The Complete New Yorker, Priced to Move

February 6, 2009 | 1 book mentioned 5

This must be some sign of the times: our friends at The New Yorker are currently offering the DVD-ROM set of “every page of every issue” at the fire sale price of $19.99 (and Amazon has it for as cheap as $16.72 as of this writing, though the sets for sale there may only be through 2005). It would seem that, during the time-intensive process of digitizing the New Yorker archive, technology outran itself. Shortly after the release of the boxed set, as we pointed out last year, “Every page of every issue” became available to subscribers at newyorker.com. That is to say, the DVD-ROM version is already obsolete. Still, there’s something amazing – even scandalous – about having the collected labor of White, Addams, Trow, Frazier et al. sitting in a svelte case on your desk. And heaven knows Condé Nast needs the revenue: The New Yorker was apparently its biggest ad-page loser last year, and we took note of a decidedly slimmer Winter Fiction Issue in September.

5 comments:

  1. What do you mean? DVD-ROM is far cheaper than a subscription. For non-Canadian foreigners, subscription is more than 100 bucks.

  2. Sorry, Anon. I should have pointed out that this is every page of every issue up to April of 2008. I had assumed, perhaps wrongly, that most readers with an appetite for this product would already be subscribers to The New Yorker, keeping up with the current issues, and may not have known that their subscription comes with complete access to the digitized back issues (essentially the same product as the DVD-ROM). For me, then, the DVD-ROM is fairly extraneous, but I still love having it, as my access to it is not contingent on anything. 100 bucks is steep! Here in the states, it's something like half that.

  3. I'm a subscriber, and I enjoy the Digital Edition of The New Yorker, but the interface is different from that used on the DVD-ROM and the hard drive version. There are definite advantages to having the DVD/hard-drive interface — it's easier to poke around and find things of interest, you can see a complete list of contributors for a given issue (including unattributed Talk of the Town pieces, cartoons, and drawings)which were often not printed in the older issue of TNY. There's even a "next cartoon" button that allows you flip through any given issue and look only at the cartoons.

    There's more, but the differences are significant. I do love the convenience of the Digital Edition, and I prefer the convenience of the hard-drive version to the DVDs, but if you're interested in access to the magazine's archives on a regular basis, $19.99 for the DVDs is a steal.

  4. The big question for me is:

    'Is the data on the DVD accessible outside of their proprietary viewer?'

    In other words, can I analyze the text itself and do other fun things with the data/text?

    If anyone can answer that, I'd appreciate knowing.

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