Wednesday, May 4, 2011

drums & percussion: German music magazine releases an English language iPad edition

One of the things I love most about looking at new mobile and tablet media applications is discovering new magazines published outside the U.S. A trip to Borders to visit the magazine stand just isn't going to produce many surprises. So here is one of those surprises you can find in the App Store:
The German magazine publisher Reiner H. Nitschke Verlag, a relatively small media company, publishes several motorcycle and music magazines, drums & percussion being one of them.

Yesterday the company had its first iPad app for the magazine appear in the App Store. The app is free to download, and after a lengthy download time, the February issue will appear. The issue weighs in at 170MB which is incredibly large for a replica edition. The reason for the size may have to do with the few added features the reader will find in the tablet edition.

Like most replicas, the user can read the issue in both portrait and landscape (another reason for the size of the download) and the reader can also tap on any photograph and a full screen version of the picture will appear.

There is also something called Reading-mode which brings up a text version of any story. Why would you need Reading-mode? Well, that's self explanatory, isn't it? Replicas are convoluted conversions of print editions so in order to make them work most of the time you need things like Reading-mode to make sure the reader can easily read the stories.

In this case the resolution of the magazine is fine so Reading-mode is probably not necessary. But I can see where the idea came from. Look on the magazine's website and you will see that the publisher offers a flipbook version of the magazine using to tools from Here is the last flipbook and as you will see, it is absolutely unreadable. I suppose the publisher here wanted to make sure they did not create an iPad version of this same flipbook.

I can lament the creation of replica editions all I want, but I know I can't stop publishers from continuing to make them. So I guess I should be happy that I can now read this magazine at all. (Oh yes, I forgot to mention that the iPad version of drums & percussion is in English, though I guess the headline gave away that part of the story.)

Left: the replica edition in landscape works well when there are two-page spreads; Right: the same story in "Reading-mode".