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Abc And Scores On A Tablet

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I have been pondering the purchase of a tablet device for some time. I am most likely looking at an Android device, and one of its main proposed uses is for viewing fairly simple scores from abc programs.


I'm considering one of the 7" Google Nexus machines, perhaps. I don't know anyone who has a tablet this size, who has music on it.


Has anyone here tried it? I don't want to get one, only to find I need a microscope to read scores of more than four lines...


Most music is likely to be Morris or English dance style tunes so won't be reams and reams of really dense stuff.





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I scorned my Hubbie's offering "I bought this FOR YOU"--IPad about a year ago. It took me exactly one weekend for the bulb to go off over my head--"heh, I can load all my music scores on this thing and never have to carry a box of music folders again". I came home and ordered the most gig-one on the market. And I've never looked back. The IPad's are 9 1/2 x 7. And I have to say I resize all my music after it is loaded to make it as big as the screen will accommodate. It is a boring activity that I save for my passenger role when we are traveling as I have to do it page by page. I do not think there is any fast way to do this. I do not think any smaller size face would be very easy to read. The other thing that I discovered immediately. was the inconvenience of disengaging a hand even for the simplest of taps to turn pages. I and several other members have discovered "AirTurner". It is a real decadence--but oh man, if you like music and you want it fast--it is the way to go. It turns the pages of music in your app with a bluetooth tap foot control; it is meant exactly for this application of musicians with both hands involved: guitars, dulcimer, piano, and CONCERTINAS! All the offerings from here on c.net I've downloaded; all the "something for the weekends" all the music books people talk about. I have gotten into a little problem when I went off the beaten path and tried to purchase some music books from Amazon--these load into Kindle application but NOT the MUSIC application. They are more difficult to resize in Kindle, your AirTurner does not work in those app (only some specific music apps) and most of the tunes are on multiple pages so you really are caught unless you learn the music from memory. (I've still got an excellent book of music from the 20s 30s 40s out in limbo as I manipulate to try to get it loaded into an application where all my other music sits). The music application I've used is ForScore--I think it was a free app. And you can annotate right on your score and save them. You can also have a single tune saved into several different groups that you label. Like a favorite that you'd play for the dancers but you know the Seniors at the center would also appreciate. You can make all your own custom lists. Sorry to blather on--but this has been such an excellent tool for me--and I just play by myself! I cannot imagine how useful it would be for true musicians! .......and I've even found other uses for the IPad!

Edited by shelly0312
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And of course Tunebook and Tunepal give you access to thousands of playable ABC files score displayed for you to play along to. I know at least Tunepal is available for Android devices. Check for YouTube vids of these in action.


Tunepal also lets you load up your own ABC file(s) as well as access the big on line databases

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:-) My wife has an iPad - I have a conventional laptop, and a desktop PC, so didn't need one...


I'm pretty confident that a 10" tablet would be fine but I'm wondering about the smaller size - iPad Mini size, if staying with Apple. I guess is depends how much of the screen is usable, and how good the resolution.


Apart from the cost, the increased portability of the smaller unit appeals. I have an abc app for the iphone, but it's useless for viewing.

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Android! Google Nexus 7 v good VFM (as an ex-iPad owner, current Nexus owner)


Urgent enquiry!


Have significant birthday approaching fast and I've looked long and hard at these. T'other 'alf wants to buy me something special and I'm reluctant to ask for something that will be outdated five years before I get one! So my question is: are you happy using the Asus Nexus for abc files? are the apps good enough to give Tunepal a run for its money?

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Ipad's good if you already have Apple kit ... will blend in seamlessly.

but if not Nexus7 is really excellent at about half the price - really good clear screen and runs Tunepal perfectly well. (I've also seen the bigger nexus and that looked pretty neat if you want more screen and don't mind carrying a larger something around)

For fun, I've also tried the Englitina app but it isn't ideal. It runs OK but I think that it is tailored for an android phone rather than a small tablet and the playing position is awkward with the button spacing too large. It would be great with just a few tweaks (roatting the end plates by 90deg and respacing the buttons) ... the ipad version is much better.

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I'm using and loving mobilesheets ($10) on an 9.7 inch android tablet. This is an image and pdf reader rather than ABC. It has replaced a fakebook I started over 30 years ago. With the paper (and pdf) versions it allway took a minute or so to find a tune or song, now it is just a second or two and it weighs much less.


The tablet also holds and manages thousands of mp3 files. Spiffy!



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iPad is excellent for these purposes. TheCraic and TuneBook both do very well with ABC files. I think currently Tunebook is further along in development. TunePal is also very good (ABC stuff is actually by the Tunebook guy I believe). There are at least three or four PDF readers intended specifically for music use. I have UnRealBook, but I must admit I use the ABC things much more, and don't play out with music anyway, so I find I need incipits (cheat sheets) more than the music files. that said, having whole collections available quickly is VERY useful. I'm sure that 7 inch tablets work for many folks, but I think I'd be unhappy with a screen smaller than the regular iPad (9.7" I think). Since I've Mac person and use iPhones the iPad was the logical choice for me. I haven't checked out the Android offerings much for obvious reasons.

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I am considering getting an iphone. I have always had a stupid phone in the past but mine is sort of broken and it's time for an upgrade. I require Verizon in NYC for phone reception for one thing and I use Mac at home for another, so an iphone seems to be the right choice as it plays nice with both systems.


In sessions, dances and get-togethers, I am often in the situation of considering what tune would be the "right" next tune to play. My mind does not have great recall and I need a prompt to help remember a tune I'm trying to think of. I can imagine the benefit of a data base of the first few measures written out as a graphic of all the tunes I know... selectable by both title and key and perhaps other filters such as Irish, English, Old-Time, Contra, Jig, Reel, Waltz, March, etc. I have a system of 3x5 cards that I use at dances for this purpose and I think it would be reasonable to convert that to a digital format.


Would an iphone be able to deliver? I do like how small it is and the multi-functionality of the thing. Would it be big enough though?

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Hi I use a relatively cheap Android 10 Tablet £129.00 PC World and found it great for carrying around ABC and PDF Scores.


I also use ABC Explorer and Easy ABC on my laptop either write in the ABC Code or import tunes from the web. I then just export them as PDF Files including Paul Hardys Great Tunebooks to the tablet. Then use Adobe Reader to view the files and play from those.


I also use Zap's ABC on the tablet so I can view and listen to them. I would never go back to carrying Ring Binders again.


Maestro is also a goood Music Notation App and with a tablet you just use the touch screen to place selected notes on the blank manuscript.


Good Luck



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