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Thread: Sheetmusic (pdf) on ipad ?

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    Senior Member Dongiovanni's Avatar
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    Default Sheetmusic (pdf) on ipad ?

    Are there any musicians here who use an ipad for displaying PDF sheetmusic (like from IMSLP) ?
    I'm looking for a devic, an ipad seems like the way to go. What is your experience ?

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    Senior Member hreichgott's Avatar
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    I often use a laptop folded open and turned like a book. I have researched possibilities for tablets but at the moment the screen size I need is too expensive.

    here is what helps me be successful reading music from a laptop:
    - PDF viewer that is fast and has rotate/fullscreen/zoom controls that can be set once for the whole reading session, not over again for each page (I use Evince)
    - Page turning foot pedal (I use the Footime/Steptime USB plugin one, it has plenty of cord length and is much cheaper than any wireless option)
    - Screen not much smaller than a page of music. 9" is probably minimum. 12" if you want it to be reasonably close to real-page size. inch measurements are diagonal of course.
    - Decent battery life.

    What I don't have on the laptop, and really miss, is the ability to write on the page. If anyone else reading this thread knows of a way to add notations to pdfs on the ipad, speak up I have tried using okular but it is ridiculously hard to do simple things like write in a fingering or circle stuff. At this point, for pieces I want to study seriously, I print the scores out, or buy a score if I want the advantage of urtext.
    Heather W. Reichgott, piano
    http://heatherwreichgott.blogspot.com

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    Senior Member Bone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hreichgott View Post
    I often use a laptop folded open and turned like a book. I have researched possibilities for tablets but at the moment the screen size I need is too expensive.

    here is what helps me be successful reading music from a laptop:
    - PDF viewer that is fast and has rotate/fullscreen/zoom controls that can be set once for the whole reading session, not over again for each page (I use Evince)
    - Page turning foot pedal (I use the Footime/Steptime USB plugin one, it has plenty of cord length and is much cheaper than any wireless option)
    - Screen not much smaller than a page of music. 9" is probably minimum. 12" if you want it to be reasonably close to real-page size. inch measurements are diagonal of course.
    - Decent battery life.

    What I don't have on the laptop, and really miss, is the ability to write on the page. If anyone else reading this thread knows of a way to add notations to pdfs on the ipad, speak up I have tried using okular but it is ridiculously hard to do simple things like write in a fingering or circle stuff. At this point, for pieces I want to study seriously, I print the scores out, or buy a score if I want the advantage of urtext.
    Open the PDF in Goodreader. Great app and let's you save as separate annotated file.

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    Senior Member hreichgott's Avatar
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    Great. Hope that is helpful to you Don Giovanni. As for me, I'll bide my time till the things drop in price a bit more
    Heather W. Reichgott, piano
    http://heatherwreichgott.blogspot.com

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    There's an app called InstaWeb, it has it's own browser, go on IMSLP on the browser and it lets you turn the scores into PDF's

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    Senior Member Dongiovanni's Avatar
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    Thanks all for your suggestions. I've been trying iPad 4 in the shop using the standard adobe PDF reader. It takes some time to load the PDF. Browsing though the pages is not always smooth, sometimes you have to wait for the screen to show the page or it's building an image. Especially with orchestra scores you have to be able to turn pretty quickly as pages only have 3 or 4 bars.

    Is this also the case with goodreader ?

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    I thought I was an Apple fan, but they've definitely lost me.

    They're expensive; they're limited by the .pdf - like if you want to annotate a .pdf sheetmusic, try doing that on an iPad?

    The iPad is slow and clunky compared to the Samsung tablet 10.1 note which is much cheaper and comes with a Retina style high definition screen. I'm now a big fan of open software - you can screencapture your .pdf files on the Samsung; annotate the sheet music with your own markings using S Note, and personalise the sheet music like you would with a pencil. The Samsung 10.1inch Note also has a great keyboard stand so that you can type and have the screen angled at 45 degrees - no need for a strange clamp. Just position the keyboard on a table and play away.

    Now the problem with scrolling - either on the iPad or the Samsung tablet, you will have to alter your scrolling settings with less blurring My guess, is that if you save the music as a less intense energy file like a .jpg you will be able to load it faster, scroll it better, regardless of the tablet type.

    Apple used to be cutting edge. Now they're just cutting their losses :/

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    Senior Member Dongiovanni's Avatar
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    I got a Galaxy Tab 2. Works fine for me, very happy with it. Browsing is quick, but not always quick enough to my taste still it is practical.

    IMSLP has its own app, very neat. I also use a special app to view the sheetmusic. It's faster than standard PDF reader.

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    I've got a tablet which is good: anything less than 10" and it just annoys me to read sheet music off.
    I prefer using paper but I go through far too much ink/ money on sheet music.
    I don't really like turning the pages though: I'd rather have 3 or so lined up on my stand.

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    Senior Member senza sordino's Avatar
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    My iPad mini is far too small for this. But I do read and post here on TC using my iPad. I have followed some music using the iPad, reading the score while listening. But I listened to a piano reduction score of the Berg violin concerto. I wouldn't attempt to follow a complete Mahler score on the iPad mini, and it's far too small to play music from.

    Although, I'm waiting for the day when we have a tablet on our music stands in orchestra. Automatic page turns etc, and a stylus pen to make annotations, tempo changes, fingerings and bowings. That will be nice, but I can't see it happening anytime soon.

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    I rather view PDFs on my custom computer,i rather not have a IPAD because someone may try to take it.There are many thieves out here.

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    Senior Member Ravndal's Avatar
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    I have tried a couple of times, but i have found out that is worth the money to buy sheet music on paper.
    Last edited by Ravndal; May-09-2014 at 17:20.

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