unrealBook Index’s and FileMaker

I’m sure that if you are any place besides Alaska and apparently several towns in ‘Da UP (Michigan’s Upper Peninsula for the non-locals) you have been as crazy hot as I have been these past few days. I would really like these hot days to go towards helping a few other people figure out an answer to a problem I had that frustrated me the past two days!

THE PROBLEM – If you have a collection of songs that you would like to put all into one big PDF file, so you can have it on your iPad, instead of creating separate PDF files for each song then this post is for you! Why? Because you will probably want to also be able to quickly find any given song in that PDF file without guessing where it is at.

THE SITUATION – I have known that unrealBook has had a feature in it that I have not been using. I just have not had the time to scan and organize any of my collections of music to actually need an INDEX. Well I finally pulled out a bunch of songs from my old three ring binder and those plastic sheet protectors and scanned them. Of course I put them all in alphabetical order first though. After scanning I learned that I had 220 pages of music and of course if I was to keep them all in one file I needed a way to quickly get to the correct song – or even just see what songs were in this file as it

did not come with it’s own index in the front. I could have simply followed unrealBook’s instructions and typed the song title, filename (including the extension .pdf) and the page number all into a spreadsheet. That would have given me less hassle I’m sure. I wanted something more flexible and useable in other ways too. If I was going to type in ALL those titles I mean, come on! I wasn’t about to do that more than once. What if later I decided I wanted to know who was the composer or what key these songs were in.

THE SOLUTION – So I created a FileMaker Database with Title, Filename, Page, Composer, and Key – I have since decided I might want to add even more criteria but for now I’m good. That was my point in t doing this though – now that the initial information is into a database I can add to it, manipulate it and create reports any way I’d like. Now that I had the info in the database I simply created a report with just the three pieces of information that unrealBook needed – Title, Filename, Page and then I exported a CSV file. I then excitedly imported the CSV file and the PDF into unrealBook anxious to see the fruits of my labor!

THE NEW PROBLEM – Blasted if it did not work. Several hours later after reading the unrealBook help files and user manual about 40 times I emailed Aron, the developer and asked his help. Even though he was touring in Japan I figured if he looked at my files he would know in an instant what I had done wrong. Sure enough – I got an email back the same day with the answer – unrealBook does not like the ” marks that were in my file – I had seen that noted in the manual but whenever I opened my csv file I could not see any in my file but they were there as far as unrealBook was concerned. He even sent me a fixed csv file to try. His worked! I started to dig around and did a few google searches and boy did I feel stupid! FileMaker (and apparently many other programs puts a ” mark before and after everything because that way you can have comma’s in your text – if it didn’t do the ” thing then your data would get all messed up because of the extra commas! Now it was starting to make more sense.

THE NEW SOLUTION – After several days of working through this issue I have finally figured it out! Use FileMaker to create a database of all your songs. Make sure you have at least three fields in the database – Title (for the title of each piece), File (for the filename of the final PDF that has all your music in it – bee sure to include the .PDF), and Page (The page number each title appears on in the PDF). But you will need to add one more field into your database that you would normally not use. You need to create a calculation field – call it unrealBookExport if you would like. That calculation need to look like this  – Title&”,”&File&”,”&Page – That calculation will produce something like this -

The Earth Shakes,Ontonagon Praise and Worship.pdf,184

Now you can export all the information from that one field – the calculation field – into a  Make sure your exported file has the extension of .csv – ONE FINAL NOTE – You will NOT be able to use ANY commas in any of the song titles REMEMBER?!?!?!?!?!

Import the exported csv file and your PDF file into your DropBox folder for iPad Music (you ARE USING DROPBOX RIGHT?) and then into your iPad.

LAST NOTE (If you use auto enter data into the file field this will be much faster! You can even use auto enter for the page numbers with a little bit of adjustment)

BUT I DON’T HAVE FILEMAKER
Well if you don’t have file maker I would still encourage you to use the index feature in unrealBook. Like the manual says….. type in the information into a spreadsheet and export a csv file. I had 192 songs in my PDF file. the only time I really want to see those songs all listed out individually is when I am looking to see what page they are on. I don’t really want 192 separate PDF files floating around that I have to keep track of.

GooglePlus and Facebook

Not sure who all out there is exploring GooglePlus (or how ever you are supposed to spell it). I do know that one of the huge reasons I was not excited about trying it out in the first place was because of all the photo’s my wife and I have on facebook. Not to mention all of my kids too. Well tonight I found a great post about how to easily move all your facebook pics over to GooglePlus and Picasa. I have had a Picasa account for a while now but have not used it much for some reason. Now Google is offering unlimited storage – good news.

Here is the link – Move FaceBook Photo’s to GooglePlus

Not sure what I think of GooglePlus yet – The one thing I do like are the circles – Circles means I can decide which group/s of friends see each of my updates. So if I am posting something about personal life, students don’t need to see that! This could be a great thing for schools. I also like the looks of the Hangouts. This could be fun in education as well!

(BTW – I did have some issues moving over photo’s – all DID NOT go smooth. But it wasn’t horrible either!)

Multiple users on an iPad

I have not had a chance to get iPads into the hands of multiple students at school yet but I do know that one thing I have been wondering about is how it will work having different students share the same iPad across several different classes. Then today I came across this article….
http://www.cultofmac.com/give-your-ipad-support-for-multiple-users-with-iusers-cydia-tweak/104718#disqus_thread

So maybe in the not so far future we will be able to have multiple user settings on an iPad. I would be very interested if any of you know where I can find information on how teachers are handling multiple students sharing iPads and what their workflow are. How are they setting up mail, documents, turning in assignments, loading assignments and things like that.

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!

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