Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Morning Brief: KQED ports its member magazine to the iPad in only 4 MB; MAGetc the latest vendor to launch titles under their own name rather than the publisher's

It's time to wrap things up before the beginning of the Thanksgiving Day holiday. There is food shopping to do, I need some new Christmas lights – you know how it is.

In the meantime, so many new digital magazines have hit the Apple Newsstand as replica makers are flooding the App Store, crowding out the natively designed publications to the point where finding anything that isn't a cheap PDF version of a print magazine is getting harder and harder to find. I spoke yesterday to one publisher of a natively designed tablet magazine and asked him if he thought it was time Apple dedicated an area of the Newsstand specifically for natively designed publications. He was diplomatic and simply nodded in agreement.

One of the few new magazines to be found inside the Newsstand this morning comes from the public television station KQED which has released its member magazine for the iPad. What's amazing about it is that I think they have launched the world's smallest magazine to date, at least as far as file size: 4 MB.

The latest vendor to show up inside the Newsstand with magazines under their name os MAGetc. This is an interesting digital publishing vendor because their website says that they use the Adobe Digital Publishing Suite to create their apps. That would, in theory, create native tablet editions.
The problem, though, is that my attempt to subscribe to their newest digital magazine, GoodChocolate, led to me getting an error message stating that there was nothing to subscribe to. This didn't prevent the app from charging me for the subscriptions anyways.

And notice that I keep calling it "their newest digital magazine?" The reason for this, of course, is that the publishers who contract with this new company sign away their magazines to the vendor and allow them to appear under MAGetc's name rather than their own. As I've said before, any publisher that would allow this should be out of the business – or at least be in porn, where hiding your name might be a good idea.

These apps may, or may not, be worth your while to check out. But my own experience has scared me away from them.