Thursday, July 29, 2010

Software Buying Trends

Earlier this year, LifeHacker posted a wonderful info graphic depicting data from the US Census Bureau comparing how many sales are being made online versus in retail stores across a number of categories.

Online versus instore buying trends

I found the results of What People Buy Online vs. in Stores fascinating. I'd love to see something that showed trending over time, so I'll have to keep my eyes open for results in years to come. As the world becomes increasingly more connected online, I imagine these numbers will continue to shift in favor of making purchases online.

Software purchasing in-store versus onlineI did find the software results a little surprising. There is nearly a 50/50 split between computer hardware and software purchased online and at retail stores. I would have expected a larger percentage of purchases in this category to be made online, similar to what is seen with other electronics.

I imagine consumers perceive software products as more legitimate or reliable when seen inside retail stores because they fear online products come from fly-by-night businesses that will be gone tomorrow, or maybe consumers don’t feel comfortable buying something so intangible. On the other hand, consumers who do buy online recognize the ease and immediacy of being able to download an application and have a solution instantly. For example, the software utilities we provide at NCH Software download and install, in most cases, in under a minute. That means you can install a program like Prism Video Converter to convert a troublesome movie file that won’t play on your computer before you could so much as make it out your driveway to go to the store in search of a solution.

Until late last year, 100% of NCH Software sales were made online. We are still new to the retail market and our retail presence is still actively growing, so I am curious to see where the split will be in our overall software sales once we are more firmly established in retail stores. Shoppers in the U.S. can currently find Golden Records, Express Invoice as well as software suites of our audio, video and burning software utilities in stores, with additional products including dictation/transcription software, Inventoria, WavePad, VideoPad, and FlexiServer also being added to the mix. Will we eventually see half our sales being made through retail stores, or will retail sales settle at a lower percentage as more customers migrate to online purchasing? I guess only time will tell.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Showcase and Share Your Memories, Photos, Video Clips and More

Vividly recreate and preserve your memories with a multimedia slideshow you’ll be proud to share with friends and family with PhotoStage slideshow creator software.



There’s no better tool than PhotoStage for showcasing your favorite photographs, images and video clips. PhotoStage brings your pictures, images and video to life and lets you share your favorite memories with family and friends in an interesting and portable way. Creating a slideshow from your digital photos has never been easier.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Software to put the “Free” back in Freelancer

freelancing software When you set out as a designer/writer/ artist/programmer on the freelancing path, you probably envisioned yourself working merrily at your home office desk. The word freelancing itself invokes thoughts of freedom—freedom from a boss, from a set schedule, from traffic jams and cranky coworkers. But you probably didn’t foresee all the details you would have to keep track of, and any freedom you may have hoped for was quickly squashed by the little things. The more successful you are as a freelancer, the more organized you need to be. Here are some software solutions that will put you back in control.

Timekeeper Software: HourGuard
Time is money, and your time is especially valuable. Not only will HourGuard track how much time you spend on work for each client, it’s easy to use, so your precious time won’t be spent trying to figure it all out. All you have to do is click the Start button when you begin a client’s work, and click Stop when the session is over. You can even set up a task schedule for large projects and track how much time you spend on each sub-task. When your billing period comes around, HourGuard will compile a time sheet, complete with what work you did, for how long, and when. You’ll wonder how you ever lived without this handy tool, especially after you download it for free.

Invoicing Software: Express Invoice
Stop using that sloppy-looking thing you call an invoice, and get organized with your finances. Express Invoice will not only generate professional looking invoices for you to send to your clients, it will help you keep track of how much money clients owe, past due payments, and how much money you’ve collected.

Customer Relationship Management Software: Reflect
If you’ve ever misplaced notes from your last phone conference, had trouble finding your client’s contact information, or lost the lead on a new job, you NEED this software! Use Reflect to create a complete customer record, complete with contact details, notes, event scheduling, and to advance your business. Reflect is free, so your ROI will be outstanding.

Business Card Creation Software: CardWorks
Getting new jobs is all about making great connections. Being caught without a business card is no excuse when creating your own business cards is this easy and free. CardWorks comes with a variety of pre-made templates for you to add your contact info to, then save to a pdf and take to the printer, or even print them out at home.

