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Finding the right company to develop your software can be a daunting task. My company specializes in custom web application development. We are experienced with agile development practices, and design our interfaces using the lastest in web technologies. Our website is www.metaspring.com. If you would like to know more, or get an estimate let me know.
Also if you would just like some pointers as to what you would want to look for, I would also be happy to provide that.
I personally can't help you because my company doesn't go that far into media, but I can recommend posting your project on http://www.designquote.net/ and up to 8 (I think its 8, anyways) different designers till give you an ETA and a Quote. Then you get to choose which one you like. I use this site to find leads sometimes, so if you want the cheapest designer you can get, give www.designquote.net a try.
Dave Moore @
I would like to comment on two things if I may.
First, I would like to say that the type of website development you are speaking of is not going to be inexpensive. The website will utlize the use of a database, and the cost attached to this type of work is expensive. I would not be able to help you with this directly, but could assist on a project management basis, so that you might find the best developers at the best rates.
Welcome to the community RongDesign and the person that posted this.
Thank you for the good words. I would not see me as competition, our styles vary tremendously. If anything I would see you as a resource. I have reviewed your work and see you deal with projects I have never even considered as a potential client. And you have done them well. Now if I ever need advise, or have to pass on a project you seem open to, I have your contact information. With our styles, there is only the customers opinion that we have to consider.
Again, thank you for the compliment.
Thank you for your kind words as well. I would have to say that I would much appreciate the opportunity to work with you on any project, and would feel honored as well.
There have been other threads asking similar questions, but your phrasing of the question makes repeating worthwhile.
You need to plan a well defined scope of what you want this web based app to do you may also need to make some decisions on how it needs to do it. Do you have a website? If so where is it hosted, and is the web based app to be on the same domain as your website?
If you need help scoping the project you should ask for some help on that. If you feel confident in your ability to effectively scope the project and are looking for a large number of bids you should look at sites like scriptlance.com elance.com and guru.com post your project on any or all of those sites and then read the bids you get. Whoever has the bid that is closest to what you specified and what you idealize your system to be and has the most favorable payment terms to you should be the one you select.
I have a web development firm that builds web apps so if you post scopes here or on any of the sites I mentioned I would appreciate the heads up so we may have the opportunity to bid on the project for the privledge to serve you on the project. I hope that helps let us know how you proceed!
Take care and good luck!
Guys overall good feedback. One thing I would recommend is using Ruby on Rails to develop this app assuming you are wanting a web based app. You can go enterprise or a watered down version of itunes depending on your budget. Also, don't forget to get yourself a nice dedicated server with lots of bandwidth because you are going to need it. Another thing I would ask for is a flowchart from the developer (they will most likely charge you for the flowchart and then comp it when you sign up with them) either way it is worth it. In conjuction to the flowchart they should also give you a SWOT analysis so you know what can go happen.
In my mind here is what you need:
Interactive Web Interface
Custom Upload Tool (so that you can upload the mp3 files without using FTP client -- this is one more reason why you will need a dedicated server)
Music Management Admin (to manage uploaded files)
User Management Interface ( create, add, modify, remove, disable, allow/restrict access to certain categories)
Widget that can be embedded into a web site
Security so that your apps does not get easily hacked.
I sure there are more things you can do here.
I hope this helps.
Thanks for all the feedback it's helped me alot. I'm going to try those freelance bid websites. But I would preferably want someone local to me in VA. So I could sit down with them and contact them when I need updates or to fix any bugs. I could just set up an FTP network then have my clients download the files I upload to the FTP server. Then they load the playlists into Itunes. Pretty much I want a watered down version of Itunes online. I want a proprietary program that will keep clients in business with me. I think if I use Itunes my clients will eventually believe they can download their own songs and just use Itunes themselves. What do yall think? Should I go ahead and use Itunes or design my own proprietary software?
No I don't believe the other poster was referring to using iTunes he was saying something with similar interface and functionality as iTunes. That other site you mentioned IMEEM uses a large database, XML, flash media players, and other scripting code to distribute and collect data between users and the system. Are you looking to literally clone this site for your subscriber base or was there something specific on this site that you were particularly interested in using? You mentioned music specifically so is it safe to presume you are not interested in video distribution? Are your end users the stores themselves or the shoppers at the stores? Have you developed your business plan yet as some of the information you would have written up in there would be good to know to fully scope out what your project would need and some best practices in getting the results needed.
My team and I offer free professional web hosting. One year of domain registration included.
This is the quickest, easiest, and least expensive way to get your World Wide Web Presence.. which we ALL know is necessary in today's world. :)
Just send us an email. We will get you set up. Yes it really is that easy. Also, the website design program is amazingly simple and easy to use. Give it a try.
For more information contact David or Oray at SmallBusinessLive@Gmail.com
I would never take a project of that magnitude and bid it out on a Freelance Website. Never. The majority of projects posted on those Websites never get done right the first time. Taking something like that to the lowest bidder and assuming (evil word) that they know how to build it is a mistake that many make. A lot of people on there are trying to get paid to learn and will post experience that they simply do not have. By the time you figure all this out you will have probably paid (at least something) for it and you will end up paying for it again.
If you are serious about what you are doing then you want to find an experienced development company that you can truly rely on to do the development. Basically, what you need to do is start interviewing development companies.
Before you do that, you want to sit down and iron out all the details of the project from A to Z. Envision the home page and all the links (i.e. features) you need to have. Then describe what each section is supposed to do. Don't forget about behind the scenes things such as how you would like to manage members and your music from a private admin section.
