While dedicated eBook readers still haven’t yet reached the lofty heights in popularity as the multipurpose iPad and its extended family of apps, the iPad is a highly capable eBook reader in itself, with thousands of best sellers, education, and entertainment titles available to download.
Helping serve the needs of electronic musicians, Anthem Publishing, who handle MusicTech magazine, have been busy producing iOS friendly versions of their special Music Tech Focus issues.
With more than a dozen releases already, each issue is a perfectly digitised version of the 132 page magazine. The aim of each issue to is focus on one particular software package such as Reason and Ableton Live, or an area of music recording, such as Mixing and Mastering.
Like the magazine, the iOS app features workshops, tutorials, software and hardware reviews, and expert tricks and tips, ALL specific to the music software or recording technique.
Of course, one of the immediate benefits of these apps, is being able to carry around any number of issue of Music Tech Focus either on your iPad /iPhone/iPod Touch, and fire them up in a flash.
We’ve been using an iPad to check out the Ableton Live 8, Logic Pro 9, and Mixing editions over the last few weeks, and it’s a real convenience having them right there, rather than having to dig around for the magazines.
The apps work in portrait or landscape view. The difference being, in landscape view you see two pages at a time, and with the iPad upright, you see one page in a larger scale.
Like a real magazine, flipping the pages, via the iPad, offers an animation of the page turning, which could probably be a little faster for my liking, but it’s a cool effect anyway.
Double tapping the display zooms into the area of the page you tap, and can then be dragged around, or double tapped to return to full page view. Pinching the page in and out also does the same thing.
Where these digital versions come into their own, is being able to quickly and easily bring up thumb nails of the pages, as well as a main index offering main features, and then to go to a specific page instantly. And naturally it’s possible to ‘add’ and view saved bookmarks of pages you want to visit regularly. This is really the killer feature of any eBook.
I haven’t tried any issues on a smaller screen, but I dare say it’s not nearly the pleasant experience of the iPad screen, which the issues look super crisp and sharp, even when zooming into the pages.
At US$9.99 per issue, these apps are certainly cheaper than the real magazine (and so they should be), although I know some of us find great value in the BONUS DVD of Software/Audio goodies that also come stuck to the front of the magazine. Maybe in the future, they can even look at a way of offering a discount on the app for those that buy the magazine, mainly for the DVD.
While the type of content on offer here isn’t nearly as interactive or fully featured as say The Daily, or even Wired magazine iPad apps, they still serve a purpose for those that warm to the idea of carrying around digital versions of magazines they are likely to use on a regular basis.
Check out the growing collection of Music Tech Focus apps in the App Store.