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MasterWriter 3 will be a subscription based web app only…
Old 16th January 2014
  #1
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MasterWriter 3 will be a subscription based web app only…

After 5 long years MasterWriter 3 will come out shortly according to their Facebook page. I remains to be seen if any new features will let MasterWriter 3 finally catch up to the much more advanced Rhyme Genie/TuneSmith combo which has been very actively developed in the same timeframe. To my great surprise, however, MasterWriter will be web app only much like Adobe’s Creative Cloud offering.

You basically loose access to your song catalog once you stop paying the monthly fee. This also means that there is no way to run the upcoming iPad version of MasterWriter 3 on a tour bus, in an airplane or anywhere where there is no WIFI access…any thoughts?
Old 17th January 2014
  #2
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stclair's Avatar
 

Never used it, if true sounds like a croc of ****e.

What value is the cloud adding besides digital rights management.

There should also be a way for you to export your work, it really doesn't sound right.

Making your software inconvienient sounds like a great way to turn people away. Are there no alternatives? Vote with your wallet.
Old 17th January 2014
  #3
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BlackBackDrop's Avatar
 

I used mobile broadband and yesterday it was offline. I would be pissed if I could not connect to the cloud to work. They must make an offline version just in case lime Google docs offline.
Old 17th January 2014
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stclair View Post
There should also be a way for you to export your work, it really doesn't sound right.
The current version of MasterWriter actually has an export function but it exports your song catalog in an encrypted format. It’s not suitable to move your song catalog to a different software. I doubt that MasterWriter 3 will be any different.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stclair View Post
Are there no alternatives?
There is:TuneSmith
MasterWriter is not as lucky as Adobe who enjoy a monopoly and everyone has to sign up to a monthly plan because there is no other alternative. I mean who wants to keep paying a third party just to access their own songs? What happens to your songs ‘in the cloud’ if MasterWriter ceases to exist?
Old 17th January 2014
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackBackDrop View Post
They must make an offline version just in case lime Google docs offline.
I totally agree. But here is the answer from MasterWriter's Facebook page to a question about update pricing:
"MasterWriter: Oh absolutely, existing users will receive special pricing, it's a little tricky since MW 3.0 will be web and subscription based, but to answer your question, you will not pay full price."

And here is another answer to a question about WM 3.0 requirements:
"MasterWriter: Hey Robert, yes, you will need web access in order to access MW 3.0 on any device. I hate for you to have to buy a data plan for that reason alone, but that is unfortunately your only option at this time."
Old 17th January 2014
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J.Good View Post
, MasterWriter will be web app only much like Adobe’s Creative Cloud offering.
To clarify, Adobe Creative Cloud (Photoshop, Illustrator, Premiere) are not web apps. They are desktop apps that are authenticated/activated for licensed use via the web.

A "web app" would be apps that run inside a web browser like Google Maps, Pandora Music player, or Farmville Facebook.

Either way, I don't know if MasterWriter3 is supposed to be run inside "web browser" as an app or remain a desktop application that's authenticated via the web.

Quote:
The current version of MasterWriter actually has an export function but it exports your song catalog in an encrypted format. It’s not suitable to move your song catalog to a different software. I doubt that MasterWriter 3 will be any different.
I'd recommend songwriters avoid using proprietary tools (such as MasterWriter) if possible. Instead, just use the free Notepad on Windows or TextEdit on Apple Mac. For rhymes, utilize google for the various rhyming websites. (One of the biggest selling points of MasterWriter was its specially licensed rhyming dictionary but the vast resources searching google have negated that, imo.) If the preference is to write on-the-go, there are probably free for very cheap iPhone apps that save everything as straightforward text files.
Old 26th January 2014
  #7
They shouldn't make it a web-based application. What they should do is charge a monthly subscription for access. If the payment isn't made on time, the software would be deactivated until payment was made. Payment would have to be made online, connecting to a secure database.

