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Will the Future of Music Software Be Rent-On-Demand?

Will the Future of Music Software Be Rent-On-Demand?

Just a few short decades ago, any musician or ‘wanna be’ had to shell out a lot of money to record their songs. This kept many people from seeing their dreams come to life. As personal computer use expanded through the 1990s and into the new millennium, everything changed.

We now have free recording apps[1] and low-cost programs that can turn almost any laptop or tablet into a virtual home studio. While that doesn’t do anything to focus on the quality of the equipment and surroundings (microphones, rooms, and engineering, for example), it has opened up a plethora of possibilities for every striving artist.

Computer technology has put virtual instruments, loops, effects, and a host of other features at everyone’s fingertips. For more ardent recording professionals, these tools are essential to have on hand and at all times. For the average home recording artist, though, many effects and other plugins become cost-prohibitive to own outright.

That leads to a boost in pirated plugins and effects that do a disservice to not only the musicians, but also the developers of those plugins.

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The solution is to find something that helps both sides (manufacturer and recording artist) find common ground and a good balance. Rent-on-demand provides an alternative solution.

Get Your Head in the Cloud

If you’re not quite sure what ‘rent-on-demand’ software is, you need to think about the ‘cloud.’ The ‘cloud’ is this arbitrary medium that has taken the world by storm, whereas developers and programmers are able to offer their programs and apps for use on a per month or per use basis.

Users no longer need to fork over hundreds of dollars for a program they only need for a brief amount of time. They can pay a flat rate for a month, for example. Once the month’s over, they can choose to rent it for another month or stop using it altogether.

Office 365 and any Adobe products are prime examples of these. Users rent these programs on a monthly basis and can use them as often and whenever they want or need during that month. They can cancel at any time as well, but would no longer have access to the programs.

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The concept is now beginning to influence the music industry, but not necessarily as a way to maximize projects (and reach a larger potential audience), but to limit theft of some of these programs and services.

Plugin Effects

One of the major hurdles home recording artists face is having access to the type of effects they want or need. When recording and then mixing down, effects are the lifeblood of the recording artist. They provide ‘color,’ ‘depth,’ and ‘character’ to the recordings. They add texture to the mix.

They can even offer options such as drum loops and keyboard sequencing for those who don’t have the talent or ability to play those instruments or who may not have the instruments themselves.

Some recording programs have limited effects while others, especially the ‘free’ or low cost apps, don’t have any. That means the discerning, serious recording artist must look elsewhere to find effects they can ‘plug in’ to their recording programs. These ‘plugins’ can be costly, especially when you’re looking to incorporate 10 or more into a mix.

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Some have turned to pirated programs

Pirating is a multi-billion criminal enterprise and while using copied or stolen effects and other programs might seem reasonable to the ‘starving artist,’ there could be a number of programs with the mix in the future.

That’s Where Rent-On-Demand Comes In

Rent-on-demand plugins for effects and other programs have begun making headway in the music recording industry. These plugins allow music artists the opportunity to have access to full programs and effects without concerns over copyright, trademark, or other laws.

Musicians trying to make a name for themselves should understand the importance of copyright protection and how much they personally stand to lose should someone start selling their pirated music without giving them a dime.

This type of service, which Rent-a-Plugin is a part of, helps connect musicians with the effects, loops, virtual instruments, and other features they crave when getting serious about their craft.

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Any serious musician who is focused on building their own home recording studio for their own use, for a limited time, should look into these rent-on-demand services. If other industries are any indication, it truly is the wave of the future for home recording … and it’s already here.

Featured photo credit: https://andreamarie22.wordpress.com/ via andreamarie22.files.wordpress.com

Reference

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Last Updated on October 16, 2019

11 Meeting Scheduler Apps to Boost Your Productivity

11 Meeting Scheduler Apps to Boost Your Productivity

Automations are key to improving efficiency. Set the system up right from the beginning and you’ll reduce the amount of no-shows and cancellations.

Whatever your business is, with automations, meeting scheduler apps do more than just streamline appointment setting. They prime your workflow for maximum results.

Meeting scheduler apps are awesome if you use them right. Use them wrong and you can look like an arrogant elitist.

In this article, I will share with you 11 great meeting scheduler apps you can start using today to boost your productivity.

1. ScheduleOnce

    ScheduleOnce is an industry leader and robust solution. Whether you work alone or have a large team, ScheduleOnce can support you.

    ScheduleOnce allows you to create multiple users and multiple calendars. I use one calendar for booking podcast guests with automations set up to prep my guests for our interview. I use another calendar for strategy sessions and coaching calls.

    ScheduleOnce also has embeddable widgets so you can keep the scheduler inside your own website.

    Starting at $7 a month and a 14 day free trial, ScheduleOnce can fit a variety of needs in business.

    Available on Web

    2. Calendly

      Calendly stands out for its clean, easy to use interface. If you like clean design, Calendly might be your choice. It too has robust automations and integrations for individuals and teams alike.

      You can try Calendly free for 14 days. Their basic plan is free while their most robust plan is only $12 a month.

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      Available on Web | Google Chrome Extension

      3. Assistant.to

        For those who use gmail, Assistant.to is a super simple solution.

        From inside an email, you click on the Assistant.to icon and pick times your free. Assistant.to embeds the times directly into the email so the recipient can quickly pick a time that works for them.

