The New Yorker magazine file format change. Is it permanent?

Status: Open

Prior to September 23, 2013 I received The New Yorker magazine in a custom format that worked quite well on the Nook. It included a way to view all cartoons in the issue in one screen, as well as many other helpful features. Since that date, however, the format has changed. The week after that I received the issue in completely plain ePub format. It was completely useless for magazine content. After that the issues are arriving in plain PDF format. That might work on a larger screen but is, again, useless on a small screen. And only the main articles include "Article View" that allows content to be read outside of the fixed format of a pdf file.


I'm trying to find out if this is a permanent change in file format. I much prefer the previous, custom file format. The people at The New Yorker keep referring me back to Nook support. Nook Support says they are only distributing the file. Who can answer this question?


Here is the text of my original message to Support at The New Yorker:

The Nook edition of the New Yorker has been delivered electronically 
over the last few weeks once in ePub format and twice in PDF format. I 
much prefer the digital format that the magazine was delivered in prior 
to the Sep 23, 2013 edition. That custom format was much easier to read 
on the Nook. I am even considering canceling my subscription if I 
continue to receive the magazine in plain PDF format. Is this a 
permanent change or a temporary technical problem?

Categories: Books
by beemansdad on ‎10-14-2013 07:54 PM

I agree completely that the format change was not an improvement.

New Yorker was definitely more readable and  enjoyable prior to the un-announced and unexplained change.

by EustaceWA on ‎10-14-2013 11:40 PM
Not only is the format a step backwards in some ways (and slightly better in other ways) - but ALL of the multimedia extras are totally absent. No poems read by the author (awesome!), no DVD's by Richard Brody, no film or TV clips, no music review snippets. ALL GONE! I am considering going back to paper. The digital edition of the New Yorker was a quantum leap up from the paper version. The edition we now get is just a facsimile and has no charm.
by Fogsby_Rohmer on ‎10-15-2013 12:45 PM

The response I got finally from The New Yorker, which I assume is Conde Nast Publications, was that the format change was a decision made by Barnes & Noble and not them. I believe that Conde Nast uses this file format with other Nook magazines. I had a Nook subscription to Conde Nast Traveller and it used the previous format also. If Barnes & Noble has made this file format decision across the board then ALL Conde Nast publications will be effected and I'm afraid CNP revenue will deteriorate. I would not be happy about that if I were CNP.


I've also noticed that there is another, similar post almost exactly a year ago about a file format change. If this change is the result of an annual coding refresh then they need to be more careful with their distribution technology.


As was mentioned by other posters here, there are many features now missing from the current version of The New Yorker that made it very worthwhile as an electronic document. I will continue to use and support the Nook, since I still feel that its open technology beats the Kindle or the Nexus, but decisions like this format change, if it was a conscious decision, are uninformed and misguided.

by DakotaBailey on ‎10-15-2013 06:27 PM

I had the same response from the New Yorker, telling me that the change was with Barnes and Noble. Has anyone gotten an answer from Barnes and Noble in which they agree they did this? Or that they might change it back?

by DakotaBailey on ‎10-16-2013 08:28 AM

This is the response I got this morning from the New Yorker. 


"Dear Subscriber:

We apologize for the inconvenience this has caused.

The New Yorker app through Barnes & Noble on the Nook will now be a 
"replica" edition of the print magazine.  It will have a reader view 
where full-size text is viewable.  

The primary technical reason for the change is that the software 
required to run our apps through Barnes & Noble is no longer available.

If you should need further assistance, please be sure to include all 
previous e-mail correspondence.

Thank you for contacting The New Yorker Digital Reader Subscriber 




Can anyone tell me what this means? Who is responsible for the software? Barnes and Noble? The New Yorker? A third party? Why is it no longer available? 


I continue not to understand why Barnes and Noble would allow this to happen as it makes the Nook device less attractive than other e readers.


Can anyone help me understand what this message means?

by chbryan on ‎10-16-2013 01:38 PM

Not a fan of this change either.

by DakotaBailey on ‎10-17-2013 08:20 AM

Here is the answer:


"Dear Subscriber:

Barnes & Noble chose not to update the software needed to run our 
interactive apps going forward.

Therefore the only version available for the Nook through Barnes & Noble
will be in PDF format from now on.

You can view your digital issues on the iPad, iPhone or Kindle Fire in 
enhanced form.

We are sorry for the inconvenience this has caused.

If you should need further assistance, please be sure to include all 
previous e-mail correspondence.

Thank you for contacting The New Yorker Digital Reader Subscriber 



If you want this fixed, (and I do), you need to ask Barnes and Noble to do it.

by Fogsby_Rohmer on ‎10-17-2013 01:25 PM

Because of the screen size of the Nook (7 inch) I never considered purchasing magazine subscriptions for it. That and comic books and anything that requires a larger screen were not anything I planned on. Since the day I purchased it I never planned to read magazines on it for the many problems with pdf format mentioned in this message thread.


But that changed when I decided to subscribe to The New Yorker, since it is mostly a "reader's" magazine. I was pleasantly surprised, and fully sold, on the previous enhanced media version that we are discussing here. Sadly it looks like I will no longer be purchasing Conde Nast magazine subscriptions for my Nook Tablet. I guess I'll have to wait until I can afford an iPad with a larger screen.


I really hope and wish that Barnes & Noble will reverse its decision on this. Despite what everyone says in the press, and the rumors of end of life for the technology, the Nook devices are very well designed and were the first to market in the low price reader devices. I think it's important that these devices are for READING and that's why I choose to support the Nook. It has been a great device and I'll continue to use it until it no longer works. But please B&N, make some smarter choices about the direction of your platform!


- Bob

by WordCat on ‎10-18-2013 02:10 PM

I am so happy to see this topic addressed because I've gone from the New Yorker to B&N's digital department and back ... and wondered if I was doing something wrong. But no. In fact, I echo everything that Bob, above (Fogsby_Rohmer), said.


I HATE THE NEW FORMAT. Hate, hate, hate it. I hate it so much that I am strongly thinking of just getting a Kindle or iPad Mini, if this is how B&N treats their Nook customers. I was delighted with the "old" format of The New Yorker on my Nook. It was easy to maneuver, easy to read, to find things, and the cartoon section couldn't be beat. Now, I not only can't submit my own captions, I can't even VOTE in the cartoon contest unless I log on to the website.


I have been a very staunch Nook user (this is my third), but now I would not encourage someone to buy a Nook simply because of this experience. One of the reasons I bought a reading device was to cut down on papers and books and magazines -- but it's much harder to read on my Nook than in its paper form. Not nearly as fun and enriching as it WAS, however.


B&N, please re-think this extremely bad change. It seemed to happen in the dead of night with no explanation or warning, and until I read all these other messages, I was starting to think I was the only one who somehow had the "bad program" that gave me this dismaying  format.


- A sad customer & reader in Minnesota

Welcome to the NOOK Issue Reporting exchange. Post your issue and come back later to check its status, as well as commentary from myself and BN developers. - Alex
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