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Thread: My journey through the world of tablets.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
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    Default My journey through the world of tablets.

    (Wasn't sure which forum to post this, so I'm going here.)

    When I retired and started to play ukulele and bass uke about 4 1/2 years ago, it didn’t take me long to decide to use a tablet for my music sheets instead of lugging around a big notebook. I had long before gone paperless, using my iPhone and MacBook Pro for everything from quick little notes to calendar to... well everything.

    I had a 9.7 inch iPad, so I looked for and found two music cataloguing apps for iOS, OnSong and forScore. I tested both, but found them to be unintuitive and illogical (I designed database software for about 10 years, so I know of which I speak). Along with that, the 9.7 inch screen was too small for my aging eyes.

    At that time the 12.9 inch iPad Pro was announced for around $1000, more than I wanted to spend, so I decided to forsake my Apple fanboying and see what was available for Android. Amazon had a 13.3 inch referb tablet for $150, but what really caught my attention was MobileSheets Pro. Immediately I saw that it had a much better user interface than OnSong or ForScore. So I went for it.

    I design my own PDFs of the music sheets our leader gives us to the exact size of the tablet screen. All was good until I needed to make quick notations while rehearsing (twice a week) because the Android was terrible at it, neither my finger nor the half dozen stylus I tried worked well. I lived with it for a couple of years, until I found that MobileSheets Pro came out for Windows 10 tablets.

    I looked up the stylus function and according to reviews, the stylus was very good. So I got online and found a 13.5 inch Windows 10 tablet, 32 GB and a stylus for $400. Yes, the stylus was good, but after a couple of months I ran into the inherent problems of a Windows computer; bloated OS, updates that take over out of nowhere, interfering with what ever I was doing, slow operations, awkward interface and short battery life.

    In the midst of that frustration, I went to my local Apple store and tested the iPad Pro 12.9 inch and Apple Pencil. It was very obvious that the iPad and iOS runs circles around Android and Windows tablets. It’s faster, the stylus is exceptional, far more precise than any other. The battery life is much better, it’s lighter, and having used an iPhone for years, I know the apps are far better integrated to iOS.

    So last week I got online to the Apple referb page and found a 64 GB and a Pencil for $805 out the door, about a $200 savings from new, with the full year warranty. I then setup ForScore because I learned that they added in-app recording (MobileSheets Pro does not, and the other tablets would not record while in another app, so I used my iPhone because I record each song while rehearsing and post them for the other members to practice with anytime they want). In the first hour of using the iPad, I realized, you get what you pay for. It's head and shoulders above Android and Windows.

    I’m getting used to the awkward interface of ForScore, and making great use of the built in record feature. One more thing, the developer of MobileSheets Pro says he’s going to make an iOS version sooner or later and include in-app recording too, but for now, I’m a happy camper.


    8 tenor cutaway ukes, 3 acoustic bass ukes, 8 solid body bass ukes, 8 mini electric bass guitars

    • Donate to The Ukulele Kids Club, they provide ukuleles to children's hospital music therapy programs. http://www.theukc.org
    • Member The CC Strummers: https://www.youtube.com/user/CCStrummers/videos
    Last edited by kohanmike; 04-15-2018 at 07:51 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2015
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    Wiltshire, UK
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    Default

    Thanks, yes I'm constantly reviewing what works best for me too, but haven't settled on any decision apart from to format my songs simply as PDFs and store them in the cloud so I can read them on almost anything. I agree, iPad is most likely the way to go when funds permit.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Woodstock NY USA
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    Thanks for the review. I’m going to look into ForScore forSure.
    Pre-UAS: “1 uku is all I need.” Early-on-set UAS: “1 of each size is necessary.” Chronic UAS: Constant trolling of ukulele marketplaces, increasing number of “necessary” ukuleles as collection grows. Full blown UAS: Coworkers believe you have a problem, individual considers divorce over parting with any ukuleles, individual seriously considers dipping into retirement account to see what those Moore Bettahs and Beau Hannams are all about.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
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    Twin Cities Area, Minnesota
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    Default

    Welcome to the world of iOS, Kohanmike! forScore seems confusing at first, particularly if you are coming from another product. Once you’re into it, it makes great sense, and it is such a deep, deep application. I present on the app from time to time, and I can’t cover all the features in a span of an hour.

    One of the awesome (relatively) new features of forScore is the ability to grab the Apple Pencil and just write without having to open any other feature.

    I also like stamps, and took the time to create colored fretboard diagrams (as I use in my teaching) as well as black and white...I may contact them and ask them to include them in the next version. I attended a ‘Lil Rev presentation in November (something I had seen before in May), and he had photocopied handwritten fingering charts that were hardly legible in his handouts. It is SO EASY to do in forScore that I was taking a picture of the materials, “whiting out” the existing chords, and adding new ones. Pretty cool.

