|Review by 12ftguru||posted 08-17-2011 03:02 PM||3563 views||0 times favorited||14 comments|
When I first ordered the “American Woodworker: 25 Years of Issues” DVD I was pretty excited. I am fairly new to American Woodworker and I had only been reading a year or two. I was really looking forward to exploring the back catalog for interesting articles and ideas.
Unfortunately, the product itself has been a real disappointment.
My first big beef with these DVD’s is the incomprehensible decision to put all of the magazine issues in Adobe’s Flash format. Adobe makes a perfectly good technology for print matter. It’s called a PDF. Flash is good for banner ads and not much else. The first thing you will notice when you launch the magazine viewer is that your fan will immediately spin up to full speed and remain there as long as the magazine is open. I program for a living and I have a pretty beefy machine, but Flash never fails to send my computer into nuclear meltdown. It’s like trying to relax with a magazine while your dust collection is on.
The second big complaint is the quality of the scans. These magazines all appear to have been “lovingly preserved” in milk crates down in someone’s basement. There are obvious creases in the pages, the scans are often crooked or don’t line up correctly. The overall feel is just incredibly amateurish (see photo).
My final strike against this archive is the fact that not a single article is individually linked. Yes, I kid you not… AW actually went to the trouble to use a web browser as the interface for their product, but couldn’t be bothered to link anything beyond the individual issues. This means that if you browse through the list of issues and see something you like, you get to click on the individual issue and go hunting for the article. If you do a search, you get back a list of abbreviated individual sentences that contain your search term and a link to the individual issue the sentence was in (see photo). There’s not even a title for which article the sentence was in. This isn’t search, it’s a customer frustration generator.
It’s truly a shame to see a good magazine, one devoted to craftsmanship and care, take such a shoddy approach to a product. This is one purchase that will be making it’s way to Ebay in short order.