That would just about end piracy for software.
Old 26th January 2014
  #8
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Lenzo's Avatar
There are things in life I'm willing to pay a monthly fee for. Masterwriter isn't one of them.
L.
Old 30th January 2014
  #9
Here for the gear
 

MasterWriter Official Response

I am a MasterWriter user and have been since version 1 was in the infancy stages. I'm also a professional photographer who uses the Adobe CC suite and know well the functionality and how "your files are always your files" with Adobe. The above thread concerned me and I wrote the designers of MW to see if I could get some clarification. Here is their response:
Sorry for the confusion, let me explain. First, if you can point me to the literature that you have read, I'd like to check it out in case our product is being represented. In no circumstance would we ever hold a user's data hostage if they chose not to keep their subscription active. Users will always be able to access their account, if their subscription is not active, the program will simply be in limited mode.

Initially, MW 3.0 will require an Internet connection or some sort of data connection via phone or tablet. MW 3.0 will be compatible on all computers, smartphones and tablets.

In your case, you can continue to use your 2.0 program when you're offline and 3.0 when online. We plan to develop a way to access the program offline this year, so I think that will eventually be available, but not upon release.

Let men now if you have any other questions.

Regards,

Matt DeVorzon
MasterWriter Inc.
805-892-2656
So there you go! I hope this helps in your personal choices about which software to go with in your own writing endeavors.
Old 31st January 2014
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by musician4554 View Post
[Matt DeVorzon:] In no circumstance would we ever hold a user's data hostage if they chose not to keep their subscription active.
I would not have used those strong words but it certainly makes me wonder why MasterWriter 2 won't let me export my own song catalog in an unencrypted fashion. Even more puzzling to me is that the export file only encrypts the actual lyrics which I have written myself while all other exported info is in unencrypted format. What was the thinking behind this encryption?

As a professional photographer who uses Adobe CC you are well aware that Photoshop allows you to export your hard work in TIFF or JPEG format which can be read by any other image editing app. Indesign can export files in PDF. Illustrator can export files in eps. Even Microsoft Word can save my files in RTF. The list goes own. Only MasterWriter doesn't allow me to read my own lyrics after exporting them. Why?

If there is no desire to lock users into the MasterWriter universe why not let them export their own lyrics in any way they wish? TuneSmith has no encryptions whatsoever and lets me exports my entire song catalog in any way I please. This is not only sensible to the user but also ensures that I will always have full access to my song catalog even if a software company goes under.

Last edited by J.Good; 31st January 2014 at 07:58 PM.. Reason: Typos galore...
Old 1st February 2014
  #11
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Carnalia Barcus's Avatar
 

I would say "Why not just use a word processor, or even simply a text editor, or even a real offline piece of paper or whatever, and then make sure you have a dictionary and rhyming dictionary handy (online or off--whichever you prefer)", but I suppose that what's important is productivity, and if a program like that makes you more productive, then it's good for that. I'd never use it though, especially not if I have to pay for it.
Old 3rd February 2014
  #12
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Still ???'s

I hope you didn't take my post as an attempt to defend MW, so much as to provide an answer from "the horse's mouth." I'm strongly considering a move to TuneSmith! It's just that after using MW for so long now, I want to research what I'd be giving up and/or gaining by the switch.

And yes, I too have had the questions you have stated about the encryption of MW files vs the Adobe programs. I've been EXTREMELY happy with Adobe since making the jump into a subscription based system. I want the same satisfaction, or better, from MW. But MW doesn't have the reputation, nor the resources, that does Adobe. It remains to be seen what becomes of it.

And as a side note, MW3 was promised by the end of January even in recent emails to them. It is now February 3, and no word of a release yet.
Old 4th February 2014
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by musician4554 View Post
I hope you didn't take my post as an attempt to defend MW, so much as to provide an answer from "the horse's mouth." I'm strongly considering a move to TuneSmith! It's just that after using MW for so long now, I want to research what I'd be giving up and/or gaining by the switch.
Matt DeVorzon’s official response was certainly an interesting read. Thanks.

