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Software: for music cataloguing

Dear Listers,

Here are most of the responses I received regarding the music software
question. If yours was not included it's because it was duplicated

Thanks to all who responded.

Christine Jordanoff
Director of Choral Organizations
Mary Pappert School of Music
Duquesne University
Pittsburgh, PA 15282

Christine - I've been using Charms for a few years now and absolutely love
it. I haven't had to get a scanner but there was a great deal of inputting
to be done when I first started. Now it's really easy... I would vote for

Randi Carp
los Alamitos HS

Over the past 35 years I've either completely computerized info for
libraries which already had some method of keeping inventory or created
computer inventory listings where there was none - about 8 times.

I have used several different softwares on both Windows machines and
Macs and find, by far, that the KISS (Keep It Simple, Sister) method is
the best, most flexible, cheapest and least likely to be discontinued
like other software. (In fact, 3 software programs I was required to
use as they prexisted my employment there, no longer run on either
Windows OR Macs.)

Consider using instead whatever database software is already available
on your Mac (Appleworks) or Office or if you can spring for the cost,
FileMaker Pro 6 (NOT 7) and set up your own database parameters.

The problem with ANY software which promises an 'instant' format is
that it often provides only generic fields, few search options for a
large library (for instance, can you search for all songs which make
use of Psalm 100 or locate all music arranged by Ringwald on Shawnee
Press in the year 1959?), and you are often limited in the amount of
info you can enter into each field and in the ways you can format a
hard copy when you need to print out.

By using a generic business database, non-music specific, you can
create fields that generic music software will not let you set up. In
addition, if you have an interest in having multiple computer platforms
access, almost all good business database softwares can export directly
to Excel, MS Office, can be set up for a webpage, a PDF document and
all manner of cross-platform formats. Specialized music software often
limits access by requiring each machine which wishes to view the
inventory to have that specific software on it. Appleworks, for
instance, and Filemaker Pro can export in so many ways that it is
unnecessary for any Mac owner to have to have to have Virtual PC for
aything today nor is it necessary for a Windows machine receiving the
file to have any more on it than what normally comes with the machine -
MS business software.

If you are interested in seeing how this might work, just respond and I
will be happy to explain further. I can even send you a manual which
explains entry and file maintenance using Filemaker Pro which I wrote
for my librarians to use after I set it up on my Mac.

From a cost-efficient standpoint, you'd be much better off investing in
Filemaker Pro 6 ($400?) which will even accept photos of inventory
items like robes and instruments and can export directly to the web as
a read-only document. You can also give others very specifically
described writing privileges which will protect the integrity of the

Compared to the two items you mentioned, which more nearly resemble
spreadsheets and the limitations such a program has, a generic database
program of ANY kind wins hands down.

Cindy Pribble
Director, Stanly County Chorale
iMac G5, Powerbook G4, Big Blue G3

I have been using RCI MusicLibrary for which I paid $130. Go to
Chuck Riden wrote the software. He's always there for you with
technical support. It has modules for Band, Chorus, Orchestra,
Recordings, Grading, Uniform Inventory, member database and more. I'm
really happy with it---haven't even really used everything yet. If you
email him, tell him that Linda Markert referred you. I'm a Middle
School Choir director in Victoria Texas. My high school choir director
uses the same software for both her school and church choir libraries.


Your Music Librarian is network ready -- by Microsoft standards, at any
rate. Many users run it on Microsoft and Novell networks. I can't guarantee
it will run on a network that is entirely Apple. On the other hand, it
might. Of course, for the price of Charms software you can buy three
inexpensive Windows PCs and one copy of YML and have your ownt Windows

Thanks again for your interest in Your Music Librarian software.

John W. Leeger
Your Music Librarian, Inc.
P.O. Box 20446
Kalamazoo, MI 49019

Good morning,
You might look at RSI Software ( They have a couple
of music library packages. I'm looking at one for organ music. The Ridens
are on vacation until about the 15th of June, but after that you might give
them a call and ask about their choral library package. I don't know if it
will run on a Mac.

Hope this helps a little.

Dr. Donald L. Armitage, Cantor
Augsburg Lutheran Church (ELCA)
845 West Fifth Street
Winston-Salem, NC 27101

Actually, we have been using RCI Music Software and have been very
pleased since changing the system over to this program. I could bring
5000+ entries over quite easily and have been sent updates to the
programs each year. In addition to the choral library program, there
are other separate library programs as well. Check out the site....I
just got an email from him that he is on vacation until June 15.....but
would recommend this program. The site is below to check it out. I
went with this one in lieu of the others you are looking at. A plus is
I can talk with the person who is designing the program and listens to
what is needed in the updates. Hope this helps......Ardis

Ardis Faber

Dear Christine,

It is better and more cost effective, in my opinion, to use a simple Excel
spreadsheet. That way your librarian can change with little to no downtime.

You won't get a lot of bells and whistles, but you also won't have to shell
out a lot of money for the parts you won't really use any way.

Stay with simple and effective...


Carol G. Wooten
Director of Music and Creative Arts, Epworth UMC
Conductor, Triangle Youth Music Chorus/Arts Ministry, Inc.
Durham/Chapel Hill, NC U.S.A.
on October 3, 2008 10:00pm
I currently used an old program called "Score Keeper", made by the now defunt "Software-in-a-Book". It is an amzing program in that it provided for ever imaginable detail. Bsides the obvious composer, and publisher parameters, there were fields for: arranger, key signature, rating, difficulty, two customiziable fields that I used for performing forces and liturgical use, the library file number, number of copies, whether it was in a collection, the page number, date last used, and two different fields to type in text and comments. I have yet to find anyting that even comes close to this database system. The problem is that it was devloped for Win 3.1 or Win 95 then the company went out of business. If there was some computer genius out there who could look at the code for this current program and develop a cross platform database for windows users and us Mac users, we could all have a slick music database for whatever kind of music we needed to catalog, beit choral, instrumental or otherwise.