A Countdown Quickie

Yet another approach to the story app. . . and you can try it out right now.

At the recent 2nd Annual Digital Book World Conference, held in NYC, the Publishing Innovation Award for best story app in the children’s category went to A Story Before Bed, created by Jackson Fish Market, a small start-up company based in Seattle.

A Story Before Bed homepage

Homepage for the Story Before Bed app.

Launched in November 2009, A Story Before Bed is marketed as “…the first and only service where consumers could record a video of themselves reading a children’s book. Children could play back the story as often as they like.”

If you go here, you can pick a book, record yourself reading the text aloud as you turn the pages, and download your newly-recorded app. When you register, you create your own bookshelf to store your recorded downloads.

Your virtual bookshelf

Your virtual bookshelf for recorded story apps

I gave it a test drive with “Itsy Bitsy Spider.” For some reason, my face didn’t appear in that little box on the right — I had used the built-in PhoneBooth software that’s built into my iMac — but I did succeed with the voice recording aspect. That’s good enough for me!

There is a dedicated page for FAQs. I’m sure whatever I did incorrectly was probably covered. But I was in a hurry. Click on the image below, and you’ll see/hear my own results:

recording voice-over for "itsy bitsy spider" story app

Perhaps your experience will be different. Try it yourself on one of their free selections. You will need to have a web cam linked to your computer. Then you can create a story app, and play it over and over, via your laptop at bedtime. Also available for iPad or iPhone.

9 responses to “A Countdown Quickie

  1. gung hay fat choy to you, too, Joy.

  2. Hi Anne!
    I too, appreciate the appeal of this app. Did you test-drive one of the free apps? I want to try again, this time with their “Baa Baa Black Sheep,” and get video alongside audio this time around.

    I was happy to see Grace Lin’s “The Ugly Vegetables“(with its Chinese garden foods) among the selections, as I had wondered if it was OP. Terrific candidate for this type of app.

    Gung hay fat choy,

  3. Hearing you read this old favorite of mine was a delight, so I e-mailed it to Sullivan who is in Kaiping (sp?_ for CNY. His Baba taught the cantonese relatives to sing (in english) Now I Know My ABC’s and he loves it.

    I like the idea of this app a lot. I wish that the home page was less cluttered. Do you agree? One of my favorite books from our children’s looking and listening days was INCH BY INCH by Leo Lionni, and with it powerful simplicity that tells a powerful and thought provoking story it would be great here!

  4. Yes, nice reading and singing, Joy, though it would have been nice to see your smiling face..!
    Congratulations on winning the award Hillel! I’m proud to be included in your library. I listened to the demo and it was great. I will try it out too, but I have to wash my hair first!

  5. Nice reading, Joy.
    Nice singing, too.

  6. Thanks so much for the lovely writeup about our site – A Story Before Bed.

    Sorry your video didn’t turn out. Likely you had some other software running on your Mac that was grabbing the video from the webcam. Often Skype is running, or Google gtalk video is installed. You’re right, our FAQ covers it. 🙂

    If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to let us know. We appreciate everyone trying out the site. 🙂


    • Congratulations on winning that award, Hillel! I’ll try again this weekend. I removed Skype recently because it was acting strangely — but that was before creating that app. I’ll check about the Google gtalk aspect, and see what happens. The design and ease of navigation at your site is pure pleasure. Cheers!

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