A is for Aden and Z is for Zanzabar

A is for Aden and Z is for Zanzibar... Now what is between? For the world wide classical era philatelist and stamp collector, a country specific philatelic survey is offered by the blog author, Jim Jackson, with two albums: Big Blue, aka Scott International Part 1 (checklists available), and Deep Blue, aka William Steiner's Stamp Album Web PDF pages. In addition, "Bud" offers commentary and a look at his completely filled Big Blue. Interested? So into the Blues...

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

2012 Scott Classic Specialized Catalogue available for the iPad

Breaking News...
Today-February 29th, which is only on the calendar every four years, ;-)  ,came the news of the release of the iPad versions of the Scott catalogues. The app also works for the iPhone and iPod Touch, but one will not get the full page view as one will with the iPad.

More interestingly, from a world wide classic era collector perspective, is the release of the 2012 Scott Classic Specialized catalogue in iPad format as an app (application).

The "Introduction" is free, then Part A (A-E), Part B (F-M), and Part C (N-Z) are $29.99 apiece. About $90 total cost for the whole catalogue. (The 2012 "Book" version is $130 at Amos, but is currently sold out.)  Having at the touch of an iPad, current prices, stamp images, and descriptions- in fact, everything that is now on the classic page- for all the classic era stamps does sound very good indeed.

There is a fairly unobtrusive advertising bar at the bottom of the screen. Touching the bar brings one to the Amos web site.

I quickly reviewed the Introduction, and it has all the valuable information now found in the paper version, some 40+ pages, and includes a grading tutorial, a stamp identifier, and an index to the Catalogue contents. It is viewed in "vertical" iPad format, and one can scroll horizontally from page to page. One can enlarge the stamp images with two fingers-as usual-in the iPad. But the images are not fine enough to do any detailed examination of a stamp image.

(Addendum note: David Akin, an associate editor for Scott catalogs, had some interesting remarks in the March 19,2012 edition of Linn's Stamp News on page 54. He said a major goal was to keep the files small, so downloading would be quicker. They managed to reduce the dpi's (dots per inch) for the iPad to 132 dpi. For comparison, the Scott Classic catalogue is produced at 300 dots per inch. They suggested the high resolution screens of the Apple products allowed them to do this.

But that might explain why the stamp images, if enlarged, do not have much detail. 132 dpi (resolution) is not much! I scan my stamp images @ 1200 dpi - overkill, sure, but very high resolution. When the stamp images are uploaded to the blog, and enlarged when viewing, they provide clear images for close study. So the need for small files for quick downloading has trumped the need/desire by some collectors to have detailed sharp stamp images in the digital version of the Classic catalogue.)

I would think, since the app is "free", and the "Introduction" is free, downloading the app simply for the valuable information in the Introduction would be worthwhile, even if one elects not to purchase the other parts.

I don't know how well it would work for inventory, if at all. It appears the app is a vehicle to deliver PDF type pages of the catalogue to one's own iPad. One can zoom in, bookmark and/or make a note about a page, and search (specific catalogue numbers work best) the catalogue.

If one cannot "mark-up" the catalogue in some fashion for inventory or want-lists, it would be less valuable to me. On first look, it appears any "mark-up" function is not there.

Each Part (say Part A Countries A-E), is subdivided into Geographical (A-E) segments (or files).

(Addendum note: Again, according to the March 19, 2012 Linn's, the decision was made to organize the digital Scott Classic catalogue, not alphabetically as the book catalogue does, but by "Geopolitical  Segments". Therefore,a British America, a French Colonies, a German area, a Latin America area, for instance, is how the individual countries are placed.)

Each segment (or file) is pretty much independent, and doesn't "interact" with other segments (or files) directly. If one wants a country not in the current segment ( say you are browsing Latin America A-E currently, and you want Venezuela), one must go "Home" find the desired segment (Latin America N-Z), and go there. I believe the search function is limited to a specific segment (or file) also.

I could definitely envision using this app, but whether I want one now is questionable, as I currently have the 2011 catalogue. Perhaps in a year or two?

If any reader downloads this app and uses it, I would appreciate their evaluation.

(Addendum note: I have tried as best I can to give a flavor of the iPad app, but I have not tried it myself. For an actual hands on evaluation, see Bob Skinner's "Filling Spaces" blog-http://globalstamps.blogspot.com/
There he discusses the iPad and  iPhone versions, but more importantly gives a link to the Virtual Stamp Club thread where he did a very detailed evaluation of the apps. Definitely worth the read.)

To find the "free" app, just type in Scott Specialized catalogue in iTunes at the App store, or view the app "preview" at:

(You still must open your iTunes to buy or download apps)

February 29th may turn out to have been a very auspicious day for the world wide classic era collector.

Comments appreciated!


  1. Hi Jim

    I just saw this post, so I thought I would comment. First of all, did you ever get this catalogue on the IPAD? As for me, I have had it over a year, and love it. It is great for taking to stamp shows and as a quick easy reference. The only improvement I would like to see is the ability to make notes, or have a checklist of some kind. Overall it is much easer than lugging around the big heavy catalogue, even when I am working with my stamps at home.

    I also find it great to zoom into a picture or an entry for a good look.

    I bought the 2012 catalogue, and will probably upgrade it when the 2014 classic catalogue comes out in November as Scott tends to add new material every year.

    If you have any questions, feel free to ask.


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  3. It's great to hear from a satified user. No, I do not have the Classic catalogue on my I-pad, although I do use the I-pad a lot. ;-)

    I use my hard copy (A 2011) as my inventory and checklist, so I still need it. In fact, I have used it so much, it is falling apart! I would definitely get the app if there was an ability to maintain a checklist. Even so, I still might get one. Thanks Michael.