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Digital edition of What Hi-fi? Sound and Vision - your feedback, please

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Clare Newsome's picture
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As regular users of these Forums will know, we've been discussing for some time the provisional of a digital edition of the magazine - both to ensure overseas readers get their copies at the same time as UK subscribers, but also so you have access to a searchable archive of issues.

We did a trial last year that (for many reasons) wasn't right, but have since been actively exploring other options. One of these is a system currently being used by one of our sister titles - Autosport.

You can view a trial digital issue of Autosport here.

I'd appreciate any feedback (positive or negative) about the usability of this particular digital magazine solution, plus any other comments you have on the idea.

Thanks!

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idc
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Re: Digital edition of What Hi-fi? Sound and Vision - your feedb

I have been playing about with it and it is genius. I would definitely subscribe to a What Hifi version of that.

Would you be able to download and save your copies?

That would take up a lot of memory, so would you also have online access to the copies you have subscribed to?

Would you be able to save specific pages or articles?


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Re: Digital edition of What Hi-fi? Sound and Vision - your feedb

Yep, questions are good, too - i'll answer these and more tomorrow morning. Keep the thoughts coming!

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KevinOK's picture
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Re: Digital edition of What Hi-fi? Sound and Vision - your feedb

I sort of like the idea, very green. But I can't help but secondguessing the point when you already have an excellent website. The WHF website is much easier to use (and to publish I imagine) than this digital mag. For instance: not being to able to search digital articles seems backward to me. I do understand WHF needs to make money, but then why not simply charge for a memberzone on this website?

Comments on the digital mag example:

I'd get rid of the fat borders around the page. On default zoom level, the pages use half of my screen. The rest is occupied by the red Autosport banner and a couple of buttons that could easily be placed in a pull down or mouse-over menu.

The 50 and 75% zoom percentages aren't very useful since the text is so low res. A higher resolution type should improve things. The pics also seem lowres as well.

Edit: I could think of many more examples why the website can offer a much more valuable experience to subscribers than this mag in digital form. More video reviews, high resolution pics, music reviews with short soundbytes, hyperlinks to manf. websites, etc.

idc
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Re: Digital edition of What Hi-fi? Sound and Vision - your feedb

Kevin, your suggestions appear to be more related to expanding and improving the forum. I think What hifi would be better offering a digital subscription than a pay to join website. I think that subscribers to the magazine, both paper and digital would not be too happy having to shell out more to join the 'members zone'.

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Superaintit's picture
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Re: Digital edition of What Hi-fi? Sound and Vision - your feedb

Clare,

I think the digital copy of Autosport is a great idea. Some improvements I would suggest are:

-changing the default zoom factor of the mag to fit the browser's screen. I have a 19 inch screen, but when I flick through the mag, the text becomes unreadable. I'd like it best if I could read and flick through it, just like the real mag.

-add video reviews and/or extra's to certain pages

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nads's picture
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Re: Digital edition of What Hi-fi? Sound and Vision - your feedb

not a fan of that format.  unless you have 100 zoom the text is rubbish to read. Only having zoom or no zoom is a pain. very hard to get a feel of the "Mag"

 

paper format does not really work on the screen. also no full screen option?

 

not really readable where i tend to read most monthly mags.

 

where i have seen this format work well in is a preview of the current/next

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idc
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Re: Digital edition of What Hi-fi? Sound and Vision - your feedb

I think this is how it is supposed to be, for me I click on a page and it grows and is out of focus for a few seconds, then it is crystal clear and easy to read. Having to scroll down the page is not a problem.

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nads's picture
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Re: Digital edition of What Hi-fi? Sound and Vision - your feedb

try it at 50 or 70% zoom.

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daveh75's picture
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Re: Digital edition of What Hi-fi? Sound and Vision - your feedb

Like the idea of digital editions and would proabably subscribe.But not in the current format,its nasty!!!

The zoom function is poor, at100% the images lose definition, and anything less than 100% the text is unreadable.

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JoelSim's picture
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Re: Digital edition of What Hi-fi? Sound and Vision - your feedb

Would be good if you could zoom in and scroll when zoomed.

 

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KevinOK's picture
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Re: Digital edition of What Hi-fi? Sound and Vision - your feedb
idc:
Kevin, your suggestions appear to be more related to expanding and improving the forum. I think What hifi would be better offering a digital subscription than a pay to join website. I think that subscribers to the magazine, both paper and digital would not be too happy having to shell out more to join the 'members zone'.

I understand what you mean, and some people might feel that way, but that's just irrational. There is no difference between subscribing to a digital magazine and subscribing to a premium part of a website. Only the format is different, and the format of a website is far superior for the reasons I mentioned. The negative perception you described could probably be fixed with smart marketing.

The idea of a digital mag just feels wanting. It takes away the good things of a printed mag (holding a print and browsing through it, duh) and hardly scratches the surface of all the good stuff a digital format can offer (except for distribution and environment benefits).

Andrew Everard's picture
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Re: Digital edition of What Hi-fi? Sound and Vision - your feedb

Don't think anyone's suggesting we're going to abandon the print mag - far from it, as the market leader by a massive margin, and with licenced editions around the world.

Rather the digital version would serve a number of functions, as Clare suggested, not least of which would be allowing overseas subscribers to have the magazine on the same day as it goes on sale in the UK, and hopefully at a more sensible price than that imposed by having to ship large amounts of paper around the world.

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Octopo's picture
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Re: Digital edition of What Hi-fi? Sound and Vision - your feedb

I think it's a great idea although I am a very frequent computer user. The added functionality and I expect revenue will soon become apparent and enjoyed.

To try to answer a previous question, an average size magazine comes from anywhere between 50mb and 100mb dependent on graphics/sound/extras e.t.c.

Craig M.'s picture
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Re: Digital edition of What Hi-fi? Sound and Vision - your feedb

not being able to scroll while zoomed is pretty annoying.  and echo the 50% + 75% zoom comments.

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professorhat's picture
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Re: Digital edition of What Hi-fi? Sound and Vision - your feedb

I like it a lot - my screen is a 24" 1080p screen so maybe this is a factor, but, once I've clicked to zoom, the text is easily readable and the drag to move around the screen is very natural for me - not sure if that's years of reading PDFs or what. Only thing that would be nice is if the scroll on the mouse controlled up and down movement.

If subscribers received both the digital and paper editions at the same price we're paying now I'd be very happy with this, but I wouldn't want to pay more for both or have to choose between the two (though clearly I can understand the idea of a cheaper subscription option of only receiving the digital edition, especially for overseas folk).

EDIT - Ooo, an iPhone edition would be nice too Big Smile