In HLMSW, the Invoice Due date field is populated by a set of rules that can use EITHER the same day, week or month before or after the Date Sent, First Performance Date or Last Performance Date (the rules for which are set in HLMSW Configuration Editor under the Edit Invoice/Credit Defaults section for the primary company, or under the individual company settings for multi company setups).
In the current build of HLMSW (Build 8.01.0.40) we have improved the way this works so that any changes to the source date will be reflected in the invoice due date automatically (this was not the case previously).
There may be some occasions though when you do NOT want this behaviour to occur, most commonly when you are working with transactions which are have no send by or performance dates (when the invoice due day is set to the same day the transaction is created). If you enter ANY other date in this field, then a little lock symbol will be displayed which means that the Invoice Due date is LOCKED and any other changes will not alter this date.
To remove this lock, all you need to do is either clear the date completely, or click on the lock itself and it will return to the system calculated due date.
Mandatory Email Addresses
This current build also has greater control for some delivery and accounting systems where an email address is mandatory, with a new option to force all accounts and invoice to include an email address now available.
Contact BTMI to arrange an upgrade.
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As indicated last year, we are actively planning the future of HLMSW which will be depreciated within the next five years in favour of the soon-to-be launched music publishing platform Chordata.
In 2022 HLMSW will be twenty years old – a remarkable age for any software. Over the intervening decades, the system has grown and changed along with the needs of our customers but there are some ongoing challenges that cannot be resolved through updates alone. In particular while the centralised Windows/SQL architecture has served us well, the new paradigm of a decentralised workforce accessing larger distribution centres is challenging for HLMSW administrators everywhere.
When I first saw Chordata, I knew that this is the future. Chordata is the first tool I have seen that manages to resolve the complicated relationship between all forms of publications, the authors and benefactors, and the distribution channels they feed. All of this served in a efficient but elegant web interface that has been created by an amazing team of engineers that understand how music publishing actually works.
Chordata and BTMI have been working closely for a while now, and this relationship will become stronger as we work to integrate our IP and knowledge to create a partnership that will serve music publishing for decades to come.
HLMSW and Chordata together
While hire/rental functionality will be not be included in the package on release, Chordata can directly manage the titles in your HLMSW automatically (so that you will only have one source of composer and title information). HLMSW will continue as the primary tool for managing hire/rental transactions during this time, but will be included as part of the Chordata offering or as a stand-alone package.
Development of the rental functionality will commence after the launch of Chordata 2.0 in 2022 so that this it is ready for preview in 2023.
Of course, as part of the process we will provide resources to make the move from HLMSW to Chordata as easy as possible. When this happens, your team will enjoy some of the immediate benefits that Chordata will bring to your operation including:
State-of-the-art centralised management of all aspects of your operation
Elegant web-based interface accessible from anywhere
Simple access to all current and future distribution channels – sales, rental, web, digital
A comprehensive API (Application Programming Interface) that ensures that Chordata will be able to feed all other platforms both internal and external.
One strange by-product of the global pandemic is that QR Codes are now ubiquitous – something I am very happy about because I love the way this technology is able to link printed material with all that the internet has to offer.
In the educational music publishing sphere, the inclusion of external resources (like audio and video) are a key component of most printed publications. These assets were usually bundled in the form of a cassette, CD or DVD on the cover, but in recent times where fewer and fewer people have access to media readers, publishers have been forced to pursue different distribution channels.
Using a QR Code on sheet music to connect the printed material with the online media is already quite common, and now we have the added benefit that the vast majority of the general public are trained in their use.
There is though a unique challenge in this application of the technology because QRs for the most part are disposable and designed for short term use. When a QR Code is included on a piece of sheet music, it must work for as long as the music in circulation, which can be for decades to come.
404 Not Found
I am sure you know with your own websites that occasionally, it is necessary to change where links are pointing to, especially if the assets are located on a domain you do not control. When a link cannot be resolved, the user gets a somewhat unhelpful 404 Not Found message that leads nowhere. Ideally the QR Code should take a user to somewhere that never changes and redirect them to a location that you have complete control.
A long way home
Another challenge with QR Codes is that the destination link can be fantastically complicated – much too long to type or share without access to copy and paste. The solution to this conundrum is usually to use what is known as a link-shortening service – a website that takes a long URL and transforms it so something a lot smaller (sites like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter do this automatically). While there are literally thousands of websites that provide these services, you should be very careful with who you choose, because once you commit to their protocol, you cannot change it. The worst-case scenario is the link-shortening service you use goes out of business and its assets are taken up by someone that points all of your links to somewhere you do not want your customers to go.
Compact QRs no matter how many characters in your destination URL. Short URLs mean smaller QR Codes and so minimal print real estate is required.
SVG Export for perfect reproduction at any resolution
Link Auditing is automatic, with regular checks of all links to make sure they are valid (and users are alerted if any links are not working)
Click Tracking is limited to just count the number of clicks – no other tracking of requests is performed, but you can see what impact your QR Codes have made
URL Updates are possible, either on individual MQRs, or via batch updates (managed by BTMI directly)
Smarter QR Codes
In addition to these features, the MQR has some special features to provide more information about what sort of links are being offered.
