Retro Gamer eMagâ„¢ now available

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Bub&Bob
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Post by Bub&Bob » Thu Dec 20, 2007 5:34 am

Got mine - I think its pretty impressive but its a pain in the arse to read it (unlike a proper mag).

But its great to have and will read it all at some point!
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Mucx
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Post by Mucx » Thu Mar 06, 2008 8:08 am

I got my eMag in the mail this morning and I am actually very shocked by the poor quality of the images in the PDF. Every single image is blurry and out of focus.

I have missed the magazine on the news stands unfortunately. I have managed to buy some of the recent issues (the last 5) and thought your eMag was a great way to catch up. Unfortunately, it isn't. Don't get me wrong, the actual physical magazine is great and I love it but this eMag leaves a lot to be desired.

I wanted to look at screenshots for games I missed when I was younger and read interesting articles about them. Then maybe try and get ahold of them off eBay or emulation. I can't really do that as the images are so shockingly compressed and blurred out it makes that impossible other than just reading the text.

Although, even some of the text has some issues where the tracking is gone astray on the smaller little blurbs.

Issue 23 as an example is shocking.

Why didn't you guys keep the quality as high as possible and instead of trying to cram 30 issues on one Disc put 20 instead? I mean I would have bought two eMag sets if there had been 20 issues per disc. Or the publishing company (you?) could have been less of a tightwad and spanned two discs for the same price...because DVD discs are cheap as hell now.

Ok, having read the forum thread here, I see and agree that the articles in the QuickSearch folder are of a better quality and resolution. However, it is a pain in the wazoo as I would have preferred to look at the mag as a single entity in hi-res. Now, I have to open up a mag, see an article I like and then search for it in the QuickSearch...ooof!

I would ask for a refund but, it took you guys two weeks to send me the mag (when I live not 200 miles from your office) and god knows how a refund would be achieved.

Great mag...poor CD-Rom/PDF design sorry.
Oh well.

Bub&Bob
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Post by Bub&Bob » Thu Mar 06, 2008 8:31 am

Im not a huge fan of it - Didn't have an issue with the quality but its a real pain in the ass zooming in and out of each page to read stuff.
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Antiriad2097
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Post by Antiriad2097 » Thu Mar 06, 2008 9:23 am

In the earlier issues the image quality in the print mag was often terrible too. Its one of the areas Darran did sort out after the first few months of Imagine taking over. There's still the odd dodgy shot just due to the source material being iffy itself, but for the most part we've become accustomed to the new crisp shots which makes the old ones look so much worse.
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Quaid
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Post by Quaid » Fri Mar 07, 2008 2:35 pm

guys,

This is the explanation for what you are experiencing.

After reading your posts we just wanted to give you a quick explanation as to why you are experiencing this problem with low resolution images.

On creating our eMag format (the PDF files that contains every page that appears in an issue of the magazine) we found that if we left all the images at print resolution it took far too long to load each eMag in Acrobat Reader. Post testing we took the decision to reduce the resolution of images in the eMag to 72dpi so that the files opened as quickly as possible.

We then realised that some images may be effected by this compression too much (such as the your examples above) which is why we have included the 'Quicksearch' Section on the disc. This section allows you to search through the articles of the magazine as individual PDF pages which have not been compressed to such a high level. These files are to a standard that you can print out.
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The Master
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Post by The Master » Fri Mar 07, 2008 3:16 pm

Thanks for the explanation, but I would have preferred part 1 -2 -3 of each magazine, than have the images raped in this way. Even the Quicksearch doesn't make up for this, and there's LOADS of empty space left on the DVD.... not trying to be ungrateful, but maybe next time...?

Quaid
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Post by Quaid » Sat Mar 08, 2008 1:42 pm

All feedback gratefully received, Master, so thanks, we'll bear that in mind for Volume 2.
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Japster
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Post by Japster » Wed Mar 12, 2008 10:17 am

Mucx wrote:I got my eMag in the mail this morning and I am actually very shocked by the poor quality of the images in the PDF. Every single image is blurry and out of focus.

