Password management software

Your studio’s online accounts, like banking, Facebook and e-mail, each demand their own secure password. But the tricky mix of numbers, signs and upper and lowercase letters can be difficult to remember, and keeping them on a Post-it or in a Word document on your computer isn’t safe. Highly encrypted to protect your information, RoboForm is free software that saves up to 10 usernames and passwords. Open the program with one master password, and a bookmark bar appears on your browser to fill in site logins with one click. It also has a high-security password generator and saves your mailing address, phone number and e-mail address for quickly filling out registration and shipping forms. There are more advanced versions of the software available ($9.95–$29.95) that hold an unlimited number of passwords and sync with multiple computers, smartphones and tablets.


Show control software

Requires Mac OS X

Manning a sound booth during performances takes patience and the ability to multitask. QLab, software that helps create, edit and sync music cues, streamlines tasks during a show, as well as the process for preparing final cuts of music. Instead of editing files in a finicky program like GarageBand, load music directly into QLab to insert cuts, fades or silences. You can decide whether to program these sound cues to run continuously or control them manually during the show. And the software can automatically balance the tracks’ audio levels. CDs aren’t involved, so neither are problems like scratched discs or systems unable to read burned music. Plus, last-minute changes, like trimming down a transitional pause, are easy to make during dress rehearsal. And if you have an annual holiday performance or you’re taking a piece on the road, your set list is saved, so all you have to do when you arrive at the theater is pull out your laptop, open the program and run a sound test. The basic version is free, with more than enough features to satisfy most. Those who want more, like video and MIDI integration, can opt for the Pro Bundle version. With the teacher discount, it’s an investment ($449), but you can opt to “rent” QLab Pro Bundle at $3 per day.

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