Saturday, May 2, 2009

Power Tab Editor - Why Not?

I purchased Blues-Rock Evolution by Jeff McErlain and it featured the Power Tab Editor "... free shareware thanks to Brad Larsen, who wrote it and shares it with players the world over." Trying to get older software (year 2000 release date) running on Vista is like dancing with a chicken, but I was anxious to see the tabs so took the plunge.

After a surprisingly trouble free install (a tribute to backward compatibility) I opened the first tab file and wow! Dynamic tab! Power Tab plays the tab and notation using midi on your machine. I was impressed enough that I jumped on to the Internet to search for the current release, which is where things came down to earth.

As a child I dreamt one night I had a wonderful toy car carrier. It was a big Mack truck carrying Corvettes and Thunderbirds and I had it parked under my bed for safe keeping. Next morning I leapt out of bed to retrieve my rig and found nothing but cobwebs and dust mites. I had somewhat the same feeling when I got to http://www.power-tab.net/ and saw the caption “Power Tab Archives Closed” followed by article links with “Music Publishers’ Association” MPA in them. Dang! No wonder there are no new releases; seems Power Tab Editor is another victim of Digital Rights Management (DRM).

Now I’m all for people making money off what they create, I just wish publishers could bow to the inevitability of DRM free distribution. After all, legal downloads of DRM free music such as Amazon and iTunes Plus is ubiquitous now. Still, some content such as electronic books and apparently Power Tab format still have not arrived at their ultimate DRM free end state. Late breaking news of a PTA Relaunch though indicates a resolution is at hand. As of April 3, 2009, release of Power Tabs via the Internet has a new lease on life with royalties being paid through advertising. You can go to Power Tabs Discussion Forum to track the progress.

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