MagDesigner has a new home!

July 4, 2010

New home for MagDesigner.net

If you’re reading this, then you shouldn’t be. You see, this here blog is now old hat. It has been magically turned into www.MagDesigner.net

It’s bigger, better and a lot more blue. There are all the usual news stories and eMag round ups, but now the with the edition of platform reviews, eMag reviews, glossary and features with lots more content coming over the months.

It really is your one stop shop for all things to do with digital magazines.

This WordPress blog will more than likely be ignored from now on (you’ve been good to me though…)

So, get yer ass over there, bookmark it, subscribe, get rss feeds and remember to tell your friends about!

Click HERE!

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Wired iPad Magazine video thing

February 17, 2010

Following on from the story below, Adobe yesterday released the above video looking at their involvement with Condé Nast’s Wired magazine. I think this looks ace. Maybe not quite as slick as the Sports Illustrated demo seen last year but easily the best thing we’ve seen on the iPad.

Will Condé Nast roll all their titles out like this? I’d bet my last Rolo GQ will be released shortly after Wired and hopefully Vogue as well, it’s photography would look sweeeet on an iPad.

Interesting thing is it’s built by Adobe no doubt using Flash and then exported to iPad. But the good thing is Flash CS5 can also export to AIR, making it a viable eMag solution for other tablets and computers without the need for Flash browser support.

There are over 50 magazine titles already available for the iPad, and it’s not even on the market yet. There are also strong rumors that a dedicated iMagazine store may still be coming to the iPad after it’s launch and with it, a standard digital format for magazines (like .epub for books).

In the meantime Wired looks set to rule the iPad in terms of digital magazines. And that’s exactly what you’d expect from them, hats off to you.


www.wired.com


Wired Magazine to launch on iPad by summer

February 16, 2010

Everyones favorite posh publishers Condé Nast, have announced that their kick-ass Wired magazine will indeed grace the touching screens of Jobs’ latest creation by this summer.

Announced at the awesome 2010 TED conference by Wired’s Chris Anderson and Adobe’s Jeremy Clark the news was no surprise really, in fact it was an inevitability. Since I was not fortunate enough (or rich enough) to be at the TED conference I didn’t see the demo myself, although it seems the mag is fairly similar to that of New York Times.

Readers can scroll horizontally through the magazine, when they see an article they like they scroll vertically. The iPad also changes from landscape to portrait depending on which way the unit is held.

It also contain some interactivity. The demo showed Adobe’s Clark touching a 360 degree animation of a new Camaro, showing how advertisers could utalise the new technology. Except it’s not new. 360’s have been around for years on web sites and I’ve been doing them for 2 years inside interactive magazines. It’s nothing new or groundbreaking, it’s simply taken Condé Nast to push it one step further by making it compatible with iPad Applications.

By his own admission Anderson acknowledges the iPad magazine is only “part of the answer”. He’s right of course, but the fact that they have already started down this road and have announced a rough launch date means that “part of the answer” puts them ahead of the pack. No news on if this roll out on the UK edition or if it’s just the US version.

It’s going to be very interesting to see how existing eMag publishers tackle the iPad. What will Dennis Publishing do? They currently publish the three most successful consumer eMags around, how will they embrace the iPad? Will they even try? Will Redwood Publishing conquer the iPad market for contract titles. WIll IPC Media come out of nowhere or will Future tackle their decreasing profits with electoic editions? Who knows, and who for the next five minutes, who cares? I’ve got a coffee waiting…


Can Apple’s iPad save the publishing industry?

January 27, 2010

So it’s here. The Apple iPad has been unveiled and it is… well… a big iPhone really. But without the phone.

To sum it up in nice little bullet points:

16, 32 and 64GB versions
3G connectivity at an extra cost, but unrestricted.
9.7 inch LED screen
Built in speaker plus headphone socket
Microphone
0.5 inches thick
1Ghz A4 processor
Accelerometer
10 hour battery life
PDF viewer
Weigh 1.5 pounds

16 GB 32 GB 64 GB
Wi-Fi $499 $599 $699
Wi-Fi + 3G $629 $729 $829

The WiFi only models will go on sale in 60 days, the 3G models around 90 days. Possible UK release date of June / July.

Now the important stuff for publishers:

No Flash support
Apple launch iBook Store for book publishers only using the ePub standard format
A new version of the iPhone software development allows development of iPad apps (available now)

…which basically means if you want to publish a magazine on the iPad it needs to be done through the production and distribution of an Application available through the Apple App Store only. HTML 5 compatibility is unclear at this point.

