Christmas in America HD great, but not quite Christmas

Spoiler alert! If you love great photography, you’ll love Peter Guttman’s Christmas in America HD. If you love great winter photography with some Christmas themes, you’ll love Christmas in America HD. If you want your Christmas entertainment to be all about Christmas, you might want to pass. Three stars.


You know how you see that special holiday item on the shelf and you know, deep down inside, that this will be the perfect addition to all the festive decorations you laid out? Better yet, it’s on special discount at a clearance sales for 70 percent off? So you drop it in the shopping cart, take it home, pull it from the beautiful package and realize why you found it in the clearance sale?That’s what I felt like when I opened Peter Guttman’s Christmas in America HD. Don’t get me wrong, it’s slick and professional. I simply realized why the price suddenly dropped from $3 to $1 when I started exploring. I loved the interface, I loved the photos; it just wasn’t Christmas.Christmas in America HD is one of several apps in the Beautiful Planet series designed to deliver Guttman’s photography books to your iPad. The interface is always the same: You can click on a globe location to find photos from that location (in this case, eastern, central and western US). You can open a film strip of photos to navigate and you can play music in the background. You can also overlay captions for each photo like subtitles and save your favorites to your photo library.

The interface is fairly simple. The film strip at the bottom represents each photo in the display, you can flip through the music tracks and you can launch the slide show.

The music is typical of digital background music, crisp and simple renditions of Christmas classics. I looked every where for credits and couldn’t find them, so I’m assuming the tracks are stock. You can play them in the background or skip through to the track you want. I couldn’t find a way to find the track listings or pick them by name, and the help system is not existent.

Steamboat in Winter on the Mississippi. Most of the captions try to find a Christmas connection, but occasionally they don’t bother.

Slideshow performance is irritating. The pictures jump by far too quickly to enjoy and I found no way to control the playback speed. This wouldn’t be an app I would display as part of the seasonal decorations. It makes more sense to peruse the images one by one.The pictures are stunning in iPad HD and they capture winter experience from New Hampshire to Mississippi to Montana. Sadly, about half of them have nothing to do with Christmas. A good number capture local Christmas traditions, such as the Papa Noel bonfires in Louisiana. They’re interesting, but they may not speak “Christmas.” Especially if you’re a traditionalist.If you’re not clear what I mean by traditionalist, I’m referring to those people who insist Mary and Joseph had Christmas trees by the manger. The people who insist that presents can’t be opened until Christmas morning. The people who insist on eating at McDonalds when they visit France. I’m not one of those people, but I have to admit I was a little disappointed. Too many of the pictures were simply generic winter images. I enjoyed seeing how Christmas traditions differ, but I want more Christmas in my Christmas traditions.

Jenny Manytoes rates Christmas in America HD

Jenny Manytoes would take a nap next to Christmas in America HD. The photographs are great, the app, however, just okay.

The Jenny Manytoes Rating System

Jenny Manytoes, our polydactyl cat
  • When Jenny makes biscuits on a product she thinks she’s in heaven.
  • When Jenny purrs over a product she’s very happy.
  • When Jenny naps next to a product it’s okay with her.
  • When Jenny bunches her tail she can live with a product, but she has higher expectations.
  • When Jenny leaves it in the litter box….I don’t think I need to explain this one.
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About Phillip T Stephens

Phillip T. Stephens disappeared into the Bermuda Triangle twenty years before he was born, creating a time travel paradox so confusing it remains unspoken between physicists and sci-fi writers to this day. Follow @stephens_pt
This entry was posted in 3 Stars - nap, Entertainment, Seasonal. Bookmark the permalink.

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