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Author Topic: Towards the Singularity: Help with digital thrillpower  (Read 834 times)

TordelBack

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Towards the Singularity: Help with digital thrillpower
« on: 31 March, 2020, 08:27:03 AM »
So we come to it at last.

Progless this past fortnight, I've finally decided to go digital (for now). Problem is, I hate reading comics on a screen. I've been working through Casefiles 5 on my phone and despite lovely crisp repro and great material, I'm just not enjoying the experience. Help me stop worrying and learn to love the bombe.

1. Software.  I have at my disposal an ageing Samsung Galaxy Neo 5" phone running Marshmallow, an even older Android Lenovo 7" tablet and an older still 15" MacBook running El Capitan, which I spend too much time working on. What are my options re: free comics viewing software? I'm using Perfect viewer currently. I don't like it.

2. House of Tharg Delivery Vectors. How best to buy the digital prog/meg on an ad hoc basis? Pros and cons?

Many thanks in advance for your advice.

Colin YNWA

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Re: Towards the Singularity: Help with digital thrillpower
« Reply #1 on: 31 March, 2020, 08:50:45 AM »
Welcome to the Darkside

On my Android device I've just been using the 2000ad app, but obviously that just depends are how far you are venturing into this evil realm. If you are just reading the Prog and Meg and otehr things from the store then that feels like the path of least resistance? ... though the recent update wasn't without issues.

Other than that I'm still to find the perfect reader on Android, folks seem to rave about Chunky (I believe its called Indigo prime (I think it is) is sure to be along soon to recommend that.

As for how again depends on your commitment but a sub is going to be the way to go. As with all things the bigger commitment the bigger the saving and they now do 2 years sign-ups.... must think about next time as lets face it I'm not going anywhere... the the zombies can read the new issues while chewing on my brains! But even a monthly sub for one or both offers savings so defo the way to go I'd suggest?

Fungus

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Re: Towards the Singularity: Help with digital thrillpower
« Reply #2 on: 31 March, 2020, 09:07:48 AM »
Chunky, absolutely.

While I would enjoy skipping those dastardly kiddie issues every so often, subscriptions are so cost-effective it’s a no-brainer. But REAL comics hopefully last a bit longer. Will the collection’s value (Tharg and non-Tharg) increase in the coming years? Could go either way, as the kids don’t see the point in tree-based comics...?

Mumbling aside, I DO miss the Wednesday stroll to Smith’s to pick up the prog. Took a wrench to kick that lovely habit..... (eek - 3 years ago now).

TordelBack

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Re: Towards the Singularity: Help with digital thrillpower
« Reply #3 on: 31 March, 2020, 10:05:37 AM »
Cheers lads. Alas Chunky seems to be IOS only, anything good cross-platform? The Play Store is pushing Astonishing as an equivalent, that seem likely?

I've had no joy as yet getting the 2000AD App to install on Android. Or rather it installs, opens and then does nothing.

Physical comics are still where I get my kicks, even prefer floppies over collections, but when there's none about...

IndigoPrime

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Re: Towards the Singularity: Help with digital thrillpower
« Reply #4 on: 31 March, 2020, 10:18:31 AM »
TordelBack: ComiCat is the best app I found for comics reading on Android. Last I saw, it was about three quid.

Quote from: Fungus
Will the collection’s value (Tharg and non-Tharg) increase in the coming years? Could go either way, as the kids don’t see the point in tree-based comics...?
I suspect collections will dwindle, based on the type of media. Judging by mini-G (5), shiny discs are already doomed. She wants instant telly, with what she wants to watch, there and then. Music is something piped in from Alexa or on her iPod. The notion of physical objects for music and telly are alien.

But she adores books and loves comics. She understands these things are on digital as well, but doesn’t care for that. Perhaps this is because we are fortunate. We live in a nice area, with a decent library, and a school that sends the kids home with a reading book every day, and a ‘library’ (story) book every week. I also subscribed her to The Beano and Phoenix, and she devours those when they come in, and is collecting them, and re-reading them. (The Dandy annual was the big surprise — she has spend so many hours with that book.)

