Passwords and Security on iPods/iPhones/iPads – USE IT TO YOUR ADVANTAGE!

I have talked about the issue of passwords, security questions and backing up your devices here on my blog before. I want to do it again!

The worst story I have is of the student who came to me with her iPod that had pictures on it of her Grandpa who had just passed away. Some other student had gotten a hold of her iPod and changed her password on her. Because she did not have everything set up correctly – in this case she should have turned on her Photo Stream – she ended up losing those pictures that were irreplaceable!

Our devices hold some of the most valuable parts of our lives on them! We need to use the tools Apple has given us and make sure we have things taken care of and backed up! We also MOST educate our students and our very own kids about the proper way to set up accounts, pick good security question and then WRITE down the passwords and answers someplace where we can access them! Kids and our parents are pretty non-experienced about this sort of thing – DO NOT BUY INTO THAT “Digital Native” line!

First things first – when someone gets a new device they need to be shown that iCloud is their friend! Set up an iCloud account with them! Pick good security questions and pick a good password that isn’t going to confuse the heck out of them later when they have to figure the darn thing out!

Second thing – write down all the passwords and security question answers you have just set up. Write them down someplace you can find. You could use Apples notepad or better yet use a password app like OneSafe or OnePassword.

Third thing – use the tools inside of iCloud to your advantage!

  • Turn on Find Your iPhone.
  • Turn on at least the My Photo Stream – different from iCloud Photo Library. My Photo Stream saves your last 1000 pictures into the cloud and it is accessible from your phone/iPod/Mac Computer
  • Turn on most every thing actually – EXCEPT
  • Backup – you may think that this is out of place but honestly I’ve never found the backups from Apple to work anyways. Plus…. everything of mine is in the cloud most of the time anyways! THE BIG REASON THOUGH – it’s going to suck up the free 5GB of storage available for free to you. If you really feel the need then turn on backup on from a computer.

Fourth thing – for goodness sakes show them how to find contacts and calendars and how to create reminders using SIRI! That stuff is just ultra cool!

Take care of those around you! If you know someone who is setting up a new device HELP THEM!


If you don’t write down those passwords and answers to the security question I can promise you that it is a pain in the  behind to reset everything!


Money Lover App FREE Today – via appGratis

So do you ever spend money? Ever have to manage a school budget for your music department? Wait… what? You have NEVER set up a budget at ALL? Well today is the day you’ve been waiting for… (Maybe)

AppGratis (Sam) sends me emails everyday with a free app. He’s the master of making deals with developers. Today’s app is Money Lover by Quang Tran Hong. I’ve never used the app and have never seen the app before today but after taking a quick look at it I think it may be useful!

Here’s the main blurb from the web site for the app…

Money Lover Screen Info

Plus, since the app is free today via Sam – you follow the instructions I received in his email and you get the premium version of the app! There is a sync that keeps your phone, laptop and even the web version of your money all in sync! Love it!

Here’s the email and the link! The link is obviously not my affiliate link but is instead Sams… Let me know if you use this app already or if there is another app you like better in the comments below!

MoneyLover Free

ChordUp and Clawtar both are free!

Looking for some great apps that allow for an alternative playing interface? Dmitry Klochkov has a couple of great apps that are both free currently!

Chordup IconChordUp is an app for both iPhone as well as iPad

Clawtar IconClawtar is an iPad only app

The best way to let you see what these apps are, what they look like and what they do is for you to watch this YouTube video… Go download the apps and enjoy!










Transferring Files to iPad Without The Cloud or Internet or Wires!

I can not remember the last time I actually hooked a wire up from my iPad to my laptop to transfer files. It honestly is a pain in the ummm…. well you get it – I just wish APPLE and Tim Cook did! I do believe that Apple is working towards a wireless world and it IS better than the past but we are not there totally.

We do have several options to transfer files though! Now, if you read the title you see that I am talking about not relying on “the cloud”, internet, or wires! Sometimes those things are not available – especially in a public school setting or as a musician that uses his iPad to read all my sheet music from. The other issue that arrises is the fact that some of our iPads don’t have enough storage space and when we start doing really cool things like recording music on our iPad space becomes an issue! Or what about traveling with our kids who want to watch movies in the back seat? (or is that us parents that want them to watch the movies?)

