I’ve long been a fan of digital magazines. No clutter, no waiting until the mailman decides to deliver the latest issue. Most of my personal subscriptions are through Zinio if it’s an available option.
The big downside to Zinio is their ridiculously draconian DRM. For example, if I download a magazine to my iMac, I can’t read the same file from my laptop. I have to re-download the issue, even if I used the same login/account from both computers.
Zinio recently improved the experience of reading magazines online to the point that I rarely download new issues anymore unless I’m somewhere that my internet connection is slow. I’m able to read my subscriptions in a browser window, using the same keyboard shortcuts as the downloaded version. If I want to revisit an old article, Zinio’s site has a copy of every digital magazine I’ve ever received, all 532 of them so far, going back to August 2003.
I recently discovered that MacUser UK has a digital subscription designed for those of us in the United States. A new issue every 2 weeks with no advertising (what’s the point of marketing UK-only retailers to us?) for less than $2 per issue. No offense to anyone reading this who either works for or is a fan of Macworld or Mac|Life, but I think MacUser UK is much better than any of “our” Mac publications. Maybe I like that they more thoroughly cover a wider range of Mac products, while being less fanboy about it. They give full page attention to products that would at best get a paragraph in a US publication.
I never understood why some international publications charged so much for digital subscriptions in US$, given the distance no longer matters. I think MacUser gets it right with this model. They have to be saving a fortune on printing and mailing expenses, while expanding to a new audience that their advertisers wouldn’t reach anyway. The only time when I know we’re not in Kansas anymore is when a price is listed in Euros.
Yes, you can get most if not all of the same content online or by reading blogs. For me, there’s still something about a magazine that blogs and random articles can’t replace, whether it’s on paper or not.