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February 21, 2008

Adding a soundtrack

What makes some movies so captivating? Is it the acting? Is it the special effects? Or is it the soundtrack? You could do a small test for yourself: what would the difference be if your favorite movie had a different lead actor/actress (you sometimes hear that they at first considered somebody else). Or what is the difference between an original movie and a remake with more special effects. And, finally, what is the effect of the overall movie experience when you watch it with the sound off!

You probably come to the conclusion that sound makes a big difference. Actually, it turns out to be essential in telling a story. Research showed that the longest lasting proliferation of knowledge/wisdom in the world has been realized by Aboriginals through combining art and music; continuing over 40.000 years! (see the BBC series 'How Art Made the World' for a detailed (multimedial) explanation).

Kawai K1

This knowledge makes a strong case for adding sound to websites. This should not just be the 'sound on' and 'sound off' that has appeared on some sites (and which has come and gone for good reason). It should actually be an auditory support to the browsing through different site elements; for example something like increasing drum riffs when nearing the end of an online checkout process.

Following the filmic approach one could also consider some kind of 'exit-button' for the site. This then leads to a page/pop-up with music, similar to the end role of a movie. It would give the site visit a more rounded experience, even if the actual browsing is not as linear as you would like.

Posted by Almar at 11:42 AM | Comments (0)