I grabbed a SanDisk wireless thumb drive this weekend to try out – they are usually about $35 for a 32 gb version – Best Buy currently has the 64 gb version for about that same price too. I got lucky and got the 32 gb version for $12 because they had it labeled wrong – I should have grabbed all three of them! I’ve had a RavPower FileHub Plus for a while now that I’ve used for the same wireless ability to transfer files. The RavPower has the additional capability of being an external battery pack and a router as well. It’s bigger though.

Here’s how it works… wait, I made a movie to show you! Hope you enjoy it! More later….

Summer Music App Sales!

Beat the heat people – stay inside and make music with some amazing new apps! These apps offer such an opportunity for our performing arts groups at school! Not to mention professional (or amateur) performers that use these apps on stage all the time!

I remember the days that I would dream and dream about being able to afford a new synth! Now we have so many outstanding music apps on our iPads that are very cheap compared to a hardware version!

Like for instance the KORG apps that are all on a HUGE sale – ALONG WITH THE IAP purchases being 33% to 50% off currently! Here is the list…

Korg Gadget Small IconKORG Gadget – $19.99 (50% off!) – An all in one environment to create music!

Additional IAP’s that offer further instruments (or I guess we should call them “Gadgets”)

  • Abu Dhabi gadget – $4.99 (50% off)
  • Bilbao gadget – $4.99 (50% off)
  • Gladstone gadget – $9.99 (33% off) Brand New gadget with genuine acoustic drum sounds that sound amazing!
  • Kamata gadget – $9.99 (33% off)
  • Madrid gadget –  $9.99 (33% off) Brand new gadget offering real and dynamic Bass sounds.

Listen to the sounds in this demo of Korg Gadget and the Gladstone gadget


Korg Module SmallKORG Module – $19.99 (50% off!) – An amazing collection of outstanding piano/organ/keyboard sounds

Additional IAP’s for Module

  • 80’s Electric Piano – $9.99 (50% off)
  • Ivory Mobile Grand – $14.99 (50% off) – If only my Mom could hear THESE piano sounds!
  • Mellow Tape Keyboard – FREE
  • PREMIER Vintage Organ – $9.99 (50% off)
  • TRITON Best Selection – $9.99 (50% off)
  • Wurley Electric Piano – $4.99 (50% off)

Korg iM1 LargeKORG iM1 – $14.99 (50% off!) – An amazing collection of outstanding keyboard sounds from the well known Korg M1 keyboard of the 80’s/90’s

Additional IAP’s for Module

  • M1 cards pack – $2.99 (40% off) – oh wow! I love these sounds! I had a Korg M1 to play with for about 3 months before it got stolen while I was in the Dominican Republic. So much for leaving it in capable hands! I used this card pack as well as the sounds in the basic app in every performance my electronic group did this last school year. Lovely, just lovely!
  • T1 cards pack – $2.99 (40% off)

iDS-10KORG iDS-10 – $9.99 (50% off)

  • PLUS Mode – $4.99 (50% off)


Then you have all of these KORG apps that are also on sale…


SilQ ipad_2.pngThen there is the amazing SilQ EQSilQ Equalizer for $3.99 (usually $7.99 and will go back up on the 24th of July) from TonApp AS for iPad – gives you a sophisticated, high quality 32 band stereo EQ  that works on your live inputs as well as InterApp Audio and AudioBus.


VoxSyn Playing Screen.pngThe app I’m having the most fun with right now though is VoxSynVirSyn’s VoxSyn $6.99 (still the introductory price as this is a brand new app) – This app turns your voice into some of the most fun and outstanding timbre’s ever! I don’t sing solo but with this I can sure have a ton of fun! VoxSyn also fits into my world of alternative interfaces for playing live.

Here is a YouTube Demo of VoxSyn so you can get a little taste of the grand fun you too can have!

VirSyn and iceWorks Music Apps On Sale

VirSyn has some wonderful apps out for creating music on your iPad/iPhone. Currently they are running some nice sales on several of the apps.

VoxSyn is their brand new app that takes many of the great features in their other apps and rolls it into one new app along with some new features! VoxSyn turns your voice into the most flexible vocal sound generator ever! Watch the video at the bottom to start to get a sense of how you could incorporate this into your music and the music of your students! If only we had these tools growing up!


Effects Apps of VirSyn


iceWorks has some very exciting apps out as well to create music with….

Remember – I’m not going to tell you about apps on this blog unless I am totally enjoying the use of them myself or at least believe in their powerful potential for use in the music classroom!

