Amazingly enough, there’s quite an array of tools ready to use, right there in the browser. Not just for basic file management, file sharing, communication and group collaboration, but also for recording, mixing and producing. Some are just convenient utilities, but others are powerful tools in their own right. Did a gather up of these recently for a music related course at RMIT – and so, below, your new, mostly free, portable office-studio-lounge:
File Management / Sharing / Collaboration
media-convert.com – Online file conversion of files to a huge variety of formats.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_collaborative_software – Huge list of software for group collaboration
docs.google.com – Very convenient way to co-write, co-edit material, and now share files as well.
filestomp.com – Online compression of media.
dropbox.com – Nice online file sharer that creates a desktop folder you can drag and drop files into, which then syncs with your online backup and anyone elses computer you’ve authorised it to sync to.
delicious.com – Still the best social bookmarking service. RSS Subscriptions available for your bookmarks, anyone elses, or even just a keyword ( as bookmarked by everyone or just an individual ). Takes a while to realise just how great this is.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LazyWeb – For when the going gets tough / lethargic.
Actually Making Stuff From Within Your Browser
How about that! Again, just a convenience in some ways, and not meant to replace your more powerful desktop tools, but sometimes there’s more than enough power right there in your browser.
aviary.com – First shout out must go to Aviary – where from within the browser you can use a variety of their software to do – Photo-editing, adjust vector logos, play with web templates, filters, color palettes, screen captures, edit audio files and more.
soundcloud.com – Increasingly popular hosting service, which notably allows comments on specific parts of audio timelines, has convenient dropboxes for easy file sharing, and has many more musician-friendly features. (See intro video for more )
skype.com – Screensharing options for comparing software production notes / techniques / debugging. Voice chat, audio recording.
xtranormal.com – your text + their audio + button to publish = auto generated and published animated movie
pixton.com/uk – Templates for generating online comics.
slideshare.net – Easy development and publishing of slideshows with accompanying audio.
Need Files to Play With?
The popularity of Creative Commons has meant a continued growth of sites legally offering media files for creative re-use :
ccmixter.org – Huge collection of mostly musical sounds, including song parts, and full tracks by the likes of Chuck D and the Beastie Boys, DJ Vadim etc etc.
freesound.org – Giant library of atmospheric, FX and musical sounds.
flickr.com/creativecommons – Flickr’s creative commons collection is ginormous.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_domain_image_resources – Also ginormous.
archive.org – Noble San Fran cats with an abundance, an overload of audio and video work available for re-use. Lots of high quality and unusual vintage material, as well as contemporary netlabels etc.
And What To Do With It All?
Maybe something like this? starwarsuncut.com – where Star Wars is being remade by fans, in 15 second chunks – there are still a few scenes left – sign up and make yours, to be part of the final edit!
Get some print on demand books happening via lulu.com – upload a PDF and no-one pays a cent until a book is ordered online, then it’s printed and delivered to them, money put into your account, and all why you lie in your hammock.
Upload your work to bandcamp.com – and have them offer a variety of free to expensive downloads and even VINYL options!
Make $19,000 in ten hours on Twitter. ( Yes, this may work easier if you are Amanda Palmer )