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#1871790 - 04/01/12 04:09 AM Anyone Using An iPad For Sheet Music?
Macy Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/09/10
Posts: 612
I want to switch to some type of electronic sheet music display (pdf). The iPad screen seems too small, but I'm wondering if the brightness of the display might make up for the smaller-than-paper size?

Anyone happily using an iPad? Other recommendations? (I'd rather not use a standard computer monitor which has too much depth and weight I think.)
_________________________
Macy

CVP-409GP, Vintage D, Ivory II GP's & American Concert D, True Keys American D, Ravenscroft 275, Garritan Authorized Steinway, Alicia's Keys, EWQL Pianos, MainStage, iPad/forScore/PageFlip Cicada, Custom Mac MIDI/Audio Software Design, Macs Everywhere

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#1871793 - 04/01/12 04:17 AM Re: Anyone Using An iPad For Sheet Music? [Re: Macy]
yonie Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/10/12
Posts: 3
I recently spoke to a friend that uses one. It's supposed to be great, some apps can even track your playing (through a special MIDI in link) and tell you where you go off from the sheet music.

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#1871804 - 04/01/12 05:41 AM Re: Anyone Using An iPad For Sheet Music? [Re: Macy]
trigalg693 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/08
Posts: 662
If you're reading sheet music I think the glare of a glossy screen such as an iPad or most laptops would be a bit troublesome, at least it was when I tried to do that.

My current laptop has matte finish screen, so not much glare but the resolution isn't good enough.

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#1871808 - 04/01/12 05:55 AM Re: Anyone Using An iPad For Sheet Music? [Re: Macy]
ClsscLib Offline

Platinum Supporter until Jan 02 2013


Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 1777
Loc: Northern VA, U.S.
I just replaced my iPad1 with the new iPad3 -- I had worn the first one out from overuse and abuse. The screen on the new model has terrific resolution (not that it was bad on the original).

Anyway, I have the Steinway Etude sheet music app, and it works pretty well. I was using it last night for sight-reading practice. After a bit, I stopped thinking about the music being on a screen rather than on paper -- it became pretty natural.

There is a bluetooth footpedal available for turning pages, but I'm not committed enough yet to reading from the iPad to try it. I understand that Joshua Bell's accompanist uses the iPad (with the bluetooth foot pedal) exclusively.
_________________________


"People may say I can't sing, but no one can ever say I didn't sing."

-- Florence Foster Jenkins

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#1871816 - 04/01/12 06:47 AM Re: Anyone Using An iPad For Sheet Music? [Re: ClsscLib]
Exalted Wombat Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/28/09
Posts: 1197
Loc: London UK
I played with a friend's iPad yesterday. I really WANTED to find reasons to need one, it's an appealing gadget. But I couldn't find any. It's too big for "always in my pocket" convenience. It's too small for reading music. It's too expensive for simple media storage and playback. It doesn't have the power of a real computer. The camera's good for well-lit snapshots, but can't take the trickier shots than my proper camera manages.

I guess I'm just not a believer :-(

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#1871820 - 04/01/12 07:04 AM Re: Anyone Using An iPad For Sheet Music? [Re: Macy]
motifmm6 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/27/12
Posts: 98
Reading from a small screen is quite different from reading on a real A4 score sheet. Readability, clarity, size of fonts, etc.

Unless there is a bigger screen available which looks like paper (like the Kindle), hardcopy sheets are still going to be used.

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#1871838 - 04/01/12 08:15 AM Re: Anyone Using An iPad For Sheet Music? [Re: Macy]
pianoxcape Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/29/08
Posts: 71
Loc: Cape Cod
I'm using ForScore (for regular sheet music) and also iReal Book (chord charts only). I admit the screen is a little small, but the display and brightness is fine for me. It especially works well in low-light situations. There are also wireless pedal accessories to make page turns, but I'm not currently using them. I quickly/easily turn a page by touching the right or left side of the screen. I can honestly recommend both of them for use on the iPad...

Cheers!
_________________________
- Gary Girouard
Consultant for Viscount ("Physis" Physical-model piano; http://www.physispiano.com)
Pianist/Composer of "The Naked Piano" series (Free Music Samples http://www.garygirouardmusic.com)
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#1871849 - 04/01/12 08:41 AM Re: Anyone Using An iPad For Sheet Music? [Re: Macy]
anotherscott Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/10
Posts: 3285
As long as you can use a bluetooth page turner, maybe you could use the iPad in landscape mode, and create separate scanned pages out of the top and bottom halves of a score. Twice as many page turns, but the image could be much bigger than if trying to fit an entire page of a score into the vertical orientation.

