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Stanza for iPhone Review: Find Another eBook App

written by: Shane Burley•edited by: Simon Hill•updated: 12/29/2009

Learn about a useless application that is meant to inspire you to spend more on book downloads.

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    Stanza What?

    Though the eBook technology has not caught on much among the general public the concept is still developing at a fairly significant pace. Now not only are expensive readers available to interpret such texts but you can even do it on many smart phones. The iPhone itself has a number of volumes, mostly free classical novels, available on iTunes for download. Stanza, a new application for the iPhone, helps you browse through available “e” titles for purchase that you can then read from your phone.

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    Using It

    When you first open the program you are given a Library menu. First you have four categories directly correlated to your own library, which are Titles, Authors, Subjects, and Latest Reads. This is meant to navigate you through your supposedly increasing library of ebooks. The application itself comes with a copy of The Time Machine by Herbert Wells. The bottoms section is for book purchase and download, and consists of the Online Catalog, Shared Books, and Recent Downloads. When you open the online catalogue you are given several possible shops to look in for the desired text. When opening each one you are given a fairly limited list of possible books to choose from.

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    Too Many Problems

    The problems with this program far outweigh any possible benefits it would have. First off, it is primarily a shopping program. This means that its main function is that of a commercial one, not of a content provider. More than this it assumes that people are now ready to begin creating a large, expensive library of books on their iPhone. This is simply not true, especially because the method of viewing is still fairly primitive.

    Though reading a book in the application looks better than most viewing options it is still no where near as accessible as just a regular book. There are really very few books even available through download so it is hard to imagine a regular user of this application. More than this the software tends to run relatively slow, especially with the shared text function. There are a number of free downloads available from some authors, but not really enough to warrant its use. The software is free so it is hard to fault anyone for simply trying it out, but be forewarned that it is just a waste of space. Four out of ten stars. If it's eBooks you want, I suggest going with the more popular Kindle for iPhone.