ImagesNick Bilton has a good article in the NY Times Bits blog about the race between digital and print magazines. I especially liked his opening:

This morning I decide to try a little experiment: I opened up my iPad, clicked on the little Wired icon and purchased the magazine’s latest digital issue. After I agreed to fork over $4, it began downloading. For the next phase of the experiment, I grabbed my car keys, left my apartment and drove about 12 blocks to a local magazine store in Brooklyn, where I also purchased the latest issue of Wired magazine, this time in print.

I didn’t run any red lights, or speed, or park illegally during my shopping expedition. Yet when I returned home with the glossy paper product in hand, the digital iPad version still hadn’t finished downloading to my iPad. Anybody who reads Wired would call this an Epic Fail.

Thanks to BookofJoe for the link.


  1. The magazines I’ve downloaded on the Nook Color are available in 2-3 minutes. Maybe this is just an iPad thing… maybe he was having bandwidth issues at the time… maybe the Wired app is just badly put together… I don’t know. But I don’t think that is typical of all online mag downloads.

  2. Even if this example is typical (surely 15 minutes for a download implies either poor connectivity or some problem in the file being downloaded), it isn’t comparing apples and oranges. While he waits for the download, he can read something else, make his coffee, get some work done,, or enjoy the company of his significant other. While he drives to the newstand, he pollutes, has unproductive commute time, and collects a product that will either clutter his home or be disposed of (perhaps recycled–perhaps not) and become unavailable for his future use and interest.

    Rob Preece

The TeleRead community values your civil and thoughtful comments. We use a cache, so expect a delay. Problems? E-mail