February 11, 2012
Adobe Digital Publishing Suite is now showcasing an App of the Week, a digital publication that catches our eye. For example, we might highlight one that is using interactive features in a compelling way or making strategic business choices to build readership and brand awareness. This week we are showcasing Guitarist Deluxe by Future Publishing. If you go to the app store to purchase an issue or subscription, you will find two options: Guitarist and Guitarist Deluxe. Guitarist is a PDF replica of the print version. Guitarist Deluxe is made with Adobe Digital Publishing Suite.
Compare & Contrast: PDF Replica vs. Digital Publishing Suite
First of all, Guitarist Deluxe is beautiful. The cover is ultimately identical to the PDF version, but upon opening the issue, it plays a video of Johnny Marr. It feels like the opening of a live show, with the spotlight slowly lighting up Johnny from behind as he plays a soothing melodic tune on his custom built Jaguar.
The next obvious difference between the two versions of Guitarist was font size. That seems trite at first, I know. When developing for the iPad, designers need to use a larger font. This guides design choices that ultimately make for easier reading. Larger font size necessitates pop-up windows and scrolling frames. Compare the two pages below. The first screenshot is from the PDF replica, while the next two are from the iPad version built with Digital Publishing Suite. With the iPad version, the reader selects and focuses on one guitar at a time. For me, I can concentrate better when I actively choose a guitar to read about and am not distracted by other information.
Highlighting One Guitar at a Time
Second of all, the PDF version gives me a web link so that I can listen to the sounds of guitars and pedals featured on the app. As someone who has tried to read music reviews, I appreciate Guitarist placing sounds on the web. The iPad takes it to the next level, and I don’t have to crack open my laptop in order to hear anything. I just tap on the review, listen to the guitar or amp, and I automatically understand what “focused urgency in the mid-range” and “great sense of sparkle and presence” really means. Editor Mick Taylor reviews the Hughes & Kettner Tube Master 5 head amp, which comes to life with a full-screen video demo using two different guitars and five settings. A screenshot from the video is pictured below. Thanks, Mick. You saved me a trip to the store.
Download Guitarist Deluxe and check it out yourself. There are more even more features, such as social sharing, instructional pieces with accompanying audio, song samples from record reviews, and links that send the reader to the web to purchase a reviewed item.
Guitarist is the perfect example of how the iPad can amplify content, if you will, in an already great magazine. Sound is essential to bringing the page to life and helping the reader truly understand and connect with the subject matter.