Zinio’s smart Rolling Stone iPad book – one day all music books will be like this

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At last, here’s an example of a publisher offering an iPad book, but actually giving the reader a little bit more than just the ability to flip pages on their shiny Apple gadget.

Zinio, whose software had powered quite a few iPad magazines so far (the nearest thing to them in the UK is the excellent Ceros http://www.ceros.com) has delivered the Rolling Stones 500 greatest songs of all time complete with audio samples. So for each tune you get a 30 second clip and the option of buying the whole song via iTunes.

It is undoubtedly clever, but there already bloggers who think it is a missed opportunity. In the Cult of Mac http://www.cultofmac.com/review-apple-rolling-stone-and-the-unsatisfying-stat… Lonnie Lazar argues quite rightly IMO

‘The missed opportunity here lies in the 30 second samples embedded in the magazine. Couldn’t Apple have used the technology it purchased with the once-promising LaLa to offer whole cuts of each song that could be played all the way through once — for free — as LaLa offered its customers and as other music services such as iLike and Rhapsody offer now?

Is Apple further away from being able to stream iTunes than we think, or was this merely a short-sighted caving to the lure of easy money and the idea that people would just buy the music if the 30 second sample has an iTunes link?’

He also points out that buying the tunes takes the reader away from the app – which is a bit unusual and disruptive.

Nevertheless kudos to Zinio for doing something original. I love the idea of say, Barry Miles book, London Calling, complete with streamed audio of the music he mentions, or the poets he quotes.

I wonder too if the Apple deal (or even better an Amazon one) could work with any publisher. Are there legal/copyright reasons why books can’t give away those 30 second audio snippets? I guess not.

Anyway to get the book (which also works with the iPhone and the touch) go here http://gb.zinio.com/browse/publications/index.jsp?productId=500577177 It’ll cost you £6.36, but you’ll need to download the Zinio app first

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