...I wanted to look at screenshots for games I missed when I was younger and read interesting articles about them. Then maybe try and get ahold of them off eBay or emulation. I can't really do that as the images are so shockingly compressed and blurred out it makes that impossible other than just reading the text.

Although, even some of the text has some issues where the tracking is gone astray on the smaller little blurbs.

...Why didn't you guys keep the quality as high as possible and instead of trying to cram 30 issues on one Disc put 20 instead? I mean I would have bought two eMag sets if there had been 20 issues per disc. Or the publishing company (you?) could have been less of a tightwad and spanned two discs for the same price...because DVD discs are cheap as hell now.

Ok, having read the forum thread here, I see and agree that the articles in the QuickSearch folder are of a better quality and resolution. However, it is a pain in the wazoo as I would have preferred to look at the mag as a single entity in hi-res. Now, I have to open up a mag, see an article I like and then search for it in the QuickSearch...ooof!

I would ask for a refund but, it took you guys two weeks to send me the mag (when I live not 200 miles from your office) and god knows how a refund would be achieved.

Great mag...poor CD-Rom/PDF design sorry.
Oh well.

I have to agree - I bought this as SOON as it came out (and I already have all of the issues...), solely for being able to browse through and re-visit 30 issues without having to worry about damaging my RG's, in addition to the hassle of taking down and looking through the 3 (now 4) bid binders full of them.

I too have to agree that I almost asked for a refund - was a nice idea, but REALLY poor quality screenshots...

The cynic in me assumes that this might be partly down to you guys trying to lessen the desirability of the eMags (i.e. prevent them spreading around the 'net like wildfire) - As for compression and loading times - It's been rightly pointed out that the DVD wasn't even fully utilised, so would have had more space.

In addition to this, you can't *fairly* produce/downgrade the product to the lowest denominator?! - If the PDF's take a while to load, big deal?! - in 6 month's time it won't even be relevant, given the current evolution rate of the PC/Mac market, and I'd hope to be enjoying them waaaay after that?! - Surely some more resonable/realistic compression ratio could have been reached? - and I have to agree with Mucx on media costs - even for the cost of supplying (and pressing) an extra DVD if required, you could have probably fitted BOTH flavours - low-res, AND superb quality - for the buyers to make their own choice? :)

Don't get me wrong - I love you guys and what you do for us to bits, and on paper (so to speak) the idea sounded FANTASTIC (and revolutionary!), plus great value... - Hence I bought it as soon as it was available - I just really feel that it wasn't that worthy a purchase based on what I discovered upon loading up the actual PDF'd issues, and noting the (lack of) quality in the screenshots and graphics (which though it sounds petty, are a MASSIVELY important nostalgia draw, in addition to being essential really - i.e. if you can't make out/enjoy the details from a blurred/badly compressed screenshot, then what's the point of using the eMags for reference and nostalgia?...)

I have to be honest, I loaded the DVD up as soon as it arrived, LOVED the retro menus and obvious attention to details on the front end, then was sorely disappointed with the quality once I actually got to view one - and I have to say, it's honestly not been in my PC since - just back in it's case on the shelf....

Having said that, I'd honestly happily pay AGAIN for a crisp quality set on DVD (or even 2 DVD's)... :)

Well, that's my gripe over, but it'll be interesting to see if you guys listen to (and maybe even act upon?!) what is looking like a VERY sore point with many people! - It may not sound it from this thread, but we *are* your loyal public guys, and I for one will always stick by RG (within reason!), but as mentioned above, I think we expected so much more in terms of quality, especially given that it came on a DVD! :(

Ahh well - GREAT mag though - keep up the good work, and I'll look forward to issues 31-60 on the 5 Blu-Ray disc eMag set!... :lol:

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CraigGrannell
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Post by CraigGrannell » Wed Mar 12, 2008 10:53 am

