DanceMaster Features
  Karaoke Cue Cards
  Remote Control
  Dance History
  Dance Modules
Tour the DM Player
  What is it?
  What does it do?
    Basic Edition Player
    Adv Edition Player
  How does it help a Cuer?
  What does it look like?
  Using the Player
  Cost of the Player
  Setup the Player
Tour the Porter
Tour the Librarian
What does DanceMaster Player cost?

I wrote DanceMaster for two reasons:

  1. I was tired of carrying boxes of records around. The solution to that problem was either to put the music on mini-disks or try to put it on a laptop computer, and I decided that I would much rather buy a laptop than a mini-disk player.

  2. I wanted to see if it could be done.

Once I got into it, I started realizing some of the ways that a laptop could be much more useful than a mini-disk system. And other people started expressing an interest in having a copy of the program. I was delighted to share it, but before I could give it to someone else, I had to make it a whole lot easier to set up and maintain.

  • I had to write a program to manage the database that DanceMaster depends on, because I couldn't expect other people to maintain a fairly complex relational database in Access, or even own Access, for that matter.

  • I had to write manuals (Yuk!) for both programs!

  • I had to write an installer to set them up on other people's computers.

  • I had to write a maintenance program to update the structure of the database in the field, so I could add more features to the program after people started using it.

  • I had to be available to help people get started in using the program (and the computers they bought to run DanceMaster on).

All of that has turned out to be a LOT more work than writing the program was.

Part of me feels: "Hey, this is a nifty tool, you've had fun and learned a lot by writing it, you should share it freely with anyone who wants to use it." Another part of me (the more rational part) counters: "Yes, you've had fun neglecting your job, your family, and all your other responsibilities while writing this, but releasing and supporting it is going to take up even more time. How are you going to justify that?"

I decided to compromise by releasing two versions of it.

Basic Edition

The basic level is about equivalent to the version that Sandy and I used for the first couple of years, as I developed and debugged it and started writing the Advanced Edition. It includes the ability to play songs, select them by rhythm and/or phase, to change the speed, set bookmarks, create and save playlists... everything you need to cue a dance from a laptop.

I won't require that you pay for the Basic Edition of the DanceMaster. I would like you to let me know that you are using it, but you don't have to pay to do so. If you drop me an email or a postcard with your email address, I will attempt to notify you when updates are available.

You are, of course, more than welcome (encouraged, even) to make a donation to the cause, to express your appreciation and to encourage the further development of the program. If you choose to do that, you can "register" the program and it will display your name instead of "Unregistered" at the top of the screens.

Advanced Edition

The Advanced version has all the bells and whistles. It supports Karaoke Cue Cards and Remote Control, it keeps track of what dances you cue and where you cue them, so it can tell you what you have done, where you did it , how often you do it, etc. It has a few minor additions as well, such as the Hot List and Break Timer, and there is a list of other new features that I have in the works. These will appear in the Advanced Edition, but not necessarily in the Basic Edition.

I will request a donation of at least $150 when you register the Advanced Edition. If you feel that it is worth more than that (and I think you will), you are encouraged to donate what you think it is worth.