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Missing columns other than Title
#1
Hi,

I'm brand new to this tool.
I sing in a classical SATB choir. I have scanned and imported abt 150 titles of sheet music, and assigned collections, playlists and, above all and  meticulously the composers. I would be lost if I had not the composer field available of all arrangements of Christmas Carols. And violinists want to know which Sumpony #3 is in their list: the composer is essential.

But in all available lists, I only see the title. I cannot get MS Pro to display any extra column with additional info for the Title. For me and for that violinist: the composer
Is that my fault, or is that a bug in the software?
Leo

Lenovo Tab P11
MS pro V3.2.4
Companion V 3.1.1 on Windows 10
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#2
Hello Leo,

If you go to Settings->Library Settings->Tab Selection and Order, you can add the Composers tab to the list of tabs shown on the library screen. If you go to Settings->Library Settings->Song Title Formatting, you can add the "Composers" field to either the title or caption of each entry on the library screen. Let me know if you need more information about this.

Mike
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#3
Hi Mike,

Reading a few threads here I get the impression that you are the developer of this software. Correct  me if I'm wrong.

I have found and explored the two tips you gave. I now see the composer in all lists, thank you.

I am a chemist, not a software developer. Nevertheless, I have built a few Joomla and Wordpress websites, and way before that a HTML site using Notepad as the only tool. I used Clipper building a database application for my collection of abt 9000 Composers data. Due to bad back-up habits I lost it,  and I miss it. I hardly remember how I managed to have a job as well...

I can see that you have done a lot to have the lists look like a formatted text file (Title and subtitle in different point size). That is very well readable, but not necessarily well searchable by browsing. Putting everything on one line, there is no field separator but a space, with the same undesirable effect. So I now see e.g,

    Gloria seir Dir gesungen Bach, Johann Sebastian

in which Bach looks to be part of the Title, and it is unclear what part of Johann Sebastian is his Given name, and what his Family name.
I'll try to add a photo of a screen to illustrate the chaotic impression such a list gives.

[Image: Qe33YT7pspUGukQ9A]

I ask myself: why not present the data as a table with straight columns that can be sorted on a column of choice.
I simply do not understand that.

I want to end with a positive note: This application is by far the best I have seen among choir singers. To use this software, I replaced my old 8 ''  tablet with an 11 '' one . Because of my eyes I would have prefered a 30x20 cm screen, but they are unaffordable.

I have hardly explored the annotation possibilities. When I see something that could be improved, I'll be back here.
Leo

Lenovo Tab P11
MS pro V3.2.4
Companion V 3.1.1 on Windows 10
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#4
IMHO your suggestion would be much more impracticable. 

It is intended to be a list you can select your pieces from and not to be a sortable spreadsheet.

MSP has a lot of powerful features you need to familiarize yourself with. For your case I suggest to look into the filters, the different groups you can have in the tabs (including composer, year and other configurable ones) and the format of the titles and the subtitles you can of course configure as you like (order, separators etc.). 

Myself I never had a need for sortable columns because of all these features.
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#5
Hi BRX,

I could of course neglect your opinion that my suggestion for options is bad practice. But let me explain why I have put them on the table.

What you say about filters, groups, , years etc is completely thue and very usable - in the PC Companion when preparing collections, set lists etc. But it's not enough when the tablet is stand allone during rehearsals.

My binder with sheet music contains no more than what I need for the rehearsals, just to keep my arms in good shape. It's 's stuff for upcoming concerts mainly. March 2020 all concerts were canceled by Covid 19, and rehearsals stopped until june, when we could sing outdoors a bit. In the autumn we found a big hall where we could sing with enough distance, as long as it lasted. In winter we could do only a few things on line, and in may we started in a church, also distanced.
All music asks for a specific type of venue, but also every venue has its limitations as for what music you can sing there. So despite no upcoming concert, we sang what could be sung at any time. The idea was, let's prepare some repertoire that we can quickly rurn into a set list for an improvsed concert to greet our audience after a too long absence.
So my binder grew. After importing my digital sheets, I made a set list "Current Rehearsal". It contained slightly over 50 titles.

To this let me add a contuctor who is a sweet but chaotic lady who hears everything, thinks very quickly, but speaks with a soft voice. When she asks to put music on the lectern, she just  says Mozart, or Sanctus, or the shepherds, and very often that's hardly understandable.
For this case I want a set list that I can quickly switch to sorting on title or on composer. For me, that's enough, bu only then I know I can find the title within 3 seconds.

When I ask for a columns option, it does not mean that your beloved formatted titles list needs to go. It never is meant to be replaced. I have full confidence in the developers skills to let us set a certain presentation as our default.

And then this. As a singer I have a lectern and two free hands. So if there are changes to better support page turner pedals, I will not object, just because I personally do not need them.
Leo

Lenovo Tab P11
MS pro V3.2.4
Companion V 3.1.1 on Windows 10
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#6
Hi again,

you sound a little bit offended and defensive. No need to. Neither offense was intended or taken by me. Of course every suggestion is welcome on the board.

Maybe my choice of word "impracticable" wasn't the best though. What I meant was that (AFAICS) your suggestion probably requires quite a bit of change in the code since such "spreadsheet sorting" with columns hasn't been implemented in MSP anywhere so far.

But of course that's something Mike has to consider and decide. Believe me, I have quite a few suggestions myself somewhere way down on Mike's todolist which are dear to me but probably not of much interest for other users.

So it's certainly only my opinion that the amount of change necessary might not be in proportion to the benefits (for all users). Also I didn't dismiss it without offering other ways or workarounds already in MSP to achieve what you describe.

