My Musical Equipment Closet

An opinionated collecton of short reviews of saxophones and woodwinds and the accessories which they require.

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Location: Santa Cruz, California, United States

"Other cultures are not failed attempts at being us. They are all unique manifestations of the human imagination and the human heart." Wade Davis

Sunday, July 08, 2007

My New Favorite Application

I've been building web pages since 1988. I remember being horrified when I was the first URL on a mudflap. I was thinking at the time that the web would generate its own volunteers who would catalog all of life in one pleasant non-commercial utility that would sit there humming on my desk, awaiting my orders. How this would all pay for itself was none of my business. Microsoft was thinking the whole web thing would blow over. AOL picked up a failed Apple project and ran with it.

I ended up working as a reviewer for Macworld magazine because the regular guy handing music notation software was "tainted" because he wrote the manual for the new rev of Finale. That guy was David Pogue, by the was, the guy who writes technology reviews and stars in zany videos for the New York Times.

Macintosh developers were on a mission back then. They were really busy making their platform of choice the most innovative ever. And they came up with some very interesting stuff. At the time, for example, my son was singing with a boy's choir. I had a great little program that drilled Solfeggio (do-re-mi---) and my son thought it was a game. Every time he went to choir rehearsal the director commented about how great Brendan's sightreading was.

Well, through the Gil Amelio years and the constant struggle to keep Mac alive, there was a little diminution of the essence of Mac developer ju-ju. They weren't fun to hang with anymore. All that changed again around OS-X release, then iPod, and, well I guess you know how things turned out.

My new favorite program (and the one I abandoned Dreamweaver for) is RapidWeaver, which is as much a community as it is a program. I thought I'd gone back in time when I started hanging around their website (which is here). These guys and gals have the ju ju, the moxie, the whatever it takes to get this tent up and get the circus underway.

I'll spare you the details, but go have a look at the program, download a trial version, then buy it! At $40, you won't find a better deal. Because the program uses CSS it's thematic, and there's a whole community of theme developers who sell their stuff at usually $10 each. The great thing is this is a global product, made in Brighton in the UK, with developers of themes and add-ons all across the globe. And the community extends to a first-rate tech support forum.

So here are a couple of samples:

Orpheus Musical Instruments has a new site here.

The Original Recipe Band, the band my brother and I co-lead, is here.

My hat's off to the Real Mac Software guys, some of whom I gather were not around when the Mac arrived on the scene! They've got a great product, at a great price, and you join a very excellent club when you buy it, a club made up of people all over the world!


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