APP OF THE MONTH: Audacity

Posted Leave a commentPosted in App of the Month, Business Skills, Creative Industries
Name Audacity
Product Description By far the best, cross-platform, professional, audio editing software available online and the best thing? It’s absolutely free!
Availability Available from the Audacity website
Key Features ·       It’s available on pretty much every single mainstream operating system.

·       Use it to record live sound through a mic, mixer or direct recording of digital sounds.

·       Import sound files from anywhere and everywhere and export your audio files in multiple formats at once.

·       Provides an excellent sound quality: 16-bit, 24-bit and 32-bit. For those who have no idea what I mean, sound quality is measured in bits kind of like how image quality is measured in pixels.

·       It supports loads of plugins (or a programme which can be added to a piece of existing software to serve a specific function or purpose).

·       Really simple editing functionality where you can copy, cut, paste and delete as well as saving all your individual editing steps so you can undo and redo every minor detail to your heart’s content.

·       They have loads of special effects available right at your fingertips including fades, reverbs, distortion, track repair, click tracks, noise reduction and so much more!

·       It is super easy to use with loads of quick mouse moves and keyboard shortcuts to manipulate your tracks simply and quickly.

·       Built-in analysis to allow you to visualise the different frequencies of your tracks.

Prices and Plans It is completely free software promoting free speech!
Biggest Pro Other than the fact it’s free, it comes with a frequently updated, easy to use and incredibly detailed user manual! Take a look at the online guide for Audacity here.
Biggest Con If you’re not knowledgeable on sound editing vernacular you might find some elements of this software tricksy but if you’re looking to upgrade your skillsets just get googling and YouTubing and reading that online guide and you’ll be a sound editing whizz before you know it.

Whether you’re setting up a podcast (like us), editing sound for a movie, a music track, a theatre show or an installation, whatever it may be, this is the best one available and will come at no expense to you and your company! It’s also a great new talent to add to the CV.

What do you use Audacity for? Let us know in the comments below.

 

APP OF THE MONTH: Repost: For Instagram

Posted Leave a commentPosted in App of the Month, Marketing, Social Media

With the monotony of the current uncertainties of life it can be difficult to constantly come up with new content, so why not Repost a previous bit of media that has done really well… and now it couldn’t be easier!

Name Repost: For Instagram
Product Description This app does what it says on the tin! Simply allowing you to easily pull and repost your existing content from Instagram.
Availability Available on the Apple App Store
Key Features ·       It allows you to repost or archive content from Instagram

·       It supports all types of Instagram content including Stories, IGTV, Reels and regular posts

·       Once you have signed into your Instagram you can repost media from private accounts

·       You can add an overlay with attribution details if you want to

·       Your previous caption is automatically copied to your Instagram clipboard

Prices and Plans It is completely free, just one of the reasons that it is the best option for reposting out there! You can upgrade to Repost Plus which removes ads, allows for custom icons and takes out company tagging from the copied caption for only £2.49 per month or £17.49 for the year (a 41% saving).
Biggest Pro It is super straightforward and only takes three simple steps:

1.     Search Instagram for the content you want to repost

2.     Tap Options (…) and select “Copy Link”

3.     Open Repost and the content will magically appear!

Biggest Con It’s not currently available on Android! Super annoying for none apple users because this is by far the best Instagram Repost app. If you are on android and recommend any Instagram Repost apps then please let us know in the comments below!

There are loads of these sorts of apps available but this is easily the best (and cheapest) one.

I’ve done the legwork so you don’t have to so if you’re looking for an easy way to repost on Instagram, this one is the app for you!

APP OF THE MONTH: LinkTree

Posted Leave a commentPosted in App of the Month, Digital Marketing, Websites
Name LinkTree
Product Description All your important links available in one place to connect your audience to all your key content!
Availability Available online through the LinkTree Website
Key Features If you have ever been annoyed that you can only put one link in your Instagram profile, then Linktree is definitely the answer:

·       Set up your companies very own specialised URL to connect people to your LinkTree.

·       Get an Unlimited Number of Links so you can send your audience wherever you like! Are you a Gallery? Add links to your exhibitions and every artist you’re showcasing. Launching a Fringe Theatre Show? Link to all your social platforms, the box office, a trailer. The possibilities are endless!

·       Customise your LinkTree with a series of built-in themes so you can get as close as possible to matching your company branding.

·       Collect emails, phone numbers and payments safely via your LinkTree

·       Track how many lifetime views and clicks your LinkTree has had so you can tell how effective it is!

·       Embed Video into your LinkTree.

Prices and Plans It is completely free to set up an account and to be honest you’ll probably only need the free version! But for just $6 per month, you get more design features, scheduling options and advanced analytics to help your business grow. They also have enterprise packages available on request for mega businesses that need multiple lists of links.
Biggest Pro As I may have already mentioned… It is perfect for your Instagram profile where you can only put one link in your description! Finally! Celebrations all around!
Biggest Con I wanna say nothing! I love it! I mean, it would be great if it was all free I guess, but you can’t have it all and they have to make their money somehow!