Japster wrote:you could have probably fitted BOTH flavours - low-res, AND superb quality - for the buyers to make their own choice?
That's what we did many moons back for Zzap!64 #107. For a commercial offering—and one that's not exactly cheap—I'm surprised at the resolution being set so low. For any future sets, Japster's 'two versions' makes a lot of sense; if two aren't possible, at least up the output resolution to 150dpi.
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Japster
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Post by Japster » Wed Mar 12, 2008 7:11 pm

CraigGrannell wrote:
Japster wrote:you could have probably fitted BOTH flavours - low-res, AND superb quality - for the buyers to make their own choice?
That's what we did many moons back for Zzap!64 #107. For a commercial offering—and one that's not exactly cheap—I'm surprised at the resolution being set so low. For any future sets, Japster's 'two versions' makes a lot of sense; if two aren't possible, at least up the output resolution to 150dpi.
Cheers Craig - 150dpi would probably be more than adequate - 72dpi or whatever figure was originally mentioned has obviously resulted in a compromised image quality, especially given it contains less than a quarter of the data/detail that 150dpi would produce/contain... it'd take four times(ish) more space per screenshot (dependent upon the data/detail in each picture of course - Each obviously compresses differently) but I'm sure the overall PDF's wouldn't be *too* unwieldy would they? :) ...

Anyway, I'll give it a rest now, and leave it up to the powers-that-be!... :wink:

thenodfather
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Post by thenodfather » Wed Mar 19, 2008 1:54 pm

Hmm, I was going to order this today, maybe I'll hold off until I can find out this if people would be so kind as to let me know please?


1) I seen here people are unhappy with the quality of images sizewise, but if you zoom in does it make things better or does the quality degrade as you zoom in?

2) Does the text hold up? I had .pdf Files before and when you zoomed in on the writing you could barely read it.

3) As a fan of the Atari ST I was wondering what issue was there an article done on it and where those who read it happy with it?

4) It has been asked but I haven't seen a full answer to it, but does every issuse that's on the c.d. have 100% of all the articles that are in the magazines?


I think I will buy this D.V.D. because I had a look in the shop here and including Posting & Packaging it comes to £21:99 (€27:87), so that's a little under a euro per issue if you divide it up, 0.929 Cents an issue to be exact.
That is phenominally good value considering the paper edition once a month comes to around €8:50, (€8:46 I think). So it really is good.
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Quaid
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Post by Quaid » Thu Mar 20, 2008 12:14 pm

Hi NodFather,

To answer your questions:

1. The images in the PDFs are only low res when you view an entire issue in one go from the front screen. This is because otherwise it would take 10 mins to display each issue. If you go to the Quick Search, you can view all the articles by article type in high res.

2. Yes the text is perfectly readable in both low and high res versions. You can also print the high res versions

3. Yes there is an article on the whole Atari ST family

4. The only missing articles are to be found on some of the issues pre issue 19 because some were not backed up by the magazine's former owners. Other than that it's complete.

Hope that helps
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vanzan
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Post by vanzan » Fri Mar 21, 2008 8:52 am

I got my emag today but when I took it out of the packing I noticed a problem. The disc was loose and was almost sticking out of the top of the box. There is a small scratch on the disc also....can I return it? I'd keep it and not be a hassle only I don't know if the scratch might stop me reading stopping a few weeks down the line....

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The Master
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Post by The Master » Fri Mar 21, 2008 11:09 am

vanzan wrote:I got my emag today but when I took it out of the packing I noticed a problem. The disc was loose and was almost sticking out of the top of the box. There is a small scratch on the disc also....can I return it? I'd keep it and not be a hassle only I don't know if the scratch might stop me reading stopping a few weeks down the line....
Try to copy the whole DVD onto your hard drive. If it copies without problem, the scratch isn't an issue.

vanzan
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Post by vanzan » Wed Mar 26, 2008 1:09 pm

thanks for that....good idea. I'm up to number 8 though and have noticed the first mistake. Page 47 is missing with Page 46 there twice.

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