I have been a keen reader of Future Music magazine since it was launched many years ago. “Making music at the cutting edge of technology” is their tagline, and that describes the content pretty well.
The magazine contains reviews of new gear, both hardware and software. The reviews always make good reading — they’re quite in-depth and really give you a good feel for the product. The magazine also features news roundups, interviews with professional musicians, competitions, and so on. They also have a “Changing Music” feature every month, where one reader receives a music makeover from a pro musician. You can also submit demos of your own music — if they like it, they’ll review it and even include it with the magazine so you can receive the wider exposure and recognition you deserve.
In the early days, the magazine included a CD. More recently this increased to two or even three CDs, but now they have finally moved to DVD format. So every month you get a boatload of sound samples, reader demo tracks and sound demos of new synth hardware and software. There’s also lots of software — both full versions and demo versions of all kinds of music software. It takes me more than a month to explore the contents of the DVD, so I’m already falling behind.
The Future Music website contains a handful of older articles, and is not really kept up-to-date. They obviously spend all their effort on the print magazine. The website does contain some errata for the magazine, so it’s worthwhile looking if you do buy it.
FM is a British magazine, but they seem to have launched an American version recently. I haven’t really looked at it much — it seems thinner than the UK version, and doesn’t come with a DVD. Update: It comes with a CD. There is a website, but it’s nothing but an advertisement for the magazine.