Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Digital Motorcycle Reading

I just finished Nick Sander's Incredible Ride on an ipad mini and really enjoyed the experience.  The integrated digital media in the ebook drew a different picture of that trip compared to just a written narrative.  It wasn't always better (as deep and developed) as a well thought out narrative piece of prose but it offered an interesting reading experience in a different way.

I've tried reading digitally before with older ipads and other tablets but have been unsatisfied with the quality.  The Retina display on this Mini is a revelation though, it has better screen resolution than my 15" laptop; it's so sharp and clear that it's shocking!  I also find my eyes don't get tired reading off it (perhaps as a result of that clarity).  With all that in mind I started thinking about alternative ways to read my motorcycle media.

My Cycle Canada subscription is coming to an end and I want to renew, but I think I might go digital.  I'm also keen to get into Bike magazine and Adventure Bike Rider magazine, both UK titles that cost me $13+taxes a pop when I find them in a local store.  Rather than get stuck into another year of dead trees I tried reading digital samples on the ipad Mini.

Bike Magazine showed the multi-media possibilities of a digital magazine.  The embedded video and layers of information available in the digital copy were fantastic.  The high resolution images on that Retina display were jaw dropping.  There is no doubt the digital copy is the way to go, and at £48 for a year (£4/$7.40CAN per issue) it's a much better deal than the $15 with taxes I'm paying at Chapters for a paper copy.

ABR is an even better deal.  Instead of $15 an issue in Chapters I'm looking at £20 
($37CAN) for a year with access to all back issues.  I'm going to check out its digital content, but if it comes anywhere close to what Bike is doing then it too will be a no-brainer.

Cycle Canada was a bit more basic.  The online sample said it wasn't at full resolution, so it expects me to commit to digital without knowing what it will look like, which seems a bit weak. 

The only downside to the digital copy is that I can't settle into a hot bath with an ipad.  Maybe I'll re-up Cycle Canada on dead trees for a while longer so I have an amphibious option.

If you've tried digital and not liked it give it a go with Apple's Retina display, it might surprise you.  The additional depth and media you get from the digital copy only seals the deal.