Yesterday, I reviewed the UK-centric Guitarist Magazine for the iPad and today, I’m here to review its American sister-friend, Guitar World Magazine.  Both publications are produced by the same company and, unfortunately both Guitarist and Guitar World suffer the same, awful, interface fate as iPad Newsstand subscriptions.

The content in Guitar World is killer, but actually reading and interfacing with that content is unpleasant on the iPad, let alone the iPhone iOS version of the same.

Purchasing a Guitar World subscription gets you access to the Guitar World library but, unfortunately, that currently only means four issues:

The biggest gripe I have with Guitar World is trying to read a page of text.

Here’s an example.  The photo of Jimi Hendrix is wonderful, but what does the text description say?  It’s just as hard to read here in this blog article as it is in situ on the iPad.

To get up-close-and-personal with the Guitar World text, you have to double-tap on the screen and then move the page around on the string with your finger to get a close look at the text for reading:

Where you really feel the “double-tap-to-read” boogeyman is when you try to interact with the fantastic Guitar TABS provided by the magazine.  As you can see below, you cannot read a full page of the Guitar TAB because the print is too small and illegible unless you have superhuman eyesight.

Double-tap on the screen and you get a much easier to read TAB, but you have no way of playing the lick or the song because you’re only seeing about a fourth of the published tablature!  That isn’t right and it’s so wrong that it actually makes you scream a little as you try to play the TAB with both hands while poking and swiping at your iPad screen to get the music to scroll.

Both Guitarist and Guitar World fail as iPad Newsstand magazine subscriptions.  You’d be better off buying a traditional paper subscription.  There’s ripe market out there for a truly native iPad App that is both readable and musically interactive for guitar nuts like me and I guess we’ll just have to keep on looking for the right magazine in the iOS 5 Newsstand to satisfy our publication subscription hunger.

4 Comments

    1. That’s a good description, Gordon! It is not a “magazine” experience like the New Yorker on the iPad. I can’t imagine reading Guitarist or Guitar World on an iPhone — it would be impossible for me without a magnifying glass and lots of patience.

      The sorry thing is that both magazines are excited they have this new way to publish from “print to the iPad” using iOS 5 and Newsstand. I counter that what might be neat and easy for them is still an awful experience for their iOS subscribers.

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