Welcome to our help file. If you're looking for help with a particular problem, we suggest you start at the Main Help Topics page. This section is more or less a philosophical overview of Acoustica CD/DVD Label Maker. If you're leaning forward in your chair right now, pupils dilated, mouse in a deathgrip, all because of something you haven't been able to figure out how to do - browse through the Main Help Topics. If you're reclining peacefully, with a comforting beverage beside you and perhaps one hand thoughtfully stroking your chin - read on.

Our Goals

Acoustica's mission is to make fun, quality, easy to use software. We want Acoustica CD/DVD Label Maker to be a program that never makes you want to swear at your computer or throw your monitor out the window. We want to help you get your CD labels made quickly and enjoy doing it. And we want to help you bring out your creative side, even if you don't think you have one. 

One of the first things we realized is that if you want to be able to get where you need to go and try all the things you want to try, you need to have your tools handy. You don't want to have to weed through menus and nested subdialogs and hieroglyphic-laden, randomly arranged toolbars to get at the image or tool you're looking for. When you were four years old and you set out to color a picture, you set your paper in front of you and dumped all your crayons out beside it. Everything you needed was in easy reach. You didn't put all your red crayons in one of the kitchen drawers, your blue crayons in a box in the attic, and your green crayons under the bed at your friend's house across town. That would have been stupid. That would have been the sort of thing that - and I blush to say so, because I belong to this category - a programmer would do. We've tried to avoid the programmer's way and, instead, keep all your tools just a click away so the program doesn't get in the way when you're in a creative trance (you're in those all the time, right?). For more details on our approach to tools and general program layout, see Getting Around in Acoustica CD/DVD Label Maker.

Our Process

"The best way to have a good idea is to have lots of ideas."
     --Linus Pauling

My fellow Acousticans loved it when I brought in a new version of the program with some important new feature. They seemed to think it was one of those carnival booths where you throw darts at the rows of balloons until you pop the one with the prize behind it. "I don't think this is clear," one of them might say. (Pop!) "It's too hard to find this button," might say another. (Pop!) "You need to be a techie to figure this out," a third might add. (Pop! Pop! Pop!) Eventually, having reduced the program to rubble, we'd agree on what seemed to be the clearest, simplest way to access whatever feature we were adding, and I'd head back to my code editor. I soon figured that I could shorten this process by making us all argue over how to add a feature before I wrote a version to try. This would be like having my Acousticohorts help set up the booth, so that they knew beforehand which balloon hid the prize. Surely this would reduce the carnage. But you know what? It didn't change a thing. The same people who swore oaths over the best way to arrange the tabs in the print dialog would violently disagree as soon as they saw it in action. Some things, it would seem, like program interfaces and living room paint colors, just have to be tried out before you know what works.

And so, at least partly because of this, it's taken more than a year to bring this program to you. Not that I'm complaining. The painstaking process we've gone through has helped us create a program that, I think, makes it easier, quicker, and more fun than it's ever been for you to create labels you like. Without the feedback and ideas I received throughout the process, the program would be nowhere near what it is today. So thanks, Joseph, Ronnie, Lois, Brian, Donda, and the beta team. Please ask your nearest neighbor to pat you on the back.

So It's All Done Now?

Think back to all the bestselling novels you've written. Once they hit the bookshelves, you were done with them. Perhaps you received fan mail that said, "I just adored your book. I'd mow your lawn with tweezers if I could only have a tithe of your talent. And by the way, if Kermit the Pirate had a peg leg in chapter three, shouldn't he have succumbed to the pack of rabid unicycle beavers in chapter eleven?" And you'd think, "Hey, that's right!" But there was nothing you could do about it now. It was out of your hands.

We don't have that problem. We can keep releasing new versions as long as enough of our users register the software that we can afford to keep doing so. If one of our users - you, for instance - find a bug or have a great idea, we can improve the program. As long as you tell us, that is. If you notice a way to make the program simpler, or there's a feature you really, really, really want, let us know. Your suggestion might find its way into the program. That sort of thing doesn't happen in many places. No matter how many touching letters you write to William Shakespeare, he won't change Romeo & Juliet to let the poor kids wake up in time and get married after all. No matter how much you threaten Leonardo Da Vinci, he won't add a moustache to the Mona Lisa. With us, you have a chance. We make no guarantees, but we do listen to our users, and we like to hear from them. Without them, after all, we wouldn't be here.

Enjoy Acoustica CD/DVD Label Maker; we hope it helps you find your inner cd label making artist.

Acoustica CD/DVD Label Maker programmer

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