Then you can start to approach some development firms about getting a quote. This will also help you to find someone you are comfortable working with. You also would want to find a company who has done media applications before. Although, the details right now are brief and how involved this will get is up in the air. But it sounds like it will be rather involved.
I hope you take this in to consideration and good luck with your business.
You may try to buy a template at: http://ecommercetemplates.com/ and ad a module for digital deliveries. In general the template include a data base MS Access or SQL depending on which server you are planning to run your website (Available for ASP / Access / MS SQL Server for Windows hosting and PHP / mySQL version for UNIX / Linux / Apache servers.) all of this for $149 not bad at all when others charge more.
It is an excellent way to start in my opinion.
My vote also goes to Elance.com and Guru.com. There are plenty of good companies as well as freelancers waiting to make a cut for your project. But be careful at the same as finding a quality provider is important even if it costs a little more. Take a look at feedback reviews and you will know whom to trust!
I'm yet another programmer, but more on the development side than the design side. Also, i recently exited the market and am in a regular IT job, and have now become a customer.
I think the main thing you need to find is an designer/project-manager who knows a few different developers to work with. In my experience, the kind of development your're seeking will be either "cookie cutter" or "custom" (aka "bespoke"). In the former type of development, you purchase an application, and configure or extend it for your purposes. In the latter, you purchase the labor of a programmer to create your application.
Obviously, the former will be far less expensive. It could also be less successful, if you have tough competition -- because you're competing on the quality of your software. But, beware that custom code is very, very expensive. I couldn't see doing the programming for your site for less than $10,000, and the result would be less full-featured than whatever imeem has. (Of course, most of the features aren't visible to the users - the real work is in reporting and analysis.) Also, the graphics usually cost the same as the programming, if you want it to look "legit" - so, another $10,000. Just to be realistic, I might give a quote of $30,000, because you will have a lot of media, and that takes some domain knowledge, as well as additional code to handle music uploads and downloads, in bulk.
Software isn't cheap. Even if you hired foreign programmers, you'd need to have a local quasi-hacker to translate what you want into what you really need. The artist would cost the same, because it's hard to get the right "look" from someone in another country.
Now, if you just need a spartan looking site, and you find canned software that works, you can get the thing going for a lot less money.
Also, all that said, there might be something to be said for testing your idea out without software first. Do it "by hand" for some clients, first, then see if the like to pay the price you're asking. Identify the need, and fill it, and see if it's profitable. Maybe you can do it by installing PCs to play music at the stores. Then, once you know it works, take the concept online. All the money spent up-front to build your catalog, your relationships with the copyright administrators, and stores will serve as a barrier to entry for competitors. Make the site plain, and hard to access at first, so the competition can't copy you immediately.
There's a lot to be said for developing the product before the software, because changes in software cost more after the system is operational and public.
This is a tricky question, because web site design and build has become a very competitive business. That's good because it keeps your price down and stops people from gouging you too much, but it's bad because it has attracted a lot of mediocre talent into the market place.
If you work with other small businesses, look at their web sites and ask the companies with the ones that most appeal to you who did the work. Personal recommendation is invaluable, if you get get one. Alternatively, surf the web (using Google to keep your search as local as possible) to find sites you like. Often the design company will have a link to their own site (my designer has, see the bottom right-hand corner of the http://holdenweb.com/ pages, but sadly he's in the UK, so no good to you).
I would recommend against using an overseas company: they can have very attractive rates, but the quality is very variable, and managing a project across time zones is a skill that takes a while to acquire. Also, try and get a site that allows you to do some of the content editing yourself.
I would partly agree with Steve for the fact that Web design business
has attracted a lot of mediocre people but when online marketplaces
like Elance and Guru have strong feedback rating systems this is taken
care of well. So making an apprehension that overseas companies provide
poor quality of web design service and managing your project over a
different timezone needs skills of rocket science is not quite
digestible. I do not mean to offend but this particular justification
would have made sense 5-7 years back that too for someone who is doing
it for the first time.
Competition improves quality and on online service marketplaces like
Elance and Guru when all web development companies have surely grown
up. They are competing with the best not only in terms of price but
quality as well. I don't know how would justify a company on quality if
it has been getting 100% positive feedback over 10 years on a buyer
In the end if you do good offers and bad offers you can easily find who
has been doing well for a business/website like you. See their work and
compare for the quality yourself.
Managing your project over a different timezone would only be affected
by the time difference and internet has brought plenty of revolution in
reducing this difference years back.
Another platform to consider it DotNetNuke. Based on your short description, it sound like it can do what you need right out of the box with standard modules. It would therefore be quite inexpensive to at least get off of the ground.
When looking to partner with a technology company, there is one golden rule I often advise people to follow that I think is more important than anything else... Ask them to tell talk to you about YOUR business and if they can tell you something you didn't already know, you've found your partner.
Web design and development have become commodities. You are no doubt capable of determining whether or not a company has the appropriate level of experience and track record for customer satisfaction. These things are easily verified. So the differentiator is going to be someone who has some knowledge of the space in which you're operating and can therefore add value to the process. This will help avoid the very common situation of having a web development company (or any technology consultant for that matter) deliver exactly what you asked for, but not what you wanted.
I have written a couple of blog posts where you might find some more useful advice:
dotnetnuke is a great option, and I would have to reccomend this as one of the best.
ASP.net developers will agree with me on this one.
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I am in the process of starting up a music programming business. Pretty much providing music for retail stores. I want to have a custom web based application where I can create accounts for clients, set up a music library for them, and then they can pick the songs they like and create their own playlists or shuffle the library. Kind of like IMEEM. Where should I go to have a website like this built? and How much would it cost??