Two weeks ago I stopped subscribing to the NYT print edition. It was a slow downward spiral, at first I went from a whole subscription to the weekend edition. One of the main reasons why I kept up, just for the weekend was because of the magazine. While I still don’t think the online edition does the print version any justice I decided I could do with out the print version after learning on twitter that Janet Froelich was leaving the magazine. The fact that I learned about design news on twitter should give us all pause btw…
The reason for that preface is that I had a very small sum of money that I had budget to print media consumption that I could put elsewhere. I’ve always wanted to be a reader of the economist, the content can’t really be matched and they have great advertising. I follow the Economist on twitter and I think I saw a link from them mentioning that they now have the latest edition posted online. I spent the eight bucks to see what I would get.
It turns out that they’ve broken every story into an audio file, numbered and titled it correctly. The sound quality is great and the production value is really nice. The only issue is that it’s over eight hours. I think I started listening to it on Saturday and I just finished the whole thing today. I went from cover to cover, next week I would re-order things so I get the important stuff to me first, just in case I don’t listen to the whole thing.
As weird as it is for all the different types of media to be converging and mutating into each other, the control and ability to finish something like the Economist is great. Maybe there is a future for magazines as a better version of radio in the form of a music file.