If you need to find all the "Mozart" entries in your setlist (or rather collection), did you actually try typing "Mozart" in the filter bar. I reckon you need only type the first three letters to have all you need filtered and displayed in your collection to find it as fast as with tsorting and scrolling. 

Thanks anyway for explaining your reasons for the suggestion.
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#7
Leo - yes, I am the developer of MobileSheets. I'm not opposed to potentially support a grid-based view for the library screen in the future, but it's not a simple switch to convert everything over to that, and a lot of code would be impacted by that change (I'll spare you the details). While I can see the potential use for this while trying to set up the library and manage the metadata, I don't think that's as useful when you are trying to quickly find something. As BRX said, typing in three letters to find data in any of the supported fields is faster than sorting by a column and then having to scroll through the entire list (especially if you have thousands of songs). There are also lots of other ways to quickly filter things including a voice-based search, filter dropdowns for fields (additional fields can be accessed by tapping the icon with a downward arrow at the far right of the filters bar), or using the various tabs to quickly get to the group you are trying to find. As for your comment about the song title formatting - you can use whatever separators you want. You are not limited to spaces. You could use brackets, slashes, tabs, etc. This makes it very clear how the fields are separated at a quick glance. I do think having some kind of alignment options would be nice for the formatting (so you can add extra spacing between fields and have all fields line up vertically), but that's also not simple when using a font that is not a fixed-width font. I should also mention that, while Android does support a generic GridView container, it does not support something that implements all of the expected behavior for a spreadsheet-like view (i.e. something like excel, which you are probably picturing in your head). All of that functionality, including having headers at the top displayed differently than the cells, having the ability to tap those headers for changing the sorting behavior, having resizable columns or rows, etc, is all stuff that would have to be implemented individually. While there might be some open-source projects trying to emulate this behavior on Android, I would have to go through that code closely to see how the good the quality of the code is, and then figure out the integration with the existing codebase. If users saw a spreadsheet like view, they would also probably assume that the individual fields were editable, and if I wanted to support that, it would involve a significant amount of new code for updating the database when modifications are made, and supporting a way to cancel edits.

I do appreciate all the feedback though, and will do what I can to help support workflows that are important to users. I do need to have a sense of how impactful changes will be before making them though. If only a handful of users want a grid-based view for the library screen and I spend weeks implementing it, that is not a good investment of time when I have such a large backlog of feature requests to work through. So the more people that chime in and throw their support behind requests like this, the more it will help in my decision making process.

Thanks,
Mike
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#8
My two penny worth

I think the current system with filters work fine, especially as one can set the filter search to be "All Fields"; this should allow you to quickly find a song based on anything you know about it e.g. composer, word in title,  tempo etc i.e. anything you can see when you "Edit" the song data.
This is very versatile because the three characters Mike mentioned don't have to at the start of the field

In your post, you indicate that you made a "Set List" of songs. This is really for playing songs in a predetermined order e.g. at a gig.
While this can work, it sounds to me that these would have been better placed in a collection with an A-Z sort.
Coupled with a Filter for "All Fields", this should enable you to easily find the song you want.
Note: I'm taking your post at face value i.e. it was a set list that you created and that you didn't create a collection but inadvertently called it a set list.

You can create a collection from your set list as follows:
1) Long press one of the songs until a check box is shown against it
2) Select all of the songs by pressing the open square box  (bottom right of screen)
3) Press the three vertical dots on top line and select "Create Collection from Songs"

When you want to create a set list for a gig:-
1) Open the collection
2) Long press the first song for the event so that it's checkbox is ticked.
3) Check each of the other songs, ideally in the order that you want to play them (less work later)
4) three dots, create "Set List from Songs"
5) When choosing a name for the setlist, I use the format "Venue yyyy-mm-dd" e.g. "Avon 2020-09-30". This allows me to keep old versions of the setlists as a reference (useful, if you play at the venue more than once). Actually, for a pending gig, I precede the name with a leading space e.g. " Avon 2020-09-30" - this means that it appears at the top of the list of set lists. After the event, I remove the leading space so that the list is then stored alphabetically and in date order.
6) If you didn't specify the songs in the correct order, you can edit the Set List to drag them to the correct position.

MSP has many, many features so there are multiple ways to achieve the same end. If you can't work out how to do something then just do as you have done - create a post. I've always found that everyone is willing to help you on this forum and you will probably also get a reply from Mike (I don't know how it manages to answer all the posts and still manage to get some programming in)

Cheers
Geoff
Samsung Galaxy Tab A6
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#9
@ Mike and Geoff,

I have now found the big PDF manual / help file that explains a lot that I first only guessed.
I will now first study that document, and try out what I find there, before  going into details of your postings.

The first suggestion, using other separators, looked promising, because the second column would clearly separate from the first one. Of course the field length in the first column would make the second column to be heavily indented, but it would nevertheless be good.
The problem is, that the tab character creates only a very short whitespace, say two normal spaces. Is that a known behaviour?
Leo

Lenovo Tab P11
MS pro V3.2.4
Companion V 3.1.1 on Windows 10
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#10
The font that is used is not a monospace (fixed-width) font. That means that a space character takes up far less space than other characters. A tab character is much smaller for the same reason. I could add an option to use a monospace font for the library screen, but visually it would look quite awful. Alternatively, I could implement custom font drawing where I tokenize on white space and split up each word used a fixed-width spacing, but that would require a fair amount of changes and would certainly render slower than using the default text control. There are other things I would need to ensure I don't break in the process, like right-to-left language support. So I don't have a good answer at the moment unfortunately.

Mike
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