I subscribe to Readly which allows me to read 1,500+ magazines, with new issues every month.

I can't see anything on their site to answer this. It is probably a legal question, but can I ask how to download those magazines I order to read them offline?

Presumably, when I open one for reading, it is cached somewhere on my device (Mainly Windows laptop & occasionally Android), Is it on-topic to ask where to find those cached magazines and copy them for offline reading?

Btw, I am thining of cancelling my subscription & would still like to retain those magazines

  • 1
    Based on my experience with other streaming services, the cached files are usually obfuscated that it will be almost impossible to listen/read those without the app/in-browser viewer. So even though you could find the cached files, you will have a hard time to read (or even open) them. – Andrew T. Aug 9 at 3:32
  • Five downvotes? Apparently five people don't understand the difference between "this is a bad/not on topic! question, and "I don't like your question" – Mawg Aug 10 at 20:13
  • On Meta Super User up and Dovnvotes are there to indicate agreement or disagreement. – Nordlys Jeger Aug 12 at 18:54

This is not on-topic for Super User.

This is a question about what you can do to continue receiving historic benefits of a subscription service without a subscription. It is not a question about computer hardware or software.

If you wish to be able to download and permanently keep these files then you should discuss how to go about that with the company itself.


My reasoning for why I do not believe this is a problem with actual software is because your access to the files is predicated on you having a subscription.

It is a question about a web-based subscription service to rent access to magazines. There is no Windows app outside of your web browser, and the browser is simply a viewer. You are not paying to download media such as epub files, or mp3s or movies, you are only paying to view it.

If you had purchased each and every issue at market price then it could be a matter of fair-use and effectively creating a backup, but as it is a monthly service to read as many as you like then I do not believe fair use applies here.

If you had bought specific content and the company gave you the files but kept a key so that they could restrict the number of places you could view that file then it can be argued that should that company go out of business then you should still be able to access that file. In that case you would want to be able to remove protections from that file. That is reasonable and allowed on Super User.

But you are not buying specific content, you are buying nothing more than temporary access to content. Circumventing DRM in this manner is not okay.

This is similar to the fact that subscribing to Spotify for a month does not give you unlimited access to download their entire catalogue for permanent personal consumption.

  • Yup, they withdrew the Windows app (there used to be one). There is still an Android app. My ultimate goal would be to get the cache files from that, copy them to Windows and read them there. According to their FAQ, " subscription to Readly gives you unlimited access to more than 1,800 titles in just one app, you can download magazines for offline reading without an internet connection and share with family on up to 5 devices" - see also Can I read magazines without Internet access? – Mawg Aug 9 at 6:23
  • So, I guess that what I what I want to do is to use the offline mode in Windows, but choose which app to read them with. – Mawg Aug 9 at 6:24
  • "subscription to Readly gives you unlimited access" but cancelling your subscription voids your unlimited access. You haven't paid for specific content, you've paid for access to content. By cancelling your subscription you no longer have a legal right to that content. I'm not going to be drawn into a conversation on how to do it or what programs you should use because meta is for site problems, not technical discussion. As already mentioned this isn't a problem in the scope of the site, it's that you want to keep access to something you used to pay for without paying for it. – Mokubai Aug 9 at 6:49
  • I decided to continue my subscription, as cheap as it is. I will reverse engineer the format, as I want to implant some search functionality which Readly have declined to implement. Thanks for your feedback – Mawg Aug 10 at 20:16

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