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JWAT
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Last seen: 7 months 1 week ago
Joined: Feb 11 2011 - 6:34am
Zinio version - suboptimal quality

This is probably the first time in my long Stereophile subscription history that I have not renewed. I am talking of course about the Zinio version; I am a happy and loyal subscriber to the print version.

Having Stereophile on my Ipad would be great for those long distance flights I find myself regularly on. It's OK, but IMHO it's not a great reading experience however. I am disappointed about the lack of innovation in the Zinio version. If you are looking for a reference, just take a look at the iPad app for The Economist.

Zinio has done little to create great digital version imo. My biggest problem is with the font. Without zooming in it's simply not clear enough. My preference is to read the magazine in 'Portrait' mode and I don't like having to zoom in on the text, having to move around the page a lot and in doing so losing the page overview.

Furthermore there is (too) little in the form of links, videos or other interactive content. The navigation is pretty basic and not very intuitive. Search is non-existent. But the font is my main gripe.

I am happy to pay more money for a better product if that is what it takes.

Kind regards, keep innovating on the digital side please.

Jw

Stephen Mejias
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Last seen: 4 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: Nov 7 2010 - 3:35pm
iPad app
Hi JW. While I'm happy to hear you've been a loyal subscriber -- thank you -- I'm sorry you're disappointed with the Zinio edition. I have very little experience with the iPad app, but when I did play around with it, I thought it looked good and served the magazine well. Unfortunately, I can't respond directly to your concerns about the search function because I just don't have enough experience with the iPad app, and I don't have access to an iPad right now.

(The search function works very well in the basic Zinio edition.)

However, I can say that, for copyright reasons, the Zinio edition must be identical to the print magazine, and that tends to dictate the size of the font and overall look. All of the URLs that are listed in the print magazine are active in the Zinio edition, but you won't find additional video or interactive content.

JWAT
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Last seen: 7 months 1 week ago
Joined: Feb 11 2011 - 6:34am
If you stand still.....you know the drill :-)

Hi Stephen, thanks for your response. You should take another look at this in my honest opinion. If you take the Zinio version on the iPad and look at the text in Landscape mode the font is far too small and not crisp (my eyes are pretty much perfect). Pictures render fine overall. In Portrait mode the font is readable but again slightly out of focus. Annoying because you basically cannot read it in comfort without zooming in which as stated before I personally do not like but I accept that others may have a different opinion.

If the Stereophile contract and copyright right laws prevent you from innovating it's time to seek a new bunch of corporate lawyers, my friends :-). Seriously though, I am not sure a magazine like Stereophile can afford to miss the digital boat due to the fact that your legal framework does not allow it.

What would be interesting is to do a reader survey about whether people are willing to pay more and if so how much for a state-of-the-art iPad/tablet version. The Economist charges about 100 USD I believe. Personally I would be happy to pay much more for the print version which value per dollar scale is off the charts imo and begs the question whether you guys are maximizing your business model. Same goes for the digital version.

Having a really good iPad app should provide value for the company and the reader. All sorts of business models are possible here and your statements lead me to believe that Stereophile does not seem to be further down the road than simply sending a pdf to Zinio (I do not know what you do, but that is what it looks like to a print novice).

Please consider this constructive criticism from a fan.

Kind regards
Joel

deckeda
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Joined: Feb 1 2006 - 7:41pm
I don't think so.

"for copyright reasons, the Zinio edition must be identical to the print magazine, and that tends to dictate the size of the font and overall look."

Stephen,

Plenty of other publications have iPhone/iPad apps that present their content in ways that do not mirror their print version. Point being, they too would be copyrighted.

Love the iPad, but it's not perfect. Screen resolution could be higher. This makes a lot of text a wee bit indistinct, to be charitable. My iPhone 4 has spoiled me with its Insanely Great® 326 ppi. "Retina," as Apple says, indeed.

My fix for Stereophile-on-iPad: for pages with simple pagination, a simple double-tap of the screen should zoom in to where the line of text grows as big as it can get while still seeing the entire line. For everything else, there's pinch-and-zoom, two-finger scrolling around the page. It is what it is.

JWAT wants what we all want: presentation tailored for the device. That the iPad already does pretty darn well with content presented "like a magazine" is to its credit, but that doesn't mean it's ideal.

Stephen Mejias
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Last seen: 4 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: Nov 7 2010 - 3:35pm
resources
Quote:
Plenty of other publications have iPhone/iPad apps that present their content in ways that do not mirror their print version. Point being, they too would be copyrighted.
Maybe, but to do this properly and legally requires resources -- money, staff -- that we don't have, unfortunately. Good for the magazines that can do it.

I don't want to sound like I'm whining or complaining, but I am actually consistently amazed by what we achieve each month (each day, in fact) with an editorial staff of just four.

igy
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Last seen: 3 years 9 months ago
Joined: Mar 23 2011 - 2:57am
zinio reader

I'm also a subscriber of the digital edition using my desktop pc for reading and I also have to tell that I'm very disappointed by the quality of Zinio Reader. The UI is just pain to use, the quality of fonts is everything but comfortably readable unless I zoom in, but in this case I'm stuck with the most unintuitive controls I can imagine.

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