You know, I expected this was going to be easier. I mean, why should it be harder to subscribe to the electronic version of a magazine than to the paper version?
It ought to be a lot easier, considering that you don’t have postal workers and airplanes and delivery trucks involved in the electronic delivery. This was what I was thinking when I decided to shift from print magazine subscriptions to online ones, anyway. Since I’m considering getting some kind of tablet computer this year, or maybe a used iPad (since the newer generation is out now), it would mean a lot less trouble in terms of carrying readables around, but also in terms of moving, receiving my magazines (since the post office seems to lose about a quarter of the magazines sent to me from abroad), and to reduce the amount of clutter in my office/home from magazines that are either waiting to be read, or waiting to be disposed of. Better living through electronics, was what I was thinking.
If only it were that simple. Barnes & Noble seems to have ruined Fictionwise, which was a pretty sensible international ebook vendor, and while I could buy magazines there, they seem to cost more than they do on Amazon, and I can’t actually subscribe to a monthly, automated delivery–I have to remember to go there and buy them individually, month by month. And Amazon sells magazines internationally, unlike Barnes and Noble, who seem to think the Internet shouldn’t really be international… but magazines are available for Kindle on Android, and Kindle machines… but not for Kindle for iPhone/iPad. Argh.
It’s all quite backwards and messed up, and the frustrating thing is that it doesn’t have to be. From what I gather, Fictionwise used to be a great vendor. All this makes me wish that, for the love of all that’s holy, the magazines would simply offer subscriptions to ebook format issues directly from their own websites. I would be happy to visit their sites once a year to update my subscription, so that I could continue to get their magazines in the format that works for me. Or, hell, to have an app on my iPhone that would simply download it for me monthly, and for which I would have to buy an “upgrade” every year to get the next year’s content.
Maybe there are workarounds. I don’t know. I want to be able to download the magazine to my PC. To re-load it to my reading device months later and reread something. I want to be able to print it out so I can use a story in a class, just like I can with the paper magazine. I want eMagazines to be not-crappier than print magazines, and I want to be able to buy them in Korea as easily as I can get anything else online in Korea.
(Er, or rather, I want it to be easier. I also cannot buy music from iTunes here, since Apple doesn’t seem to want my [Korean] money enough to set up an iTunes music store that will sell music in Korea, and I don’t want to buy the coupons on Gmarket as a workaround because if Apple wanted my money, workarounds wouldn’t be necessary.)
So while I’m fed up with undelivered print subscriptions of the magazines I read, I’m not sure where to turn. Pay more at Fictionwise and be stuck with having to remember to go download it? I don’t think I’m ready to resolve myself to print editions anymore, so… well, hmm. Suggestions?