As for readability, the new iPad's higher resolution screen might better display higher resolution scans.

(For at-home use, I'm not sure what advantages this offers over paper, though... maybe just the hands-free page-turning?)

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#1871851 - 04/01/12 08:45 AM Re: Anyone Using An iPad For Sheet Music? [Re: Macy]
MacMacMac Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 3835
Loc: North Carolina
If you're already using a computer tied to the piano, you could just plug-in a 20" flat-panel display. They're only about $100.

If you don't already have a computer at the piano, you could buy a netbook. They're only $200. Then add the $100 flat-panel.

Either way, the big flat-panel gives you more viewing area, as big as two pages of sheet music.

Even if you have to buy BOTH the netbook and the display, it's as cheap or cheaper than an Ipad or other tablet.

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#1871862 - 04/01/12 09:13 AM Re: Anyone Using An iPad For Sheet Music? [Re: MacMacMac]
anotherscott Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/10
Posts: 3285
Originally Posted By: MacMacMac
If you're already using a computer tied to the piano, you could just plug-in a 20" flat-panel display. They're only about $100.

If you don't already have a computer at the piano, you could buy a netbook. They're only $200. Then add the $100 flat-panel.

Either way, the big flat-panel gives you more viewing area, as big as two pages of sheet music.

Even if you have to buy BOTH the netbook and the display, it's as cheap or cheaper than an Ipad or other tablet.

The issue there, according to the OP, is depth and weight.

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#1871867 - 04/01/12 09:18 AM Re: Anyone Using An iPad For Sheet Music? [Re: Macy]
Bob Newbie Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/02/06
Posts: 1549
I'm waiting for the OLED slim monitors, a 20" should do the trick.. smile

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#1871918 - 04/01/12 11:47 AM Re: Anyone Using An iPad For Sheet Music? [Re: Macy]
gvfarns Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 3483
Loc: Pennsylvania
Ipads bah.

I use a 28-inch LCD monitor and it's amazing--two full sheets at a time are displayed and the music is nice and BIG. It is not very deep at all, and I don't see why weight would be an issue if you are not gigging with it. I think you would still be better off going that way than trying to put it on an ipad. Ipads are not even as big as a single sheet of paper.

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#1872015 - 04/01/12 03:24 PM Re: Anyone Using An iPad For Sheet Music? [Re: motifmm6]
Brian Lucas Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/11
Posts: 979
Originally Posted By: motifmm6
Unless there is a bigger screen available which looks like paper (like the Kindle), hardcopy sheets are still going to be used.

Wouldn't that be awesome! Let's lobby Amazon to make one of those!
_________________________
-Brian
BM in Performance, Berklee College of Music, 23+ year teacher and touring musician
My Downloadable Video Piano Lessons
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#1872058 - 04/01/12 04:43 PM Re: Anyone Using An iPad For Sheet Music? [Re: Macy]
Macy Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/09/10
Posts: 612
Thanks for the very good responses. It seems like the opinions are mixed on the iPad. I'm worried it would be too small. Some of my thoughts based on the various responses ...

1) I too was looking for good reasons to buy an iPad since it is a cool gadget, but I haven't found any other good applications for it (I have various Macs all over the house, including an iMac next to my piano, and I don't want an iPad for mobile use). But if it solved the sheet music problem I would buy one instantly.

2) I was aware of the bluetooth foot-switch to turn pages and I would definitely get one.

3) The idea of flipping an iPad on its side in landscape mode would solve the "print" size problem, but I don't think I would like seeing just a half page at a time. However, that may be the best idea to try. It means tapping the foot switch more often but I suppose that would be ok, although turning "pages" back would be more cumbersome.

I had expected to just scan my sheet music into pdfs, and then page forward and reverse through the pages. I didn't know if I would need any special iPad "Sheet Music" program or not. Landscape mode would mean scanning the pdfs into half-pages which would be more work. Or do any of the existing iPad "Sheet Music" programs just work in landscape mode to solve this problem without scanning into half-pages. Seems like they would.

4) Yes, I would prefer to just use a 20" or so computer monitor. But my mini-grand style keyboard (CVP-409GP) isn't well suited for a computer monitor.

If I tried to set a monitor on the piano using the monitor's normal stand, I would have to remove the existing music stand from the piano (unscrew it because it doesn't lay down flat when not in use) and even then the 6" wide piano surface isn't flat where the bottom of the sheet music normally rests. That area is elevated a little. i.e. the monitor stand wouldn't sit flat so I would worry about it getting bumped and the monitor tipping and falling on the keyboard. Disaster!

