Monday, May 23, 2011

WEKA Media Publishing releases new tablet edition for hifi tech magazine Stereoplay

I can think of at least two types of magazines that should be on the iPad immediately: those involved in video content, like movie magazines, and those involved in music. Both types of magazines can be instantly transformed via creative use of tablet technology.
This idea is put to use by WEKA Media Publishing, the German magazine publisher of such magazines as PC Magazin, COLORFOTO and AUDIO. Ten days ago the publisher released its first tablet edition for Stereoplay, a hifi equipment and technology magazine.

Unfortunately for those looking for a real tablet magazine, the publishers of Stereoplay have decided to put their time into "enhancing" their print magazine with links to photo galleries and multimedia content rather than creating a true tablet magazine experience. In the end, what readers get here is a PDF with links, a very disappointing effort from such a large publisher.

Stereoplay is a free download in the App Store. The app gives readers access to one issue at this time which is also free, though the app certainly implies that future editions may require a purchase.

Immediately I was struck with the fact that the download prompt was in broken English, complete with a typo – since the magazine is written in German I was expecting German prompts, as well. The download was slow and quite large, though the app does not tell the reader the exact size of the download.
The reason the download is large, despite this being basically a replica edition is all the added content. No doubt this took the production team a fair amount of time to add into the app, wouldn't it have been a better idea to spend that time creating a more native tablet publication? Advocates of native apps, or at least Adobe/WoodWing-like conversion would say so, while vendors pushing replicas would probably applaud the effort.