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Set List Maker vs. BandHelper

Started by arlo, January 26, 2016, 09:22:59 AM

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Someone asked if I was planning to phase out Set List Maker in favor of the newer BandHelper. The answer is that I plan to continue developing and supporting Set List Maker as long as people keep buying it. However, I would happily discontinue Set List Maker if every Set List Maker user switched to BandHelper! Here are some advantages BandHelper offers both for me and its users:

  • I sell BandHelper directly to users rather than selling it through an app store. This eliminates problems like Google's licensing server occasionally locking people out of the app, and Apple's in-app purchase system going down and preventing upgrade purchases. This also allows me to offer free trial periods, referral discounts and refunds, and allows band leaders to get access for all their members with one purchase.
  • BandHelper syncs data from the moment you set up your account, rather than retroactively syncing if you set up this optional feature in Set List Maker. This leads to far fewer syncing issues, with automatic and complete cloud backups of all your data. And since BandHelper relies less on your device's file storage functions, it can sync recordings and documents along with your text-based data, mirroring your entire account across devices effortlessly. Update: in January 2018, Set List Maker's error-prone sync function was replaced with a simple, manual database import/export function, leaving BandHelper as the only product with automatic syncing between devices.
  • BandHelper has a full user account system, rather than everyone sharing the same database access. This gives users options for adding personalized data alongside shared band data, and gives band leaders options for managing permissions or disconnecting former band members.
  • Mobile devices are great on stage and in the rehearsal room, but computers are usually better for serious data entry. BandHelper's web interface allows you to switch between your devices and your computer seamlessly, and offers batch-update and batch-delete functions to help stay organized.

And that's just for Basic accounts! Pro accounts add a whole new set of features for managing your band's schedule, contacts and finances. Here's a comparison chart:


Before I begin (and as a matter of full disclosure), it is true that I currently work part-time for Arlo helping to support SetListMaker and BandHelper. But let's put all of that aside for a moment...because long before I was hired by Arlo, I was a dedicated user of both of these apps.

I started using SetListMaker shortly after purchasing my first iPad, which would have probably been around three or four years ago. At that point, I had tried every sheet music and set list management tool available on the App Store at that time. (Yes...seriously...I tried them ALL.) SetListMaker was far and away the ONLY candidate that provided the flexibility and features I really wanted...along with quite a few I didn't even know I needed.

Fast forward a few years to when Arlo asked me to participate in the beta test for the not-yet-released BandHelper service. From the moment I started using BandHelper, I haven't looked back. It literally does everything that SetListMaker full cloud the ability to share and sync all of your songs, documents, etc. with your band browser-based editing and entry capabilities...yup.

The service has been simply amazing for my band. (Although that first year or so was personally a little rough for me because my Android-wielding compadres were REALLY jealous of my BandHelper-enabled iPad-fu! Now that there is a native Android app, we can all share the BandHelper love together!) But seriously...if you're still using SetListMaker, you owe it to yourself to at least check out BandHelper. If not for the ability to keep the whole band's repertoire collateral in sync, then for the cloud sync and web-based editing and data entry capabilities.

It'll be worth me...

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk


I have been an active user of Set List Maker for many years and love it. It has all the functionality I need, although I'm not averse to trying Bandhelper. If I decided to make the change to Bandhelper, would there be any cost involved? This is important to me because, as a recently retired gentleman, I need to watch every penny!... 😉

Thx, Dave


Quote from: DaveM on July 21, 2016, 09:34:15 PM
If I decided to make the change to Bandhelper, would there be any cost involved?

Yes, BandHelper pricing is listed here:


I've been using SLM for a couple of years now, and really live it! Last month I started the test phase of Bandhelper. The import of my database from SLM was easy, the menus nearly the same, so I could easily used it immediately on the next gig, 7hours, 80 Songs, without any problems. I like the option to manage it from a browser on my desktop, and it's easier to add/import documents and audios. I don't need those additional features for manage my band (schedule, finance, contacts or stage plots). If it's possible, I could imagine to test it at a later time for a while. That's the only point to criticize, in Bandhelper, that it's displayed although you cannot use it. So would appreciate it if it could be hidden automatically if it's not part of my package.
Nevertheless I already subscribed to Bandhelper and paid for another year.


We use Bandhelper for our band.
I also do a solo thing on the side.
I was told to just go ahead and pay one time for the Set List Maker.
Is that the main difference between the 2?
Pay once and no more charges or pay yearly for Bandhelper?

Good product,



The different pricing structure is one difference; the first post in this thread describes several more differences.

Do you own the account you're using for your band? If so, you can add another project to your account for your solo project for no additional cost.


Someone asked on another forum if there were any downsides to BandHelper compared to Set List Maker. Here's my response:


I have 700 songs all with attached documents and mp3s - it would be a nightmare I believe to slot this into BandHelper  as all the docs are not in the song name  - my data collapsed once with fewer songs and it took me weeks to re-attach files
Having said all that I do love Set List Maker ! So please keep it !


QuoteI have 700 songs all with attached documents and mp3s - it would be a nightmare I believe to slot this into BandHelper  as all the docs are not in the song name

Do you mean your document filenames aren't the same as your song titles? That wouldn't matter if you migrated to BandHelper using the supported import process. As long as you uploaded the same files you're using in Set List Maker, without changing the filenames, they would correctly attach to your songs.


Solo artist here, now I use LyricPad for just lyrics, so far perfect for me, but I have to switch to be able to connect with my BeatBuddy via bluetooth. I only use lyrics/setlists, none of the other organisational stuff. So my goal is just a lyric/setlist app that sends a bluetooth signal to my BeatBuddy for the corresponding beat and tempo.

I like to keep things simple, so SLM seems the right choice for me. However...
1. I understand in SLM you have to edit the lyrics on the app, you are not able to edit on a laptop in any way, is this still correct? Is it also not possible to connect the device to the laptop and manipulate .txt files or something?
2. At the moment all my lyrics are .txt files, is there any way to batch import these in SLM?
3. Is there a preference for iOS or Android for both apps? Looks like the developer has preference for iOS, I have the option for both, so, but I use Linux on laptop and Android on daily phone.



1. You can run Set List Maker on a Mac laptop and exchange files between that and other devices using the database import/export function. Eventually you should be able to run the Android version on Windows 11, but I don't think that feature of Windows is fully rolled out yet.

2. You can follow the instructions in the first section on this page: Note that importing songs from a batch of .txt files results in songs that have the .txt files attached, so you will need to edit lyrics in the .txt files rather than in the app. This might nor might not be what you want depending on your workflow.

3. Any pros and cons of iOS or Android would be the same for BandHelper and Set List Maker.