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AZPunk Headlines

TPStank

10 Free Innerweb Must-Have Resources for the Local Band

Useful tools that will help you get down to business

TPStank • Wednesday, March 3, 2010 • 8:43 AM

10 Free Innerwebs Must Have Resources for the Local Band - Serious useful tools that will help you get down to business

Everybody is different when it comes to organizing the ins-and-outs of your band. For me, I've always been the detailed oriented guy who likes to keep info within arms reach (who said that drummers were the laziest people in the band anyway?). Luckily, the glorality of the innerwebs offers some kick ass tools for you to use for free. Sure, you already use the standard social networking websites like Facebook, Twitter and MySpace (does anyone even still use MySpace besides us?), but what if you need to design a flyer and can't afford Photoshop? Or if you want to record a simple demo and don't have the cash to pay an engineer? Don't worry, AZPunk's got you covered. We've comprised a seriously resourceful list of 10 web tools that have been huge help to AZPunk in the past, and will no doubt make your band life a hell-of-a-lot more organized.

Aviary

Aviary
All your graphics needs

Need to design a flyer for a upcoming show, or a logo for a t-shirt, but can't afford the measly $1,300 price tag for the Photoshop/Illustrator bundle? Aviary is your new God. This website has every design angle you're ever going to need covered. Best of all, it's completely web-based. You don't need to download and install any bulky software on your machine (just a flash-enabled browser). Avery is an absolute must for any kind of graphic design you'll need, and it's super easy to use. Thanks Danosaur on the Shizz board for bringing this one to light.

Groovehouse Templates

Groovehouse Templates
Album design templates

Chances are, at one point or another, you're gonna want to record a CD or vinyl album, and being the DIY'er that you are, you're probably going to need some design templates. Groovehouse has you hooked up. I've come across a few good template sites, but this one seems to have everything you'll need, with a real simple way to find it.

Rapid Share

Rapid Share
Send huge files

Rapid Share is a real simple way for you to transfer huge files. Whether you have video, a complete album, or hi res promotional art you want to send someone, upload it here, and it spits out a link you can send to anyone. I personally prefer Rapid Share to YouSendIt.com, because it gives you twice as much data transfer to work with; 200 megs. Plus it allows split archives. Pimp.

MP3 Locker

MP3 Locker
Store music online

Need a place to store your mp3's online? MP3 Locker is basically an online 2 gig iPod. Upload your video and music one-by-one straight from the browser, or download their LockerSync3 to upload a bunch of music at once. I've been using this for a while. It's a great place to keep the good stuff backed up. If you're a millionaire, for $40 you can upgrade to 50 gigs.

Dropbopx

Dropbopx
Share important files

This is my personal favorite. Dropbox pretty much owns my life. Dropbox is basically a shared folder on your desktop connected directly to the Dropbox mothership online. It's like a digital janitor that maintains and backs up your files as you work on them, and automatically syncs them to your Dropbox account. They give you a gig of free space to start off with, but there are ways to earn up to 3 gigs. This is an awesome way for band members to share files instantly between computers. They've also developed mobile gadgets for your phone. Serious must have.

Audacity

Audacity
Record yourself

Audacity is a free cross platform sound recording and editing program. Convert your tapes and records into digital recordings or CDs, splice samples into your songs, or just record band practice. Audacity has all the recording and editing features your band's gonna need, all wrapped up in a nice, free package.

Sound Cloud

Sound Cloud
Send, receive & distribute easy

Sound Cloud is a music based social media exchange website. Basically like a facebook for music. Send, receive and distribute your music easily, and best of all, there's no file size limit. Go ahead, record that 23 minute punk rock opus that's been playing over and over in your head. Now you have an easy way to bore everybody to death.

Blogger

Blogger
Make a band website

This is the quickest and easiest way for you to get a functional band website up, without having to deal with the headache that usually comes with finding a reliable web designer who will probably charge an arm and a leg. Post blog updates, gain followers & fans, customize your layout and receive comments. If my wife can set up her own website here, you won't have any problem. Plus it's part of Google's grid, so if you already have a gmail account, setup is cake.

Big Contact

Big Contact
Embed your music anywhere

The Big Contact system is a great way to embed audio and video playlists on any website. 602Radio.com uses it to stream their podcasts, and it's a great tool for people who are in multiple bands with multiple recordings. Create different channels for different bands. Each channel creates a virtual website for each band with blogs and comments and all the fun bells and whistles. Only set-back about Big Contact, is that they don't host your mp3 files for you. Check out the demo page I set up in roughly 10 minutes.

Gmail

Gmail
Good ol' Gmail

This may be the most obvious of the list, but in my opinion, it's definitely the most important. Signing up for a simple gmail account gives you access to some of the coolest organizing tools the web has to offer. All of which are easily shared with your other band members, and even have the ability to work on the same document at the same time.

  • Google Docs - All of your word processing and spreadsheet needs simplified and sharable. You'll never open MS Word again.
  • Google Notebook - A personal favorite, organize your online bookmarks and create notebooks for song lyrics, or share and collaborate ideas with band members. It's like a digital Trapper Keeper. They stopped development on this a while back, but it still works great.
  • Google Calendar - Share and organize practice schedules with band mates. Never miss or double book a gig again.
  • Picasa - A free downloadable photo organizing program, or you can use the web service to upload your images and flyers to post everywhere online.
10 Free Innerwebs Must Have Resources for the Local Band - Serious useful tools that will help you get down to business

While you're at it, and if you haven't done it already, you might want to upgrade your browser to something more secure. We recommend any of the following: FirfeFox 3+, Chrome 4+, Opera 10+, Safari 4+, or if you must, there's IE 7+.

For more cool stuff you can find and use on the innernets, check out our always-growing resources page.

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