media & technology
MAGAZINE The Band
Available from most newsagents Thu 10 Jul priced £2.50.
As Victor Hugo once said: ’There is
nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come.’ So begins the editorial introduction to the latest offering from Future Publishing, but
what can chief scribe Tim Tucker possibly be talking about? A political
revolution, an artistic revival, the Teletubbies? Not quite. He‘s actually referring to his new magazine The Band, a monthly magazine guide to gigging, recording and making it in the music biz. Future already publish a raft of music magazines, including Total Guitar, The Mix and Rhythm, but with the continuing dominance of Britpop, they clearly reckon that there are enough would-be superstars hoping to emulate their heroes, to make The Band a viable proposition. This is clearly the reason that a certain Manc group features so prominently on the front cover of the first issue. It would be easy to dismiss The Band as a mag sad wannabes and dreamers. Musslebrook, a spokesperson for Future, is adamant that this is not the case. 'If you want to be a Spice Girl, it won’t be for you. Once you see the content, you’ll realise that it's a little more serious than that.’ Flicking through the articles on mixers, mics and vocal processors, you can see her point, although on a lighter note you do get to discover that ‘Fly' is the most popular band name in Britain, and you only need to shift 6500 singles to make it into the
Being in a group is, of course, all about interaction, and The Band proves it has its own interactive element with the Web site Music Network (http://www. musiciansnet.co.uk). As well as news and reviews, the site features an online directory of UK musicians and industry personnel. Sound samples mean you can check out the talent, and a regional search facility will find a
Wannabe the next Oasis?: read The Band then
new drummer for your group. It's refreshing to see a Web site that offers a practical service to back up, rather than repeat, the content of the mag itself.
Knowing their market as they do, Future are probably onto a good thing with The Band. Just wait for the self- congratulation the first time one of their readers actually manages to hit the big time. (John Henderson)
SOFTWARE Kai's Photo Soap
Available now on Mac/PC CD-ROM priced £39.99.
Fancy forking out several hundred quid for some powerful image editing software? Thought not. Software packages like Adobe’s Photoshop have traditionally been beyond the budget of most home users, and unless you’re a graphic artist, you’re unlikely to need such sophistication anyway. At a measly £39.99, however, the humorously titled Kai’s Photo Soap will clean up almost anything you can throw at it, Scan in
some ropey old snapshots, and you can correct dodgy
exposures, get rid of
red eyes, heal scars or
change the lighting
altogether. If Aunt Mavis
isn’t gomg to like her
niece’s new nose ring, you can simply remove it from the latest picture
80 THELIST 11—24 Jul 1997
in the family album.
One of the great advantages of Photo Soap is its simplicity. You can pick it up in minutes, and rather than baffling you with complicated menus and tool bars, it will happily hold your hand throughout the whole process. Despite
this laid-back and uncomplicated approach, the
Kai's Photo Soap: image software that won't break the bank
effects achievable are impressive.
With the advent of near picture- quality cheap colour inkjets, graphical applications are going to be finding their way into the home on a more regular basis. Digital cameras are beginning to put the home computer at the centre of photographic activity, and even if you don’t have a scanner or a high quality printer, most copy
centres will be happy to do the donkey work for you.
So, it’s time to get creative With those late night drunken holiday snaps. Perhaps the best reason for buying this package is that
you can make yourself look better than your mates. As Kai Krause,the man behind Photo Soap says: 'lt’s never been this easy before even with software ten times the price.’ For once, here’s a product that lives up to such hype. (John Henderson)
Lowdown Games 0 Web Sites 0 CD ROMS
Glasgay! 97 (http://www.Glasgay.org.uk)
Although still in its infancy and only worth bookmarking for future reference, Glasgay! 97 promises innovative coverage and listings for Scotland's biggest gay and lesbian arts festival. Recruitment of administrators, publicists and stewards is already undenivay on the site, and the organisers intend to up the interactivity as the November bash gets nearer, culminating in live performance Netcasts. They also hope that by marketing the festival on the Web, they will attract more foreign interest and tourism. As yet, the site is more hype than content, but keep watching this cyberspace.
GAME Dungeon Master (PC CD-ROM £39.99)
Dungeon Master, sure to be one of biggest releases of the summer, is a brilliantly innovative combination of God games, Dungeons And Dragons and Doom. Taking the eponymous role, your task is to create a dungeon habitat into which to lure, defeat and, if you wish, tonure intrepid, adventuring heroes. Aided by minions whose bodies you can possess to walk around your beautiful dungeons, the game is filled with sadistic, egomaniacal humour and enough depth and sophistication to keep you playing for months. If elegance of gameplay determines what you purchase, you won't regret buying Dungeon Master.
Oasis Interactive Songbook
(PC CD-ROM £29.99)
And the merchandising bandwagon rolls on with this beginner’s guide for wannabe Mancunian rock stars. Containing all the songs from What’s The Story. . ., the Interactive Songbook Will teach you every chord (is it three or four?) you need to know to sound like Noel, and then allow you to play alongside the band themselves. No fancy fretwork or tWiddly bits are included in the tUition, but you do get the usual biographies, press cuttings and qwzzes — Just in case you haven’t heard enough about me Gallaghers in the last few years. If you were twelve, this would be a great package.
REVIEWER THIS ISSUE: John Henderson