Will books ever be the same again? – the best enhanced e-books of 2011 from iTunes Rewind

What is an enhanced book?

An enhanced book is an e-book that includes special features, such as:

  • Videos
  • Audio/music
  • Interactive sections (like animated maps)
  • Gigabytes of photos/illustrations
  • Multiple storylines with quests and achievements
  • Expanded annotations (like whole speeches)

They are designed for tablets like the Kindle Fire and Apple’s iPad.

On a personal note, these books are endlessly fascinating to me. They remind me of the difference between the encyclopedia and Wikipedia. Page turning with indexes compared to clicking and searching.

I grew up with encyclopedia sets but have since fallen in love with Wikipedia. Is it possible I will feel the same way about enhanced books compared to paper books?

Hard to say, but looking at the special features below this genre is here to stay.

Best Enhanced books of 2011 – iTunes Rewind

Jacqueline Kennedy: Historic Conversations on Life with John F. Kennedy

  • 22 minutes of video
    • They range from archival footage of Jacqueline Kennedy to recent videos of Caroline Kennedy and Michael Beschloss speaking about the book
  • The entire 8 ½-hour-long audio recording of Jacqueline’s interviews with Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. is included, playable in sections at the beginning of each chapter
  • 85 photographs of the Kennedy family are included throughout the narrative
  • Complete transcripts of Jacqueline’s interviews allow readers to follow along with the audio recording
    • Accompanying annotations from leading presidential historian Michael Beschloss inform readers on political details of the era


100 Yards of Glory: The Greatest Moments in NFL History

  • Bonus video produced by an Emmy–Award winning team, hosted by Bob Costas and featuring official NFL video highlights
    • Examples: The Immaculate Reception. The Ice Bowl. The Music City Miracle. The Catch.
  • Lavish illustrations and archival photographs.



Beethoven – His Life and Music

  • Biography comes with 2½ hours of music by Beethoven. Audio samples are contained in the text: touch to play them while you read.


Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home

  • Features 10 videos of Jeni demonstrating how to make her recipes.


Ken Burns’s The Civil War

  • Combines video and audio from Ken Burns’s film with animated maps and hundreds of images
    • Nearly an hour of video and audio from the original film. Footage re-creating what life was like during the war, Shelby Foote’s storytelling and analysis, and informed commentary from other prominent historians.
    • Completely new and original animated maps of the three days at Gettysburg that make it easier to follow this legendary and complicated battle.
    • Hundreds of illustrations placed to maximize the reading experience without impeding the narrative flow of the text.
    • Rare photographs as well as paintings, lithographs, and maps in full color.


Moby: Destroyed

  • Destroyed is published in conjunction with Moby’s latest album, Destroyed, released in May 2011, and includes
    • 93 photographs that record a sizeable portion of his life spent shuttling from plane to bus to venue to stage to party to hotel room to oblivion.
    • Three music and documentary videos
    • 16 unpublished photographs.


Sanctus: Revelation or Devastation?

  • A fiction novel that includes unique gesture points, matched against discoveries of codes within the book which unlock seeds you’’ll need to arrange to form the words and clues to enter a competition.
  • Seven audio clips composed by Worldwide Harmony that create a soundtrack for the book.


Rise of Freedom: The New World Trade Center

  • 90 photos of the site
  • 14 videos
  • Original animations


The Timeless Swing (golf)

  • Each chapter includes an embedded, instantly viewable video of Tom Watson teaching key lessons.


Healing at the Speed of Sound Amplified

  • Audio and video directly from the authors (including hand-picked musical selections).
  • Almost one hundred active links to music, video and downloads in the book.

These are all available in Apple’s iBookstore in iTunes.

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