Customer Reviews: Smithsonian Magazine
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on June 16, 2011
I'm giving the Kindle Smithsonian only two stars, but not because of the content, which is generally outstanding, nor because of the format, which is also excellent, but because of its delivery schedule.

In short, Smithsonian doesn't deliver your subscription to your Kindle until the 15th of each month. This is completely unacceptable.

Their own website and their printed edition is available to readers and subscribers on the 1st of each month. So by the time you get your Kindle subscription delivered most everybody else has already read it cover to cover.

In fact, if you want, just go their website and read the available articles for the new edition, and by the time it reaches your Kindle, you may have already read most of what you wanted to read in the first place.

How would you like to receive Monday's newspaper on Wednesday, and Tuesday's newspaper on Thursday, and so on.

Well, the current Smithsonian Kindle subscription is even worse than that. It appears that Smithsonian not doesn't care about its e-subscribers, but actually holds them in disdain and/or contempt.

I'll give them another month or two to fix it. If they don't, I'm a gonner.

EDIT: I've upped my rating to five stars for several reasons. First, Smithsonian actually replied to this comment in a very professional and positive manner and explained that this was a mulitple problem error that they have now discovered and fixed.

Secondly, I just received my July/August issue on the 24th of June, i.e., about a week early.

Thirdly, with regard to content, Smithsonian is my favorite Kindle magazine.

I am thrilled that this has been acknowledged and fixed. Thanks, Smithsonian, for addressing this.
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on October 13, 2011
UPDATE: Per a post by a smithsonian employee, this is not currently the case.

I did not get around to looking at my issue of Smithsonian Magazine for last month, and when I went to read it, it was gone. I had not removed it from the kindle. It was just past 1 month old, and it had been removed. I went to the manage your kindle page to re-send the older issue, and it wasn't available. Smithsonian decided to restrict possession of their magazine copies to only the current issue unless you explicitly mark "keep this issue". You can *never* re-download later, even if your device dies.

As a result of this, and the fact that the magazine is twice as expensive in kindle than on paper, I have decided to cancel my subscription. It's a very interesting magazine, and has a lot of articles I have enjoyed, but their policies are horrid, and I don't want to waste my money on magazines that I can't even read again later.
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VINE VOICEon April 4, 2011
I just started my 14 day free trial and I am convinced that this is a keeper! The articles are the full length ones from the print edition, and contain the original illustrations, although Kindle users get them in black and white. The photgraphs are wonderful, as they are in high definition, and not muddled as in some other Kindle publications. I received the download this morning and immediately read the cover story on the opening battle of the Civil War -- it had the usual Smithsonian scholarship, and the black and white images from contemporary art and photos of the period appeared at the end of the article. I highly recommend this publication on your Kindle, as I could not find any meaningful flaws.
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on April 21, 2011
The articles in this magazine are very engaging and well written. I was surprised as I expected to wade through a heavy academic style of writing, but instead, the the articles are easy to read and highly informative. I would recommend this magazine to anyone interested in the world around them.

In one issue, I read about everything from sunspots to the American civil war. There is a great diversity to the topics covered and each article is addictive and very difficult to put down once you start reading it.

I'm grateful for the free trial that Amazon provides (I wouldn't have tried this magazine otherwise) and I feel that this is definitely a keeper.

The only reason that this review does not receive the full 5 stars is that apparently international customers do not receive all the pictures and maps that American Kindle users do. It would be nice to receive the pictures even if it meant paying a bit more than the US customers do.

Even without the illustrations and maps, this is a fantastic read and well worth subscribing to.
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on April 3, 2011
I am in my 2 week free trial. However, I am quite impressed by the quality of this magazine. I was a little concerned about the download time of this magazine. It took a little while compared to most books and other magazines-but then I found out why. They have included a set of high res photos with each story. These photos (and diagrams and maps) are very detailed and look great when they are zoomed. The only negative, and it is slight is that them come at the end of the articles.

The content is great and it is put into an easy to digest format. Of course, there will be people who complain that it is all black and white, but it is a Kindle. And as I recall, Ansel Adams did quite well with his black and white photos.

This is a monthly, so you have plenty of time to digest the articles. Overall, it is a great magazine for the price.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon April 24, 2012
A big thumbs-down to Smithsonian Magazine's decision to automatically remove the previous month's edition as soon as the new one arrives on your Kindle. If I don't manage to get the current edition read on time, they take away the product that I paid for. Bad marketing decision and I'll be cancelling my subscription because of this. I'd consider buying the magazine hard-copy edition, but the whole thing leaves a bad taste in my mouth. National Geographic is more deserving of my money and I don't feel cheated by them.
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on February 2, 2013
I have gotten the printed Smithsonian Magazine for many years now and would love to read it on my Kindle Fire. I see I can pay another $2/month to do that. I get National Geographic, Sunset and Readers Digest free because I subscribe to the print editions. Why doesn't Smithsonian have this same benefit?
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on December 18, 2011
When I first started my magazine subscription, it worked well on Kindle Fire. But halfway through reading, the magazine no longer displayed in Page View. Instead of magazine pages, I got icons of a camera with exclamation points. Text View still worked, including displaying the images. I contacted Amazon to get a refund for the issue, but instead they cancelled my subscription (which I did not request) and supposedly are giving me a pro-rated refund for the time remaining. This is not what I asked for, and if the product is defective I should get a refund.

I'm giving it two stars instead of one because the pictures and content were slick when working. However, I find the articles too short, almost like a Reader's Digest version of science & culture, rather than in-depth research and reporting that I enjoy.
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on December 17, 2011
I'm giving this magazine 2 stars on account that it never dowloaded to my Kindle properly and I never got to read it because of this error.(November or December 2011 issue) Everytime I would redownload it and try to open it I would get an error message. I paid good money for that issue too.
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on November 26, 2011
After reading reviews I decided to opt for the trial subscription. Once downloaded the magazine will not open. I have deleted and reloaded it (following instructions) three times now, each with the same result. I have a kindle 3 and live in Australia. Is this the problem?
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