After spending some time with SetMaker and adapting it for my band’s usage, I thought I’d share the guidelines we adopted should they also benefit you.
First of all, it's important to make a distinction between the master "song list" and the working "set list." The song list is the songs stored in the SetMaker database. It has the following properties:
-songs are automatically saved and reloaded when SetMaker opens/closes
-songs are added with the Songs->"Add Song" command
-songs are deleted with the Songs->"Delete song" command
-the list can be *exported* to a text file with the Songs->"Export song list" command
-the list can be *imported* into the SetMaker database with the Songs->"Import new song list" command
-the functions to operate on the song list are contained under the "Songs" menu
In contrast, the working set list is simply a copy of a collection of songs from the working set. It has the following properties:
-songs are added by either double clicking or dragging a song from the master song list
-songs are deleted by "Cutting" the song with Ctrl-X or Edit->Cut (NOT with "Delete song"!)
-the set can be *saved* using Ctrl-S or File->"Save Set"
-the set can be *opened* using Ctrl-O or File->"Open Set"
-the functions to operate on the set are contained under the "File" menu
Just to reiterate, the "Import new song list" (under songs) command should be used to load songs into the SetMaker database while the "Open set" command should be used to load songs into the working set window. It's important to keep the terminology clear not just for communicating between the band, but also for understanding the program itself since clearly the song list is treated as a different concept from the set list. However, one thing they have in common is that they save their data to a file using the same format. What this means is that a working set list that was saved to a file can be "imported" into the SetMaker database, and conversely a song list that was exported to a file can be "opened" as a working set. (One quirk I've found is that an exported song list does not save the bold info for each song, whereas a saved working set list does, as represented by the true/false at the end of each line in the file).
In order for each person in the band to have his/her own notes associated with each song, I suggest the following. Everyone will have a copy of SetMaker loaded with the master song list, but each person will modify the notes field with their own personal notes (patches, etc). Changes to any other field--song name, style, key, etc--should be done by one person designated as the keeper of the master song list who must must send everyone else an exported file of the new master song list any time a change is made. Each person would then update the new master song list with their own notes. The "Update Set" command under File makes this easy. Here's the procedure:
1) The SetMaker "admin" makes a change to the master song list.
2) S/He then exports the song list to a file (Songs->"Export song list"). I suggest using the following naming convention to keep track of the latest version: master_song_list_<date>.txt , where <date> would be of the format dayMonthYear, as in master_song_list_022006.txt
3) S/He then emails this file to everyone in the band.
4) Each person downloads the song list from their email into a file and opens it in SetMaker as a working set list (File->"Open set").
5) They then update the set with their own personal notes (File->"Update set").
6) They then save the working set as their new master song list (File->"Save set"). Again, I suggest the following naming convention to track changes: master_songlist_<date>_<initials>.txt , where <initials> would be the person's initials, as in master_songlist_022006_ab.txt for myself.
7) They then import the new master song list that was just saved (Songs->"Import new song list")
By doing this, everyone will be able to easily customize a set made for a gig with their own personal notes. Here's how it would work:
1) Somebody creates a set for a gig (File->"New working set", then copy songs from master song list into the working set window).
2) S/He then saves the set (File->"Save set") and emails it to the rest of the band. Again, I sugges adopting the following naming convention to track changes: <venue name>_setlist_<date>.txt. For example, a gig at Buck's would look like: bucks_setlist_011906.txt.
3) Each person downloads the set list from their email into file and opens it in SetMaker as a working set (File->"Open set").
4) They then update the set with their own personal notes (File->"Update set").
5) They can then print out the customized set (File->"Print Set") and save it for future reference (File->"Save set"). Again, it's worth adopting a naming convention to be consistent. For instance, initials could be appended at the end of the file name, as in <venue name>_setlist_<date>_<initials>.txt.
The benefit of having a common naming convention is that it avoids tripping over confusion--ie, which file was for when from who played where.... etc. Also, a consistent use of filenames will facilitate sharing files between people in the band. For example, if anyone needs to email their own sets to someone else for printing or storing, it's easy to identify which file belongs to whom.
In order to protect yourself against your personal notes getting accidentally overwritten in SetMaker, I highly suggest that you export your master song list to a file whenever you make changes to the notes. Of course, if you make changes to any other field like the name or key, you'll definitely want to notify the SetMaker admin so s/he can edit the master song list and then email it to the rest of the band (per the procedure described above).
Perhaps all this is trivial--and it certainly is once you figure it out! If not, hopefully these notes will save you some headaches.