I thought about removing the monitor's normal stand and simply setting the monitor panel on the existing piano music stand. However, when a 20" monitor rests against the existing music stand (which is at an angle) I don't think the back of the monitor will clear the front edge of piano's elevated top board, and I don't want to close the piano top board because that seriously affects the piano sound (enclosing its speakers that face upward on the "soundboard"). The monitor would also have to be chosen to not have any air vents or connections on the bottom or on the back that rests against the piano's music stand. Then there is the weight of the monitor panel on the music rest, the possible topple factor, and unsightly video and power cables to the monitor to consider.

So I don't think a conventional computer monitor would work for me although I would love to have the larger screen.

Yep, a Thunderbolt powered OLED flexible 30" computer monitor weighing less than a pound that rolls up into a tube for storage when not in use is a perfect solution. I will certainly get one in about 5-10 years when they are available. But for now ...


Edited by Macy (04/01/12 04:49 PM)
_________________________
Macy

CVP-409GP, Vintage D, Ivory II GP's & American Concert D, True Keys American D, Ravenscroft 275, Garritan Authorized Steinway, Alicia's Keys, EWQL Pianos, MainStage, iPad/forScore/PageFlip Cicada, Custom Mac MIDI/Audio Software Design, Macs Everywhere

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#1872076 - 04/01/12 05:09 PM Re: Anyone Using An iPad For Sheet Music? [Re: anotherscott]
Macy Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/09/10
Posts: 612
Originally Posted By: anotherscott
As long as you can use a bluetooth page turner, maybe you could use the iPad in landscape mode, and create separate scanned pages out of the top and bottom halves of a score. Twice as many page turns, but the image could be much bigger than if trying to fit an entire page of a score into the vertical orientation.

...

(For at-home use, I'm not sure what advantages this offers over paper, though... maybe just the hands-free page-turning?)


As I mentioned above in my long-ish reply, this might be the best idea for my situation. I just wanted to add that one of the advantages of electronic display over paper that I'm trying to achieve is the elimination of clutter. I currently copy my most frequently used sheet music onto 8.5x11" pages that are mounted in mylar sheet protectors in loose-leaf binders. That reduces the sheet music clutter around the piano, and makes it much easier to quickly flick at pages to turn them in the notebooks. But even so, I still seem to end up with sheet music, sheet music books, and the loose-leaf binders all around my piano every few days. If I implement electronic storage and display I think I have better chance of eliminating the clutter.
_________________________
Macy

CVP-409GP, Vintage D, Ivory II GP's & American Concert D, True Keys American D, Ravenscroft 275, Garritan Authorized Steinway, Alicia's Keys, EWQL Pianos, MainStage, iPad/forScore/PageFlip Cicada, Custom Mac MIDI/Audio Software Design, Macs Everywhere

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#1872124 - 04/01/12 06:32 PM Re: Anyone Using An iPad For Sheet Music? [Re: Macy]
galaxy4t Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/28/08
Posts: 854
Loc: Lakewood, CA
Have you considered wall mounting a computer monitor or small flat screen TV. If your piano isn't by a window, it is very easy to mount a screen on the wall. You could get one of the swivel mounts that can move away from the wall and sit over your piano.

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#1872148 - 04/01/12 07:00 PM Re: Anyone Using An iPad For Sheet Music? [Re: galaxy4t]
Macy Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/09/10
Posts: 612
Originally Posted By: galaxy4t
Have you considered wall mounting a computer monitor or small flat screen TV. If your piano isn't by a window, it is very easy to mount a screen on the wall. You could get one of the swivel mounts that can move away from the wall and sit over your piano.

I appreciate that suggestion (and everyone else's - please keep them coming) but my piano sits out in the middle of a living room. I'd need about a 100" front projection screen on the wall, which in reality is actually all windows in front of the piano.
_________________________
Macy

CVP-409GP, Vintage D, Ivory II GP's & American Concert D, True Keys American D, Ravenscroft 275, Garritan Authorized Steinway, Alicia's Keys, EWQL Pianos, MainStage, iPad/forScore/PageFlip Cicada, Custom Mac MIDI/Audio Software Design, Macs Everywhere

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#1872245 - 04/01/12 10:37 PM Re: Anyone Using An iPad For Sheet Music? [Re: Macy]
joflah Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 08/09/09
Posts: 314
Loc: St. Louis, MO, USA
I use a 22" monitor. I cut down the depth of the plastic monitor base to fit. I also cut down the music stand so it rose just to the bottom of the monitor screen. Thus the monitor screen functions as the back of the music stand when paper scores are used. You might do something similar by removing your music stand (it looks too pretty to just cut it up) and placing something in front of the monitor to hold scores. It would only have to be a 1" high ridge to keep the scores from slipping backward while they lean against the monitor.
It may all seem like a hassle, but it's worth it. You are right about eliminating clutter. Not only that, you can keep multiple scores open and ready to view at a mouse click, so the time lost rooting around in the clutter is also eliminated. Then there's the pedal-operated page turning.

