Head in the Clouds

September 12th 2009

In technology circles, the "Cloud" is the way things are done now. I won't bore you with technical details about what is, and is not, the Cloud (you can find that at Wikipedia). Suffice it to say that the cloud is about doing things on the web that you used to do on your desktop. For everyday technology needs, the Cloud is the way to go. Don't believe such things can impact your compositional process? Perhaps, perhaps not. Let me give you an example.

I write libretti. I have, until this most recent one, Flash of Recognition, used a good, old-fashioned word processor. For numerous reasons, I have abandoned the word processor for a cloud based writing tool called a "Writeboard". This is the brainchild of a company called 37signals and sold as part of a variety of productivity tools. "Backpack" is my favorite and now, after several years, an indispensable part of how I organize myself personally and professionally.

How is it Cloud? It's completely web-based. No need to install anything on my computer, no need to worry about back-ups, no need to worry about carrying around disks (remember those!?), flash drives, or a laptop. Just give me any computer with an internet connection and I can work on my libretto. I can keep track of revisions easily and keep a record of changes—in essence recording my process as well as product as I go. Writeboards were also indispensable in drafting two recent publications for Meet The Composer.

Nothing like this exists for music notation—yet. If the makers of Finale and Sibelius are reading, consider this a call to action. Imagine a web-based version of Finale or Sibelius that's available by subscription? Pay for what you use, no worries about upgrades, back-up, loosing your files. After all, aren't they just really fancy word processors?

glqxz9283 sfy39587stf02 mnesdcuix8