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All bars scrollable for small screens?
#1
I don't know if this one has been mentioned or not -- I didn't know what to search for in the forum that would help determine that.

Anyhow, here's what I mean:

When MSheets first opens to the dbase page, I notice that if you're viewing it on a smaller screen in portrait (this is a Samsung Note 1), at the bottom you can touch drag the bottom menubar ('Recent', 'Songs', etc.), you can reveal the off-screen choices just by touch dragging.

It would be nice to see that behaviour extended to things like the Annotations toolbar. Currently, if I want to annotate, on this screen, I have to do so in portrait mode (landscape doesn't allow any scrolling of the score). But then I can't turn the page because I can't access the button in portrait mode -- so I have to rotate screen, find the 'next page' button, and then rotate back to portrait for more annotations.

Will the new version include the ability to turn pages using a screen side tap while working in annotations? Or even the ability to scroll vertically while in landscape mode? (that would be easier on my eyes!)

I have a Surface Pro tablet which is anxiously awaiting the arrival of the PC edition of this. That would eliminate a lot of my troubles, for sure!

Another idea, which may or may not have been mentioned would be to include a starting pitch button option. Say, a little transparent circle on page one, top left with the key note displayed (it's already a song dbase field anyhow) that when touched and held, produces that note. Would be great for a cappella performers!

Another 'long press' feature might be page one, top centre (normally the area for a sheet's song title). Would be nice if that would pop up an overlay giving a brief list of song info (arranger's notes, year of arrangement, perhaps other, user-defined fields).
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#2
I am not sure if this is the same point you raised, but, a bunch of times I would have liked to copy an annotation to paste it on another page, but I was unable to do so. So, it would be nice to be able to change pages while editing (for example, to copy something from one page and paste it into another page).

Jeff



(08-09-2014, 04:21 AM)Broacher Wrote: I don't know if this one has been mentioned or not -- I didn't know what to search for in the forum that would help determine that.

Anyhow, here's what I mean:

When MSheets first opens to the dbase page, I notice that if you're viewing it on a smaller screen in portrait (this is a Samsung Note 1), at the bottom you can touch drag the bottom menubar ('Recent', 'Songs', etc.), you can reveal the off-screen choices just by touch dragging.

It would be nice to see that behaviour extended to things like the Annotations toolbar. Currently, if I want to annotate, on this screen, I have to do so in portrait mode (landscape doesn't allow any scrolling of the score). But then I can't turn the page because I can't access the button in portrait mode -- so I have to rotate screen, find the 'next page' button, and then rotate back to portrait for more annotations.

Will the new version include the ability to turn pages using a screen side tap while working in annotations? Or even the ability to scroll vertically while in landscape mode? (that would be easier on my eyes!)

I have a Surface Pro tablet which is anxiously awaiting the arrival of the PC edition of this. That would eliminate a lot of my troubles, for sure!

Another idea, which may or may not have been mentioned would be to include a starting pitch button option. Say, a little transparent circle on page one, top left with the key note displayed (it's already a song dbase field anyhow) that when touched and held, produces that note. Would be great for a cappella performers!

Another 'long press' feature might be page one, top centre (normally the area for a sheet's song title). Would be nice if that would pop up an overlay giving a brief list of song info (arranger's notes, year of arrangement, perhaps other, user-defined fields).
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#3
Yes, copy/paste would be useful. It brings up the issue too that MSheets annotations are, like most other annotation packages (to be fair), fairly proprietary. I have loaded in sheets with annotations made in other packages and they've displayed. But not the other way around.

The one annotation package of Acrobat Pro (which I work in a lot for design) is the little yellow sticky notes. What I like about these is that they're a great solution to cramming detail into an annotation without interfering with the readability of the document (too much). It would be great if MSheet had something like this too.

Well, since I'm in a wishful mood...
How about the ability to set A and B audio playback points that would allow a viewer to loop through a section over and over -- while listening to the same range in the audio file? Wouldn't that be awesome?

Here's how I could see this work: you'd have a special viewing/listening 'mode' where you would tap down on points in a score as it plays through. Maybe a little transparent red dot, or something. The values of those track timing positions would then get stored with the song so that when you reload it again to practice, you tap on one dot (A) and then on the end dot (B) which would then play the track music between those points in a loop, for practicing. There might even also be a 'one-of' single shot A-B tool that would only be temporary, and not stored with the song for real short, but temporary drilling.

