Thursday, January 24, 2008

Everythings's Going Indie!

Everything’s Going Indie

I recently downloaded a program to help me keep track of contacts I make via amateur radio. I had skimmed over all the ones that were professionally done, too pricey, and even most of the shareware ones, I’m not shy about it, I’m cheap. While not too many things are like the proverbial needle in the haystack on the internet these days, free ham radio software for the Mac is a pretty rarefied territory.

At any rate, I found one, written by a fellow ham in Germany to take care of his own needs and subsequently released to the public for free. I got it set up on my computer, waded through some instructions in Deutch (Thanks to Babelfish) and found that once I got used to it, I pretty much liked it. Now, here’s the kicker…after a little use I thought that a slight change to a couple of the entry fields would make things a lot easier. So I posted the suggestion on the guy’s forum and the very next day he posted that he would make the changes next time he posted a revision!

This is what’s really exciting about the whole situation. A software user gave input directly to the programmer about how to make the product better and after one short interaction it’s in the works. Try that with Microsoft!!!

With the way things are developing and the rate at which technology trickles down, there are a lot of things available to the man-or-woman-on-the-street these days that were totally unreachable just a few short years ago. For instance, when I was finishing up college, we were just installing digital work stations in the recording studios. This stuff was ridiculously expensive, hard to use, and totally out of reach for anyone without a huge budget. Nowadays, half the kids on my block have Pro-Tools running on their laptops and are making fairly sophisticated recordings of their bands, all by themselves. For what it would have cost them five years ago to go into a studio and record a half dozen songs, they can get them selves set up with the tools to do it themselves and work at their leisure.

Software and music production are just the tip of the iceberg. Off the top of my head I have friends who are getting into screen printing, metal working, the contents of this website are a testament to how popular self publishing has gotten, the possibilities abound.

If you’ve been secretly yearning to get in to something, but thought that only people with a lot more resources than you could play, think again. If fourteen year old kids can make their own records, and guys can get into blacksmithing on a recreational basis, there’s a good chance your aspirations and far flung fantasies are closer to your reach than you thought.

1 comment:

  1. How true this is! Not to mention how said subject has drastically revolutionized the record industry (and subsequently freaked out the big wigs...gosh, I love it). Grass roots marketing and self-promotion are exploding with incredible results. No longer is there a wall between listener and musician, the consumer can go right to the mouth of the artist. Well said, Jon! Love your site.



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