Last edited by supermatt; 06-04-2012 at 08:07 PM.
Just to be absolutely clear, we don't advocate illegally downloading comics at CBR in any way. If anyone posts a link to any such site, the offending post will be immediately deleted and you will receive a warning or a possible ban.
Techcitement is an online tech magazine. The term techcitement is defined by the feeling that comes over you when discovering new (or even old and unfamiliar) tech. Techcitement also relates to the idea of any use of technology that proves to be interesting, from politics to social media to fitness. If a story excites us, we want to share it with you. [I co-own this and act as EIC of this, so check it out.]
The people who want it for free are going to get it for free, so they're not even in the equation.
The important group is people who want to pay but a) want to actually own the file, not just access to it, b) refuse to pay full price for a file that has none of the printing/shipping/retail overhead, and c) both of the above.
Just to be clear, since I did jump in early on this, Comixology is not a Total Failure to me, it's just not AS convenient as getting mail order comics.. yet. Gave the system 9 months.. and honestly am following through until the 12th issue mark on most of my books before I revert to mostly paper. The fact that a number of aspects of the service became LESS user friendly over the course of the year didn't help. I certainly hope that a year from now they've tweaked their product and servers and evaded the hiccups. The other side of it is price. Heck.. I think the fact that they have to stream the data constantly to PCs is part of the cost ineffectiveness of the whole deal. I know folks crack DRM all the time, but there's already way to record the info when you're viewing it.. if it doesn't lock up over and over again. Why not let me download the file one time to my PC just like I download it one time to my iPod or Fire? Is it that dangerous?
Digital comics have a lot of pros going for them over paper.. and paper has it's strengths over digital. They both have a place in the collectors'/readers' worlds and the views from both sides are all viable. If it were a little more user friendly I'd NEVER get anything other than trades again.. but for cost and ease of use.. I gave it a serious try and for me it just didn't quite do it. And there's where a little of my frustration is because I really REALLY was hoping I wouldn't be having to figure out where to store any more comic books in my poor over saturated house. If they lighten up and let us download and store the books on our own HDD with some proprietary off line reading program I'll probably go back and buy back all the stuff I'll be getting in paper soon. It's an awesome way to enjoy comics when it's efficient and working right.
Did Wonder Woman and Superman just catch an aircraft carrier?
Some would say screw the middlemen. But the middlemen provide a lot of value to both buyer and seller. The internet companies like Apple are creating an easy to use multipurpose digital ecosystem and ComiXology writes their own software for buying and reading comics on Android and iOS, as well as designing their web store and formating comics with that nifty guided view.
Printing is really a small part of purchase price in digital comics. And digital comics are ad-free and always arrive in mint condition.
Comics reader since 1974. Now purchasing 100% of my comics digitally.
Sadly, with comics sales being down, they're not that attractive to advertisers anymore. I don't think ads bring in a lot of revenue anymore. Most of the ads seem to be for other comics these days.
I'd love to see Marvel or DC experiment with free digital comics with slightly older material from their kids lines, and try to support them with lots of ads. Dunno what the prospects are though.
Comics reader since 1974. Now purchasing 100% of my comics digitally.
I'm going back to the tech support issue in the original post. Which Comixology app are you using? (Android? iOS? Kindle?) Also, was it a forced update or is there any way for you to manually roll back to the older version that was working fine for you? If not, can you get the changelog for the new version to get more details on what they changed that might be causing it to hang?
I just find it weird that proxy address issues would cause the reader to hang mid-comic because that means that their file storage system on their servers is set up to feed comics to you page by page, which is a connectivity nightmare, especially when you typical comic page takes less than a minute to read. If it were really a proxy address problem, I imagine you'd have problems with far more basic things, like making the initial connection required to log into your account. Your connectivity seems to be working just fine when it comes to buying your digital comic and that data presumably travels through the same proxy servers as the comic pages you are trying to read. But then I am no computer expert so I could be totally wrong. I think maybe you should contact your ISPs tech support to at least ask whether the Comixology tech support is correct in assuming that the proxy address is the problem. If enough people are contacting them with the same problem, they may have a workaround that doesn't involve going to the local Wifi-equipped Starbucks to read your comics.
There's also a remote chance that it's not a connectivity issue and something on your device is not playing nice with the new version of the app. To eliminate that as a variable, try doing what supermatt suggested and make sure you have the current version of java and flash, etc and maybe your OS installed. Maybe try clearing out the cache to see if there is some bad data in there.
I have to admit, this is the one thing I really don't like about digital comics - Most of the apps have only a bare minimum of tech support. Especially the ones where the app is free. And when I have a problem like this on my tablet, getting into the guts of the OS to see what is going on is a lot harder than trying to troubleshoot problems on my desktop.
I have to agree with what some others said, the premise that stealing is justified because the Comixology experience is somehow so terrible just doesn't hold water. If you have adequate internet and a decent tablet, the Comixology experience is great. You get your comics on release day, in beautiful high resolution, almost instantly. You can start reading them as soon as you touch the button. The selection is really good, too, in that it includes stuff you'd probably never find at most comic shops, unless you were lucky enough to have a great one that takes a chance on ordering offbeat indies. You also get free comics, sales, and they drop the price of the old comics after a while. And they have old comics, and are adding more every week, which is another plus because comic shops with decent back issue bins seem to be dying out. Also, these old comics are a flat rate, so you can buy something that's never been reprinted without going out and paying an inflated collector's price for it.
So yeah, it's pretty damn sweet, actually. The only major thing I can see to worry about is the fear that you will lose all your comics if Comixology goes under and decides to be evil and not offer consumers an opportunity and a method to back everything up. But life's too short, I'm not going to sit around worrying about it. Also, I figure if I buy my comics legally instead of downloading them, it's less like that Comixology will go under.
I do wish Apple would make a bigger tablet, though. I'd like a larger, lighter iPad with a screen big enough to hold a standard comics page.
Last edited by Shawn Hopkins; 06-04-2012 at 09:49 PM.
This is why companies love digital distribution. You can't resell a comic book or a movie or a CD or a videogame if you only have a digital copy, the only way to buy it is from the original source who are free to charge whatever they want for it. And of course these companies suck at customer service and offer zero incentive for buying digital copies so they have to resort to guilt tripping: "By downloading comics you're destroying the industry and ruining lives!" And the sad thing is people fall for it. For the first time the customer has some actual power, they can say "NO I will NOT play your stupid games and pay your inflated prices and buy into your expensive crossovers" and make some kind of statement with their dollars. I mean, if sales dropped while illicit downloads rose wouldn't the logical thinking be "Hey, they really like our product but they aren't willing to pay for it, maybe we're doing something wrong..."? You'd think so. But instead people will both complain endlessly about paying 4 bucks for a 20 page story two times a month and rant about how evil dirty pirates are in the same breath. Why do you think Marvel double ships despite all of the complaints? People keep buying the double-shipped books! Why do you think Marvel charges 4 bucks for 20 pages of Amazing Spider-Man or Invincible Iron Man or The Avengers or whatever? People keep buying the expensive books! They complain about how evil it is but they're the ones supporting it because the genre is designed to make skipping an issue an unthinkable act. You really can't bitch about the ground breaking your legs when you're the one who jumped off a building.
I'm not going to say there aren't people who pirate just because they want everything for free, because there definitely are. But customer service goes a long way for making someone pay for something. The fact of the matter is you no longer have to buy comics to read comics. This is something publishers desperately wish wasn't true but it is true and there is no stopping it. When you buy a comic book you're no longer paying for the story because the story is free, you're paying for the service.