Digital magazines

Still in the bag
The last time I renewed my QST magazine subscription not only did I get my monthly print addition of QST but I would receive an email about a week or so before the print copy arrived informing my digital copy was waiting for me to download and view. I will admit I was one of those ham's that just wanted to feel the pages, hold an actual copy and ear a page to come back to it later. I had some spare money in my Paypal account and I decided to once again subscribe to CQ magazine but this time I decided to only go with their digital version of the magazine. In the past I had big issues with the delivery of the magazine so I wanted to avoid this again. It was the reason I cancelled my CQ subscription some years ago. As the CQ issues started to arrived I was forced to get used to reading the subscription on line. I found out over time the best method of delivery for me was on my Apple iPad pro. For me it worked seamlessly and to be honest it was the viewing of the occasional QST on my PC that frustrated me with the digital age of magazines. As I read my paper copy of QST each month ignoring the email about a digital copy waiting for me in my inbox! Those at the ARRL who publish the QST magazine are very clever in that they tease you with tidbits "you can view more content in the digital version" "Here is a video of the review that can be viewed in the digital version" I began now and then to download QST's digital version to my iPad pro (once I downloaded the app) After a very short time I was hooked on the digital version. Now the print copy stays on my night stand and sometimes a month goes past and it does not even get removed from the shipping plastic. Why not just subscribe to the QST digital version you ask??  I have now as I found in their FAQ how to unsubscribe from the print version. There is no savings to the member for doing this but I am told that the money saved QST puts that to good use. I have no issue with this and am happy to my this "donation" to the ARRL.
For those of you where like me and have not as of yet jumped into the digital magazine world I will say it's a very interactive way of reading. CQ uses a program called Zinio to view their magazine and QST uses Pagesuite It may just be me but I find Pagesuite easier to use, nice graphics and well laid out and I hope one day CQ will start to use them as well as Zinio.
Some of the advantages I find with having a digital copy are:

  • Ability to view videos (QST often has product reviews and a video to along with it)
  • Web links that can take you to more content. 
  • Ability to enlarge the print which is good for me. 
Some of the disadvantages:
  • You can't just roll up the tablet or PC under your arm and take it with you. 
  • To download a new addition the internet is needed. 
  • To take full advantage of the digital copy again the internet is needed. 
For me I find the Apple iPad pro does an amazing job as I am sure any other tablet would but I am  an Apple fan. As for carrying around my iPad I use the Otterbox product to protect it. The way I look at it if you are going to spend good money on a tablet or phone at least spend 1/4 of the price on something that is going to keep it safe. 
Mike Weir, VE9KK, is a regular contributor to and writes from New Brunswick, Canada. Contact him at [email protected].

6 Responses to “Digital magazines”

  • Dave, WD8CIV:

    I’m glad to see QST has made their magazine layouts more digital friendly. Reading a scan or a PDF file of a magazine with an article that’s “continued on page 38” is kind of a nuisance. But I didn’t see anything like that in the most recent issue.

  • Moe K2JDM:

    Like you said, digital magazines are usually easier on the eyes. But it sure doesn’t make up for the warm, fuzzy feeling you get inside when a true paper copy is of a magazine hits your hands. Fortunately, QST is easier to print out from the digital version, so that has to be a big advantage. And yes, I well understand about need to enlarge the print.

    Some digital publishers get the entire idea of making it easier for their subscribers, but a lot don’t! I have run across a few that were scans of the paper copy EXACTLY. There is nothing worst than to have to go to another page to finish an article.

  • Mike VE3WDM:

    Good evening Dave, yes I believe QST has done a very good job. As for a PDF it’s just not a friendly digital way to read any magazine. Thanks for dropping by Dave and taking the time to join in.

  • Mike VE3WDM:

    Good afternoon Moe, I have slowly lost my want for the fuzzies of the paper copy. I love the interactiveness the digital copy gives you. Scanning a magazine then offering it up on the net means to me they don’t want to invsest the time or money for their readers. These companies will find themselves left behind as readers. move to other magazines with more interactive platforms.
    Thanks for your comment Moe have a great week!

  • Kyle N4NSS:

    With QST you get more bang for the buck.

  • Mike VE3WDM:

    Good evening Kyle I agree 100% with you.
    73 and thanks for stopping by

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