Jack
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Jack

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#1872283 - 04/02/12 12:00 AM Re: Anyone Using An iPad For Sheet Music? [Re: Macy]
trigalg693 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/08
Posts: 662
I have a 22" 1080p monitor that's quite light, but I would be scared to set something unstable and bulky like this on a piano stand. With a true piano, the sound is quite overwhelming indoors and closing the lid and setting stuff on top of it would work fine, but I imagine part of the reason you bought that grand piano cabinetry was to have it open.

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#1872322 - 04/02/12 02:40 AM Re: Anyone Using An iPad For Sheet Music? [Re: Macy]
ryanct Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/16/12
Posts: 19
I think a media box in slideshow mode could be connected to a panel display. That's quite a neat solution. I'm not sure if any of the media boxes support PDFs.

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#1872349 - 04/02/12 05:14 AM Re: Anyone Using An iPad For Sheet Music? [Re: trigalg693]
Exalted Wombat Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/28/09
Posts: 1197
Loc: London UK
Originally Posted By: trigalg693
I have a 22" 1080p monitor that's quite light, but I would be scared to set something unstable and bulky like this on a piano stand. With a true piano, the sound is quite overwhelming indoors and closing the lid and setting stuff on top of it would work fine, but I imagine part of the reason you bought that grand piano cabinetry was to have it open.


Yes, you'll have to put a bit of effort into this! No way is an unmodified screen going to just neatly fit on an unmodified piano in a stable and convenient manner. But it will be possible.

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#1872509 - 04/02/12 12:00 PM Re: Anyone Using An iPad For Sheet Music? [Re: Macy]
MacMacMac Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 3835
Loc: North Carolina
It could be done with a swing-arm mount. I installed one of those for my wife (for general computer use, not with a piano).

Her 20" monitor is on a swing-arm mounted to a table beside her chair. The arm is adjustable up/down/left/right.

The arm's base can be mounted to any horizontal surface (a table) or to a vertical one (a wall).

This would be viable for a digital piano ... if the physical arrangement allows. And it's not expensive. The arm was $190 way back then, but there are $100-$130 ones available now. And the monitor was only $100.

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#1872664 - 04/02/12 04:11 PM Re: Anyone Using An iPad For Sheet Music? [Re: MacMacMac]
Roland_Guy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/11/12
Posts: 40
Loc: South Africa
Im thinking of getting an Ipad 1 for sheet music. My main reason being the gigs i play at weddings are often outside, and the wind is a killer for sheet music. So hoping the iPad 1 could resolve this problem, but seems like most here dont think its a good idea. sigh, guess its pegs for now. crazy
_________________________
Classical, Jazz Pianist.
From Bach to the Blues.

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#1872685 - 04/02/12 04:51 PM Re: Anyone Using An iPad For Sheet Music? [Re: Macy]
MacMacMac Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 3835
Loc: North Carolina
Given your (outdoor) circumstances, I think you very well COULD use the Ipad.

Granted that it's a bit small, and so, indoors, you could do better. But if you MUST operate outdoors, you just sacrifice size to gain wind-proofing.

If it were me, I'd need to use more powerful eyeglass lenses to read from an Ipad. But you might not have that problem.

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#1872689 - 04/02/12 04:59 PM Re: Anyone Using An iPad For Sheet Music? [Re: Macy]
Macy Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/09/10
Posts: 612
Since starting this thread I've done a few simple simulations of using an iPad on my computer monitor. I've taken pdf's of sheet music and displayed it the same physical size as the iPad screen on the computer monitor, and looked at it from the same distance I would have at the piano.

The portrait mode, a full page of sheet music displayed at one time, looks just too small to me. It might be all right once I had played a piece enough times and I just needed the sheet music to prompt me along. But I think it would cause eye strain and probably detract from my playing enjoyment.

Turning the iPad into landscape mode, where about a half page is displayed, looks pretty good. I'm not crazy about having twice as many page turns but I think I could get use to that (using bluetooth pedals to change the pages). The problem I see in my simulation is that the music is not always evenly divided into the top half and bottom half of the page, and the iPad display form factor (4:3) isn't exactly a half page. So when you take simple scans of the sheet music and then do a page forward or reverse on the iPad, it wouldn't move exactly by half pages of the sheet music and even if it did, it wouldn't always line up correctly with the position of staves and some notes wouldn't be visible. i.e. after each half page flip, you would need to move the display of the music a few "lines" up or down, which isn't practical.

