Zinio Reader

Zinio Reader comments

Reading digital magazines and books is easier than ever,
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Guest Appalling piece of software. It takes hours to download a single magazine and then consumers vast amounts of memory in use.

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Guest After a virus I had to reformat my hard drive and now I need to download a version of Zinio suitable for windows 7, but all the options that I have found tell me that I must first upgrade to windows 8.1, but my computer is not adequate. Where can I find a program to read my library on this computer?

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Guest It's terrible software. It's slow. The more pages you view the more memory it uses. I have to shut it down about every 60 pages as it slowly consumes RAM. The interface is disgusting.
I could not recommend this to anyone.

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MichaelEllis SmartType is available from Digital Scientific at http://www.dsuk.biz

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David M. Dickerson

David M. Dickerson Zinio Reader is a slow and bloated, resource-consuming, memory hog with a restrictive interface.

Zinio Reader is Zinio.com's off-line software tool for viewing digital versions of magazines. It is available for Windows and Mac OS X.

Zinio.com (Zinio.net) distribute and sell digital versions of printed magazines. The concept of a digital magazine sounds very environmentally responsible, given the fact that most magazines end up in landfills or as litter, but the interactive interface combines Adobe PDF and graphics formats with a clunky, awkward result.

If you have a widescreen display on a notebook computer -- at 1280x800, for example -- you will become frustrated quickly. The full-screen option will give you a few more vertical pixels, but you will be frustrated by the constant panning and zooming. I would prefer a locked PDF-like format that allows the reader to scroll down each page, but scrolling is not an option.

If you attach an external display with a standard resolution (such as 1280x1024, which would give you 224 more valuable pixels of vertical space) to a notebook with a 16:9 ratio/widescreen display, you will find on a Windows-based computer that you cannot drag the "magazine" to the more ergonomic display. This problem can occur with programs that have a full-screen mode, but Zinio Reader is coded so that it is not aware of the second display. I did not try making the larger display the primary display and the notbook's display secondary -- but I will give this possibility a try. I am not sure why Zinio.com would deliberately block dragging a magazine to a larger secondary display -- but perhaps the problem is that my external display, which I am using temporarily for a project, has a different resolution than the notebook's primary display. Windows Explorer makes it difficult to display desktop "wallpaper" with a dual_monitor setup if the displays do not have the same resolution, for example.

If you have a flat-panel display that supports rotation for your desktop computer or a notebook/laptop PC -- and a responsive system with plenty of fast RAM, your experience may be much more positive.

If Zinio Reader had a rotate function for widescreen displays, reading each page of a digital magazine would be a bit closer to the the width:height ratio of most magazines and printed materials, but users without removable "tablet" displays would have to turn their notebook computers on their sides, which may not possible because most notebook ports are located on the sides.

Many people end up using Zinio Reaer because they get a free digital subscription to a magazine. One blogger who reviewed Zinio Reader, which he downloaded to view a free subscription he had to 'Esquire' magazine, complained that Zinio.com sent him unsolicited e-mail offering discounts on adult magazines for men. (He included a screen shot of a message of special 'Playboy' pictorial magazines that were "on sale." I suspect that he did not bother to configure his Zinio account. If I recall correctly, I had to "opt-in" to receive advertisements related to the magazine(s) to which I subscribed -- and offers of free magazines -- from Zinio. Perhaps one has to "opt-out" of related advertising (or did so when the reviewer started getting 'Esquire'. Apparently, although the reviewer complained about Zinio Reader, his focus was his complaint that Zinio was trying to sell him "softcore pornography." Apparently, he has not bothered to read or view the images in any of the issues of 'Esquire' that he has received.

A couple of decades ago, 'Esquire' was the "gentleman's" magazine for me, with a focus on excellent writing and content. It was regarded as the "alternative to Playboy" for men who could honestly say, "I read 'Playboy', but only for the articles." I checked Esquire.com after reading the reviewer's complaint and found revealing pictorial features, such as "The Women We Love," and the descriptions of the features were sexist (using words such as "babe" and "hot" to describe women) and objectified the women as objects, in pictorials and Flash-based videos in which the models were asked inane questions and did not come across well, because they were asked trite, suggestive, or stupid questions. 'Esquire' is closer to 'Maxim' than the reviewer realizes. I configured my account and, in order to receive promotional e-mail about mature magazines, one has to select the option avowing that she or he is over 18 years old AND then must choose the option to receive such e-mail and select a 'Confirm' or 'Save Settings" option. The Zinio.com Web site, which allows one to view digital magazines via a Web browser has content filtering enable by default. In order to have adult magazines appear anywhere on the Zinio.com site, one must disable this filter and go through a confirmation process.

Most people do not want freeware for which they pay by receiving "spam," especially for adult publications (although 'Playboy' is tame compared to the magazines that have R-rated covers). If you receive a free subscription, but want to read the magazine off-line, which would definitely be true for people who pay for Internet access based upon connection time, make certain that you log on to Zinio's Web site to configure your account after you create and verify your password. I have opted out of everything except to have Zinio Reader send me each issue of the magazine (although Zinio Reader is awkward and I would prefer a less interactive interface that does not make trying to reading the publication a frustrating, eye-straining, and irritating "task of Sisyphus"!



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