QST Going Digital

You’ve probably heard the news by now.  Last week the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) announced what many of us hoped would eventually happen.  In June 2012, QST will be available in an on-line, digital edition version.  Now before anyone panics, QST will still be available in the same print version we all know and love.   So in addition to receiving the print version, ARRL members will also have access to the digital version at no additional cost. 

This news truly excites me.  There are a few monthly publications which I subscribe to in digital only format.  Some of these publications are only available this way.  However, many other magazines (and some supporting our very own hobby) have recently introduced digital content.  CQ Magazine is an example of this.  However, even if you subscribe to the paper version you must still pay extra for the digital version. 

Our hobby is unique (so are those individuals who participate in it) and as I stated, while some of the monthly publications I subscribe to are just fine in digital only versions, I must admit that for now I still want QST, CQ, RadCom and Practical Wireless delivered to my mailbox in paper form.   However, if you think I won’t use the new QST digital version, you would be wrong. 

The ARRL is going to do more with the digital version of QST than simply scan the magazine in and create a .PDF.  There will be content available via the digital version (and methods of delivering that content) which won’t be available in the paper version of QST.  Want a magazine article to jump out at you?  With the additional features available in digital content delivery, readers will have access to click links from articles, watch video,  listen to audio, print, share and search across the entire edition.  All of this included in the regular cost of membership.

Again, while other magazine publishers charge (and charge full price as well) for both a print and digital version.  I proudly take my hat off to the ARRL for doing this the right way and making both editions available.  This is another example of why I’m proud to not only be an ARRL Member, but a Life Member.

Until next time…

73 de KDØBIK

Jerry Taylor, KD0BIK, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from Colorado, USA. He is the host of the Practical Amateur Radio Podcast. Contact him at [email protected].

6 Responses to “QST Going Digital”

  • Don N4KC:

    I’m excited about this, too, including the way ARRL is doing it, keeping both versions available. Publications all over are wrestling with paper-vs.-digital. Digital simply does not reach enough people yet to have the same value as the paper versions, yet printing and mailing costs continue to go up, up, up. And there is always the problem of having a two-to-three-month lead time for paper magazines.

    For now, I’m perfectly happy to have QST available both ways. I love having the paper mag out on the deck on a warm summer afternoon, or looking it over during lunch at Subway. The notebook computer and wifi are not available everywhere. But having additional content, easy to use links, searchability and more in the digital version will be great, too.

    I blog about this kind of media stuff at http://n4kc.blogspot.com if anybody is interested.


    Don Keith N4KC

  • Kyle N4NSS:

    Digital is a way to save a tree or two for sure. Since I plan on being a land traveller with my travel trailer soon, I know that I won’t have room for those stacks of bulky magazines. ARRL has indeed set the bar for other digital publishers. Kudos ARRL and thanks.

  • Joe KB3PHL:

    A digital version will be a great way to archive our QST’s in the future & if you or a friend needs a hardcopy of a specific article, you’ll be able to print one out anytime.

    Joe KB3PHL

  • Omer Fournier AD7DY:

    We were recently without power for a while, during a snow and ice storm. Thank goodness I had hard copies of QST to enjoy. I could have connected the computer to the generator or the emergency radio power, but there was something very compelling about reading old and new QST magazines by oil lamp and fire light. Great ambience! 73 to all!

    Omer, AD7DY

  • Peter KG5wy:

    Time to drop qst.

  • W9VHE:

    I also hope it does not mean the end of ‘analog’ QST. That was one of the top 2 reasons for life membership years ago. Not saying I haven’t got my money’s worth, but barring going out of business, lifetime means my lifetimem, and I look forward to quite a few more paper issues.

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