Home Magazines on the iPad? HP’s MagCloud Makes it a One-Click Deal

Magazines on the iPad? HP’s MagCloud Makes it a One-Click Deal

Gorgeous, image-rich magazines with long-form content, published periodically. Sometimes it feels like that’s what the iPad was made for. On its second birthday from inside HP Labs, the do-it-yourself magazine publishing service MagCloud is launching a new feature that lets any magazine on the platform become iPad optimized with a single click. I’m really excited about this. It’s not the Wired iPad app, yet. But it is a whole world of other magazines.

Hacker Monthly: The Print Magazine of Hacker News on the iPad? Zip!Art Nouveau Magazine on the iPad? Bang! Mowmentum: The Magazine for the Lawnmower Racing Community…on the iPad? Boom.

Above: The magazine rack. Below: Scrubbing through the pages.

In addition to iPad availability, the print on demand part of MagCloud is growing more sophisticated as well. Publishers can now choose to put a spine on their magazines (which should be a big improvement), the page limit has been raised to 384 pages and, perhaps most importantly, HP will now ship printed magazines anywhere in the world.

But it’s the iPad publishing and reading that interests me most. Publishers can opt-in to allowing readers to click on a link to download a magazine to the Magcloud iPad app.

This is especially if price points can settle into something reasonable. I told HP’s Andrew Bolwell that what I really wanted were magazines priced like iPhone apps. Give me really good $2 magazines and I’ll buy them all day long. A $10 magazine on the iPad? Probably not. “I personally believe that the same is true for content,” he told me. “I hope the market will come to a point where content on the iPad is priced below the threshold of consideration on price.”

Right now MagCloud supports simple PDF uploads, but the future is wide open, Bolwell says. Possibilities include multimedia, DRM-free publishing (there’s DRM today) and an HP-powered ad network.

“We want to offer the option for people to do anything they want in the digital space,” Bolwell says.

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