Review: Adam Rafferty Instructional Video On Demand

Rafferty ScreenshotGuitarist Adam Rafferty is now introducing digital downloads of his popular instructional videos that walk players through his funky fingerstyle arrangements of Stevie Wonder and The Jackson Five. This is a great solution for folks who primarily use devices that don’t contain DVD players or who just want to be able to access the video lessons on their mobile devices.

I’ve tried the digital downloads out and they work great. Here’s a quick overview of the process:

The videos are sold via a company called Leaping Brain who also distribute content for Homespun Music Instruction and dozens of other well-known clients. You can visit this page to see all of Adam’s available titles:

Upon purchasing a video, PC and Mac users are be prompted to download a special “Adam Rafferty Player” which basically acts as a container to organize the raw video and PDF files. Users can then download and launch all of their purchased content via the player. The videos will launch in their own player which has the ability to play the lessons at half- and quarter-speed and to select a portion of the video loop over and over. Great features for those elusive sections you need to see and hear several times to get a grip on them!

Tablet and smart phone users are prompted to click through to Leaping Brain’s “MOD Cloud Player” which loads as a regular browser page showing all of the purchased content available for streaming. I first tried the cloud player with Adam’s “How to Solo Over II-V-I Changes for Jazz Guitar” and found that the videos did not stream. However all of the other titles work just fine on both my iPhone 4 and on my PC. The vids all feature excellent sound and video quality and buffered almost instantly. I suspect that the II-V-I video had just not yet been converted for live streaming as of this writing.

Leaping Brain also offers an iPhone/iPad app called MOD Mobile that sells for $1.99. This app allows users to transfer the video files from a PC or Mac to a mobile device via iTunes. It takes a couple of extra steps to accomplish this, but if you don’t want to eat up your data plan or bandwidth streaming the videos this solution makes a lot of sense as all of the files will reside on your device. Although there are some negative reviews of MOD Mobile on iTunes, The app worked flawlessly for me.

One more special feature of the digital download are the newly formatted booklets of the arrangements. The music in the included files is significantly larger than what is in the booklets that are provided with the DVDs. This makes for much easier reading and study. However, in order to protect the content the music only opens in it’s own PDF reader-type program and can’t be copied or shared. The booklet may be printed to your default printer but you can only print the entire book so be sure to have plenty of paper (about 60 pages) and ink ready to go!

These digital versions of Adam’s instructional videos are an excellent value and will likely be the preferred method of delivery for on-the-go players.

Related articles:
DVD Review: Adam Rafferty Teaches Stevie Wonder
DVD Review: Adam Rafferty Teaches Stevie Wonder Vol. II
DVD Review: Adam Rafferty Teaches The Jackson Five

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