Summer is upon us here and school is out. You would think that would mean I have more time to write and update here! Actually I am spending the time with my family instead of my computer. Of course there are all the things around the house to get at that were ignored during school.
Well I have played a bit with several new music apps I have loaded and actually paid for. There are some really cool ideas being developed. Here are a few highlights.
Unreal Book is one I’ve talked about before but the author, is that what they are called, has been hard at work and has made some nice changes. Keep your eyes open for the next update on iTunes. He has been sharing the beta versions with me so I am getting sneak peeks.
There is a very sweet way to turn pages in the program “Medley”. This is a program that simply allows us to load PDF’s into the iPad. The cool thing that I really like about this program is that the way it handles page turns. When you touch the screen it will display a big red line across the top of the screen and will then slowly wipe down the page turning to the next page as it goes! That means that I can still see the bottom of the page I am playing off of AND the top of the next page at the same time! It also seems, in my mind, to put my mind to ease that I have actually successfully turned the page because the red line shows up pretty quickly. I say successfully because I still have issues getting the “touch” just right while playing piano and in a performance to make the page turn in ANY of these programs. This issue is going away slowly as the programmers rewrite and rewrite.
One other App that has me just itching to get back into school and play with my advanced group is “SyncSing”. This app is actually free for now. There are iPad and iPodTouch versions available. This is important because many of my students have their own iPod Touch’s but not an iPad! This app SyncSing allows me to load in a Chord Chart and then share it with others. Now the cool thing is the manner in which it shares. When you start up the program it asks if you are going to be using it alone or in a group. If in a group you get to either be the Leader or Join a current group. (Please don’t yell at me if my terminology is off – I’m not sure if the term is group or session – my iPad is syncing right now (and taking FOREVER)) If you lead the group then all the charts that you have in your setlist are then shared to anyone joining the group. When you turn to the next song their display updates and goes to the next song as well – without them having to touch it! When you turn the page in a longer chart, theirs turns the page as well! This is going to be turning into a very handy tool in the future! The problem right now is that if I am using my iPad to lead the group and my kids are using their iPod Touch’s then the screen size is a problem. They do have to turn the page before I do and they have to do it manually.
The SyncSing app is also very cool because of the chord features it has. It understands which are chord’s and which is the lyrics. This allows the app to transpose, show guitar o keyboard chord diagrams and several other interesting features.
Have fun exploring these and other apps. Leave comments when you find promising music apps as well!