Wired founder John Battelle on the hideous content lock-in of the iPad

“But the real reason media companies love the iPad is the same reason I don’t: It’s an old school, locked in distribution channel that doesn’t want to play by the new rules of search+social.”

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I’m no expert on the iPad and its intended content format. But content like, say, the kind you’d get through an attempt at developing the glossy magazine concept, is worthless unless everything in it has urls and is googleable. Bear in mind that I’m the kind of person who’s having issues with the fact that newspapers and mags don’t put some kind of unique alphanumeric id on all articles inside the regular paper issue.

Something like Spotify’s url system for linking to artists, albums, song, playlists etc. represents a bare minimum of sharing features for content distributed through a proprietary distribution platform. In the case of Spotify, users still have to turn to third party services to gain basic web access to metadata. Being someone who gets most of his magazine reading done via url recommendations over the web and IRC, I’d have very little use for a modern magazine kind of medium if its content isn’t accessible via urls somehow.

But I have to say that trying to build a distribution platform resembling Spotify, Steam or iTunes for magazines/text/photo/video clip content just for the sake of control is a terrible idea. If done right, such a platform could be based on websites with paywalls (optimized for different screens) and provide cute custom applications for e.g. better local offline storage of content.

[via:Kari Haakana]