    I also highly recommend the Manos Mount and GoStand combo from AirTurn...simply a wonderful set-up, and I added the Ortega ukulele holder to my set-up (yes, with a 12.9” iPad)...Manos: https://www.airturn.com/products/gostand-with-manos and the Ortega: https://www.amazon.com/Ortega-Guitar...e+holder+clamp Surprising how often it comes in handy.

    If you have any questions about forScore, let me know...and I do bug the developers quite often.
    Playing ukulele since January 2016.

    Have you participated in the thread, "How the Ukulele Found You?" If not, please consider adding your story--they are just fun to read.

    http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/...lele-found-you

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Choirguy View Post
    One of the awesome (relatively) new features of forScore is the ability to grab the Apple Pencil and just write without having to open any other feature. I also highly recommend the Manos Mount and GoStand combo from AirTurn...simply a wonderful set-up, and I added the Ortega ukulele holder to my set-up (yes, with a 12.9” iPad)...Manos:
    Thanks for the feedback Choirguy. Yep, the quick Pencil is definitely an efficient feature. I've been using the Manos Mount with a quick release music stand for a couple of years, works great. I actually added a couple of mounts hanging down to better secure the tablet. I custom make all my own PDF sheets in Canvas Draw, a powerful graphics design app (I'm a retired graphics designer along with other work I've done).


    8 tenor cutaway ukes, 3 acoustic bass ukes, 8 solid body bass ukes, 8 mini electric bass guitars

    • Donate to The Ukulele Kids Club, they provide ukuleles to children's hospital music therapy programs. http://www.theukc.org
    • Member The CC Strummers: https://www.youtube.com/user/CCStrummers/videos
    Last edited by kohanmike; 04-15-2018 at 06:45 AM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    Tampa Bay, FL
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    Mike, what a good idea. We bought two used iPads last year, we got tired of wasting paper, expensive printer ink, looking through music books for songs, etc. The pads sit on a music stand very well, we also attach to our mic stands with a clamp we got off eBay.
    "Those who bring sunshine and laughter to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves".

    Music washes from the soul, the dust of everyday living.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    London
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    548

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    I also have the setup up of 12.9 ipad pro, apple pencil, forscore and airturn.
    Only issue I have found is that if I have the airturn set up, I cannot annotate the score using the keyboard. The Airturn has taken over the function of the keyboard.
    Not spent any time to see if it's an issue that I have not set the airturn up in the correct mode.
    Just remembered second issue, bluetoothing over a pdf to another ipad/forscore user, that doesn't appear to work for us either, says transfer worked but cannot see the transferred file.
    Other than that, works great for me. Expensive, but highly recommended.
    If you know someone that works for Apple, if you ask nicely, they may do a 'friends and family' discount for you. They arrange it with Apple for you and it gets sent directly to you. iirc the discount was 17.5%
    h

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
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    Twin Cities Area, Minnesota
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    Just a note about the keyboard: There is a button to press on the foot pedal which will allow you to use your on screen keyboard. The issue is the function of the foot pedal, which is acting as a keyboard, just as you can connect a QWERTY keyboard. The pedal is just sending a “key press” to the iPad (e.g. “Up Arrow”). The other neat function is that if you have a foot pedal with more than two buttons (PageFlip Dragonfly, iRig has a model, too...AirTurn probably does, too) you can map how each button functions both on the device and in the app.
    Playing ukulele since January 2016.

    Have you participated in the thread, "How the Ukulele Found You?" If not, please consider adding your story--they are just fun to read.

    http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/...lele-found-you

  9. #9
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    I have an AirTurn, but since I design my own PDF sheets and don't play long songs, I fit the entire song on one page. In fact I don't use repeats either, which I always mess up, I put in all the measures. Another reason I go for the largest screen.


    8 tenor cutaway ukes, 3 acoustic bass ukes, 8 solid body bass ukes, 8 mini electric bass guitars

    • Donate to The Ukulele Kids Club, they provide ukuleles to children's hospital music therapy programs. http://www.theukc.org
    • Member The CC Strummers: https://www.youtube.com/user/CCStrummers/videos
    Last edited by kohanmike; 04-15-2018 at 06:46 AM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Woodstock NY USA
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    I downloaded the ForScore app and scanned a few music pages with Dropbox. The scans look great. But I am not sure if I should be photographing vertical or landscape for best results. Landscape for 2 pages and portrait for single pages? If anyone has suggestions that would be great before I scan the entire Yellow and Blue books.
    Pre-UAS: “1 uku is all I need.” Early-on-set UAS: “1 of each size is necessary.” Chronic UAS: Constant trolling of ukulele marketplaces, increasing number of “necessary” ukuleles as collection grows. Full blown UAS: Coworkers believe you have a problem, individual considers divorce over parting with any ukuleles, individual seriously considers dipping into retirement account to see what those Moore Bettahs and Beau Hannams are all about.

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