It is an ingenious way to fill a gap in the market. Something like this has been needed for ages and the fact that it is all done with such elegant simplicity just makes this app an all-around winner!So go and get it already!

COME ON!

What are you waiting for!?

APP OF THE MONTH: Mention

Posted Leave a commentPosted in App of the Month, Marketing, Social Media
Name Mention
Product Description Make sure you hear every conversation happening about you and your brand online in real-time!
Availability Available from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.
Key Features The easy way to manage your presence online with loads of handy settings and features including:

·       Creating alerts for your company and brand or your competitors so you can see who’s been talking about you, when and what they’ve been saying.

·       Filtering the most relevant internet mentions so you don’t have to.

·       Pulling your mentions from millions of different sources.

·       Anti-noise management. I LOVE this! Don’t get a bazillion unnecessary notifications, just get the essential info you ask for!

·       Connecting your social media accounts to quickly react to your mentions

·       Sharing your mentions with other members of your team

·       Viewing your stats and analytics to rate your online performance and see areas you can improve

Prices and Plans You will probably manage with the free plan! But they offer paid options for bigger companies from £25.49 per month.
Biggest Pro All your mentions in one place rather than some through Google, some through email and some through Hootsuite.
Biggest Con The reports section can be a little glitchy, but they constantly update it and listen to customer feedback.

Altogether Mention is a convenient and time-saving little app!

APP OF THE MONTH: Hashtag Expert

Posted Leave a commentPosted in App of the Month, Digital Marketing, Social Media
Name Hashtag Expert
Product Description Finds popular hashtags so you don’t have to! This app is bound to boost interaction across all your social media platforms!
Availability Available from the Apple App Store.
Key Features ·       Find hashtags for all the top social media apps including Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube and LinkedIn.

·       Browse millions of trending hashtags in over 50 industry categories

·       See in-depth analytics to see exactly how well they work!

·       Get personalised hashtag suggestions based on your hashtag history

·       Add trendy and super cute captions to your posts!

·       Get all the best hints and tips about hashtags, the impact they can have on your posts and exactly how to use them!

Prices and Plans Completely Free to begin, but it will cost £2.99 per week/£7.99 per month/£33.99 per year for additional features.
Biggest Pro They provide you with loads of helpful information on hashtags and how to use them including their Four Rules of Hashtagging:

·       Rule #1 – Relevant – make sure you always match the hashtags with the content of your posts

·       Rule #2 – Diverse – make sure you choose hashtags that have a wide range of post counts

·       Rule #3 – Alive – make sure you choose hashtags that are alive, and still have lots of new posts being tagged with them

·       Rule #4 – Reachable – choose hashtags where the top posts have similar amounts of likes to your average likes

Biggest Con The constant pop-ups! Although I imagine if you pay for the products you don’t get these, they are running a business after all.

So, stop wasting time trying to think up 30 hashtags that won’t even work!

Try Hashtag Expert now!

APP OF THE MONTH: Behance

Posted Leave a commentPosted in App of the Month, Art, Promotion, Websites
Name Behance
Product Description Owned by Adobe, Behance is the world’s largest creative network for showcasing and discovering creative work.
Availability Available from the Apple App Store, Google Play Store and through your browser.
Key Features ·       Look at projects from all over the creative industries including but not limited to:o   Graphic Design

o   Photography

o   Illustration

o   Interaction Design

o   Motion Graphics

o   Architecture

o   Product Design

o   Fashion

o   Advertising

o   Fine Arts

o   Crafts

o   Game Design

o   Sound

· Check out work curated and compiled by humans, not computers, and created by imaginative inventors who you can follow and interact with.

·       It’s used by some of the world’s leading creative companies to find new talent and advertise job opportunities throughout the industry.

·       Build mood boards of projects that inspire you while exploring the communities.

·       Watch artist and expert-led live streams to learn new crafts or the latest artistic techniques.

Prices and Plans Completely Free!
Biggest Pro The wide network of artists and companies who use this platform to find new talent!
Biggest Con It’s owned by Adobe so desperately makes me want to invest in every product they make so that I can make my own art!

I’m ashamed to say I hadn’t even heard of this platform until I discovered that many Fine Art Students from the Class of 2021 had profiles.

It is the perfect place to show off your work and get inspired!

APP OF THE MONTH: Google Arts and Culture

Posted Leave a commentPosted in App of the Month, Art, Entertainment
Name Google Arts and Culture
Product Description Compiling Knowledge from over 2000 institutions worldwide to allow you to visit and inspect museums and art galleries right from your Smart Phone during a global pandemic.
Availability Available from the Apple App Store, Google Play Store and through your browser.
Key Features ·       Art Transfer – stylise your photos to look like works by your favourite artists.

·       Art Selfie – Ever wanted to look like Van Gogh or dress up as the Girl with a Pearl Earring. Now you can with ease.

·       Art Projector – Check out exactly what artworks look like in their real size.

·       Pocket Gallery – Visit hundreds of art galleries worldwide during the lockdown.

·       Art Camera – Inspect your favourite artworks close up.

