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Monday, December 20, 2010

UK publishers should be damned for their iPad applications

The best magazine I have ever read was The Face, but even if it was still published I probably wouldn't buy an iPad app and it would appear that most magazine readers have a similar opinion about other existing titles.

For all the furore about the iPad being the saviour of magazines and the future for paid journalism, the market is pitifully small in the UK.* (*see footnote) and there are plenty of reasons why this is unlikely to change for years.

Read more

Friday, December 10, 2010

Zinio and Marie Claire work together on apps

An interesting look at how marie Claire is producing app-friendly content

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

New magazine is an ongoing Project

Sir Richard Branson said the company plans to rely on "word of mouth from bloggers" to market his new iPad magazine, Project, which debuted this week. "If they don't like it, we're dead in the water," he said, adding: "We don't have Rupert Murdoch's advertising budget, that's for sure."

Well I've had a look (an early one anyway) and taken the plunge to pay £1.79 for a trial copy. It takes time to load - over 3 hours on a 10mB line - and I think a bit gimmicky.

I'll read it this weekend.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Hulu for magazines coming - but not for iPad

Next Issue Media, the "Hulu for Magazines" joint venture, plans to have its digital storefront open early next year. But you won't be able to shop there if you've got an iPad.

Read the whole story: AllThingsD

Monday, October 18, 2010

I love my IPad

I never thought I'd say this, but I'm finding the iPad very compelling to read books(and magazines) on.

Top tip though is to download the Kindle app - books are cheaper.

Also, check out the new T3 preview - looks pretty slick

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Outlook not positive for this edition

Just come across "Australian and New Zealand Outlook", which is somewhat amusingly touted as a cutting edge publication for the internet age.

Few problems with this -

(i) The design ; looks like its been put together by a five year old

(ii) Pagesuite - why use this as a platform ? I find it clunky, slow to load and very unfriendly in certain browsers.

(iii) News - how can you do an up to date monthly ? Its an oxymoron given things like, Flipbook etc

Really must do better - this is just print publishing on a different platform

Monday, August 02, 2010

Can Amazon turn E Books mainstream ?

Interesting piece on how the launch of a cheaper Kindle could introduce a new audience to the ebook format ?

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Study says people read e-books slower than print

The debate over e-reading versus traditional printed material continues to rage on. Many folks seem to be of the view that reading on a screen just isn’t the same experience as relaxing with a book.

Yet change always comes eventually, and others ask whether the success of the iPad might help cement the status of the e-book market. Sony certainly thinks that the printed word is on the way out, and in five years time, e-books will be more prevalent.

Read more

Friday, June 04, 2010

Adobe launches digital magazine viewer

Adobe officially launched its digital viewer technology for developers on Tuesday. The software complements Adobe's recently announced Creative Suite 5 collection of design and development applications.
Publishers using CS5 can build digital magazine layouts that contain the same design elements as those in periodicals found on news racks, while also containing interactive capabilities associated with online publications. "It’s safe to say that if you are already working in InDesign CS5, you’ll be well on your way to producing a beautiful digital version of your publication," David Burkett, VP and general manager of creative solutions for Adobe, said in a statement.

Adobe plans to make its latest viewer software available on as many hardware platforms as possible, including smartphones and the emerging market for slate computers like the Apple iPad. The strategy is similar to the company's approach with its PDF format for business document creation. The PDF viewer is widely available at no charge for multiple platforms, while Adobe sells tools for creating documents.
Wired magazine, a Conde Nast publication, built its recently released reader application for the iPad using Adobe's latest technology. The Wired reader, available through Apple's App Store for $4.99, lets readers watch video and slideshows, view 360-degreee images and rotate content in vertical and horizontal modes. Another feature made possible through Adobe technology is touch-based navigation.

From Information Week

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Premier Guitar iPhone App Strikes a Different Chord

Among the torrent of magazine branded mobile apps in recent months it is hard to find new ideas. But just when you are about to yawn at the next me-too mag app, something a bit different actually comes to the fore. Guitar enthusiast book Premier Guitar has worked with digital magazine creator Texterity to make a novel hybrid of magazine facsimile and mobile Web site. The free, ad-supported app shows its two faces at the main menu, which has a carousel of covers for the October 2009 – March 2010 issues sitting atop a scroll of the latest news, reviews and videos from the Web site. The user can browse or search the print archive or dip into the latest content dynamically served from the brand.

In the magazine view, the issues are reproduced page for page, but thumbnails on a bottom rail let you navigate quickly to a page. The reader can use the typical multitouch tap, pinch and spread gestures to zoom and move the page or use the handy pop-up menu that can highlight any hot links on a given page or let you scroll through the issue’s Table of Contents to get a more mobile friendly version of any article. There is also a cross-issue and single issue search function for finding that content you vaguely recall from a previous month.

The more dynamic news, review and video content is piled into a standard scroll that uses tabs to toggle among the major content types. You can also comment on articles directly in the app itself. The articles are nicely formatted for the iPhone screen, with an oversized image introducing the prose and hot links to Web sites mentioned in the review. Some of the reviews have downloadable audio that demonstrate the product. The Premier Guitar app politely keeps you in its own embedded browser to show these landing pages. Alas, it did not perform as politely with the banner ad for music vendor Jammit. That ad kicked us out of the app and into the Safari browser, albeit after asking permission.

