The iPod moment for newspapers?

Charles Arthur, inspired by Alan Rusbridger, has posed an interesting theory about the ‘iPod moment’ for newspapers – that single, defining moment of change that fundamentally alters the way we access, consumer and interact with

Logically, there’s a device coming our way which will be able to hold and “play back” (visually of course) huge amounts of text while being portable and convenient. That already exists in the form of paper, but it’s hard to search through paper or create “playlists” of favourite writers from across multiple papers. I have to carry a laptop and read my news feeds; if I wanted to download all the papers for every day, I’d need to set up a lot of fancy scripts to pull in the text of the stories. Feasible, but boring.

Imagine though a light A4-sized product that runs (for ages) off batteries, and has a very readable screen (100+dpi at least; 150 is better for really good-quality small print). And which can store a few gigabytes of data. The latter’s easy – some Flash memory, thank you, sorted. The screen’s much harder, though various people are closing in on it.

Charles goes on to examine the impact it could have on existing daily print media, and it’s not all good news, but the evidence to support this shift is all there…

I like this. Updated in real-time but retaining the core look and feel of the newspaper’s identity, this would be a really cool medium and would certainly signal a sea-change in publishing. Factor in an application like Seadragon as the delivery/interface and you’ve got your newspaper’s ‘iPod Moment’.

I’ve mentioned this before, but it’s still the coolest thing ever. check out the newspaper rendering during the first stages of Blaise’s presentation…


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