Over the last two days here in Boles Blues, we’ve taken a hard look at two guitar magazines — Guitarist and Guitar World — published for the iPhone and iPad via Apple’s Newsstand application and we came away disappointed in the lousy textual reading and wanting multimedia experience.  Today, in our final installment in the neverending search for a grand music publication for the iPad, we happen upon Jazzwise — a UK-based magazine that provides wonderful writing, but results in an even more dire and dismal reading experience than Guitarist and Guitar World put together.

Here’s the main heartache for Jazzwise:  Pages appear to be loading from a remote server and so each and every page loads fuzzy and takes a long time to “crisp up” in a final, viewable, version.  If you happen to watch the download from fuzzy to crisp, you’ll hurt your eyes, so you spend a lot of your time “reading” the magazine by diverting your eyes from the iPad screen.

Here’s another screenshot of how each page loads, line-by-line, from fuzzy to crisp.  I have a fast internet connection, so I know any server or delivery slowness is not on my side of the pond.

Jazzwise has a wonderful back catalog of previously published issues, unfortunately, the issues do not appear in an easy-to-navigate form and previewing the covers in “library” form is not possible.

You click on a text link for the back issue you want to download — and the slow, line-by-line progression from fuzzy page to crisp image begins to download.  It makes you absolutely crazy waiting and waiting and waiting…

Once the content downloads, the writing shines.  Jazzwise is a wonderful magazine, but a horrible iPhone/iPad Newsstand App.  It is not worth of your monetary subscription.

Jazzwise also suffers the same “too tiny text” problems of Guitarist and Guitar World.  You just can’t easily read a page unless you double-tap and then scroll around with your finger.

Even when the page is enlarged by double-tapping, some of the text still remains uncertain and blurry.  Jazzwise is a hard to read magazine.

I’m disappointed in my Guitarist and Guitar World and Jazzwise subscriptions on the iOS 5 Newsstand.  The magazines feel as if the iPad is an afterthought instead of a driving intention, and that makes subscribers feel sour and ripped off.  Once you subscribe for a year — you’re stuck for a year — no refunds allowed.  Make sure you turn off the default “auto-renewal” for any Newsstand magazines you no longer want to read.  You turn off those features using the Account area of iTunes:

The only Apple Newsstand magazine I’m keeping on “Auto Renew” is The New Yorker. My search for the perfect iPad music magazine subscription via Newsstand continues.

2 Comments

    1. It’s definitely been a disappointing waste of money. Publishers have to do more than just make a .PDF version of their paper magazines and then stream that to the iPad. The iPad needs its own development team and publication mandate that paper cannot begin to imagine or serve.