I’m not sure how long these sales will last as the app pages say “Limited Time” and it seems that a few of them had already been booted up in price from VirSyn. Good luck in grabbing these deals and enjoy your future music making!



Notion is 50% off For July!

Well this is a no-brainer! Call me old fashioned but I really, really, really, seriously dis-like this whole subscription based baloney that some companies have moved to – cough, cough  Sibelius!

I used Sibelius for YEARS as soon as it became available basically and now I don’t use it. Long story but that is NOT why we are here is it!

I did make the jump to using Notion this past two years or so for several reasons. Price and the fact that Notion for iPad exists! Notion lacks some finesse that Sibelius and Finale have but it gets the job done. Plus I know exactly what I am paying and I don’t have this looming fear of “loosing” access once my yearly subscription is up.

The normal price for Notion is one reason I jumped on board but now it is 50% off. The price that I see for this month is $74.95. Head over to this link to read more and to purchase the desktop version of Notion.

Notion LargeThe iPad app is only $14.99


(Wait… I thought Notion used to be $99? When did the normal price go up?)

(Whatever… $75 is still a great deal!)

Cubasis 50% off! DAW on your iPad!


Cubasis is one of the main DAW’s available on iPad! It is without doubt one of the most useful tools for music educators who would like to record music on their iPad. I’m talking about simple recording tasks like your rehearsals, performances using the built in microphone. I’m also talking about creating music using other apps along with outside sources like an audio interface that brings in microphones, guitars or keyboards.

Cubasis LogoCubasis is now 50% off for a little while at $24.99. I know that some of you may have just did a double take if you are not familiar with the professional level apps available to us on iPad these days. Now consider that what you are getting is a full fledged DAW allowing you to for-go the use of your computer to create professional quality CD’s! Now the price actually sounds cheap to you I would hope!

This is one of several DAW’s I own for iPad and it is usually the first one I open. Cubasis is one of the first DAW’s to support both Audio as well as MIDI. Cubasis has a list of features a mile long but here are a few top ones…

Cubasis Top Features.png

Cubasis TracksThe ability to easily edit Audio AND MIDI is outstanding. There is a built in Mixer, Studio Grade Effects are standard, over 180 virtual instruments, and even some loops are all included. You have the Micrologue Synthesizer, MiniSampler and MicroSonic to work with and build your creative masterpiece without even opening another app. In the case you do want to pull in other apps then Cubasis supports almost every possible way to do so – AudioBus, Inter-App-Audio, AudioUnits along with support for external MIDI interfaces, Audio Interfaces and even MIDI over BlueTooth LE. The one thing Cubasis doesn’t support is Ableton Link (COME ONE STEINBERG – What IS the hold up with that by the way?)

You do need iOS8 and an iPad 2 or later. If you want to use AudioUnits then an iPadMini2 or iPad 4 or later is required.

I’ve written about using Cubasis before…

If you want to hear some of my creative meanderings using Cubasis alongside a ton of other apps than visit my SoundCloud Page. Almost every piece there is using Cubasis and almost every song there is created entirely on my iPad – I did use my Roland FantomX8 on the tracks where it is obvious that I would need an external keyboard to play on but Cubasis and my iPad recorded it all.

Screens VNC – Remote Access To Your Desktop Computer

Screens VNC by Edovia Inc. is one of those apps that will just simply make your jaw drop in wonderment upon seeing it for the first time. Then you will immediately wonder how you ever lived without the app!

Screens Small iconScreens is currently 50% off at $9.99 (on a limited time sale) AND you will receive the upcoming update for free! So purchase now and reap even more benefits later!

Screens VNC allows you to remotely access your Mac or PC from your iPad! This means that you can be sitting upstairs watching TV while still monitoring iMovie as it writes movie files from two weeks of you being at band camp! It means that you can start and stop recording at a concert when the app you are recording with does not have an iPad app to control it (Come one PreSonus! What gives with THAT anyways!)

What about controlling your Desktop that is hooked up to the screen in the front of the classroom AND that is also hooked up to your sound system. Start up a FREE recording app like StudioOne Prime or Audacity, start rehearsal, hit the record button, and without leaving the podium you can instantly replay the recording for your students!

Screens has a complete and total set of methods to control your desktop with too. I love using the mouse mode – this allow me to move my finger around on my iPad just like a mouse BUT the pointer does NOT have to be right under my finger where I can never see the darn thing!