The only way I see to fix that problem would be to "prepare the pdf's" in advance by splitting them into new pages that each contain exactly what you want to see on the iPad each time you flip its page. i.e. you pre-edit the pdf's on a computer by splitting and positioning the content of the original pages. I haven't tried doing that yet, but it seems like it might be quite a bit of not-fun work. But I'm going to try and see if I can come up with a simple process to make that painless. I think that is my next step.

I appreciate all of the comments about using a regular computer monitor. I really wish that were practical in my case because I would love to have a large display. But I can't see anyway to place a monitor on my particular piano, and somehow suspending a large monitor over the piano using "arms" etc. is simply not going to look good in my living room (imagine a small baby grand sitting in the middle of a rather formal living room).
_________________________
Macy

CVP-409GP, Vintage D, Ivory II GP's & American Concert D, True Keys American D, Ravenscroft 275, Garritan Authorized Steinway, Alicia's Keys, EWQL Pianos, MainStage, iPad/forScore/PageFlip Cicada, Custom Mac MIDI/Audio Software Design, Macs Everywhere

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#1872717 - 04/02/12 05:40 PM Re: Anyone Using An iPad For Sheet Music? [Re: Roland_Guy]
anotherscott Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/10
Posts: 3285
Originally Posted By: Roland_Guy
Im thinking of getting an Ipad 1 for sheet music. My main reason being the gigs i play at weddings are often outside, and the wind is a killer for sheet music. So hoping the iPad 1 could resolve this problem, but seems like most here dont think its a good idea. sigh, guess its pegs for now. crazy

I think gigging is a place where an iPad can really make sense. As Macy alluded to, it will work best if you "pretty much" know the pieces and just need occasional reference, or else, yeah, you'd probably have to create custom PDFs as he talked about, if you want everything large enough to be easily readable. But compared to sheet music, it's a cleaner look live, and you can have every piece in your repertoire available at a moment's notice instead of having to keep sheet music available and organized.

However, I would worry about the screen readability outdoors... you'd have to take sunlight into account when you set your stuff up to be sure you could find a way to keep it readable. That's an issue you don't have indoors.

There are some really nice iPad apps for this sort of thing. Check out DeepDish GigBook.

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#1873172 - 04/03/12 03:57 PM Re: Anyone Using An iPad For Sheet Music? [Re: Macy]
Pol Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/02/12
Posts: 4
I've been experimenting with using pdf's as sheet music on the ipad 3, wich only seems to work out fine with certain files. With some it works perfectly and you can swipe throught the pages very nicely, with other files it takes minutes to load a page, and going to the next page takes ages as well.
It probably has to do with the resolution of the scans?
If anyone knows of a program that can 'vectorise' huge scanned pdf's into something that is useable on the ipad, please let me know!
I was quite dissappointed actually as I had high hopes for using the ipad as a replacement for the tons of scores I print.

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#1873397 - 04/03/12 11:21 PM Re: Anyone Using An iPad For Sheet Music? [Re: Macy]
Hideki Matsui Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/19/10
Posts: 787
I use MusicReader, which came with AirTurn, the wireless footswitch page turning system.
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Vintage Vibe 64
Roland LX-15e
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#1873405 - 04/03/12 11:42 PM Re: Anyone Using An iPad For Sheet Music? [Re: Hideki Matsui]
Macy Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/09/10
Posts: 612
Originally Posted By: Hideki Matsui
I use MusicReader, which came with AirTurn, the wireless footswitch page turning system.
How does it work in iPad landscape mode with "half pages"?
_________________________
Macy

CVP-409GP, Vintage D, Ivory II GP's & American Concert D, True Keys American D, Ravenscroft 275, Garritan Authorized Steinway, Alicia's Keys, EWQL Pianos, MainStage, iPad/forScore/PageFlip Cicada, Custom Mac MIDI/Audio Software Design, Macs Everywhere

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#1873412 - 04/04/12 12:02 AM Re: Anyone Using An iPad For Sheet Music? [Re: Pol]
MacMacMac Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 3835
Loc: North Carolina
Pol: There are programs for that ... but they're expensive, several hundred dollars or more.

There's also VectorMagic.com
I can't tell you how well that will work, but it's free.

It accepts image files and converts them. You'd have to first capture your PDF scores as image files ... not difficult with any screen capture utility. But it would be tedious if you have many of them.
Originally Posted By: Pol
If anyone knows of a program that can 'vectorise' huge scanned pdf's into something that is useable on the ipad, please let me know!

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