Friday, April 08, 2011

Read the NYT on iPhone, iPad or desktop - for free with a Google Reader bundle

I was a happy Times Select subscriber. I liked paying for what I read, and I was disappointed that the NYT took down that paywall. The price was reasonable and access was convenient. True, I didn't get much value for my money (other than Krugman), but it was a way to contribute.

That's not how I feel about the NYT's $40 million paywall from Hell - $455 a year to view the NYT on 3 online devices. Unless, of course, I choose to mulch the newspaper, waste natural resources, and boost the earth's CO2. Then I pay less.

Multiply that by four family members, since there's no family plan. There's also no option to only get web access.

Happily, there's a practical alternative we can use until the NYT gets sane and offers web-only family access for @$150 a year. [3]

The practical, free, alternative to the NYT is ... the NYT. The NYT, you see, allows 'free' access from blogs. Since the NYT provides section feeds (Arts, Science, US, World) it is, in essence, its own blog [2]. If you add these feeds to Google's superb Reader, you can read the NYT from your web browser, iPhone or iPad for free. On the iPhone or iPad (or desktop) you can also use (my favorite iPhone app [1]).

It's a bit tedious to add these feeds, so you may want to start with using a Google Reader Bundle I prepared:  Gordon's Google Reader Bundle - New York Times. If you're a Google Reader user you'll get a button that lets you add all the feeds at once.

[1] Try the embedded readability function is excellent. Tap the little R in the top right of any page. The major limitation is that it only shows the 1st page of a multipage article, so sometimes I have to open the web view.
[2] If you browse the NYT web site with Safari you see either the RSS or "Reader" symbol by many articles. Since these are feed based, I wonder if they also dodge the paywall.
[3] We hate to encourage them, but to be fair Emily will pay the lowest cost subscription plan for the next few months.

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