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Some ideas while evaluating
#1
I thought about buying a tablet for playing music. For evaluation I have chosen a Samsung Galaxy 10.1 2014 with MobileSheets 4.1.6 via Google Play.

Final result:
* The display is too small for me. One reason is that I am myopic. Announcements let me wait for Samsungs 13.3" tablet.
* I am missing one feature in MobileSheet which is important for: half page turning. This is announced for one of the next versions.
So I am waiting until next year and retry.

While evaluating I faced some facts and feature requests to MS I want to note:

1. MobileSheets "About" dialog gives version 4.1.6, the last announcement in this forum is 4.1.5. Maybe a typo in the software or a forgotten announcment ...

2. MS supports image rotation. This is done via double-tipping. Maybe an alternative would be more intuitive: place two fingers on the tablet a let them rotate.

3. You could configure how to activate the overlap. Default is a single tap. Because chances increase that a simple "next page" results in activating the overlap, I suggest having a "double-tap" or "long-tap" as default. (There was a forum entry here which shows how to configure that behaviour.)

4. Just in idea: improve the AutoScroll and the Metronome by supplying more information. The user could mark the area which build a "line" in the music and save how many measures this line would include. Additional information is the tempo (which defaults to the tempo of the previous line and finally in the tempo of the song).
A Metronome could change its tempo while playing according to the music.
AutoScroll could use this information for calculating the time which is needed for playing one line.
Also AutoScroll could ignore not marked lines (because they dont contain music).

5. Preload of the Setlist. Having all songs loaded into memory would speed up page-turning. If it is not possible to load the entire setlist (maybe to less memory) preloading the next page and holding the last page would also tune the speed.

6. Multi display support. As the price for tablets decrease you could choose the trend using more "commodity hardware" instead of "high end hardware". You could combine multible tablets for building one "big" display.
You have to store where each of the tablets is (like dual monitor support in desktop operating systems). Then input and output could be done via all displays. One of the tablets will be the "master" which holds the configuration and the songs. The "slaves" only require a thin layer for transport the input and output data. Communication could be done via bluetooth or wifi.
This feauture could be interesting for conductors who have to see much more music at once.
Instead of a master-slave architecture a point-to-point could be possible.
Related to this there is a feature request for displaying multiple pages at one screen.

7. Support for "native keyboards". When entering text you only have the virtual keyboard. Supplying other input formats would be nice:
- speech input
- pen writing

8. Export the metadata (title, artist, notes, ...) as plain text (CSV, XML) for further processing. I think there was such a feature request already ...

9. Table overview of all notes. So you could create a "todo list" from all saved notes.

10. Custom stamps. E.g. a danger sign, glasses - so the musician knows to have a deeper look.

11. Translation error. English "Note" could be German "Note" (music) or "Notiz" (text information). The menu is wrong translated:
wrong: Noten | Anmerkungen | Schärfen Bild | Ausrichtung | Metronom | Seiten scrollen | Scroll-Einstellungen
right: Notizen | Anmerkungen | Bild schärfen | Ausrichtung | Metronom | Seiten scrollen | Scroll-Einstellungen

12. Translation error. When editing the notes of a song you have a title "Bearbeiten von Notizen für <Title>" and the input field is labeled as "Noten:". Title is fine, the label should be "Notizen:"

13. Translation error. "Optionen | Fortgeschritten | Bildschirm nicht ausschalten":
wrong: Verhindert das ausschalten ... bitte die Option Immer wählen.
right: Verhindert das Ausschalten ... bitte die Option immer wählen.

14. Missing translation. "Optionen | Anzeige-Einstellungen | Song Anzeige Einstellungen". 4th entry is not translated: "Display Halvdelen side i Landskab".


cheers
Jan
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#2
Hey Jan,
your points seem to be reasonable to me.

Regarding the 13.3'' tablets: Have you had a look at the existing ones?
I know of at least 2 sold in Germany: Hannspree Hannspad SN14T71 and Point of View Mobii 1325, both with bluetooth (for pedal/switch) and at 220..250,-€.
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#3
Jan,

1) MobileSheets v4.1.6 involved some minor fixes, and was released shortly after v4.1.5. I didn't include release notes for it because the number of changes were so limited (just bug fixes).

2) v5 is adding rotation support where you can rotate any amount you want. This will be done with a slider on the song editor screen (with the ability to enter a value manually if desired).

3) There are already three overlay modes available in MobileSheets. If you look under the options for these overlay settings, you have the option for single tap, long tap, or swipe.

4) These are good ideas. I am introducing more advanced auto-scrolling options, but I didn't really think about adjusting the metronome mid-song. In a future update, I will look into adding these capabilities.

5) I already load up to 10 pages in each direction from the current page. Even this can cause problems on some devices with limited resources.

6) I am adding two pages up at a time, but the other features you've mentioned are pretty extensive. I'm not sure when I will try to tackle them yet.

7) Speech input is naturally built into the Android OS, is it not? There is usually a microphone button on the keyboard for this (I don't have my tablet to verify this). I also support voice-based searching for songs already as well. As for native keyboards and pen writing, these are also OS things. If I plug the keyboard into my ASUS Transformer, it works automatically. I don't know if you can plug in any usb keyboard, but in theory, my app shouldn't have to change at all to support this if the OS supports it.

