ELECTRONIC PUBLISHING DIVERSIFIES
We used to buy books printed on paper. Now they come on discs.
Printed sheet music was sold on racks or in bins for some time in
music stores. If they had what you wanted in stock. Sheet music
never was the easiest inventory to manage. But 1990 sheet music
sales in the U.S. still totaled $350 million.
Now, NoteStation, a good looking, computer-based system offers
single-sheet print music at the point of purchase. It's lending new
meaning to the word kiosk. It has pre-viewed in San Francisco. Soon
it will be selling in a music store near you. If you are interested
in getting into a new business, look into this.
Following the trend of the highly successful automated bank teller
machines (ATMs), a California company, MusicWriter is selling NoteStation, tomorrow's sheet music automat.
The customer can search for, select and then personally customize
sheet music by pushing the appropriate buttons on NoteStation's color
video screen. Songs can be retrieved by title, artist or musical
style. You get a chance to see and even hear up to 10 or 12 bars of
the song before you buy -- with your improvisations incorporated!
You can select laser printouts or MIDI sequences compatible with
several popular computer formats.
If you consider yourself a music illiterate fear not, this unit is
user-friendly: tell the teller to change to something simple that you
do understand, like C major and it will give you the rendition in
Purchase price is under $5. A selection of 1,500 titles are
available and 250 new titles are scheduled to be added every month.
Eventually, up to 20,000 titles can be stored on hard disc for
Stores in the San Francisco Bay area report that at least 50 percent
of purchasers change the music before buying.
The kiosks come in three models. A stand-alone unit has a full color
touch-screen, speakers, an inviting user interface that allows
potential buyers to browse through files, listen to available
arrangements and chose the key of their choice. The selection is
then printed out instantly on the NoteStation laser printer. A
desktop model contains a black and white video monitor, with a nontouch screen with a mouse or keyboard to control selections. Printout is as with the classier model. A third type handles requests
from a remote "music warehouse" after purchasers select songs via
catalog specifying arrangement and key. It is downloaded from
MusicWriters California office and is printed on the laser printer at
the same store where you placed the order a few minutes ago. For
very remote areas a MailStation system will send the order the same
day via mail, including any key change desired. Irving Berlin should
have been so lucky.
Jon Monday, President, MusicWriter, Inc.,
#203-170 Knowles Drive, Los Gatos, CA 95030.
Phone: 408/364-2500. Fax: 408/364-2507.
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