Sadly you're probably right even though it was the easiest way to get stuff onto my Atari actually.
Having to download onto a Mac or PC for which I don't have a floppy drive and transfer them over the network to the Atari so it could write it to floppy was slow and clunky. But not even an option if the file wasn't in a real ST useable format to begin with. A secondary option was then to buy a USB floppy drive for the PC (none even have a connector for a floppy disk any more on their motherboard) and write that to the USb floppy, except USB floppy drives can't handle non standard formats whereas the ST can.
Then I ended up buying a Kryoflux...
etc etc etc.
The whole situation was avoidable by having the file in a format the ST could handle and if compressed using 7zip or whatever:
I could download to the PC, decompress the modern compression, transfer the resulting file to the ST over a cable or an SD card (the read being yet another purchase) and write the floppy on the ST. Clunky but at least possible.
But.. if the file was online in a format the ST could natively handle (ST, MSA, even an ST ZIP of an .ST although again, imho not necessary) I can download direct to the ST (actually TT) and write to floppy. This is the fastest and most convenient way.
But none of these methods are possible if the file is not capable of being written back to a real disk, not just an emulator, this is of course the most important thing.
So my preference is:
1. A file writeable to floppy by an ST (and a PC if possible) with no additional compression wrapper.
2. the same as above but inside a compressed file that an ST can decompress (ST ZIP, ARC etc)
3. the same as above but in a modern compression format a PC can decompress
4. a format that can be written back to a floppy disk by a PC (e.g. via Kryoflux or a real motherboard connected floppy drive)
But emulator only formats? Frankly... useless.
Again, this is all from my perspective. But I'm all about keeping the hardware going.
1977 VCS Heavy Sixxer (Boxed)
1990 Atari 1040STE, 4MB, UltraSatan, TOS 2.06, TT Touch -> Atari SC1435 Colour CRT Monitor
1991 Atari TT030, 2/16MB, Int 8GB Gigafile, TOS 3.06, CaTTamaran Accelerator -> 1991 Atari TTM195 19" Mono CRT Monitor
1993 *** NEW! *** Atari Falcon030, 14MB, 84MB HDD, TOS 4.04
Amiga 500, Win 3.11 PC, Several old Macs, Newton, SGI Indy, much more and counting!