When creating a MQR, you must select the TYPE of link from the options which include special options for URLs that point to Sheet Music or Tabs, Audio or Video. The reason behind these choices is to provide more information for your customers about the assets revealed by the MQR. We are in early discussions with a number of digital platform creators who have the power to take a humble MQR and turn it into an interactive experience which I expect will one day directly connect your music to anything on the internet.
The MQR should be of interest to any publisher that uses currently QR codes or link shortening services, or have plans to do so in the future.
In HLMSW Build 8.01.0.6 we have provided a new option to allow you to run external programs directly from HLMSW. The new Tools option is displayed on the very right side of the button bar.
Note: if this is not visible, you may need to reduce the size of the buttons via the Tool Button Width option in the Window\Display Options… menu option.
When System Administrators click on the button, they are presented with a new dialog where they can add any program and make it is easy to run directly from HLMSW.
When using this feature, it is important to remember that the application must be available to ALL users and so it should be installed on a network server, NOT you own PC (when unavailable, tools are displayed in RED).
For some specific routines you can also pass on values from HLMSW to the application as well.
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HLMSW Build 8.01 resolves a problem that has been plaguing all companies exporting packages into the European Union (especially post-Brexit). To avoid delays in customs clearance, exporters must include an Economic Operators Registration and Identification number (EORI) with their shipments.
To assist HLMSW users in this process, the Delivery Address screen now includes a new Import/Tax Code section which you can use to store EORI numbers (and other mandatory delivery codes) quickly and easily.
The new options are available here:
If you have multiple accounts for the same delivery address, you can select a previously entered code by clicking on the icon to the right of the number (the Company Name, Postal Code and Country must be the same).
When sending, the value is displayed on the consignment screen here:
and the value can be printed on forms using the DIMPORT field of the Consignment table.
For B2B orders, EORI numbers will be included with your request, and changes to Zinfonia to ask your customers for this information will be available in the coming months.
This update also includes a new feature for multi-domain HLMSW systems where you can now use different email hosts for different companies.
As this is a major upgrade, please contact us to arrange installation.
Later this year, BTMI will be offering an online platform that we believe will revolutionize music publishing.
Chordata has been created by music publishers for music publishers to provide a complete framework to tackle almost every aspect of music publishing in the 21st century.
Suitable for any size business, Chordata has a unique architecture that manages the complicated relationship between your composers, the works they create and the products you licence or distribute. In particular, the system has been created with an eye to our digital future and provides much better ways to manage all of your assets and contracts.
This week we published a major update to Zinfonia that contains a number of changes which are outlined below.
Gender-based Composer Searches
Composer records in Zinfonia now have a designation to identify composers by their gender (either male, female or non-binary) . We have gone through all of our 11k+ composers to provide this information, but we ask all publishers to make sure that we have categorised all of your composers correctly.
Better Support for Recordings/Broadcast and Streaming
In the order process, when the users are prompted to provide information about recording, broadcast and streaming details, they must now select ALL of the recording types they need permission to use.
This information is included in Zinfonia orders immediately below the performance details:
Support for Newzik and Digital Downloads
Publishers can now direct their customers to request digital materials instead of printed materials or as an adjunct to them.
For these options to be displayed, publishers must select Newzik as a delivery option or the nkoda Publisher ID in the Publisher Details screen for EACH publisher:
The details of what digital options are entered by the customer in the Performing Materials section of a Zinfonia order.
Special Newzik options
For publishers that are represented on the Newzik platform, there is a shortcut to quickly enable or disable Newzik for ALL publisher entries via the option below on the Publisher Settings page
Note: When Newzik as a delivery option is selected, a copy of the order is sent to Newzik directly.
For the customer to be presented with Newzik options, they must enter their Newzik email address in designated section the My Account details below:
A lot of work has gone into the Zinfonia search engine, and all Zinfonia publishers can now take advantage of a brand new toolkit for your public websites and internal systems that will allow you to search for 10,000 composers and more than 141,000 works effortlessly.
The new search is based on a simple REST-based protocol using the industry standard JSON for the request and response data, making it ideal for use in most modern web-based systems.
The new system is fast and very easy to use, and is designed to replace the older iframe technologies that have been used on websites by many publishers.
The changes in the EU membership has created a number of challenges for our UK users, particularly with the movement of materials between the UK and the EU. While we are working with those affected directly on solutions related to their business, we have made a few changes to HLMSW to assist all users.
EU or not EU?
With EU membership always changing, HLMSW now displays the EU button in the Account screen ONLY when the account is an EU Member. The button is GREY if no valid EU Tax ID is entered. HLMSW will maintain the EU countries for you, but this does mean you need to update your HLMSW whenever the membership changes.
EU Filters and Browses
A common requirement is the ability have browses or rules that are based on the EU status of the account. Now with the ACNTRYCODE form field, when using the IN comparison, you can select the European Union from the provided list.
There are a number of other changes to HLMSW in this version including:
Overdue Zinfonia Orders are now ONLY displayed by default to System Administrators or users with the All Companies permission (any Zinfonia order that has not been actioned within 3 days is automatically visible to all users). You can now toggle the view of any system-wide overdue orders with the new check box that always displays the number of overdue items.