Apple’s Lion Update

Well any day now Apple will be releasing their latest operating system for the Mac. There are some great features packed into this update. I’m sure you have all read many reviews about what all is going to be great. I want to write about the update a bit differently.

What is in this update that scares me…..
The auto save feature for one – This scares me because it has been so beat into me to save, save, save! Even students know this and live by it. Probably because we have all lost something because we did NOT save. I have been using FileMaker Pro for a while now and auto save has been a part of this app for a while now. It is always scary to just quit. I do have to say though that it has worked flawlessly! I’ve laughed at students because they look at me in bewilderment  when I tell them they do not have to save the database after updating the uniforms they just handed out. I’m sure Apple has done auto save right but it will take a few months to get used to quitting without saving AND not having a knot in our stomaches I think!

One other feature is AirDrop. This scares me because I will daily be reminded about the fact that there is no one else in my school district that I will be able to take advantage of this feature with! How very cool is this going to be – how very easy – but not for me!

Sibelius and PhotoScore Pro

Well I just found out that PhotoScore Pro does NOT like reading in mallet parts that have rolls in them! PhotoScore also does not like to read in the stuff from the bottom of the parts either! I wish it wasn’t there! I just end up having to delete it any ways and re-type it.

In order to go through all the wind parts and have PhotoScore read the TIFF files – it is taking me about two hours per piece. I wonder if I could just play them in by using the keyboard this fast? there are still too many errors that are having to be fixed. Of course if I did like they said and actually scanned the parts in as grayscale it would be better I’m sure. I am using the school copier though – and I think it will only do black and white. Boy does it do them fast too! I can have all the parts scanned AND emailed to myself in a matter of like 60 seconds! Try doing it that fast on your personal copier/scanner!

I think that I am really going to like having Scorch – it does mean this extra work up front but when it is done I will have really good looking music on my iPad – I will be able to pull up anyones part in an instant or switch back to the score. I wish that JWPEPPER would just sell me the Sibelius file! I’m sure someone has to know how to copy protect it!

iPad Stylus options

I had a question about what options were out there for different stylus tips. I know in the stores around here I have only seen about 2 maybe 3 options. I came across this video today and thought I would post it up here. There are 12 different options here so it gives you a quick overview of more than what I have seen. If anyone has a stylus that they really like using and an app that you are using it with consistently leave a comment.

MacWorld Review Different Styluses

AirPlay, iOS and Music Education

How many wire do you have running around your computers, speakers, band room, choir room or living room? I know I have too many, my wife doesn’t let me forget either! Plus hooking up all those wires takes time! Especially when you are in front of your middle school band kids who have the natural talent of talkign too much as it is PLUS they have noise makers in their hands (or swords if they are percussion kids).

So if I am in my Band class, standing on the podium and would like the students to listen to a piece of music I used to have to grab my iPad, walk over to the stereo system, find the cable and plugin my iPad then hit play. Now with Apple’s AirPlay things are much better. The only problem is that using ONLY Apple’s solution I can not solve the mentioned situation! I can play music going from my laptop TO my iPad but not the other way around! When I am teaching I want to leave the laptop alone! I want to stand on my podium and hit play on my iPad and have it shoot out through the classroom sound system without hooking up wires!

A while back I wrote about AirServerApp and how this piece of software allowed me to do just this very thing. Hit play on my iPad/iPodTouch and it shoots out to my laptop. It worked very well. The only issue was that ANYONE could connect to it at will. So I was in the middle of a rehearsal and some kid starts playing his song from the weight room down the hall way! As you can imagine this was a bit of a disruption!  I had to still go over and turn the volume up and down while not using the AirServer App my self – this I could do though a lot easier than going through all the “old steps”. I wrote to the developers about the possibility of putting in a password – much like you have to do when using the Apple Remote app. The developer got back to me and said – “great idea – we will pass this on to our programmers” then I never heard any more about it.

Tonight I dug in and read more about Rogue Amoeba AirFoil app they have out. I have seen this app in the past and I have been noticing a flurry of information about the latest update. Come to find out I think that Rogue Amoeba has given us the solution…. AirPlay from an iOS device back to a computer WITH a password! Now the only problem is that I seem to be having issues with my network tonight. When I first installed the needed apps in the needed spots and hit play it worked like would expect it to, for about 15 seconds and then it started stuttering. I was disappointed – until I switched over and tried the AirServerApp and that did the about the same thing. I think that when I don’t have3 teenage boys trying to pull video off my laptop or streaming songs from Pandora or watching their TV off the internet things might go a little better (which by the way says something for a 5 year old AirPortExpress and Charter Cable Internet!)

So go for it I say – try these apps out and tell me what you think. there are probably two questions you have though still…. 1)HOW MUCH – AirFoil is around $25 and AirServerApp is $5. Each company has apps for the computer as well as the iOS device. 2)ummm…. I forgot what the other question was – you tell me in the comments below……

You might be wondering why in the world don’t I just use Apple’s Remote App….. well both apps offer way more options than simply remote controlling iTunes from you iOS device – AirServerApp for instance will let you serve up video and photos!

Integrating iOS, computers and the web of the web!

How many times are you reading some amazing article on the web on one of your devices and you realize that you really wish you could save it for later? Or what about when you would like to change from reading a web page on your iPad to reading that on your laptop? What if you want to be able to pick up reading a web page again in 5 minutes but you are not sure if you will have your iPod Touch or you iPad or your laptop? Well I have been playing around with a few services that solves those issues mentioned above.

Joliprint.com will actually take the web page you are reading, strips away all the “extra” stuff and then prints a PDF file of the “good stuff” and emails it to you. You can then file it away in your favorite manner for access later – like in your DropBox folder.

Send2mac.com solves an issue I have constantly… I like to read my RSS feeds on my iPad – I like the different apps I have that all link to Google Reader – but that is another post another day. Sometimes when I find a post on some ones web site I would rather finish reading about it on my laptop – What I used to do was try to type in the web address by looking at the address in my iPad browser and typing it into my laptop – or I would copy and paste it into an email. Now all I do is click a link in my iPad browser and boom – it pops up on my laptop! It’s pure magic!

and the last service that I just found out about is similar – It’s called KeepitWith.me – This is the same idea  – it uses bookmarks in you browsers to “keep a page with you”. If you are reading a web site on your laptop for instance and you have to leave to go to your doctors appointment (or insert something amazing in here like…. you have to have your chauffeur drive you to your concert gig at Carnegie Hall.) you can then click a send bookmark on your laptop – then grab your iPad/iPhone and click the receive bookmark and the same webpage pops on on your mobile device. This is a set of two bookmarks on each device- a send and a receive.

You may have to read the directions on each of these services several times to get them set up – especially if you are not used to doing something like this on an iOS device. The end outcome is priceless though – literally as these don’t cost you a cent! Just three more ways to make us more productive!

New patents from Apple for Karaoke!

What do these patents mean for music education? If you read this one about karaoke it brings to mind a few ideas, if you read a few of the other patents highlighted on this website there are some other great ideas Apple is working on as well!

New Patents as Posted by Patently Apple

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