As it is, you can either output to the wrong paper size, or have your document reflowed by the operating system, neither of which yields predictable results. Rhyming dictionaries seem either to tell you what you already know, or give you something so contrived the Kaiser Chiefs would turn up their noses; and all the fancy fonts and spellcheckers in the world are useless when confronted with a blank page. Masterwriter is not primarily a recording program, but it does include a very basic audio recording page, which might be useful for those occasions when you want a scratchpad for demo ideas. Of these, the most important is probably the rhyming dictionary. I would have thought that designing an interactive rhyming dictionary was far more challenging than programming a simple database, but to my mind, it's the latter area that lets Masterwriter down. The idea behind strategies like sending sealed Jiffy bags to yourself is to create evidence that the song was already written before the postmarked date on the bag, and Masterwriter 's Songuard page is a somewhat more hi-tech version of the same idea.
It's genuinely informative and does an excellent job of showing off the program's features. Masterwriter, especially given that the Song List is ordered according. The bottom half of the screen keeps track of all the saved audio files associated with the currently selected song. You're encouraged to assign a musical Style and a Status to each song, from a pop-up list you have to populate yourself. Second, there's audio files, if any. The cool stuff becomes apparent when you select a word and click on one of the tabs in the top row. Suggest an application to this list. It would also be nice to have more control over other aspects of the printing process, such as how the title appears, and whether the 'Written by credit should be included. Cons The Song List is frustratingly inflexible. The Song List would also be better if you could choose what information it displayed about your songs, and change the width of the columns that present that information.
Buying Masterwriter gives you free access to Songuard for a year, up to a maximum of 180 submissions, and after that you can choose whether to subscribe for longer. The good thing is, it's a powerful but easy to use tool which enables you to navigate to your desired section instantly. This is a pain if you want to bring your back catalogue into. This is unacceptable for a product that's being sold in the UK and Europe, and needs to be changed as soon as possible. To be precise, what greets you is a blank Song List, which is the top level. That's the idea behind. These gripes aside, however, I'm most impressed with this aspect of Masterwriter. Double-clicking on entries in the list of rhyming words 'collects' them for future reference, and the Collect tab's Show Lyrics button divides the Masterwriter window in two, allowing you to view the main word processor screen alongside a list. This seems to work, but unlike the other functions, I found it rather pointless in practice.
I'm not convinced that this paranoia is really justified it's hard enough to get the bigwigs of the music business to listen to your music at all, let alone rip it off but it's pretty widespread. Everything related to what you are writing is a mouse click away - just type in the keyword or phrase you need inspiration with and MasterWriter throws up a whole host of ideas and suggestions. As it is, most of those categories don't even exist. If you're a writer and lacking inspiration, then MasterWriter could give you the boost you need. Alternatively, you can import audio files in WAV, aiff, Quicktime and MP3 formats, and I suspect this will be more useful to most people. To that end, the big feature is a specially designed word processor with a built-in rhyming dictionary, plus a thesaurus, conventional and phrasal dictionaries. You can select mono or stereo recording, and a range of sample rates, but any other parameters have to be set up using the Mac's Audio midi Setup utility.
On my machine it refused to do anything with an RTF file, and crashed when confronted with a plain text document, though it is of course easy enough to select text in another application and paste it into. Recording is then simply a matter of hitting Record and waiting for the visual count-in to end. That being the case, it's frustating that some of the other elements of the program are lacking. Masterwriter 's database is the Import function: there is one, but as far as I can tell, it only works on files that have been exported from. Well, come to think of it, most of the time I'll produce nothing whatsoever. Songuard may help to establish authorship in case of dispute. If you can't find a suitable perfect rhyme, Masterwriter's Soundalikes feature will generate half-rhymes that may be close enough. Another obstacle for those who want to add existing material.
Strangely, though, there's no way to sync the playback of already recorded audio files with the playback of drum loops, so the latter's only use is as glorified click tracks when recording. If there is an argument, you can then use a Songuard registration as evidence of prior authorship. To use the word 'steady' as an example once again, a Phrase search yields 12 results, ranging from 'A drink to steady the nerves' to 'Steady as she goes'. Likewise, a few simple changes to Masterwriter 's interface could make a big difference to its ease of use, and issues such as the lack of printer options need to be addressed pretty urgently if it's going to become popular outside the United States. Masterwriter in the first place, which is a bit self-defeating.
The key issue, however, is establishing prior authorship in the event of a dispute. The Song Info tab allows you to edit this metadata. Some way of cataloguing scores might also be useful for those working with sheet music. Masterwriter, you can use the Song Info to catalogue any other files or tapes relating to a song. Platforms, show 8 less popular platforms, license. Songuard is not yet tested in the courts. For instance, five Soundalikes are listed for the word 'steady 'deadly 'Debbie 'peppy 'petty' and 'wetly'. If you think Masterwriter might be for you, I wholeheartedly recommend that you download the demo available from the company's web site. Pros Rhyming dictionary is a real advance over the existing alternatives. Masterwriter has a very basic hard disk recorder that can be used Dictaphone-style to get musical ideas down, but its main focus is on helping you write lyrics.