Unless MasterWriter 3 introduces any new features the only things you will miss in TuneSmith are MIDI drum loops and Songuard. I don’t know if you rely on Songuard but if you reside in the United States I would urge you to register your work with the U.S. Copyright Office nonetheless.

If a song is not registered with the U.S. Copyright Office before a copyright infringement occurs you cannot sue for damages. The law allows you to officially register your work after an infringement has been made to take your case to court. However, if you win the case your only compensation is your pride. Hence the ‘date of creation’ protection provided by Songuard is not very useful in the USA.

As for MIDI drum loops…they certainly were cool in 2004. I seriously doubt that they will still be available in the web version of MasterWriter 3. We’ll just have to wait and see. MasterWriter will have quite a ways to go before catching up to the competition and the requirement for an ‘always on’ internet connection doesn’t help.
Old 18th February 2014
  #14
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I just saw MasterWriter 3 advertised on the back cover of Writer's Digest (February edition). Pictured are a laptop, a tablet and a mobile phone. Judging from the 3 app screenshots MIDI drum loops and Songuard have indeed been discontinued. A simple audio recorder offers audio playback and recording. Other options are the old lyric editor, rhymes, thesaurus, alliterations and word families. I don't see any new features but users of MasterWriter 2 will be immediately familiar with the new version. It's advertised as a web-app with the tagline "The premier writing app that's good to go on all devices". MasterWriter's official website still hasn't been updated...
Old 23rd February 2014
  #15
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Do people actually use this?

I can't take a songwriter seriously that has to use a text editor with a built in rhyming dictionary. Aren't we supposed to be the rhyming dictionary?
Old 24th February 2014
  #16
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I don’t think there are any rules when it comes to songwriting. Any tool that can potentially improve your songwriting is worth a look. Considering what else is out there the latest update is a little underwhelming but MasterWriter 1.0 had some notable users back in its heyday.
Old 25th February 2014
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J.Good View Post
I don’t think there are any rules when it comes to songwriting. Any tool that can potentially improve your songwriting is worth a look. Considering what else is out there the latest update is a little underwhelming but MasterWriter 1.0 had some notable users back in its heyday.
To me, using software with a built in rhyming dictionary is akin to Elton John performing with a Player Piano.
Old 25th February 2014
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inverted314 View Post
To me, using software with a built in rhyming dictionary is akin to Elton John performing with a Player Piano.
To me, not exploring options that might help you grow as an artist is akin to Elton John writing songs without Bernie Taupin.
Old 25th February 2014
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J.Good View Post
To me, not exploring options that might help you grow as an artist is akin to Elton John writing songs without Bernie Taupin.
Learning how to rhyme certainly helps you grow as an artist. It's just kinda songwriting 101; and that's being lenient. It should really be a prerequisite to 101.

It reminds me of the people that bust out a dictionary during Scrabble, because they hope they might find a random word that works.
Old 25th February 2014
  #20
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Lenzo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Inverted314 View Post
Learning how to rhyme certainly helps you grow as an artist. It's just kinda songwriting 101; and that's being lenient. It should really be a prerequisite to 101.

It reminds me of the people that bust out a dictionary during Scrabble, because they hope they might find a random word that works.
I've had it for a couple of years. Rarely use it, but if I'm really stuck I'll open it up and see what it comes up with. Usually not much that I can use, but it's just another tool at your disposal. Like the hundreds of other tools I have in my studio. If it gets me where I want to go, I don't get too hung up on how I got there.
L.
Old 25th February 2014
  #21
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Carnalia Barcus's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by J.Good View Post
To me, not exploring options that might help you grow as an artist is akin to Elton John writing songs without Bernie Taupin.
You know that there are a bunch of free rhyme resources online, though, right?
Old 25th February 2014
  #22
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Carnalia Barcus's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lenzo View Post
If it gets me where I want to go, I don't get too hung up on how I got there.
Couldn't more strongly agree with that.
Old 25th February 2014
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carnalia Barcus View Post
You know that there are a bunch of free rhyme resources online, though, right?
I am not opposed to spending money on good software. I'm merely opposed to paying for the same software over and over again with a monthly subscription plan.

