Friday, April 15, 2011

TGIF: Wired makes its May iPad edition free to download; Instapaper releases update; Eine kleine Nachtmusik

With its May issue, Wired will have published a full year worth of issues on the iPad. And its been a roller coaster year with sales of its first issue very encouraging, and then not so encouraging. We'll see if "sales" of the May issue spike because it has one advantage of the previous 11, it is being offered for free.
"Sure, this will save untold thousands the $4 readers have to pay for a single issue for the Apple tablet," John Abell writes on the Wired website. "But merrily giving Wired away for the month of May is also apt to only increase the frequency of the number-one question Wired gets about the app — When will you start offering subscriptions, already!?"

Unfortunately, Abell can't provide an answer to that question.

The May issue is being offered free because "the promotional tab is being picked up by Adobe". That is pretty strange language to use. As a publisher, it would mean that Adobe is giving Condé Nast a make-good. Or it could meant that they are trying to reenergize the brand, after all, the first issue of Wired hit in at the end of May, in time for the international launch of the original iPad. Now iPad 2 is out, so maybe it is time for a new promotion – like a free May issue.

The May issue is available from within the iPad app, which serves as a library app where readers can buy, read and archive tablet editions.

Developer Marco Arment updated his Instapaper iOS app today (iPhone here, iPad here). The update includes a new in-app, offline dictionary that includes more content and longer definitions. The new updated app also includes a new full-screen image viewer (screenshot at left).

Instapaper is, of course, one of those essential apps that any first time buyer of a tablet should get. For me, it is the perfect tool to use when working on posts and coming across material that I would like to read, but know that now is not the right time. The app is $4.99 in the App Store.

Back with Talking New Media was first launched my last post of the week would always be Photoblogging Friday. The post was my version of cat blogging, a tradition of posting pictures of your cat credited as being started by Kevin Drum, then publishing his own blog at Calpundit (now at Mother Jones).

I don't own a cat, and dog blogging seems silly for a media site, so Photoblogging Friday. That is why in the Labels section to the left you'll see that there are 24 entries for PbF. It died when the site was put in mothballs for a short while, and not resurrected when the site became live again. The reason was simple: no one seemed to read the PbF entires, and no one commented on them. Many of the posts were written by Dean Brierly, a school chum from high school and college, and the publisher of Photographers Speak, as well as two other sites.
Too bad, those were some of the best early posts that appeared here. But it was, I guess, too off topic. But today it's time to start a new tradition kind of related to PbF. I've decided to feature something – music, film, books – something different.

So here is entry number one, a music recommendation: the new CD from the Marcin Wasilewski Trio, Faithful.

This is the third CD release on ECM for the Polish trio: Marcin Wasilewski, piano; Slawomir Kurkiewicz, double-bass; Michal Miskiewicz, drums.

Now like a lot of material that appears on ECM, this, too, might seem like nocturnal music (hence, the headline), but this is a very talented group of musicians who create intense as well as reflective music. The title track is an Ornette Coleman piece, but the track that grabbed my attention was "Night Train to You" a self-penned number.

The trio, until recently, were part of the Tomasz Stańko Quartet. The ensemble released three CDs on ECM: Soul of Things, Suspended Night and Lontano. Each are worth investigating.

Trumpeter Stańko, a Polish born veteran of the European jazz scene, really was reborn when working with the young trio; similar to what occurred when Charles Lloyd began playing and recording with Michel Petrucciani in 1981, though they were together for a far shorter time than was the Tomasz Stańko Quartet.