As for 2000 AD, who knows? Digital remains heavily reliant on people wanting the material but — crucially — finding value in it, rather than just ripping it off. But as I’ve long said now, if you don’t support what you love, don’t be surprised when it’s no longer around.

Colin YNWA

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Re: Towards the Singularity: Help with digital thrillpower
« Reply #5 on: 31 March, 2020, 11:12:31 AM »
I suspect collections will dwindle, based on the type of media. Judging by mini-G (5), shiny discs are already doomed. She wants instant telly, with what she wants to watch, there and then. Music is something piped in from Alexa or on her iPod. The notion of physical objects for music and telly are alien.

Without wishing to derail too much in constrast to that stance - which is uttely understandable and probably good for the world - there's the fact that vinyl has become such a thing again. My local HMV has a massive vinyl section now which exceeds the follow space for CDs by far.

The things have become collectable and there's a clear attraction by 'da youth' to the physical artifact - though how many actually get played is a different matter as most come with a digital download I'm lead to believe.

IndigoPrime

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Re: Towards the Singularity: Help with digital thrillpower
« Reply #6 on: 31 March, 2020, 11:19:59 AM »
The problem with the vinyl resurgence is that it’s a tiny blip. It’s an uptick in physical media sales that’s barely a rounding error. There’s visibility in certain stores, of course, but a lot of the vinyl thing is down to breathless magazine articles and advocates shouting loudly. That’s not to say it isn’t beneficial — because it certainly is to indies who can make older fans happy with a collectable item. But the harsh reality is the vast majority of people don’t give the slightest crap anymore when it comes to music as a physical item.

Honestly, I’m in that category myself. My wife has a nostalgic attachment to our CD collection, which sits unused on our living room shelves. But it’s a collection that largely ended about ten years ago. I do make some exceptions — Wire’s hardcover book/CD albums are pretty great, but then you’re really paying for a book at that point as much as the album. And physical books are still an easier sell — for now.

That all said, I do at least understand vinyl fetishism. What baffles me is people who laud cassettes. Tape was always a shitty medium for pretty much anything about from archival backups. As a consumer thing, it was relentlessly awful.

Professor Bear

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Re: Towards the Singularity: Help with digital thrillpower
« Reply #7 on: 31 March, 2020, 12:27:17 PM »
Thanks to companies not getting their shit together and agreeing on a universal format for download, I hate dedicated reading apps with a passion, so use a file converter to turn the comic into jpegs and then read in a simple viewer like Quickpic -though even native file browsers will do the job.

I've had no joy as yet getting the 2000AD App to install on Android. Or rather it installs, opens and then does nothing.

Your specific Android OS is probably not fully compatible with the app.  Usually it - or the app store - will tell you this ahead of an install, but not always.

sintec

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Re: Towards the Singularity: Help with digital thrillpower
« Reply #8 on: 31 March, 2020, 01:01:47 PM »
I'm a huge music collector - the vinyl resurgence is a bit of a myth. Yes it's selling better than it has for a long while but overall sales of physical music are still dropping.  I suspect most of the market for vinyl is people like myself with a some desposable income and a pre-existing fetish. A lot of it is being driven by limited collectors represses of big albums - usually done in short runs with fancy packaging. Or new releases which are being pressed in ever smaller runs (500 would be a lot for many of the indie labels these days) compared to the 90s that's nothing.

Anecdotally; I work making music software the younger staff in the office (mostly in their 20s) don't buy physical music despite most of them being musicians and very tuned into their respective music scenes.  Most of them don't own a CD player at all and it's only a couple of the DJs who have actual turntables.  As far as they're concerned music comes via Spotify, YouTube, Soundcloud and other such streaming services. Or it exists as files on a USB stick or a hard drive which have either been purchased or torrented. 

I've watched several long standing labels shut their warehouses and move to fully digital releases in the last year - I expect more to follow in the not too distant future. Pysical media as a medium for releasing music is basically dead.

IndigoPrime

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Re: Towards the Singularity: Help with digital thrillpower
« Reply #9 on: 31 March, 2020, 01:40:05 PM »
Thanks to companies not getting their shit together and agreeing on a universal format for download, I hate dedicated reading apps with a passion, so use a file converter to turn the comic into jpegs and then read in a simple viewer like Quickpic -though even native file browsers will do the job.
I’m not really sure there’s a need for a universal format. Right now, there are three that are popular: PDF, CBR and CBZ. PDF is a thing all of its own, but CBR and CBZ are just RARred/ZIPped folders of JPEGs anyway. Any comics reader worth its salt will support PDF and CBR and/or CBZ. Moreover, dedicated comics viewers will offer a superior user experience to image browsing software — at least the decent ones will.

Colin YNWA

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Re: Towards the Singularity: Help with digital thrillpower
« Reply #10 on: 31 March, 2020, 01:49:14 PM »
I'm a huge music collector - the vinyl resurgence is a bit of a myth. Yes it's selling better than it has for a long while but overall sales of physical music are still dropping. 

Is it though? And I don't pretend to know for sure but a quick search - based on my surprise as if it taking increasing floor space to the extent it is locally there must be something in it, shows that vinyl sales have increased for 12 years straight and most surprisingly...

Quote
Vinyl albums now account for one in every 8 albums purchased in the UK across digital and physical formats.

Source: https://thevinylfactory.com/news/uk-vinyl-sales-2019-growth-record-high/

Who could have a vested interest I admit!

Now other reports make it clear that its bottomfeeding stuff and the best selling record of 2019 sold like 29 thousand copies - which is like comic numbers BUT at £20-£30 a pop new that's still a thing I guess. Not suggesting it will ever get back to 80s levels, but there's certianly something there... isn't there?

Anyway sorry back on topic - comic digital formats ggrrrhhhhh...

Fungus

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Re: Towards the Singularity: Help with digital thrillpower
« Reply #11 on: 31 March, 2020, 03:09:37 PM »
This stuff’s a minefield 🤔
While I did go digital a while back (sorry for not checking Chunky’s Android unavailability...), I’m one of those lucky gets who buys vinyl these days. Bumping an LP on and enjoying that needle-crackle, it cannot be beaten. Want to program that track you like? Or [repeat]? You can’t. I recommend it. Maybe it’s having a major resurgence, maybe - as suggested - it’s not. I like to think that doesn’t and shouldn’t matter.
And CDs have always been hateful and unreliable things...

IndigoPrime

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Re: Towards the Singularity: Help with digital thrillpower
« Reply #12 on: 31 March, 2020, 03:35:05 PM »
This BBC article is six years old now, but neatly showcases the resurgence (the uptick is now somewhere along the lines of after the 1995 point): https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs-magazine-monitor-30250358

Vinyl is likely to overtake CD, if it hasn’t already; but that’s an increase slice of a rapidly diminishing market. I suspect comics may end up in a similar space eventually, with streaming supplanting ownership. I kind of hope not though.

gurnard

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Re: Towards the Singularity: Help with digital thrillpower
« Reply #13 on: 31 March, 2020, 04:11:59 PM »
I have also been thinking about this. I was looking at Heavy Metal and they use Comixology which appears to be part of Amazon. I have not ventured yet but can I use another reader with stuff bought on Comixology?
Is their reader any good they have a follow mechanism or something I noticed when looking briefly. Any experience good/bad?

As for vinyl I have the 150 or so that I bought as a youth through the 80s and 90s. They are lovely things but overpriced these days. I like the CDs now just for convenience of space but it is nice to have the physicality of them to browse through.

IndigoPrime

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Re: Towards the Singularity: Help with digital thrillpower
« Reply #14 on: 31 March, 2020, 04:15:40 PM »
It depends on the publisher with Comixology. In short, take a look at this page: https://www.comixology.co.uk/Saga-Vol-1/digital-comic/31384

If you see that downwards-facing arrow [EDIT: as in, the one in the row with language/age/HD/etc.], that means you on purchasing it will be eligible for a backup, accessible from My Books > Backups. Said files are offered in DRM-free CBZ and PDF. Personally, I think the Comixology reader is pretty good. It has plenty of options, and a panel view for smaller screens (although I personally never use that, because I want the ‘full page’ experience, and my iPad’s large enough for that). The only negative with Comixology is those publishers that don’t give you the freedom to download what you buy. Hence why I’ll grab the likes of Marvel content in firesales, but won’t touch it on Comixology otherwise.