        While it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of apps like Calendly or ScheduleOnce, Assistant.to is completely free.

        Available on Web

        4. Acuityscheduling

          Acuity is a robust meeting scheduler very similar to ScheduleOnce. It integrates with CRMs, Email Marketing platforms, Analytics tools and accounting software.

          It comes with a 14 day free trial. They have a free solo account but if you want the benefit of the integrations, you’ll start as low as $15 a month and can cost up to $50 a month.

          Available on Web | iOS | Android

          5. Pick

            Built for simplicity, Pick is direct and easy to use. You can create your own url extension like pick.co/yournamehere and it integrates with Google calendar and Office 365.

            At $3 a month, this is a great tool for quick scheduling.

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            Available on Web

            6. X.ai

              For those who are early adopters of AI, this may be the solution for you. X.ai created two AI assistants they call Amy and Andrew Ingram. After setting up your account you simply CC them on your emails with the person you’re wanting to schedule and the AI assistants will email your guests from there until your appointment is set.

              This type of scheduler feels more personal because of the dialogue. There are stories on their site of people thinking Amy and Andrew are real people. X.ai integrates with Google, Office 365 and Outlook.

              Starting at $29 a month for an Individual account and $39 a month per user for a Team account, Amy and Andrew are ready to schedule meetings for you. Want to try it out first? They do have a free trial.

              Available on Web

              7. YouCanBook.me

                is another competitive solution for scheduling meetings online. You can manage the calendars of your entire team, configure booking forms, and integrate with your calendar.

                They have a free account branded with their company name or you can have some control over your branding and appearance at $10 a month for all their features. Either way, this company is worth a look.

                Available on Web

                8. Doodle

                  Doodle is unique in the space of meeting schedulers because it helps groups of people find a time to meet that works for everyone.

                  It integrates with your calendar and allows you to send a poll to all invited. Once people vote on the poll you can see which time works best for everyone.

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                  You can also run polls for food preferences if you’re scheduling a lunch meeting or a section of town if people are coming from all over.

                  While there is a free account, you’ll unlock it’s potential starting at $39 per year.

                  Available on Web | iOS | Android

                  9. WhenAvailable

                    WhenAvailable is another scheduler that works for groups of people. You can use it to schedule a pickup game of basketball, decide on your next book club or book your family reunion.

                    Their free account allows up to 20 guests, unlimited events and one contact group. For $15 a year you unlock all the goodies including reminders and chat messages.

                    Available on Web

                    10. Rally

                      Like Doodle and WhenAvailable, Rallly is helpful for scheduling meetings and events with multiple people involved. You create a poll and everyone votes. It’s quick and easy.

                      Unlike Doodle, it doesn’t have as many features, but it’s entirely free.

                      Available on Web

                      11. NeedtoMeet

                        Finishing strong, NeedtoMeet is our last app that allows you to schedule meetings or events for multiple people. It has mobile apps, custom urls, easy polling, notifications and commenting.

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                        NeedtoMeet also allows 1:1 Meetings for things like performance reviews for your whole team. You send out the your calendar slots to your team and they can only pick 1 slot, minimizing the amount of emails and scheduling you have to coordinate.

                        While they have a free account, you can unlock all features for only $19 a year.

                        Available on Web

                        Bonus: Don’t Make These Common Mistakes When Using Meeting Schedulers

                        In the excitement of streamlining your scheduling process, it can be easy to forget the feelings of those you’re inviting to meet. I know. I’ve done this.

                        To say “Hey, schedule time on my calendar” feels colder than “Hey, here’s my calendar. To avoid all the back and forth, pick a time that works best for you.”

                        Always make sure to frame your invite with your scheduler app with the benefit to them and why we’re doing it this way rather than the old fashioned, personal way.

                        A little finesse goes a long way. Without it, you risk seeming transactional and cold.

                        Some meeting scheduler widgets you can embed in your site can take a couple seconds to load. If you go this route, make sure there’s text just above the widget that lets your guest know the calendar will appear below and to wait for it to load.

                        If you use an online meeting tool like Zoom, it’s also important to explicitly let them know the meeting will take place on Zoom and include the Zoom link in the email reminder. Many make the mistake of not clarifying where the meeting will actually take place which can create last minute chaos at the time of the meeting.

                        Should you require special settings, like ethernet, external mics or lighting, let your guests know that on your thank you page and reminder emails so they are prepared for the meeting and you end up with the best meeting possible.

                        With clear communication in your automation, your meeting scheduler tools can almost perform like a virtual assistant for a fraction of the cost, or free, depending on the app you choose.

                        The Bottom Line

                        Meeting scheduler apps are diverse in features and unique in design. Before committing to one and realizing it’s not a fit, I recommend exploring which 3 might best fit you and then doing a trial with each of them at the same time so that you can see how they feel as you use them side by side.

                        Scheduling meetings the old fashioned way can be tedious. Conversely, finding a scheduling app that works seamlessly in the background is heavenly.

                        Like cell phones, meeting scheduler apps are moving from a nice-to-have luxury to must-have necessity in the lives of productive people. As you explore your options, stay true to your brand and the tools that have worked well for you to this point and simply find a meeting scheduler app that plays well with what you have created.

                        Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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