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Old 03-29-2010, 12:25 PM   #1
Nate the great
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Zinio Launches new Reader

They just announced a new version of their PC app, and it’s based on Adobe Air. From the press release:

Quote:
Zinio, the global leader in digital publishing technology and services, today announced the launch of Zinio Reader 4, built using Adobe AIR. In combination with Zinio’s latest product launch, National Geographic celebrates World Water Day with a free download offer of its interactive April 2010 “Water” issue, using Zinio Reader 4 and “UNITY” platform.Zinio’s newest digital reading application enables a seamless, online or offline reading experience across the Company’s global offering of over 2,000 top consumer magazines. Zinio Reader 4 was built using Adobe’s AIR framework, optimized to power a cloud-enabled library, specifically tailored for interactive magazine and book content experiences. This latest release from Zinio is another addition to its continued focus of offering ubiquitous access across PC, Mac, netbook, touch-screen and tablet devices, including the iPhone, iPod touch and the upcoming iPad from Apple. An extension of Zinio’s pay-once-read-anywhere “UNITY” platform, Zinio Reader 4 is supported on Windows, Mac and Linux operating systems, in its initial beta release. This new application introduces enhanced features enabling consumers to access their favorite interactive magazines and books worldwide, online or offline, in a more optimized and enjoyable way.
The app can be downloaded now, and a special release of the latest issue of National Geographic is available for it as a free download. You can get that issue here, but you’ll need to set up an account with Zinio first. Unfortunately, the app is broken at the moment. It can’t access the Zinio website to download content, but this will probably be fixed fairly soon.

I opened the special issue in the browser based Zinio reader, and I’m pleasantly surprised. I was expecting something like a PDF viewer, with pages that were simple copies of the print edition. Instead, the content scaled to match the browser window, and there was a scroll bar for when there was more text on the page than could fit on a screen. This app was quite usable.
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Old 03-29-2010, 03:28 PM   #2
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Hmm, interesting release.
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Old 03-29-2010, 03:38 PM   #3
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MMM it isn't a bad reader, but I am not happy with the only option being to veiw a double page spread. A much needed improvement would be to provide a single page view.
I look forward to this becoming an app on the Ipad, I have laready moved to buying magazines in digital format and look forward to more becoming avaialble.
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Old 03-30-2010, 04:23 AM   #4
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The Mac version doesn't seem to have any way of poking it to get downloads you are due. All my old magazines downloaded fine, but the free Nat Geo available for trying the beta is stuck in no-mans land. The website says click on "check for new publications" in the application - the application doesn't seem to have such a button. But hey, it's beta.

The biggest problem is that the concept belongs to the last decade. A faithful reproduction of an A4-ish sized magazine is adhering to a constraint that should no longer apply. If Cosmopolitan and Men's Health have worked out that a handbag (man-bag?) sized edition is worthwhile for their audience, can't the publishers of digital magazines show some intelligence about the size of the screen they could be catering for?

I have good eyesight and a 24" iMac. Even so, I have to zoom into see the text clearly - not much, but enough to turn the left and right arrow keys into scroll keys, not page turners. Therefore, in order to turn the page I have to use the mouse - no big deal, but it does not equate to flipping through a magazine. When I click to turn, the page zooms out, turns, and zooms back in again. Thoughtful, but if I was zoomed in at a detailed level I would have a lot of scrolling to do in order to view the whole page, or I will have to manually undo the zooming.

Also, the animation of this effect is also not Silverlight smooth. No big deal, but it's not a pleasure to use.

All in all, better than the old Zinio offering, but when someone puts an iPad type device in my hands, that supports magazines edited to display on a portable screen (why would I read a magazine at my desk - I'll surf the web?), Zinio will be dead to me. I don't think I'll be alone.

amjb
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Old 03-30-2010, 07:33 AM   #5
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link for free issue:
Code:
http://www.zinio.com/delivery/login.jsp?of=500204103&bd=1&_requestid=1301260&_requestid=1301260
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Old 03-30-2010, 08:30 AM   #6
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Thanks for the link, but when I provide my log on credentials, I get stuck in the same loop.

No problem though, because all I get when I launch Zinio now all I get is a blank screen! It is beautiful though, and I don't need to zoom

Junk.

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Old 03-30-2010, 08:42 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amjbrown View Post
Thanks for the link, but when I provide my log on credentials, I get stuck in the same loop.

No problem though, because all I get when I launch Zinio now all I get is a blank screen! It is beautiful though, and I don't need to zoom

Junk.

amjb
I linked to the free issue in the OP. Here it is again:
http://www.nationalgeographic.com/freshwater

See if that one works for you.
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Old 03-30-2010, 09:38 AM   #8
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Here's hoping that with the increased attention on digital magazines the ones on zinio that are charging higher than paper prices will sort out their pricing.
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Old 03-30-2010, 03:27 PM   #9
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Zinio also have a new app comin for the IPAD so hopefully that will also improve the way magazines are presented.
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Old 03-30-2010, 10:25 PM   #10
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Sianon - I dropped a line to Zinio support asking about single page view and they said it is something to expect in a future release. I've used Zinio for years on my TabletPC and really enjoy the single page view in portrait view.
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Old 03-30-2010, 11:45 PM   #11
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Looks interesting, but it seems to be set up to push you towards a year's subscription:
Single issues seem rather expensive compared to a year's subscription. Also, no ability to buy back issues? Can't see how I can browse a magazine before choosing to buy.
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Old 03-31-2010, 07:22 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raac View Post
Looks interesting, but it seems to be set up to push you towards a year's subscription:
Single issues seem rather expensive compared to a year's subscription. Also, no ability to buy back issues? Can't see how I can browse a magazine before choosing to buy.
I am sure they would think you were looking at that the wrong way, the subscriptions are being discounted rather than the single issues at their proper price being expensive.

You can certainly browse an issue on their site itself, as I tried it out myself when somebody mentioned zinio in another topic a while ago, no idea about back issues though.
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Old 03-31-2010, 12:13 PM   #13
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I downloaded the app last night. I was pleasantly surprised to see it now allows me to copy a page into Photoshop, so I can create "clippings" of content if I so desire.

Now, if I can just get my favorite magazine subscriptions in there...
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Old 04-10-2010, 07:31 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amjbrown View Post
...all I get when I launch Zinio now all I get is a blank screen!
Zinio have a fix for this now...

Q: Why am I getting a blank Reader screen after upgrading my Mac OS?

A: Please follow the instructions below to remove and reinstall Zinio Reader 4 for Mac:

1. Open Finder and click on the home directory.
2. Open the Library folder (not the Zinio Library folder...) and find the folder called Preferences.
3. Open the Preferences folder and find the folders called ZinioReader4 and ZinioAlertMessenger. Drag them to the trash.
4. Open your "Applications" directory in Finder.
5. Find Zinio Reader 4.app and Zinio Alert Messenger.app and drag them to the trash.
6. Empty trash.
7. Downoad Reader 4 here: http://www.zinio.com/reader4/
8. Reinstall.
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