Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Sibley eGuide to the Birds of North America - now a (pricey) iPhone app

The Sibley Guide to Birds is now available as an app for iPhone and iPod Touch. Check it out at the iTunes app store (here).

Here's a review of the app, which just hit the iTunes store earlier this week. While I own and like the paper copy of the Sibley Guide to Birds, I'm not quite ready to drop 30 bucks on this app yet. The most interesting feature seems to be the bird song collection, which apparently includes multiple recordings/variants. Sounds like an audio equivalent of the multiple illustrations which distinguish the paperback Guide - if so, the app becomes more compelling as an alternative/companion to iBird Explorer Pro, which I have become used to on my iPhone, and which seems to be better designed as an app, and has a few more features - perhaps. Unfortunately, unlike a paperback field guide that I can browse through in a bookstore before purchasing, there is be no way to try this app out before buying it! But, whom am I kidding - I'll probably get it anyway, eventually, just as I have the paperback Sibley as a backup to my preferred National Geographic Guide. One can never have too many field guides - and the publishers of these eGuides are counting on that kind of thinking from a (sizeable) niche market. But why aren't they dropping prices at least below that of the paperback edition? Why does the otherwise successful app store pricing model (low price+high volume=profit) not apply to these field guides? If anyone reading this has bought the app, I'd love to hear what you think!

Posted via web from a leaf warbler's gleanings



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