I have actually been using Rhyme Genie in the last few years which compares quite favorably to online rhyming dictionaries as well as MasterWriter. For $25 it offers very accurate perfect & slant rhymes, a dedicated songwriter dictionary, integrated song titles, syllable matching synonyms, free updates, integration with TuneSmith etc.

I think Rhyme Genie 1.0 came out just around the time when MasterWriter 2.0 was released. Rhyme Genie 6.0 was just released a few month ago.
Old 1st March 2014
  #24
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i just use rhymer.com or some other ones for rhymes. i bought masterwriter and lots of rhymes came up on rhymer.com that didn't come up on masterwriter. waste of money if you ask me.
Old 2nd March 2014
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trevon View Post
i just use rhymer.com or some other ones for rhymes. i bought masterwriter and lots of rhymes came up on rhymer.com that didn't come up on masterwriter. waste of money if you ask me.
Rhymer gives you more search results because it shows every conceivable “slant rhyme” regardless how accurate it may be. Type in ‘lover’ and you get “5655 End Rhymes” such as ‘zorocaster’, ‘speedometer’ and ‘psychomotor’. You have to go through 5655 loosely related search results just to find a few good candidates that actually do qualify as true slant rhymes.

Online rhyming dictionaries like rhymer, rhymebrain and rhymezone are fine if you are looking for a few decent perfect rhymes. However, if you want to expand your options with a good selection of usable slant rhymes they tend to be far less useful.
Old 26th January 2015
  #26
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Not to beat a dead horse but apparently one year after the release of version 3 MasterWriter's Facebook page is not even online anymore. It just goes to show that the subscription model is a dicey proposition for software companies. The company's website is still online but has anyone ever signed up? The last blog entry is from July 2012...
Old 28th January 2015
  #27
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boombapdame's Avatar
 

The fact that many companies don't update their apps is why I'm not sold on any to every app in the market. The best tool for lyricism is constant immersion in the genre(s) of choice, getting a dictionary and/or thesarus and depending on genre(s) an instrumental and getting to work.
Old 17th March 2015
  #28
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by J.Good View Post
I am not opposed to spending money on good software. I'm merely opposed to paying for the same software over and over again with a monthly subscription plan.
I feel exactly the same.

It is outrageous to demand a subscription fee for software which is on just it's third update in 10 years!

Switching to a 'cloud-based app' model - i.e. a server in some building on the other side of the world - is also a joke with software supposedly designed for songwriters.

MasterWriter 3.0 is completely counter-intuitive to the songwriting process, a process which requires a certain amount of solitude and self-reflection and not being exposed to the distractions of the Internet 24 hours per day.

God only knows what MasterWriter were thinking? Such a change most certainly is not driven by their customers needs but more driven by financial greed.

I think we'd all be willing to pay an update fee for genuinely innovative updates every 12-24 months but to expect their user base to now pay a subscription for software that's rarely updated and can now only be accessed online?

MasterWriter are committing commercial suicide.
Old 17th March 2015
  #29
I skipped the update for that reason. I'm happy with v2 that covers my rarely and small needs with 1000%, in fact way too much. I bought it for a good price. And here and there when singers need some ideas, v2 does the job just great.
Old 2nd April 2015
  #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deft_bonz View Post
I skipped the update for that reason. I'm happy with v2 that covers my rarely and small needs with 1000%, in fact way too much. I bought it for a good price. And here and there when singers need some ideas, v2 does the job just great.
The question is how long version 2 will keep on working. Getting all your song info out of MasterWriter can be a pain. Someone at Motunation just recently figured out how to extract his own audio files from MasterWriter 2 and it requires decoding base64 content from an xml file. Fun!

Page 4: MasterWriter 3 Released
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