Mag+ introduces a web export function for digital editions built using the platform
Feature allows for exporting digital editions for web reading, but comes with limitations that designers will need to compensate for in their original files before exporting
The digital publishing platform Mag+ this week announced that they had added a web export feature, allowing for browser based reading of digital editions.
As the video below shows, the feature works well with digital editions built for smartphones, the example being the iPhone edition from the British Journal of Photography.
“The Web Export feature gives you a way to distribute the content you’ve created with the Mag+ tools in a standard web browser,” the company said in its support page for the feature. “It allows you to convert any uploaded MIB file to HTML, directly from your Publish portal. Once the conversion is complete, you can download a package of HTML and assets that you can host on your own web server or site. You can also modify the exported HTML or CSS as you like.”
The Web Export feature is available to Pro license customers, and while you can convert any device-type MIB file to HTML, the output will not scale in the reader’s browser.
Converting files looks easy enough. One starts by entering the Mag+ Publish portal and finding the issues tab. Clicking on the proper issue, on then clicks on the “Convert to HTML” button next to the MIB file.
The content conversion takes a few minutes after which you get an email with a download link to retrieve the compressed .zip file containing the HTML and content assets.
With any export feature there are limitations, of course. B-layer transitions and background colors are lost, for instance. An important one is that the background color, if set to “none” defaults to black. Another is the export only supports a single orientation (which makes sense since the reader is not likely to place their iMac in another orientation, right?).
But an experienced user, have testing the export function a few times will likely learn to tweak their files before exporting. (There is a list of limitations on the support page.)
Mag+ is not the only platform with a web export function. But many of the other platforms with such a feature are PDF based. How well native digital editions will translate to the web will have to be determined when we see this more often. Many publishers will want to introduce such an online feature behind a paywall – but others, especially brand publishers, will see the value of web exporting for their free publications.
Another thing publishers are looking for is a better way to sell their existing apps. Apple and the other digital newsstand owners hold tight to apps, but publishers are seeing their apps lost in the vast, cluttered app stores. If one could sell and deliver their own digital editions, even if it meant still giving Apple and Google their cuts, it might help boast sales. Simply linking to the app stores from publisher websites is not proving to be effective enough.