- March 30th, 2015
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Last year I received my final print issue of Macworld magazine. I had no idea they had even planned to go all digital. It just showed up, with a big attachment on the front that told me how to activate my new digital subscription and armed that if I did not activate by a certain date, I would lose the remainder of my subscription. As I stated this was a complete surprise to me and I was really not happy about it. I have several print issues of Macworld saved and I reference them from time to time. The whole thing just felt weird and not very well thought out.
I immediately started to contemplate the future of magazines. Was the end of Macworld a sign? I still subscribe to print magazines, but looking back on the last year, digital media is slowly replacing my print collection. I started to wonder why? For one thing, digital is almost always faster. If I find a book on Kindle, I can download it in seconds. But I am willing to wait for books an magazines, so there had to be more. Then it hit me. If it was something that the rest of family might not care about, I bought digital. If it was something we might all share, I bought traditional.
I figured Macworld is a magazine dedicated to covering technology and has seen 30 years of technological evolution, so they should know something about where technology is heading. So I signed up, activated my digital subscription and downloaded the app. I found it a little strange that even though I had to create a user name an password for this digital subscription that it still required me to input information from the mailing label of the magazine. I figured that it was the first month of all digital, so I didn't inquire further.
Fast forward a couple months and as I had predicted, I had not read any issues of Macworld. The app is not easy to use, and I am not always around wifi when I think about the new issue, so I would go a month or two with out downloading a new issue. So after a couple months I decided to log back into the app and download the latest issue. The app had updated so I had to log in again. And that experience is what led me to believe that the “All Digital” thing was a last minute decision to try to cut costs and save money.
You see, when I went to log back into the app, it required that I put in the information from the label on my magazine. You know the magazine that I am no longer mailed because the company went all digital. Luckily I did save a few issues so I had the label I needed. But it was still a pain. And that got me thinking. Digital makes sense when it's “easier”. I buy more records(I will always call them “records”) in MP3 format than CD because I listen to all my music digitally because I can carry most of it with me, and it's easy and convenient. I grab a print magazine for the same reason, it's easier….for me anyway.
The medium that I feel is really embracing digital is comic books. Moving meant leaving my favorite comic shop and since I was having issues storing all my comics anyway, it seemed like a good time to try digital. Comixology has a great app, and it's easy for my to subscribe and get my books auto delivered every month. They are doing digital right.
What's all this got to do with guitar? Not much on the surface. But if you think about the print industry, it really had not changed much since it started. And that's kinda the same with the guitar industry. The Strat and the Les Paul are virtually the same as when they were launched over 60 years ago. A change has to be coming, it's just a matter of what and when.