In this piece we look at TAD, an app which has helped artists to create album cover art, and has since been expanding into giving artists the opportunity to create Facebook video profiles and expand into a social media tool.
Guest post from Make It In Music
A little over a year ago, with two old friends, I launched an album cover art app that helps musicians make album cover art using their iPhone or iPad.
It’s been a huge success with well over 100,000 users, a few awards and, most of all, a group of DIY musicians who really appreciated what we did and that we did it for them.
So, thanks to you for embracing it, using it and giving us your feedback.
It’s also been a whole load of work and a massive task to keep it working properly and updated – and, yes, we apologise deeply that it isn’t yet available on Android. Do you have any idea of how much more work (and cash) that takes!?
I’ll tell you – it’s a lot.
Facebook Video Profile Maker
Over the last few months one of my partners has had a bee in his bonnet about the future direction of album art and has convinced himself – and us – that video album covers are a thing that will happen!
He might be right, he might be wrong. We shall see.
But, either way, he realised that if we did all our app development again, we could add the functionality that we’d put into the original version of TAD and apply it to videos.
So, we have.
That means that you can still make an album cover using TAD, just like before, although we’ve fixed a few bugs, overhauled the app and changed a lot of the frames.
But, now, you can do the same thing to a video clip.
Take a look.
This opens up a world of possibilities – and I’ll come on to those in a moment.
But, you might also have seen the bit at the end (I’m talking 2:00 onwards) where we’ve mocked up what we think might happen on iTunes and Soundcloud.
If video is the most consumed media on the web then why wouldn’t the music outlets decide to let artists use a moving video version of an album cover?
Like I said, maybe they will and maybe they won’t, but we decided that the possibility meant we could rejig TAD to ensure we were ready for it if it happens.
And that means that as well as being at the forefront of that whole idea of video album covers, TAD can now do a whole load of other stuff as a very useful by-product!
Using TAD to Make Facebook Profile Videos
The first use that this gives you is making square videos that you can upload directly to your Facebook Profile.
Video profiles are now available to all personal profiles, but they’re slowly being rolled out to pages at the moment. If you’re lucky, Facebook might have let you have one already!
Either way, just using a video profile cover on the Facebook personal profiles of all the members of your band gives you a lot of places on Facebook (i.e. wherever you and your band members comment) where a video profile will stand out and you can let people know about your band.
And, of course, if you’re lucky enough to have a video profile on your artist Page on Facebook, then TAD will allow you to add regularly updated news, announcements or ‘calls to action’ to your Page profile.
We’d suggest trying news about upcoming shows, new releases or a call to action to join your mailing list – you do have that set up right?
Although they did this before today’s update of TAD went live (otherwise they’d have used TAD, of course….) you can see this video profile on the Facebook Page for Gorillaz.
We’re convinced that all artist pages on Facebook will be using video profile covers intelligently and/or aggressively within a few months.
But that’s not all….
Using TAD for Social Media
Perhaps the most exciting accident that we’ve created here is a tool that you can use day in and day out to very quickly add cool little bits of video to your social media posting that you’re doing for your music promotional efforts.
Obviously Instagram and Facebook are massively into promoting video sharing right now, so you should be giving these social media monsters exactly what they want.
As the always ‘on point’ Gary Vee keeps reminding all digital savvy marketers (be they musicians or business focused) the easiest and best way to build a strong social media presence is to ‘document, don’t create‘.
He means that it’s easier to whip out your phone and just take photos or short bits of video that document your life doing your thing – and, as a musician, that couldn’t be any easier – than it is to overthink it and set out to create bespoke content all day long.
And he is so right!
That means capturing those moments in your day which are about your life as a musician – at rehearsal, in the studio, meeting a T-Shirt designer, buying guitar strings. In truth, it doesn’t matter too much what you post as long as you post things that are about you and your life as a musician.
And, of course, with this new version of TAD you can easily turn those video clips into branded video that you can add text to – anything from announcing your next gig (with dates and location on the video as text…) to telling followers that there’s new music to hear, watch or buy, with the information of where to go right there in the video.
Clearly, the possibilities are endless and limited only by your imagination and how much time and effort you can spare to put it into documenting your musician’s life on your social media presence.
Instant Album Cover Art
If you’re one of the existing users of TAD who’s happily been making cover art for your digital releases, fear not, this latest update still does that as its core function.
In this update we’ve added some new frames and tweaked some of the templates – you’ll know that these are based on data we pulled together from classic album design over the years so that your covers start from a well proportioned proven layout if you go with one of the templates.
We’ve also been on the continual hunt for bug fixes and hope that this is the best version ever in that regard. Update your iOS to the latest version to ensure everything works but you’ll find that TAD 3.0 is just as good at making great album covers as it has been from the start.
We’re really looking forward to seeing what you do with the video function, so please let us know when you you do (tag us on social media or just email us).
Click on the button below to install TAD if you don’t have it already.
And, finally, we do hope to release an Android version, but it’s time and resource dependent. We’ll let you know when there’s more news!