The Music Network
Paul Gilby reports on SOS on-line activities on Europe's new electronic communications system.
This month we take you on a quick guided tour around the Sound On Sound area of The Music Network, Europe's new electronic communications system for musicians and the music industry.
On March 10th The Music Network (TMN) officially went on-line. Sound On Sound has its own special section on the network ready and waiting for you to access a whole host of facilities. This article looks at what's going on within the SOS On-line section and highlights some of its uses.
Once you have logged on to TMN you will be presented with the main welcoming screen. At this screen you should type the letter c (short for 'conferences') to see a list of all the different activities on the system. Here you will find such things as manufacturers' support groups, news sections, sound libraries and, of course, the SOS On-line area. Let's take a closer look at what's inside...
By typing a few commands you will arrive at the index page of the SOS area. Here you will see a screen listing all the different sections of our electronic version of Sound On Sound magazine. Current features include: news, articles, letters, classified adverts, mail order, bookshop and SOS Software. Further topics will be added to the services from time to time, and we're open to your suggestions.
Perhaps the first thing many of you will be saying to yourselves is, 'SOS On-line doesn't seem any different to the printed version'. Well, you're wrong. The topic headings seem familiar enough but they are not identical to those printed in the magazine. The difference lies in the very nature of the electronic publishing medium - namely speed, space and (most importantly) reader feedback! Let's run through the different topics in detail and see what's going on.
SOS News - this area contains all the latest news and new product information that we receive each week. This is where you can read about the hot new products from the manufacturers weeks before they get into print in the music monthlies, and in more depth. The whole section is updated on a weekly basis and encompasses a much wider topic range than we can possibly cover in Sound On Sound. The aim of SOS News is to offer a fast and comprehensive service for everyone, therefore readers and manufacturers are invited to send their news by electronic mail (E-mail) to the SOS News section. Our TMN system address is simply SOS.
SOS Articles - magazines are often limited by the number of pages available for articles. In particular, lengthy in-depth features often have to be run in two parts or edited to fit. Within the article section of SOS On-line we will have an opportunity to run whole articles, no matter what length. We will have the scope to publish the full, unexpurgated transcript of an interview with a producer, musician, engineer etc, without space restrictions. Each month we'll be listing the contents of the latest magazine and including a good number of actual articles on the system for you to download, and read at your leisure. In addition, there will be further articles that will never appear in print. These will include background/research articles related to subjects and features in the current magazine.
Within this area you will also have an opportunity to respond to articles you have read, whether on the system or in print. So, if you have ever wanted to write directly to the author of an article and get a fast reply, this is how you do it. The whole idea is for you to ask questions, let us hear your queries and opinions, and get involved. Feedback is important to us.
SOS Letters - as regular readers of Sound On Sound know, we don't have a letters page in the magazine. This is because it takes so long to research and answer individual queries that we just don't have the time to do it and print a reply. Those readers who have written to SOS in the past will know that we tend to answer letters directly and in most cases by phone. The SOS Letters section is an open area where readers' letters may be 'posted' for everyone to see and respond to if they can help. Think of it like a club noticeboard. The concept is to offer a 'melting pot' of ideas where readers, authors, experts and music industry people can communicate their thoughts.
Classifieds - just like in the magazine, the Free Classified section on The Music Network is a service we offer readers who want to advertise their used equipment for sale. You can upload your classified for inclusion in this section, and we'll also take a copy and print it in the magazine.
Mail Order - this section is broken down into different areas: normal mail order services, like those which appear in the magazine (back issues, mouse mats, etc), the SOS Bookshop and SOS Software. Within each of these areas you can read descriptions of the products and order the items with your credit card. In the near future, we shall include a selection of the software programs we sell for you to download directly off TMN into your computer.
Coining Soon - the complete index to all articles ever published in SOS.
Feature by Paul Gilby
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