·       360° videos and Virtual reality tours – With VR technology you’ll truly feel like you’re at the museum

·       Street View – Tour famous sites and landmarks like the graffiti of Banksy across the world

·       Exhibits – Take guided tours curated by the worlds leading experts

·       Favourites – Save your favourite artworks into galleries to share you’re your family, friends or students

·       Nearby – Find museums and exhibitions near you to explore when Covid is over!

·       Notifications – New content and features are added weekly to keep you hooked

·       And much more!

Prices and Plans Completely Free!
Biggest Pro The ability to get your arts and culture fix in lockdown! Absolutely brilliant!
Biggest Con It’s a little bit glitchy here and there but I think that’s down to the enormity of content and activities available.

 

If you’re missing galleries and museums this is for sure the next best thing! But be warned… you can easily spend hours on this app exploring art, playing games and re-immersing yourself in the wonderful world of culture.

APP OF THE MONTH: Grammarly

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Administration, App of the Month, Branding
Name Grammarly
Product Description Proofread from home with ease and improve your content to make your writing clear and effective!
Availability Available on Chrome, macOS, Microsoft Word and your phone. Learn More in the Grammarly app store.
Key Features ·       Make sure your writing is accurate, clear and concise with Grammarly’s AI writing assistant.

·       Pick a theme to easily convey the tone and brand voice of your business.

·       Link Grammarly with all your favourite sites including Gmail, Outlook, Messenger, Google Docs, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn

·       Adapt the settings of Grammarly specifically for your business, for example, changing automatically changing ‘the arts business’ to The Arts Business.

·       Share your account with up to 50 people across your company safely and easily.

Prices and Plans Free! For all of your correction and proofreading needs! Grammarly Premium is available from $12.50 per month.
Biggest Pro It’s great at picking up all your grammatical errors and spelling mistakes that MS Word doesn’t always pick up on.
Biggest Con The adverts for its premium services, but they are easy to put up with when you’re getting this awesome service for free!

We all know when you have to proofread alone it can get tiring and it’s easy to miss things so just run it through Grammarly and you’ll catch all those sneaky typos.

APP OF THE MONTH: Inside Theatre

Posted Leave a commentPosted in App of the Month, Education, Theatre
Name Inside Theatre with funding from Innovate UK
Product Description Set to replace the traditional programme or playbill Inside Theatre has created an environmentally friendly and educational app where the possibilities are endless. And this is only Step One!
Availability Available from the Apple App Store.
Key Features ·       Develop your own magical fairy avatar with different outfit choices, patterns, textures and wing shapes and sizes.

·       Design your set in 3D adding set pieces like mushrooms, steps and platforms. Scale, rotate and pattern your set pieces to make them completely unique.

·       Create your own theatre lighting from a central bar, sidelights and face lights, change the colour and intensity of your LX to generate whatever mood best suits your costume and set design.

·       Select the perfect soundscape to complete your show choosing from Traditional, Magical, Modern and Natural.

·       Watch your performance in your living room through the amazing power of AR with a real actor recorded through motion capture playing Bottom!

·       Eventually, you will be able to interact with a theatre show before, during and after with loads of specialist content and interactive activities. This is just the first step: the before, learning about A Digital Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Prices and Plans The bargain price £1.99 and worth every penny! A great way to support the arts and keep yourself entertained during the next inevitable lockdown. And, if you’re a drama teacher it is a very reasonable price for a few lessons worth of activity!
Biggest Pro It covers all aspects of technical production to allow for a proper understanding of how theatre works, the only thing it’s missing is the stage manager 😉
Biggest Con It’s only new, so it’s a little slow and glitchy, but bear with it. Inside Theatre is set to get bigger and better and you could be there when it all began.

 

If you’re a live theatre lover who is desperately missing going to performances during this pandemic this is the next best thing! And keep your eyes peeled on Inside Theatre, we can expect some great things from these folks in the very near future.

APP OF THE MONTH: Speechify

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Administration, App of the Month, Education
Name Speechify
Product Description Text to speech software. Either copy and paste in text, upload a pdf or simply snap a photo and Speechify will read it in a human-sounding voice.
Availability Available from the Apple App Store and as an extension on Google Chrome. Currently available in Beta Form on Google Play Store. A desktop app for MacBooks can be downloaded from the Speechify Website.
Key Features ·       Choose your natural sounding voice from a selection and listen to text in over 50 different languages.

·       Change your reading speed so you can listen at up to 900 words a minute, which is 5 times the average reading speed.

·       Take a photo of whatever your reading and upload it to Speechify which will then read it to you!

·       Import articles directly from your internet browser or install the chrome add on so you don’t have to!

·       Compatible with loads of different apps including Dropbox, iCloud and Google Drive.

Prices and Plans Free! Premium packages starting from £11.25 a month which allows unlimited access and HD Voices,
Biggest Pro The voice! Having struggled with dyslexia all my educational and professional life this is BY FAR the easiest to use and best sounding software I have ever come across.
Biggest Con Pretty new, so a little glitchy here and there but you can’t have everything.

 

An effortlessly simple piece of software which integrates flawlessly with your internet platforms.

I wish I would have had this at university!