This is a response to a blog post written by Mike from Mag+ about file sizes on magazines on the iPad.
‘It’s Not About File Size: Why you should learn to stop worrying and love the new iPad’
Khoi Vinh agrees with him in many ways:
That said, Mag+ is essentially right that file size does not matter — or at least that it will matter less in the long-term.
I use the iPad predominantly on the weekends, in off hours, at home. My download speed is not at the same screaming fast level as at my studio. Thus, I often complain about the slow-ness about the media. Video, magazines, updates take longer than if I download them at the studio. Sure, this is my problem, I could upgrade my high speed at home, but I wouldn’t be surprised if many people are in the same boat.
I believe that magazines have the biggest impact when delivered to the iPad on the weekend. Something needs to take the place of the “sunday paper’ ritual. So far no one has taken advantage of this yet.
If I could open my iPad on the weekend and have new magazines all ready to roll, downloaded and there for my enjoyment, this would be a huge attraction and would certainly make me PAY for a subscription.
This goes against the general notion that most people are online during the week and all important content must be delivered during weekdays. But as the iPad is heralded as a post-PC device so presents itself the opportunity for magazine producers to jump into the niche of weekend and home readers. Less competition from 24/7 updating blogs.
So, download speed is an obstacle to great content. To me wanting to pay for a magazine and wait for it to download. Yes, once it’s downloaded it doesn’t matter anymore, unless it fills up my hard drive and forces me to clean it up.
Yes, multimedia content is worth it. I love the efforts and creativity publishers are putting into this. But the thinking that the final file size doesn’t matter seems to come from people who have really big pipes and don’t mind waiting for their selection to appear on their screen. This might sound impatient but the success of Television shows that instant-on, instant availability is a huge factor in how people make their decision on what to spend their time on.
If Twitter is fast and instant and a magazine takes 20 minutes to download you know where you will find me.