Oh, and don't forget the playback speed control! (lol, it's like Christmas!)
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#4
(08-09-2014, 06:08 AM)Broacher Wrote: How about the ability to set A and B audio playback points that would allow a viewer to loop through a section over and over -- while listening to the same range in the audio file? Wouldn't that be awesome?

......

Oh, and don't forget the playback speed control! (lol, it's like Christmas!)

Christmas maybe, but I think you're are losing sight of the main purpose of MS. There's plenty of software out there to loop, change speed, etc.

The real problem is that virtually every user has a different set of requirements (including me, I am just like everyone else) coupled with their personal 'wish list' of features they would like to see added. If Mike adds them all, you will end up with a bit of software that is all things to all men, but becomes incredibly unwieldy for its original purpose of design.

Over the years, I have seen this happen to so many good softwares. What started out as a brilliant and simple piece of software to use becomes so overloaded with'features that get added on a regular basis, it is no longer very good for its original use.

If someone has a need for a particular thing (say, your slowing and looping) then better, IMV, to have a piece of software dedicated to that purpose.
Graeme

1: Samsung 12.2" SM-P900: Android 5.0.2 
2: eSTAR GRAND HD Quad-Core 4G 10.2": Android 5.1 
3: Home-built BT pedal

Some of my music here
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#5
Hold on, I thought this was the 'Feature requests and ideas' section?

Graeme, I know what you mean. I've seen what you describe happen many times over the decades too. And I have a couple of brothers who've been on development teams that wrestle with this too.

But if this was my company, and I put up a forum with a section for feature brainstorming, I think I'd try to encourage more wide open thinking there.

Just as we've all seen featuritus cripple good software, you have to admit that we've also seen it improve the experience for the market and users. When you think about it, a lot of great software titles have basically evolved out of the idea of combining features of what were once discrete packages.

And isn't this kind of what distinguishes MSheets from a good PDF reader? Or a music cataloguing app? It's attractive and powerful because it's brought these two functions together in one package. The player is a step to yet another merge -- and very much in a logical, user-focused direction.

As always, it's not so much how many things should you be able to do with an app -- but how can it be the most useful to the most users. Most of the time these features are innovations in the UI. That is, give the user more freedom to customize their experience and discover new ways to make the mathematical heart of the program work deliver the goods.

Yep, the main 'engine' has to be competively efficient and the architectural strategies have to optimize this -- but if you're on top of that, for the long game you also have to acknowledge that hardware is going to get better, and features you never dreamed of from users you may also never heard of -- this is the edge of where the real advances take place. Remember when Photoshop was just used by graphic designers?

And there's also more options for the developer to strategically market new features. Add-ons, extras sold as options. With the right handling, they can provide solid market feedback and provide some revenue too.

As a singer in two choruses I've seen a variety of tablet sheet display apps being used. As well as various music track players. As far as I know, nobody's ever figured out an elegant way to combine the two. But does that mean that it can't, or shouldn't be done?

My guess is the first developers who figure this one out will have the potential to practically own and even create new markets.
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#6
Broacher,

You have a lot of great ideas. Never hesitate to submit new ideas, or make recommendations. I can't promise I'll be able to deliver on every request, but at the very least it may lead to other improvements in the app.

I think there is an important balance between introducing core new features and innovations that users need, and remembering what it is the app is really trying to accomplish. Trying to be all things for all people is going to lead to a product that is unwieldy and very hard to learn. Having said that, if the feature requests are just natural extensions of what the app already does, or can do, I think it makes sense to consider adding them. As you said, having specific add-ons such as "pitch pipe" type features may be very important for some users, and not others, so I need to come up with a way to other provide different flavors of MobileSheets, or find ways to make certain UI features only accessible/visible to the users who want/need them.

I think the real problem at the moment is that my vision for what I want MobileSheets to be exceeds the amount of time I'm able to dedicate to it. It's definitely gone beyond just a "part-time" job. If at some point I'm able to turn this into my full-time job, you better believe that I will do everything in my power to take MobileSheets to the next level. I'm still trying to do that now, but at a much slower pace Smile

Thanks,
Mike
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#7
Thanks Mike. And thanks for encouraging user feedback.

Maybe my ideas illustrate the struggle you're having trying to keep MS 'open' enough to all users.

