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Why I Don’t Like Google’s New Play Magazines App

When I first got Ice Cream Sandwich, I wasn’t really sure what I would do with a magazine application, as I usually just get my magazines in the mail (e.g. Gameinformer). I decided to give Play Magazine’s its proper chance though, and with that, I purchased a issue from PC Gamer on there. Flipping through it, I really enjoyed being able to zoom into text, flip pages extremely easily, and etc. One of the best parts was that there were no crinkled pages, or pages that got destroyed due to bad weather conditions and etc. Those are just a few positives, and are nice things about the app, but I really don’t like Play Magazines.

Digital copies of things are an interesting conundrum. A lot of the time, I am really against digital copies because it is just another step towards you technically not owning anything you purchase. Say you buy a game off of Steam, you don’t own that game, you purchased the license to play that game. This is a huge reason why Good old Games is so popular, as it is all DRM free, and you own the entire game. That said, anything that is digital, is headed towards the fact that you just own the license and not the entire magazine, which is why I love physical copies of the magazine because you literally own it. I like Play Magazines in the sense that you have this awesome vibrant magazine where pages aren’t getting ripped and crinkled, they aren’t getting destroyed in the weather as it heads towards your house through the various mail carriers. I like the whole e-Book-esque theme of Play Magazines, but I do not like the license that is attached to purchasing things off of the Play Store, or even the iOS store for books. To clear this up: the problem is not with the app itself, but the licenses that are attached to the application.

I like to own copies of things I buy. I don’t like owning a license where a company could decide to take it away at any given moment. Of course, I doubt someone would do that, but in a way we’re headed towards that with all of these licenses and such. We can go back to gaming and look at the streaming services that companies like Sony are headed towards. Sony purchased Gaikai, which is a streaming service that will allow you to stream games off of  their servers to your monitor. OnLive is a even better example, you purchased the ability to stream the game to your monitor, you didn’t purchase the ability to have the game on all of your computers.

When it comes down to it, it feels like another “business” movement. Companies just want their money, and they are willing to do anything to get that. You can head all over the internet to see how they get as much money as they can, and you should find a ton of information talking about licensing digital software to the consumer.

To sum it all up, I don’t like Play Magazines because I like to have rights to something I just purchased. I don’t want to buy a license, I want to buy something that I could own for life, not something that could get taken away for some reason or another.

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