Unfortunately because Apple don’t stream the keynote anymore you have to rely on other people accounts… Steve Jobs did demo an example of New York Times which, as far as I can tell works as an App but includes embedded video and is as interactive as your gonna get. As soon as the Keynote video goes up, we’ll know for sure.


The New York Times newspaper App for Apple’s iPad

So where does this leave Sports illustrated, Adobe Air and Next Issue Media’s standardised eMag format? Well, Adobe Air Apps won’t work on the iPad. It will work on the HP, Archos and Dell tablets. So do Next Issue Media ignore the iPad and concentrate on Adobe Air style eMags for PC based tablets. Do they change course and concentrate on iPad Apps only and ignore PC’s? Simply they now have to do both.

Apple haven’t really bought calm to the confusion of modern publishing. We were hoping for some swanky new standard, cross platform eMag wonder. What we got is the realisation that it won’t be that easy, at least not for a while yet. Instead we need to go back to last years motto “content is King”. What publishers need to do now is find a way of distributing content across multiple platforms; print, web, Flash based eMag, Adobe Air eMag, Podcasts, iPhone App and now iPad App, maybe even ePub books.

New York Times best sellers list on the iBook Store

And Adobe? Flash has been snubbed once again, whether it’s because it drains processor speed or because it makes an App store redundant remains uncertain. What it does mean though is that Flash will still be integral for other mediums such as tablet PCs. But also that Adobe need to cater for Apple Apps and CS5 Flash does exactly that. You can basically export directly to iPhone App and to Air and to SWF within seconds. Flash will still be an indispensable tool for publishers.

So over the next few days we’ll gauge reaction of industry folk, consumers and publishers. We’ll see the tablet in action once Apple release the keynote speech for viewing and hopefully we’ll get UK release details soon.


All Condé Nast magazines to be tablet ready

January 27, 2010

By the end of Twenty Ten posh publisher Condé Nast will roll out electronic versions of their 18 titles. Aimed at the tablet market and no doubt taking advantage of their sneak Apple Tablet specs, the magazines will be produced alongside their print counter parts. It is believed ecommerce will feature heavily in these titles in a bid for Condé Nast to increase revenue through selling shit related to their mags, so Gourmet could sell kitchen utensils, GQ could sell high class hookers and Wired could sell, er, wires all within an online magazine.

Ecommerce in magazines is nothing new, eDition have had that capability for ages now and the Ceros published Sears magazine proved a great success last year. This is however the first time any publisher has announced a company wide move to digital and is a milestone in the embracement of digital publishing. I have no doubt that they will be the first of many publishers to make this announcement and over the next few weeks more will do the same. Nice one Condé Nast!


iTunes for Magazines given a name…

January 5, 2010

Last years announcement that Hearst, Condé Nast, Time Inc, News Corporation and Meredith would join forces to create a new publishing standard has finally been given a name. The “iTunes of the magazine world” that they are hoping to create will be called Next Issue Media.

Not the most catchy or adventurous of names but the domain has been purchased and has a brief run down of what they hope to achieve plus contact details. Good luck to them, a great step forward in publishing. 2010 could really see this venture grow from strength to strength.

Next Issue Media


Digital Partnership finally announced…

December 8, 2009

Today see the official announcement of what we all knew was coming, a partnership between print publishers to help secure a future in digital magazines.

Hearst, Condé Nast, Time Inc, Meredith and News Corporation have formed an independent venture to help develop open standards for a new “digital storefront” and related technologies.

There are four parts to their agreement:

1) To create a highly featured common reading application capable of rendering the distinctive look and feel of each publication
2) To create a robust publishing platform optimized for multiple devices, operating systems and screen sizes
3) To create a consumer storefront offering an extensive selection of reading options
4) To create a rich array of innovative advertising opportunities

Beyond the publications of the equity partners, the venture will welcome other publishers to offer their content via this new digital platform. Publishers will derive revenue from content and advertising sales, as well as from print subscriptions.

For publishers and advertisers, the venture will offer an attractive, cost-efficient, consumer-focused environment. Advertisers will be able to utilize innovative formats that benefit from the highly engaging, interactive nature of this new medium. In addition to entirely new magazine and newspaper reading experiences, content selections may ultimately include books, comic books, blogs and other media.

The whole press release can be found here

So there we go, a big announcement indeed and a good one to end the year on. 2010 will be a significant year for eMags and digital publishing in general. What does this mean for smaller, more independent publishers? And how will some of the other bigger companies respond? What will the likes of Future, Bauer and Dennis do next year?

Only time shall tell…