Right now, it seems to be weighted towards professional instrumentalists. That's cool, but I also sense that there's a growing number of amateur picking this app up. Not necessarily 'musician wannabees' either.

A little background: I'm in an amateur a capella chorus. But it's part of a larger worldwide organization of amateur singers (over 35,000, at last count -- I think). Most members are just getting into using tablets to replace paper sheet music. Some are even just getting used to working with digital training tracks! We cover a wide range of ages -- from 11 to 90 in our local group.

I'd say that right now the iPad to Android mix in our chorus is probably 50/50. I think on the Android side, your app is pretty much in a class of its own. But, as I'm sure you know, the king on the iPad is forScore. And as they say on their product site: "It’s easy to copy a great feature, check off a box, and move on (so many of our competitors do). In fact, many of our best features have become so ubiquitous that it’s hard to tell who came up with it in the first place. We love it."

I think MSheet is insulated by the fact that forScore has no plans to make an Android version. But I couldn't help notice that a lot of the things others and myself have stuck up here on this virtual wishlist already seem to be standard features for fScore.

You know, I have a younger brother who's been programming for.. .geez, over 30 years (professionally since he was 14 on the Commodore platform!). Now, he's doing apps (of course). Most of his bread and butter work is pretty dry, industrial stuff -- but he does get to have fun on smaller gigs and with a few pet personal projects. Same kind of thing -- it would be nice to have the time to really make something polished up -- but you gotta pay the mortgage, right?

I've always believed that Adobe's PDF technology is seriously under-utilized. There's a lot of tricks buried in that engine that most people have never even tried or know about. Especially when it comes to training/interactive study.

Music notation does not come easily to someone like me who knew only the most rudimentary aspects of it when I started singing again in my early forties. By working with voice part mp3's, and keeping a copy of the score handy, I've managed to pick up enough to keep on moving -- but I can really see the appeal of combining the visual notes with the audio ones in terms of study. But that's why I see PDF reader technology capable of a lot more than most people give it credit for (have you seen ezPDF CLEAR? I think they're pushing the same envelope in that product).

If things ever re-org that you do get more time to devote to the MSheet development, I think you should consider splitting into two products: Mobile Sheets Performer and Mobile Sheets Practice (or something similar -- personally, the use of the word 'mobile' is quickly becoming meaningless).

And I'm guessing here, but I would bet that with the proper marketing and UI design, the Practice version could quickly outsell the performance version -- it's just a statistical reflection of the fact that there are a lot more amateurs than pros.

Anyhow, the best of luck. I'm quite happy with my investment with the product even as it is. But like others, I sure hope you can find the time to pursue pushing it a little further someday.

All the best,

-Broacher (Bob Roach)
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#8
I don't think I would agree that MS is "weighted towards professional instrumentalists", purely using notation.

Seems to me that quite a few of the users here are not using it for full scores at all. Some have fake charts, some use it for words only, others have chord charts. Seems to me there are a fair number of solo acts, using MS to provide them with their backing tracks, plus lyrics/chords, etc., etc.

Although there are, undoubtedly, professionals on the forum, I would bet that there are more amateurs.
Graeme

1: Samsung 12.2" SM-P900: Android 5.0.2 
2: eSTAR GRAND HD Quad-Core 4G 10.2": Android 5.1 
3: Home-built BT pedal

Some of my music here
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#9
I agree. Perhaps I should have phrased my statement more clearly.

There are probably are more amateurs here on the forum, and on the customer lists. To me, the real question is not IF there are more amateurs or not, but is the app focused on supporting them?

Will emerging advanced features be geared for use in paid, live performances -- or for studying and learning new things ABOUT the music being studied?

And I'm fine with keeping the main app focused on performing artists. I would just like to speak up for what I suspect is now a majority of users, to please consider creating a 'study' version for those of us still climbing (however slowly!) the learning curve. And I would consider synchronized audio tracks to be a major step in that direction.
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#10
I see where you are going with this, but I would contend that there are softwares on the market already to this sort of stuff. Any notation program coupled with a midi engine would provide you with synchronised audio, for example.

I'm really not convinced that MS is the right core for this sort of thing, but Mike might have a different view.
Graeme

1: Samsung 12.2" SM-P900: Android 5.0.2 
2: eSTAR GRAND HD Quad-Core 4G 10.2": Android 5.1 
3: Home-built BT pedal

Some of my music here
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