Marvel To Integrate Digital Services Into Marvel Unlimited App

Marvel_audio_SXSW_2014_1_610x813This is a story that Bleeding Cool first reported on in November, the move to integrate Marvel’s digital services into one central App…

And its news that CNET has just announced, ahead of of today’s announcements at SXSW.

We knew about the improved speed and functionality of Marvel Unlimited, apparently down to being written in iOS code rather than HTML5 (Android update coming soon)
But now we have learned that it will incorporate the adaptive audio announced at last year’s SXSW as Project Gamma. Though that name has gone.

This will give certain comics a full audio mix, adapting to what is being read at the time – even how it is being read. It will first be made available for the original Captain America story of The Winter Soldier by Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting.

The music plays from when the comic loads, starting with the book’s cover, and then adding in adaptive elements such as the pinging sonar of a submarine when viewing a panel of a submarine and mines.

Marvel_audio_SXSW_2014_2_610x813But you can also turn it off. The announced partners back then, CORD and Momentum, are no longer involved, replaced by David Ari Leon’s SoundMind Music and Firelight Technologies.

And Marvel Unlimited will now also have Marvel’s AR system for supplementary multimedia content. The latter previously existing in a separate app, and needing more than one device to activate if you read the comics digitally. This will launch when Jonathan Hickman‘s recent relaunch of Avengers migrates to the Marvel Unlimited service, with 20 Marvel AR videos ready to go…

And yes, this is also why Marvel have launched a trial of Marvel Unlimited for 99 cents for a month, as opposed to the normal $9.99 a month of $69.99 a year.

The new services are online now, with samples from Captain America #8 and #9 and #11-14  being made available in these new formats for free to non-subscribers as well. Like me. I’m checking them out right now…

The Captain America version doesn’t seem too invasive, music matching the mood of the comic with the occasional sound effect as you flick the panel. Leave it on one track for two long and it might grate a little. It could adapt to fade when stuck on one panel for a minute, maybe. And some tracks do repeat from one comic to another… it’s a bit like mood musak. Still it does make for a new reading experience. Worth a try – and it doesn’t cost any more.

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