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QST Digital Edition

Jun 16th 2012, 00:14

KM4VX

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
I find it incredibly slow to download the QST Digital Edition. It takes me less than a minute each week to download the ECONOMIST magazine. It takes several attempts and over and hour to download the QST Digital edition. I don't understand how a group of technically qualified people could select this partocular software to manage the QST Digital Edition. I have never heard of this Nex Media and it is anything but user-friendly. Doesn't even work half the time, and just too slow when it does work. Thanks. Ron KM4VX
Jun 16th 2012, 03:21

W0BTU

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
I experienced exactly the same thing this morning. Just browsing around (I didn't download the whole thing), it was S-L-O-W and I just gave up. Some of us live in Rural America and can't get a DSL connection faster than 768 kbps, unless we spend >$1000/year for satellite Internet.

I will say that the appearance is very nice with excellent graphics. But until it's available as a PDF, I'm just not going to bother with it anymore.

Don't ask me to say where, but I noticed that when I clicked a hyperlink, it took me to the wrong page.

73, Mike
www.w0btu.com.
Jun 16th 2012, 13:08

KM4VX

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
Sme local club members share our concerns and are unable to download the magazine. I also will not again bother to try and download the Digital Edition until it is available in PDF format, and uses a more common-sense software. I was unable to download the July edition at all and also found a Link did not work. This speaks very poorly to the technical expertise at ARRL.
Jun 16th 2012, 15:54

KB0HAE

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
Hi Guys. I was chosen to be one of the early reviewers of digital QST. I am extremely dissapointed that a DRM-infested format was chosed over the variety of better open formats available, I am also extremely dissapointed that there is no way for Linux users (or anyone not using a Windows or Mac OS) to download the digital version and read it offline.

The ARRL had the opertunity to make digital QST available in several formats that would have allowed it to be read offline on almost any device (phones, tablets, e-readers, laptops etc...) without any additional software needing to be installed. But instead they chose to use Adobe Air to create a monstrosity.

Navigation in both the online and offline versions is identical...very cumbersom and frankly a huge pain in the behind. I feel a much better option would be to use PDF format, with Kindle and epub formats also available for download. I also believe that QST should be available in both printed form, and on a monthly CD (in PDF format with Kindle and epub versions included on the CD). I would also like to see QST availsble as both a magazine and a blog (articals only) on Amazon.com

I believe that the choices of ARRL members in how they can read QST in digital formats should be expanded, not restricted as they are now. I do not believe piracy of QST would be a problem. As another poster here pointed out, QST is not of great interest to the general public. It is written for Amateurs, and there is little interest in it outside the Amateur radio community.
Jun 17th 2012, 13:08

K0BG

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
I agree with what has been said. My download speed here averages just of 2 mbits, and it took nearly an hour to download the file. That's terminal, pun intended!

What's wrong with PDF?
Jun 17th 2012, 14:00

KM4VX

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
There appears to be enough intelligent criticism of the QST Digital Edition to encourage ARRL to change what is clearly a bad mistake. I expect the ARRL to recognize its error and correct it; the PDF format is of course the most practical way to manage the Edition and make it accessible to the members. Presently it is a waste of time and effort and serves no one; admit the mistake and move on. I trust there is no personal financial conflict in the choice that was made! For many of us there simply is no QST Digital Edition, advertisements to the contrary. I wrote directly to ARRL Management last month about this issue; the response was purely defensive with no interest in correcting an obvious mistake.
Jun 18th 2012, 03:41

AA6E

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
I thought I'd check the downloading process. Could it be as bad as people are saying? Some numbers:

Download Adobe Air (one time only): 14.5 MB
Download July 2012 QST: 268 MB

Size of typical 2011 issue of QST as PDF: 40 MB

So, yes, the new format download is very big. (I'd guess they don't compress their files.) On my fast (12 Mbit/s) U-Verse line, the download is about 3 minutes. That's ok for me, but on a 768 kbs line, you might need 47 minutes -- if you have error-free service.

I conclude that QST downloads are not very friendly unless you have a moderately fast Internet connection, at least 3 Mb/s or so. (On the other hand, you only need to do this once a month. You could let it download in the background while you're doing other stuff.)

The nxtbook application is really intended for on-line viewing, which will still be sluggish with slow Internet service, but it should be more usable than the download approach.

At this rate, a year's worth of QST would take about 3.2 GB on your hard drive. True, storage is getting cheaper all the time, but the entire 2011 publications CDROM used only 335 MB. So let's hope that product continues to be available.

The download problem is somewhat academic for me, since Adobe Air is not supported on Linux. You can run AA in a virtual Windows machine using VirtualBox, but this goes against the grain for many Linux folks.

73 Martin AA6E
Jun 19th 2012, 02:51

KB0HAE

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
I agree with KM4VX. ARRL has made some serious mistakes in their decisions about digital QST, and seems not to want to correct them.
Jun 19th 2012, 06:47

G0MJW

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
I appreciate the digital edition but I don't like the software. I have it downloaded, quite slow but not too bad considering the size, but I can't seem to access the content without an active internet connection. I take it this to to prevent copying but it is not much help when on the road. There must be a better way to implement copy protection.

I should note my solution to this. Once you have the digital edition loaded you can print it, for your own use only. It is not necessary to print on to paper. It can be printed to XPS or PDF with a suitable printer driver. The PDF came out at 36Mb but the resolution is poor compared to the original and all the indexing is lost. While the PDF is not ideal but it does mean I can look at it on my smartphone or ebook reader.

I fear though that printing will be disabled from August because clearly it overcomes the copy protection.
Jun 19th 2012, 10:38

N0NB

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
Quote by KM4VX
There appears to be enough intelligent criticism of the QST Digital Edition to encourage ARRL to change what is clearly a bad mistake. I expect the ARRL to recognize its error and correct it; the PDF format is of course the most practical way to manage the Edition and make it accessible to the members. Presently it is a waste of time and effort and serves no one; admit the mistake and move on. I trust there is no personal financial conflict in the choice that was made! For many of us there simply is no QST Digital Edition, advertisements to the contrary. I wrote directly to ARRL Management last month about this issue; the response was purely defensive with no interest in correcting an obvious mistake.


Despite what many have said regarding the "new" ARRL Web site since its launch, it still remains. I expect this digital QST mess will remain as well. After all, contracts have been signed, likely for several years.

A watermarked PDF as one gets when printing from the Digi-QST Web app would have gone far to assure that piracy would be at a minimum. I would bet that there would be some way to have marked each PDF in such a way as to be traceable to the member that downloaded it but not visible on the page.

As QST has been available on news stands for some time, allowing non-members to purchase a PDF QST for a couple of bucks would have all but eliminated the piracy "threat". My guess is that the number of people interested in a pirated QST to be far less than one percent of the current ARRL membership total. There just aren't hoards of non-members scheming to get their hands on QST without being ARRL members. If there were, the news stands would be sold out of QST each month.

If traditional paper magazine publishers think that services like the one CQ contracted with and now ARRL will retain their traditional subscriber base, they are sadly mistaken. I think that both entities were sold a bill of goods.

73, de Nate >>
N0NB.us

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