For some Ken Burns has become synonomous with American history with his documentaries covering such topics as The American Civil War, Baseball, Jazz, Prohibition, and our National Parks. There are many more and Burns isn’t done creating these special looks at American history. Burns’ documentary style of using panning and zooming on photographs of the topics has become famous. You’ll see the Ken Burns effect in many other photo and screen saver apps. Beyond the visual style, Burns is excellent at tying specific historical moments to larger historical themes. Now Burns has released his first App for the iPad. For American history buffs, and even those who aren’t, it is a real winner.
The Ken Burns iPad App is a collection of clips from Burns’ documentaries arranged under broad headings such as Art, Hard Times, Innovation, Politics, Race, and War.
The App is free and comes with access to the Innovation section. An in-App purchase of $9.99 unlocks the other sections and in my view is well worth the price. Burns promises that other content will be coming and that will be something to look forward to. The App also provides links if you want to catch one of the documentaries in full on iTunes or Netflix.
Once you pick a category you’re presented with a series of subjects relating to that category which bring up the various clips under those headings. But that’s just one way of delving into the content.
You can also choose a Timeline view, or scroll through a list of Burn’s documentaries and see which clips have been selected from those films. An exciting element of the App is you can see how pieces of Burns’ various documentaries tie one to another.
This is a terrific App that is well done. Like I said for history buffs or Burns aficionados it is well worth the price of admission for the full collection of content. If you have a young one or two in the house and are looking for away to get them interested in American history this is also and excellent way to get them interested. This would be one App that is worth keeping around on an iPad for your own knowledge and reference as well as passing on something of our shared history to future generations.