8) This will be tackled along with the other sharing features.

9) Are you saying you want a list on the library screen of notes taken for every song? I can consider adding this if it would be useful to people.

10) User provided custom bitmaps are still on my list of things to finish adding, along with converting the existing implementation to use fonts instead of bitmaps for the core symbols.

11-14) Thanks for these. I'll fix them first chance I get.

Thanks for taking the time to write that all up. I appreciate the feedback.

Mike
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#4
@Harry_M
Thanks for pointing to these two tablets.
I havent seriously searched for a 13" tablet. I like the idea of using the stylus and its possibilities on the Galaxy 10.1 2014: make some notes and convert that graphic into text, write into the music...

While the price and the availability are pros for these two devices. But I am a techie and probably wait for the 13" Samsung .... Also there was a nice device: Samsung ATIV Q - but doesnt come ... (nice: Android+WinRT, built in keyboard, ...)


@Zuberman
Thanks for your feedback.
#1: It's ok. But maybe publishing just a "release note" with "Bugfix release" would ok.
#2,#3: good to know
#4: Just an idea how to improve the metronome. Havent thought about possiblity or demand.
#5: Ok. I think while evaluating I switched the pages faster than a normal playing musician. So 10pages seems ok.
#6: Of course. I think more people would benefit from the possibility of displaying two pages at once, because only a few would use multiple devices. Again - just an idea.
#7: Thanks for pointing. Have found the speech input now (a kind of "hidden"). I only had problems with recognizing some special words ...
#8: Ok.
#9: Yes, something like that. A printable list would be helpful. But this list should not blow off other lists. I thought a list like
select title,note from data where setlist=Confusedetlist
#10: While using bitmaps would be easier for the user to create, using vector graphics would scale better.
#11-14: no problems
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#5
Update: The coming Samsung 13" seems to be great .... but it is not available YET. And I am curious NOW Wink
So I did an exploration what tablets are available here in Germany.

Type, weight, dimension, pixel, storage, Android, price
Odys Aeon, 1290g, 262x171x12, 1024x800, 16 GB, 4.1, 228,11 €
Archos Family Pad2, 1300g, 337x230x12, 1280x800, 8 GB, 4.1, 313,74 €
Archos Arnova Family Pad, 1300g, 262x171x12, 1280x800, 8GB, 4.0, 168,97 €
Point of View Graphics, Tab-P 1325, 1400g, 338x230x12, 1280x800, 8GB, 4.1, 255,00 €
Hannspree SN14T71B, 1184g, 325x228x12, 1280x800, 16GB, 4.2, 245,30 €

I have chosen the Hannspree because of its weight and android version. (Other hardware features like Wifi and Bluetooth are also fine). Searching for a good price leads me to Alternate for 226,85 €.

The tablet is on the road .... I will post later Wink
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#6
Jan, thanks for your overview.
The Odys and both Archos do not have bluetooth - if you want to use a pedal, this might be a no-go, so the Hannspree seems to be a good choice. I would have bought it if I did not have a 10'' tablet already (Note 10.1) and if I had found some reviews.
So I would be glad if you can post your experiences here!
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#7
I added my points to bugzilla.

I also did a more detailed "review" on my (frequently written) blog
http://janmaterne.wordpress.com/2013/12/...valuation/
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#8
(12-17-2013, 05:46 PM)Harry_M Wrote: Jan, thanks for your overview.
The Odys and both Archos do not have bluetooth - if you want to use a pedal, this might be a no-go, so the Hannspree seems to be a good choice. I would have bought it if I did not have a 10'' tablet already (Note 10.1) and if I had found some reviews.
So I would be glad if you can post your experiences here!

Although note that usb pedals should still work, like Billipro. Also I think the new Cicada will have a wired USB option.

I had so many problems with losing bluetooth in the middle of a performance (Ugh!) I moved back to a USB connection (I just needed a micro USB to standard USB converter for around $5.00). Pretty much rock solid.

That said, I just bought the Hannspree as a back up (have not received it yet). I think the battery should be sufficient for reading pdfs (should use much less power than watching a movie) and I liked the set up (all ports/etc on one short side) and the larger included hard drive space (should never run out of internal hard-drive space with 16gb).

I would think larger tablets should become the norm for this type of use.

Jeff

(12-26-2013, 08:15 AM)Jan Wrote: I added my points to bugzilla.

I also did a more detailed "review" on my (frequently written) blog
http://janmaterne.wordpress.com/2013/12/...valuation/

Jan, I am following up on your comment in your blog about the stand.

I use the KM 19742 stand with a 13 inch tablet (Toshiba Excite 13.3). Since you can set up it so the top of the stand is open in portrait view (there is no clasp on top), it fits a 13 inch tablet (at least it fits the Toshiba 13.3, and hopefully it will fit the Hannspree)

It works okay. It has a very slight tilt to the left side (even with the replacement part they sent me) and it is probably not as sturdy as a heavy duty stand, but it does not block me like a music stand does. Ultimately, it works ok (I like it it better than a music stand).
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