel Effect folks in person! https://2018.alamidwinter.org/sites/default/files/inline-files/Novel_Effect.pdf

Image result for novel effect

No comments: