Gramophone is one of the best magazines for classical music. At Exact Editions we have been working with the Gramophone publishing team for a couple of years and the editors of that publication are using their digital platform in an imaginative and highly effective way to provide additional rich linking from within the magazine. Their latest issues shows how this linking can work very well for the reader; links are incredibly valuable in digital magazines, as they are in blogs, so I will link to some pages from the current September edition which are freely available as ‘sample pages’. If you are reading this blog when Septembers sample pages are no longer freely available, buy a subscription or pick up the free iOS app for the magazine here.

Gramophone’s new smart linking is especially effective with its reviews.

Gramophone is hugely valued for its knowledgeable reviews, and since this is a musician’s magazine and an audio-buff’s magazine it is of enormous advantage to its readers that they can immediately link to the sample which iTunes provides of this exciting new interpretation of Bach’s composition. Hearing a snatch of the performance whilst you read the review is taking the digital magazine to a new level – and iTunes provides samples of every track on the CD, so the reader has considerable freedom of choice.

To be sure, there is a bit of extra work for the Gramophone editorial team in setting up these additional links for the digital edition. But this is really a trivial issue and they have cleverly, superimposed the graphic cue (the forward arrow over the album cover) in such a way that the ornament that is already in place for the print reader is being straightforwardly enhanced for the digital reader.

This all works very nicely on the web implementation of the magazine, but it is arguably even smoother and more delightful on the iPad app. Gramophone‘s editors have inserted a double page spread for the digital edition which explains some of the elegant tricks that are available to the iPad user, and since the iPad app for Gramophone is freemium available in iTunes, there is an easy way for any iPad user to give Gramophone‘s rich linking a free trial.

Gramophone’s publishers (Haymarket) have got some more goodies in store for their enthusiastic audience, and these additional riches will be available to subscribers to the October and November issues. The classical music audience that loves Gramophone will be delighted by these enhancements. Stay tuned for Gramophone‘s cornucopia…..