New Timesscribe Lee Zimmerman shares stories of memorable rock 'n' roll encounters that took place in our local environs. This week: A new way to make memories.
I have to admit, I'm not always comfortable with new technology. Anyone who's seen me scream in frustration when I get an error message on my computer or I'm asked to create a spreadsheet of some sort can attest to that. Hell, it seems like only yesterday I was printing out pages from my nifty word processor and squeezing a tape into the old eight-track player. And when I learned that my cell phone could actually take pictures... Well, my gosh, the dawn of a new age had truly arrived for me. (Never mind that it's come kind of late.)
OK, so I'm old school. I'm reticent to abandon my vinyl albums. Downloads for me are extra work, a burdensome hassle. And no, I don't even own an iPod. However, I gotta admit I am enticed by this new App ("App" meaning "application" for those of you who are similarly tech challenged) that allows a lasting souvenir of every concert I attend.
Dubbed the StagePage, it's available for free -- go figure -- online or at an Apple store. It also provides a perfect way to compile all the concert photos you take on your phone. (Let's face it, that rule about no photography during concerts went out the window eons ago.) Now, instead of simply leaving them idling in your phone's memory or randomly transferring them to your computer, they can be organized in one place and preserved as a slideshow that will capture the memory of that live music moment forever.
According to Alexcel, the company that invented it, StagePage allows concertgoers to capture, save, and share their concert experiences. It is fairly simple to use the app, and once mastered, it creates a memory page that can be archived and shared on social media sites like Facebook or MySpace. You can't argue with the timing of the release. It arrives just in time for the balmiest months, when the opportunity to attend a new fab festival is practically a weekly occurrence.
Simply put, here's what you can do with StagePage to make those memories complete: (1) Upload a picture of your ticket stub and crop it to the proper size; (2) upload concert pictures and/or video: (3) edit said photos and videos by cropping or adding special effects; (4) add a set list; (5) provide your own commentary about the show; and (6) make note of who was there. Once you complete the process, you can first write a music review for County Grind, then, summon any StagePage at any time and wistfully relive the show all over again... Presumably without the distraction of the guy who keeps trying to hustle his way past you to grab another beer or the annoying woman in front of you who insists on standing for every song and blocking your view or that drunken idiot behind you who yells "Free Bird" at every opportunity. No, consider those delightful experiences excised forever.
The app also provides a variety of templates for users make collages, allowing each StagePage to be a personalized, permanent keepsake. There's even a how-to video that explains it all, but for those who want it in a nutshell, here are the quick and easy instructions:
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SHOW ME HOW
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Tap the Plus button. Fill in the name of the artist, venue, location, and date. (This identifies the event by placing the title and subtitles at the top left of the page.) Then tap on each of five differently sized, overlapping rectangular frames, inserting the photo or video of your choice. You can then choose from anything in your photo library or shoot something new especially for that empty frame. After selecting a photo or video, the app offers the option of editing its size, shape, cropping, and rotation. More information can be found at stagepageapp.com.
Sounds simple, right? I'm giving it a try, and I'll let you know. But if you see a tall, shaggy-haired guy who appears to be fighting with his phone, don't let it dissuade you. After all, I'm still trying to find a way to recycle those eight-tracks.