So you’re a musician and you want to start up a record label, eh? Well, it’s not all fun and games. For me, the most not fun thing is all of the business I have to do. And if you’re an indie musician like me, you’re going to have to do the same not fun things that I have to. Lots of not fun things. If you want to keep your focus on music and not business, I’ve found one “trick” is to streamline your business software. And the best way, in my opinion, to do that is to buy a Mac. Yeah, I’m biased. I’ve used Macs since the early 90’s and yes I do some music seminars for Apple. But still… buy a Mac. You’ll thank me later. So this is what I’m using to meet my day-to-day business needs:
- Bento. It’s a kind of FileMaker Pro lite, but not really. If that makes any sense. You get some of the functionality of FileMaker (which I’ve used for over 10 years) in a much simpler, clearer interface and you get the ability to sync up your contacts with Address Book. Which then syncs up to Mobile Me and your iPod/iPhone.
- Mail. Sometimes I think my life is e-mail. Sure there are lots of e-mail programs out there, but Mail is integrated with many other Apple programs. I don’t think e-mail can be too much easier.
- iCal. If this program can keep me organized, it can keep anyone organized!
- iChat. If you’ve never done video conferencing, you don’t know what you’re missing. With iChat when I’m talking with someone, I feel like they’re sitting right across from me. Works brilliantly. I also use it for file exchange when I’m working on a project.
- Mobile Me. You can back up all of your important files to Mobile Me, use it for file exchange, and the web gallery feature is my new best friend. If you use iPhoto you can create a photo album that can be instantly posted to Mobile Me. Saves a tremendous amount of time, and the web galleries look first rate.
- iPhoto. Keeps all of my photos organized and makes editing photos a breeze.
- Safari. I like it because the browser is super quick and works with the other Apple programs I use.
- Quickbooks. Clean and lean. Does what it says it’s going to do. Invoicing and accounting don’t get much more simple.
- Square Space. I’ve just started using this service (my site is hosted by Square Space) and it’s made any work I have to do on my website a breeze.
- Firefox. I primarily use this as a secondary browser to check out my website. I like the program, but right now I’m more into Safari.
That’s about it! With this setup you’ll have most of the tools you need to get your music out to the world and still leave time for the most important thing — music!