The Elly Online Experiment
Moving Tales Were Inspired by the iPad
When we started making digital content for mobile devices, we were inspired by the innovative iPad in particular. This was and remains a fantastic device – for me it crystallized many of the promises of the earlier technology of CD-ROM multi-media into a device that, crucially, actually worked! Like something from the future, this was the first digital device anybody could use – including my ancient mum – and in my opinion was the introduction of a new digital paradigm.
One of the reasons that the iOS devices are so successful is that Apple controls the complete user experience – hardware, iOS and the distribution mechanism of iTunes/App store/iBookstore. For the kind of rich media content we produce – with cutting edge interactivity, animation, soundscapes, multi-lingual narration and text – Apple remain ahead of their competitors (Amazon/Kindle and Google/Android) in the implementation of such capabilities in this crucial mobile space.
Beyond the iOS Ownership Club
We have explored non iOS devices for our content at various times, as in theory it is easy to port our existing well received content to other devices. Thus far, we keep concluding that the user experience on these non iOS devices, for the kind of content we create, is not as good as we would like. This is in large part due to varying implementations of OS, memory usage, processor speed etc across all the non iOS mobile devices.
A possible realization that follows on from this, is that perhaps mobile devices and especially smartphones are, by their nature of portability and ubiquity of movement and function, not the best for enjoying our kind of content, which is intended to be thoughtful, “slow”, immersive, and with a long shelf life.
Yet, a common complaint is that unless a user is in the club of iOS ownership, we cannot share our content with them. Hence the Elly Online experiment.
“Elly’s Lost & Found Sounds” Becomes “Online Elly”
We have taken our beloved interactive iBook version of “Elly’s Lost & Found Sounds” – thats not a typo, Elly was one of the world’s first interactive iBooks- and reformatted it as a free browser based PC or Mac experience.
We are very pleased with the results – we think Elly really shines.
Though it is unconventional in this space, Elly Online is the centerpiece of our first systematic publicity push Moving Tales have done. (Interestingly, it is not unprecedented in the music industry.) Now, pretty much anyone with a Mac or PC running the most popular browser, can enjoy one of our flagship titles.
Starting A Content, Distribution and Price Dialogue
We hope this starts a conversation with our users. Once people – kids, elders and adults alike – get to experience “Elly Online”, we are cautiously optimistic they will seek out our other content (four apps and six enhanced ebooks for iOS and free Creative Commons licensed learning materials based on Elly and our bestselling The Pedlar Lady of Gushing Cross) and support us in our other future creative endeavors. By giving us feedback as to their thoughts, interests, platforms, and more, we hope to be able to provide them with content which continues to stimulate and inspire.
Tell us what you think.