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Digital Sampler of The Railway Magzine

Discussion in 'The Railway Magazine' started by RM Staff, Sep 18, 2007.

  1. RM Staff

    RM Staff New Member

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    Should anyone be interested, The RM has a free digital sampler available online at http://www.zinio.com/express?issue=118260153

    If anyone is interested in a digital version of the magazine on a regular basis, you can get a copy at http://www.zinio.com

    Here the November 2006 issue (LNER) is available as digital.

    This version is intended as an option to the printed version and not as a replacement. Nor is it in competition with the Railway Herald.
     
  2. ETR220

    ETR220 New Member

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    Well I've had a look, and am distinctly underwhelmed (to put it politely). I've certainly no interest (let alone desire) in having it in place of the real thing.

    (But I would be interested in knowing whether it's had any take up, given the minimal advertising it's had - was anybody here actually aware of it before now?)

    Why is that both Zinio (who provide the software behind it) and Yudu (who the RH tried), as well as (presumably) their clients, think that for an electronic magazine you should emulate a paper one, down to the wave effect as the paper flexes as you turn the page?

    And - for a magazine of record - will it still be readable on what ever computer systems we have in ten (let alone 110) years time?

    Jeremy
     
  3. W14

    W14 Member

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    The idea quite appeals to me, though as an add-on to the magazine, not a replacement. There is something that a paper magazine has that an electronic version cannot replicate.

    However, I simply don't have the room to keep old back issues of magazines unless I store them in the loft, where they are not exactly readily accessible. A version that I can keep on my PC for instant access sounds ideal.

    (And for another magazine which I only buy occasionally, it's a cheap way of seeing whether it's worth buying the hard copy version.)
     
  4. RM Staff

    RM Staff New Member

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    Interesting views. Firstly the version linked is a sampler. The real version is better, but I take your point about the flexing of the page.

    As for popularity, many of our readers are mid-50s upwards and prefer the genuine magazine to an electronic version, as I do too.

    The great thing about a paper publication is the flexibility of where it can be read compared to an electronic version - the Tube, the bath, in bed, on the loo, inc the car (when stopped!) on the beach, in the middle of nowhere where there is electricty, on a plane. etc.

    At the moment, you need a PC or laptop to read it and that's not always convenient or safe. You'd hardly sit reading The RM on a laptop passing through some of the UK's seedier areas, would you. But you could with a paper product. When someone introduces something easy on the eyes on which to read PDFs on (ie: with a reasonable size screen, very long battery life, durable and lightweight) we, in the publishing business will get worried. Even the idea of watching a movie on an iPod's tiny screen does not appeal.

    As for future proofing, there are no plans to change what we do at the moment. It's paper UFN and the Zinio version is an optional.

    You keep buying it, we'll keep printing it.

    And like all our pages, the design software we use (Adobe InDesign) creates a PDF file, so as long as PDFs are backward compatible with Acrobat software there will be no problem. The situation is similar to Network Rail's decision to drop the printed version of the GBTT which is now only available to the public as a PDF, or a shed-load of individual printed TTs from the Tocs. Shame they never did a regional version.

    You can apply the same argument on future proofing to digital picture files backed up to CD/DVD - will we be able to read those in 50 years time? Just look how long V2000 and Betamax lasted, and now even VHS is archaic.

    The way some areas of technology move is a concern. Will any of us be able to read CDs or DVDs with digital picture files on in 10 years time?
     
  5. Blockman

    Blockman New Member

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    Moving with the times is something I think we have got used to by now.
    I was amused by W14’s remarks regarding storing them in the loft as I do. Since I have at least 50 years worth, they have provided me with a great many interesting hours during the warm summer months, and yes up in the loft.
    Paper, if taken care of will last for ever. Material stored electrically can easily be destroyed accidentally.
    No I’ll stick with my paper editions.
     
  6. RM Staff

    RM Staff New Member

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    Glad to hear your views, and yes, you can erase files, or have a hard disk crash so what happens then?

    I was never happy about Network Rail's decision to axe the GBTT. I have a PDF version of the GBTT on the laptop which is useful when travelling, but will anyone be able to read these in 20 years time for historical research?

    Technology is moving ahead very fast but ignores the archival need of tomorrow's historians.

    I also note that former RM columnist Colin Marsden is publlishing a 118-page 'e-book' as a PDF on the Dawlish Sea wall, the idea being it can be viewed or printed at home. I am not sure about the cost-effectiveness of the latter in paper and ink terms, but has anyone else views on this new angle in railway publishing terms?
     
  7. southyorkshireman

    southyorkshireman Resident of Nat Pres

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    Well if it saves a forest from being used to print more pictures of that ruddy wall I'm all for it
     
  8. stepney60

    stepney60 Nat Pres stalwart

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    Plus all his frothing about Cockwood (which has been discreditted by some people "in the know")
     
  9. beetlejuice

    beetlejuice Well-Known Member

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    I acctually would be tempted to buy the online edition if the format was easier to use. I remeber downloading it when it first came out and found it too hard to deal with. Would there be any opportunity for a change in format? I'm not gona stop buying the paper copy but would love to have something to skim through at school, rather than having to walk to whsmithy to skim through it! And of course you'd acctually get something back for it rather then me getting it for free.
     

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