Depending on your line of work, you may find these other programs useful in your freelancing venture:

FTP File Transfer Software: Classic FTP For uploading your webpages, artwork, and code once your work is complete.
Disc Burning Software: Express Burn The easiest way to send your work, back up your work, or demo your work is still by creating a CD or DVD.
PDF Printer: Bolt PDF Sending professional PDFs of your resume, job bids, and other documents in PDF is the document sharing standard.

And be sure to check out our other Business Software to see all the business solutions we offer. Many of our business programs are scalable, so as your business grows, our software will grow with you.

Monday, July 12, 2010

PitchPerfect Guitar Tuning Software for Musicians Now Available for the iPhone

PitchPerfect Guitar Tuning Software for Windows, Mac, Pocket PC, SmartPhone and iPhoneBefore you can practice or perform, you have to make sure your instrument is in tune. PitchPerfect is an easy-to-use, free guitar tuner that makes tuning easy, and is now available as an iPhone app, joining the Windows, Mac, Pocket PC and SmartPhone versions that continue to be available as free downloads from NCH Software.

While PitchPerfect Tuning Software is great for guitar players, it also includes presets for tuning cello, double bass, fiddle, mandolin, ukulele, viola and violin. Most instruments have several tunings available, so no matter which stringed instrument you play or what style of music, you will know your instrument is in tune. Simply play the string you want to tune to see if you are sharp, flat, or in perfect pitch.

And if you like PitchPerfect, we hope you check out our other software for musicians, including TempoPerfect Metronome Software—also available as an NCH iPhone app.

Friday, July 9, 2010

NCH Audio Suite Complete for Mac

With the release of Zulu DJ Software for Mac earlier this week, all five of the core audio software tools that make up the NCH Audio Suite are now all available for the Mac, completing the Audio Suite for Apple fans. Take a closer look at these 5 essential audio tools for Mac and Widows PC users alike:
Note: All 5 audio software products are available for download and purchase individually through the NCH Software website, and the retail box with all these audio tools bundled together is available at a selection of retail stores in the US including Fry's, MicroCenter, CompUSA, Amazon and more, so keep your eyes peeled for NCH Software in a store near you.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Zulu Virtual DJ Software New Mac Version

D J SoftwareZulu DJ Software is now available for Mac, providing all the same powerful features professional and amateur disc jockeys alike have relied on in the Windows version.

Zulu allows for a wide range of control over a playlist, from AutoPlay mode for hands-off mixing, to powerful tools for more advanced disc jockeys including real-time pitch and tempo control, cue points, and an effects rack. Users can drag and drop music files anywhere on the Zulu DJ Software interface and preview tracks before they play, and then mix music while adding special effects such as distortion, reverb, and delay on the fly. With all this and Zulu's advanced automatic beat detection, users can easily take their DJing skills to the next level.

So whether you have a PC or a Mac, are a professional disc jockey or just learning the ropes, Zulu Virtual DJ Software offers a complete solution that you should be sure to check out before your next party or event.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Top Mac Audio Editing Software

WavePad Gold TopTenReviews AwardWe are thrilled to add another plaque to WavePad's list of achievements with the recent Gold Award from TopTenReviews, putting Wavepad Audio Editing Software in the number one spot for audio editing on a Mac. The verdict from the reviewers was that "with an easy learning curve and ample tools, NCH’s WavePad makes for a great beginner’s Mac audio editing program." But that is not to say that WavePad is just for the beginner. WavePad also packs a punch with powerful editing tools for the more experienced audio engineer:

"[WavePad] has a lot to offer to the amateur audio editor, while still providing enough tools to make it a useful program for more seasoned audio editors. Therefore, considering the wide range of editing and recording tools, which are a snap to use, it is easy to declare this the best program available in the Mac audio editing software lineup."

TopTenReviews


You can read the complete review of WavePad Mac Audio Editing Software on the TopTenReviews website. Or even better yet, download WavePad and try it out for yourself and see firsthand how both powerful and intuitive WavePad is and how it can help you improve all your audio editing projects.
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