The video trove is surprisingly deep and helpful. Many of the video are how-to's and demos of popular products.

Having been developed by digital magazine maker Texterity, Premier Guitar demonstrates a platform approach to mobile apps. Like the digital magazine format that preceded it, the app puts a premium on the archiving value of digitizing the print media. It gives the user access to a library, not just an issue or the latest feed of online content. In full, the app works well as a kind of resource that maps well for an enthusiast book like Premier Guitar. These are the sorts of magazines that hobbyists keep as reference. This app makes that experience portable in a way that could be genuinely useful to the musician in the music store or on the road.

There are glitches to be sure. The app failed several times to download some material, and generally the format depends on downloading magazine issue data as needed, so there can be some lag. Like most platforms that are designed for multiple partners, this mobile digital magazine model does not have some of the branding panache of Esquire or GQ’s custom-built iPhone solutions. Nevertheless, this is a different approach to the art of mobilizing the magazine experience that blends real-time and print in a way that is less dazzling than it is workmanlike, serviceable and usable.

The app also demonstrates how some of the design and digitization disciplines introduced over the years by digital magazine platforms can be put to good use on the emerging smart phone and tablet devices. Texterity uses a platform for portable devices that does not depend on the Flash technology that continues to be incompatible with both the iPhone and iPad environments. It plans to extend this approach to a range of mobile devices.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Cue the jokes

Best of luck Chris

Snookered, a free monthly digital magazine aimed at all levels of snooker and pool players, is to launch in August

It will be presented as a digital turning page magazine and be distributed via email and mobile as well as being available at a yet-to-launch website and through social networks.

Snookered is the brainchild of Chris Haill, who has commercial publishing experience from roles including ad manager on Quantum Business Media's Pub Food magazine and inserts manager for Future Publishing.

Haill said: "Cue sports in this country are huge. Over five million play in some sort of capacity every week. I wanted to bring about a lifestyle/cue sports publication for a mass audience."

Snookered will be delivered to 250,000 email addresses, including around 180,000 members of snooker and pool club chain Riley's, which will also take advertising in the magazine.

Editorial will be "humorous, edgy and informative" and include consumer product news pages covering the latest mobiles, gadgets, games, films and music.

The target audience is 18- to 50-years-old and in the ABC1-C2 demographics.

Haill created the company D&C Media to publish Snookered and has already set up a Snookered Facebook group to promote the magazine.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Zinio Launches Ad Network for Digital Magazines

The world of digital advertising takes another step forward today. Zinio, the San Francisco-based company that publishes digital versions of over 1,900 publications for reading on the computer and iPhone, is launching the first cross-publisher ad network for digital magazines.


Thursday, January 07, 2010

Microsoft unveils new Slate Pc ahead of Apple

Attempting to hijack the hype created by the rumoured launch of Apple's iSlate later this month, Microsoft and HP have announced a new product, the HP Slate Tablet PC, at CES.

The tablet will transform into an interactive eReader using Blio reader software. This will allow embedded videos and create audio books using text-to-speech technology.

Read more:

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Amazon Kindle DX to be available in the UK

Amazon has announced that it will sell the Kindle DX e-reader in the UK from January 19th.

The DX is the bigger version of the Kindle, with a larger 10 inch display, and more memory, which enables it to hold twice as many books – 3500 to be precise.

The price is $489, which translates to £306, and that’s before any import fees are added. So you’re looking at more like £350 plus, which makes it quite a pricey device.

It can be ordered directly from Amazon

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Skiff unveils e-reader for newspapers, magazines

US company Skiff released details Monday of its upcoming electronic reader, a device slightly bigger than Amazon's largest Kindle designed for reading newspapers and magazines in addition to books.

The Skiff Reader features an 11.5 inch (29.2-centimeter) screen, about two inches (five cms) larger than that of the Kindle DX, and is also the thinnest e-reader to date at just a quarter of an inch (0.63 cms), according to Skiff.

Skiff, which is backed by US newspaper and magazine publisher Hearst Corp., said wireless connectivity for the device, which weighs just over one pound (0.45 kilograms) will be provided by Skiff partner Sprint Nextel.

Skiff did not announce a price for the device, which will be available starting later this year in Sprint stores across the country and online.

Unlike the Kindle, which is geared mainly for book readers, Skiff said its device is the "first e-reader optimized for newspaper and magazine content."

"The Skiff Reader's big screen will showcase print media in compelling new ways," Skiff president Gilbert Fuchsberg said in a statement.

"This is consistent with Skiff's focus on delivering enhanced reading experiences that engage consumers, publishers and advertisers," he said.

Skiff said its black-and-white touchscreen e-reader will feature next-generation "metal foil" e-paper technology from LG Display.

It said the thin, flexible sheet of stainless-steel foil is a step up from the "fragile glass that is the foundation of almost every electronic screen."