November 7, 2008

Reading on-line

Original post from May 17th 2007

There are a number of newspapers now that allow for the download of a "newspaper layout" PDF document of their electronic edition.

Here are a few:-
  • El Pais Digital (Spain): Electronic edition of "El Pais" and it's supplements

  • El pais 24 edition in PDF. Hit "Si, descarga 24 Horas" button and the latest edition will be generated and downloaded for you.
  • The Guardian (UK): They too have a "24 Hour" edition as a downloadable PDF but split by section.

  • Metropdf (the free newspaper)
One of the disadvantages of a PDF download and its off-line reading is that the newspaper looses track of which articles/pages/sections are being read, and that influences advertising revenue.

I haven't seen newspapers with a very innovative reading interface for the on-line editions yet, if you have - be sure to let me know.

But in the magazine area there are a few, here I provide sample of those I have come across.


I welcome your comments on these, and also would like to hear from you of others you have come across and your opinions of them.

FlipBook on-line Books, Magazines and Catalogs by eBook Systems
The homepage showcases a different books, magazines and catalogs being published in this format. If you click on one of the showcased magazines it takes you to a launch page that links to the the publishers web (where they may have past editions, and other publications) or a link to try a preview in the FlipViewer (downloading an OPF) file.

It also has a "sample publication" area that offers:
  • "Quick Launch Version" which seems to be a Flash download of the magazine, from publisher web-site. I haven't checked formats or how it's done.
  • "Advanced Viewer Version". This downloads the content in their OPF format and fires-up the FlipViewer software, if you have it installed.
The FlipViewer can be downloaded here for PC or Mac, but it doesn't support Firefox/Mozilla, by-the-way.

As is now becoming common this reader does the animated page turn to reproduce paper reading, in this case adding a page-flip sound (so switch your sound on). Whenver the cursor is a dog-eared page clicking on the page turns it. When over an advert or link the curson will change, so watch out for that. It tries to hide "MS Windows" window adornments to give you the look of a paper magazine, with just a few control buttons hanging onto the edge of the page.

Olive Software
There is a demo of their "ActiveMagazine" Magazine reader here, follow the "Winding Road - Issue 16" link. This doesn't need a separate download and install, but uses Flash, XML and HTTP to give you a similar viewer. There are some additional navigation features (TOC, by section etc) and they have moved some of the print adverts to Flash animated adverts in this on-line edition of the printed magazine (extra work for the Ad Agency or publisher).

As I find or hear about more such efforts I will repost with an update.

Please try them out and submit a comment.

No comments: