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Online version of Roundel (Imirus) not practical

Discussion in 'Member Feedback' started by snowboardjoe, Sep 15, 2010.

    snowboardjoe guest

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    This is something that's been bugging me for some time and finally getting around to fussing about this.

    While the online version of Roundel at http://roundel.imirus.com/members/ looks cool and all, it's not practical. I find the interface very clumsy to use and it really makes it hard to just flip through the pages. Even at full screen on a 20" 16:9 screen, it's still small to read the text. I did try to print the pages to a PDF and it was even worse as the resolution really dropped off.

    It would be wonderful if Roundel were made available as a simple PDF that could be loaded on any device (desktop, iPad, iPhone, BlackBerry, etc.). This Imirus thing just seems more like "bling" when all I want is content out of the magazine. Keep it simple.

    If it were a good PDF, I would happily accept my Roundel subscription just in that format and would save the club some bucks to not mail me the hardcopy.

    craigrow guest

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    "The message you have entered is too short. Please lengthen your message to at least 10 characters."

    Really? :confused:

    M3Driver guest

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    I'll have to agree with you. Have you ever tried to print to PDF (I use an iMAC)? I wanted to keep just the article on the BMW RS1000R sport bike recently and ended up being 70 megs. A friend was wanting to read it and that precludes any emailing.
    • Member


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    I absolutely agree. Imirius just kills the whole experience.

    It won't even let you DOWNLOAD a copy to your computer!

    I'd like to know why BMW CCA hitched its wagon to this slowpoke outfit. Imirius looks as if they blew their whole software development budget on special effects and fancy menus, and skimped on USABILITY. Imirius looks to be the 'Ishtar' of document readers.

    I have to repeatedly zoom IN then zoom OUT to be able to read it. Open any PDF document and let me know if Adobe Acrobat Reader forces you to jump through hoops like this.

    Oh look at the fancy page-turning animation! Woo-wee. And my computer has to remain connected to the internet to be able to read a digital magazine OUR membership dollars pay for! God help me if I want to enjoy the digital edition offline.

    BMW CCA hitching digital Roundel to this awful Imirius gimmick is like requiring all members to drive to O'Fest in an Isetta instead of allowing the trip in the BMW you already own. Not that there's anything wrong with Isetta's, but I like my bought and paid for baby better.
    • Member


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    I agree that a pdf format would be nice. I downloaded my 328i owner's manual "pdf" file to my wife's nook before the car arrived at the Performance Center so that I could be familiar with it when it arrived. While the display on the nook wasn't 100%, it was very "readable" and worked just fine.
    • Member


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    Among all the negatives about the online Roundel, I have a positive comment -

    I can read the online Roundel while at work and no one will steal the magazine off my desk. Since I work at a non-BMW German brand car dealership, I get harassed when I have BMW literature on my desk.
    • Member


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    PDF format would be great, at least I would be able to read it on my iPad. There is a BMW magazine app available and it works fine on the iPad.

    garyspeechley guest

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    On-Line Roundel

    Hi everyone,

    As a long-time CCA member from Australia, I have every issue of the Roundel - the six-CD set of issues electronically (that no longer work on my iMac) and every issue in hardcopy that wasn't included on the CD.

    With home renovations underway, the Obergruppenfuhrer has declared that I may have an iPad if I get my BMW magazines out of the attic. Moving them to the new garage was forbidden, so I have recently sold my collection of BMW Car magazine from the UK. That magazine is available on the iPhone/iPad, so at least I can get some of those elecronically, and at a much cheaper cost than the hardcopy subscription was costing me. Not searchable, but I live in hope. My collection of BMW Roundels will soon appear on the Australian eBay site, as I inch closer to an iPad and financial approval from the Obergruppenfuhrer.

    All of my IEEE, ACM and other professional journals now come to me as PDFs and can be put on my iMac, iPhone, PC or whatever. And they are searchable as well. The Royal Institution of Naval Architects uses a web-based viewer to display their journals, and after a month or so, members are able to download an offline version compatible with either PC or Mac.

    When I try to load the electronic version of the Roundel, I see a "Download" button, but that disappears after the initial code has been downloaded and the magazine presents itself for viewing. I have tried to save the mazagine by printing to PDF, but that fails whether I try from a PC or from my Mac, and recently the limit was changed to only allow printing about 10 pages or so. As mentioned earlier, the size seems to explode to many tens of megabytes on its way to failure.

    As for Flash, I have to agree that it is a resource hog, buggy, and even the latest version often fails to work on my Mac and PC. I normally have my browsers (Safari and Firefox) disable Flash and I view only selected items - hoping they'll display correctly. And of course Flash doesn't play well with the new breed of touch devices.

    It really would be nice to have the option to receive the Roundel electronically as a PDF.

    How about it CCA?

    Cheers! Gary
    • Member


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    I spoke to one of the webmasters about the lack of PDF Download capability

    I was told by a BMW CCA webmaster representative that it was because BMW CCA was worried about piracy?


    I wish you people would do more research before giving lazy answers like that.

    Piracy? Really? The Roundel magazine we members pay upwards of $48 a year for?

    Let me show you something (observe the screen shot).

    Openoffice Writer has a feature that allows you to export documents as a PDF, along with several security features to protect the content, including the one I circled. Guess what that does if you don't check that box? It prevents you from using copy and paste to copy pictures and text to a rich-format word processor and then outputting it to your choice of document format -- presumably the concern over piracy. Leaving one checkbox unticked before exporting it eliminates the easiest and most popular way of potentially pirating the content.

    Come on, BMW CCA. Not to insult any of the hardworking staff at BMW CAA, but A MONKEY could protect a PDF document properly.

    Instead, the membership is inconvenienced by a proprietary online reader thats slow, induces eyestrain, requires an internet connection to enjoy, and prevents us from enjoying a periodical that unless I misunderstood it, is supposed to be OURS with a paid membership.

    And if you're worried about leaving a potentially valuable, albeit protected PDF out on the public internet where it can scooped up by any freeloader who knows how to right-click it, tuck the option inside the member logon! BMW CCA successfully protects other content in this manner.

    Why not?

    Come on. Crying piracy to deny offline downloads while not taking the few simple steps it takes to protect your content, at the expense of the members, is simply laziness.

    M3Driver guest

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    Sounds like a plan. Im going to get my boss to apply....:D
    • Staff


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    We appreciate everyone's feedback on Digital Roundel.

    As bcweir mentioned, when it comes to a PDF we are concerned about piracy. Allowing members to download a PDF of Roundel would be a great convenience, but it would also be a huge potential for file sharing. While copying and pasting is a piracy concern, we are much more concerned about maintaining control of the file. There is no simple Adobe Acrobat check-box that can prevent a person from taking the file and hosting it on his/her server, or sharing it via peer-to-peer applications like BitTorrent. Having a major benefit of the club available from other sources would greatly devalue a person's membership.

    Now for the good news! I can't talk about it much at this point, but know that we are planning on making a Roundel app available for mobile devices.
    • Member


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    Which means PC and laptop owners are left out in the cold...

    So if your mobile device isn't running the Iphone OS, Android, etc. -- No Roundel app for you!:(

    I should also point out that unless you're specifically coding for an iPad app, most mobile phone app output is formatted for a display roughly 3 inches high by 5 inches wide. Generally speaking, that's limiting your audience to smartphones.

    Again, non-iPad users, PC and laptop users wanting to read a digital Roundel OFFLINE can finish eating their dirt sandwich.

    Thanks guys.:(
    • Member


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    I always say: technology can be great... when it works. I'm quite happy to bypass all frustrations of technology, grab that paper thingy version that arrives in the mailbox, utilize at most the technology of a lightbulb, and find that flipping a page gets me there immediately, no clicking involved, easy to page through and manipulate, easy to read, & so on - much less aggravating! :D But, it's also cool the club is exploring alternative means of offering our mag.

    rjcaptsean guest

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    I would like to say one thing. I have been a member for just a few months (3 I think) and have received 3 monthly Roundels online and one in my USPS mailbox. Want to guess which one I have actually read cover to cover?

    Reason? I'm not stuck sitting at my computer.

    Thanks for the great publication though! I do enjoy all of the articles and even reading about people griping about their new $85,000 car. Wonder if any of those folks would like to swap for a e30?

    Dang, I guess that's more than one thing.

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